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Join KISG for an evening with the CIA's Chief Historian

About this event

Former CIA Director Richard Helms once said that “You only work for one president at a time.” His remark encapsulates the CIA’s widely varying relationships with the White House since its establishment in 1947 and the fact that the Agency depends on the Presidents it serves not only for its missions but its political survival. CIA’s ties to the Presidents have differed widely over the years: sometimes they have been close or cordial but at other times strained or non-existent. The Agency’s leaders have tried many ways to maintain their relevance and influence with the Presidents with mixed success. CIA Chief Historian David Robarge, author of a declassified biography of CIA Director John McCone (1961-65), will discuss how the Agency’s dealings with Presidents have changed through administrations and how Presidents’ experience with intelligence and their foreign policy agendas affect the relationship.

David Robarge received his Ph.D. in American History from Columbia University. After teaching at Columbia and working for banker David Rockefeller and at the Gannett Center for Media Studies at Columbia, he joined CIA in 1989 and later became a political and leadership analyst on the Middle East. Dr. Robarge moved to the CIA History Staff in 1996 and was appointed Chief Historian of the CIA in 2005. He has published several classified works as well as unclassified monographs on the CIA’s supersonic A-12 reconnaissance aircraft and intelligence in the American Revolution. His biography of Director of Central Intelligence John McCone was recently declassified. His articles and book reviews on CIA leaders, counterintelligence, covert action, and technical collection have appeared in Studies in Intelligence, Intelligence and National Security, The Journal of Intelligence History, and The Oxford Handbook of Intelligence and National Security. Dr. Robarge has taught at George Mason University, currently teaches at Georgetown University, and also has written a biography of Chief Justice John Marshal.