Marc Polymeropoulos

Marc Polymeropoulos retired from the Senior Intelligence Service ranks in 2019 after serving for 26 years in the Intelligence Community in operational field and leadership assignments. He is an expert in counterterrorism, covert action, and human intelligence collection. Marc is one of IC's most highly decorated field officers and has honed a unique leadership style based on decision making under pressure, inclusivity, camaraderie, and competition. His book "Clarity in Crisis:  Leadership Lessons from the CIA" was published in June 2021 by Harper Collins.  Marc's goal is to pass on this knowledge to the private sector who can benefit from his unique experiences serving his country in the hot spots of the world.


2021 Speaking Topics and Services

For Booking Contact

Harry Walker Agency


Finding Clarity in the Shadows

Marc reviews his 9 core principles of leadership from his book "Clarity in Crisis:  Leadership Lessons from the CIA."  All were gleaned from the streets of the Near East and South Asia. They include "Win an Oscar," the "Glue Guy," and "Adversity is the PED to Success." Each principle builds upon the next, and is designed for real world applicability, where you operate under time constraints and a lack of real situational awareness. Marc will teach you to embrace this ambiguity and become comfortable in operating in less than ideal situations. As one of CIA's most highly decorated field operations officers, these principles are universally applicable in all walks of life.

Baseball and the CIA

Marc speaks on the parallels between life in the CIA and Baseball. It is an insightful, funny and personal talk, filled with principles such as the need to hit .300 in both baseball and espionage operations, how adversity builds character in both worlds, and how you never miss the hit and run sign, when your teammates are relying on you.  Coupled with some unique and exciting stories from places like Iraq and Afghanistan, Marc notes that espionage operations strive to do the impossible - just like trying to hit a wicked curve ball.


Life as an Intelligence Officer in the Age of Twitter

Marc discusses what it was like to serve in this unique time period during the first two years of the Trump administration, which includes a discussion on recruitment operations and working with foreign liaison.  Marc discusses the challenges that the IC will face into the 21st century, with a focus on leadership and ethics.

Current Events

Marc will dive into current events such as the wars in Syria and Afghanistan and the renewed Cold War with Russia, based on his decades of experience at CIA.


Media Appearances


MSNBC:  Intel officials want CIA Director to protect whistleblower from Trump

November 7, 2019

Marc discusses with MSNBC host Ali Velshi the leadership challenges that both the Acting DNI Maguire and DCIA Haspel face

CBS News Podcast "Intelligence Matters"

October 16, 2019

"Recently retired CIA officer Marc Polymeropoulos tells former acting Director of the CIA Michael Morell about his nearly three decade career at the agency"

Washington Post:  Despite Baghdadi raid, some analysts question the US ability to prevent ISIS resurgence

October 27, 2019

Marc is quoted for his expertise in intelligence operations tracking HVTs

The Cipher Brief:  Afghanistan and the Dark Side of No Man Left Behind

September 11, 2019

Marc discusses the abandonment of our indigenous allies in Afghanistan, in the context of his nearly three decade career at CIA.

The Cipher Brief:  Recruiting Spies in the Trump Era

October 18, 2019

Marc discusses the historic motivations of prospective agents and concludes that the CIA, despite the chaotic nature of the Trump Presidency, still has the required edge to conduct espionage operations abroad.

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The Cipher Brief:  Trump's Impact on the 5 Eyes and Beyond

October 4, 2019

Marc discusses the delicate game that foreign liaison services must play in working with the current administration.

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The Cipher Brief:  Baseball and the CIA-  Life Lessons from Little League to the War on Terror

May 10, 2019

Marc discusses the unique parallels between the CIA and Baseball, from his 26 year career at the agency and his time as a baseball parent.

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The Cipher Brief:  Life as an Intelligence Officer in the Age of Twitter

August 27, 2019

Marc reviews what it is like to serve under the unique style of President Trump, and surprisingly concludes that the CIA is in fine shape despite the political chaos in Washington.

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CNN The Situation Room


Marc comments on the repeated Chinese attempts to access Mar-a-Lago

Address to the Baltimore Foreign Affairs Council

December 12, 2019

Marc talks about life as an intelligence officer in the age of Twitter


“Marc was one of the finest CIA officers that I encountered in my career.  He was tough, smart, and had the honesty and integrity that we demanded from our people.  One of the most highly decorated field operations officers of his generation, he led from the front with compassion and conviction for those under his command.  lf people knew the work he has done in the shadows of the Middle East, Europe, and Russia, they would sleep easier at night."

Former Acting Director of the Central Intelligence Agency Michael Morrell

“Marc was not only a top notch field operations officer willing to take the toughest assignments in the hot spots of the Middle East, he also was a skilled leader who cared deeply for his people.  He inspired those around him, as he came to work each day with a relentlessly positive outlook and a herculean desire to succeed that was contagious."

Brian Scott, CEO Patriot Defense Group and former CIA Station Chief


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