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Ex-CIA Assessment of Changing World Order

by | Apr 6, 2023



The Dean Rusk Program of International Studies has added another program to their list of events. Two former CIA officers will share their thoughts on changes around the globe.

Date / Time


Visual Arts Center VAC-117 Semans Lecture Hall

Brigham Bechtel

Former CIA Chief of Station

Brigham Bechtel served over 30 years in the United States intelligence community. A Navy veteran who spent time as an enlisted and commissioned naval cryptologist, Brigham retired from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 2017, after over 26 years as a staff officer working as both an analyst and then in operations with positions as Chief of Station and of bases in south Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

Brigham has multiple awards for his work including the Career Intelligence Medal, Meritorious Unit Citations for unit’s he led, and National Intelligence Award.

Brigham works for Coverent and serves at Navigators Global as a Senior Strategist -Security, Defense, & Space. He is also the founder of Pelorus Consulting, LLC.

He is a 1989 graduate of St. John’s College in Annapolis Maryland and is a member of the Cosmos Club and its International Affairs Committee.


Gail Helt

Assistant Professor of Political Science, Director of the King Security, and Intelligence Studies

Gail Helt came to King in 2014 after nearly a dozen years at the Central Intelligence Agency, where she worked on issues related to East Asian security, politics, and governance.  She had the privilege of traveling the world and writing for and briefing the senior-most policymakers in the US Government. The opportunities Gail was given were amazing, and she appreciated everyone — but, she always wanted to teach, and was never a city girl, so Gail was thrilled to have the opportunity to move to northeastern TN and teach at King.

Gail was recruited by the CIA out of a PhD program at the University of Arizona, where she was studying political science/international relations, with an emphasis on China.  She has a M.A. in political science from Iowa State University, and a B.S in political science from the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

Gail Helt is the Coordinator of the Security and Intelligence Studies Program here at King and serves as the Director of the King Institute of Security and Intelligence Studies.  She is also the faculty adviser for KSI–a great group of students interested in global events and security and intelligence-related issues. Gail teaches classes in analysis, which are intended not only to teach higher level critical thinking skills that government agencies expect prospective employees to possess, but also to prepare students to succeed in graduate school.

Her research interests center around democratization and liberalization, human rights (I know, shocking for a former CIA officer!), and political stability.  particularly Western religion, has impacted the development of China’s politics.

In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, kayaking, and spending time with friends.

Event is FREE and open to the public. 



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