CIA Seeks Younger Workforce at Spy Agency

The faces are younger, maybe Hispanic, maybe Middle Eastern — definitely diverse — and show a Central Intelligence Agency trying to recruit a new generation of team members.  “We offer a unique environment to work with smart, focused people who have a broad range of backgrounds, interests, experiences, and perspectives,” says the CIA website. “Our employees can give their all to protect our nation because of our inclusive environment.” The agency unveiled the revamped website January 4, transforming its former generic government web face to one that is not only updated, but very different from the family of government websites that usually skew toward traditional. (Excepting the Screenshot of the website.”People starting out who are thinking about their careers, we want them to think of CIA as a place,” said Sara Lichterman, CIA media spokesperson.  A diversity and inclusion section of the CIA website outlines the agency’s mission “to build a workplace where all voices are heard, respected, and valued.”  Requirements to be considered for work include being at least 18 years old, being willing to move to Washington, successfully completing security and medical evaluations, and being a U.S. citizen — even dual U.S. citizens are eligible, the website states.In addition to the expected computer and military analyst positions, jobs range from graphic designer to science, technology and weapons analyst to FILE – Then-CIA Director Gina Haspel arrives to testify before a Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill, Jan. 29, 2019.The redesign for the agency — nicknamed Langley for its location in Virginia — targeting a younger market was rolled out over the past two years under the direction of former CIA Director Gina Haspel, who announced the initiative at her alma mater, the University of Louisville, in September 2018. “Our global mission demands that we recruit and retain America’s best and brightest, regardless of gender, race or cultural background,” Haspel said, describing it at the time as “Strategic Priority No. 1: Diversity and Inclusion.” Last July, Comedy Central star Trevor Noah introduced the CIA’s first public recruitment ad on his Daily Show program, showing young agents protecting America. After describing the diversity initiative, Noah poked fun at the agency’s effort with a parody of the ad, showing points of conflict around the world and implying the CIA’s hand in creating them.  “We broke it. Help us fix it,” says the end line.  The CIA also joined Instagram in 2019 and launched a .onion site that offers secure, anonymous communication to the agency on the so-called dark web for those who want to communicate securely. The advertised government salaries range from $58,070 to $159,286, depending on experience and skills. Nearly every posting requires a bachelor’s or master’s degree, and a bonus is offered for proficiency in languages besides English.   For students, the CIA offers undergraduate scholarship programs that recruit next-gen  employees interested in exposure to intelligence challenges in IT, finance or foreign policy.  The scholarship is needs-based for undergraduate and graduate students and pays up to $25,000 in tuition assistance per calendar year, the CIA states on its website.  But GenZers and millennials are not the only youth market the CIA is approaching. The new website offers a subsite, called SpyKids, that includes a video about the work of bomb-sniffing dogs, narrated by a young girl.”A lot of people think that CIA employees lurk around in trench coats, send coded messages, and use exotic equipment like hidden cameras and secret phones to do their job. (You know, all those things you see in movies or read about in spy novels.),” states the revamped website.”There’s a little of that, but that’s only part of the story.”  

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