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Top Performing Chapter Award



MPIGNY Education: “My Advantage as a Woman in The CIA”

11 March, 2020
6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
75 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, New York
United States

When Michele was hired to work as an undercover intelligence officer in the CIA, she suffered from Imposter Syndrome--wondering how she got hired and when the agency would figure out they'd made a big mistake. Looking and acting differently from officers who had risen up through the ranks and obtained leadership positions, Michele wondered how she could excel in that atmosphere. It took years in the field and almost half of her CIA career to figure out that what made her different enabled her to succeed. It was Michele's first operation with a terrorist that showed that she was exactly what she needed to be to do the job. And the "soft, feminine" skills of empathy and intuition made her a stand-out in the agency, and one of the few who could untangle tough cases.

  • Think about the ways in which you've held back due to Imposter Syndrome, intimidation, or uncertainty.
  • Identify the traits that make you YOU and think creatively how to harness those to achieve your goals and objectives.
  • Realize that our alleged "disadvantages" may actually be the secret sauce of future success.



6:00pm - 6:45pm

The Exchange (Planner Only)

6:00pm - 6:30pm

New Member Orientation

6:00pm - 7:15pm

Registration & Networking

7:15pm - 8:15pm

My Advantage as a Woman in The CIA


Event Concludes


CEU/CMP Credits:  CMP-IS Domain E, Human Resources

About Our Speaker: 

Rigby Assad, MicheleMichele Rigby Assad began her career in the government relations department of an international relief and development organization in Washington, DC, in 1995. She joined the CIA in January 2002 to work as an intelligence officer in the Directorate of Operations, the covert arm of the agency. Specializing in counterterrorism and counterintelligence issues, Michele worked in Iraq and other secret Middle Eastern locations. To date, Michele has lived in six countries in the Near East region and traveled to more than forty-five others.

After a decade of government service, Michele left the undercover life to serve as a public speaker, author, trainer, and international security consultant focused on the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe. Her book, Breaking Cover: My Secret Life in the CIA and What It Taught Me about What’s Worth Fighting For, published by Tyndale Momentum, was released February 2018 and is currently in production to be made into a major motion picture.

She and her husband, Joseph, live in Florida. Michele holds a master’s degree in contemporary Arab studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and a political science degree from Palm Beach Atlantic University.

Michele credits student-led mission trips to Egypt, Russia, and Ukraine and a study abroad program in Egypt, Israel, and the West Bank as being the catalysts for her passion for foreign cultures and international travel. The year she spent studying in the Middle East changed the course of her life, taking her from rural central Florida to the front lines of the war on terror. Michele is motivated to use her unique platform to educate and inspire, showing how critical courage is to living a life of impact and purpose.

Michele writes about her many passions at, where she features articles on counterterrorism, personal security, the Middle East, faith, and inspiration. Connect with her there, as well as on Facebook (Michele Rigby Assad) and LinkedIn.

Donation Drive for Dress for Success®

To celebrate and empower women to secure, retain, and develop their professional careers, please bring your nearly new clean and ready-to-wear, and gently-used women’s professional attire of all sizes. View donation guidelines here: Donation Guidelines

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Venue Details

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