A recipient of the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, Darrell M. Blocker is a 28-year veteran of the CIA’s clandestine service. He served as Deputy Director of the Counterterrorism Center and Chief Africa Division after leading the CIA’s iconic and legendary training facility. Darrell served multiple tours as a Chief of Station and was the most senior black Directorate of Operations Officer when he retired in October 2018 with the rank equivalent to a three-star general. He is currently the COO of MOSAIC, a boutique strategic risk and crisis management, intelligence and security advisory firm. Darrell serves on one nonprofit board dedicated to improving the future for youth in foster care and advises another board on countering the exploitation and human trafficking of youth and women.
A Song for Spying: Music as a Tool for Espionage
Music can form strong connections between people all over the world. The role of a good CIA operations officer is much the same: forming connections while working undercover to gather information. Darrell Blocker, 28-year veteran of the Operations Office at the CIA, knew he had an advantage in his field being a musician. During this lecture, Blocker will show you how these transferable skills made him a successful spy, share stories of other musical spies (like Josephine Baker), and maybe have you tapping your toes and singing along by the end.
Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder: Maintaining Relationships with International Intelligence Partners
After a lifetime of work in ten foreign countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe for the Central Intelligence Agency, Darrell Blocker knows how hard it is to ensure congenial relationships with conflicting foreign powers. These working relationships, however, are vital to America’s espionage efforts and interests. Blocker shares his advice (and a couple stories) about maintaining foreign partnerships, leading with dignity, and abandoning ego to remain in service to a cause.
The Path Toward Radicalization
Darrell Blocker has worked with some very scary characters. As a 32-year career official in the intelligence field, he has worked on cases dealing with Iran and North Korea and even served as Deputy Director of the Counterterrorism Center at the CIA. During this discussion, Blocker explores terrorist motivations and how terrorists recruit individuals by appealing to their need for validation and connection. He argues that ideologies are hard to kill – so come find out why.
Playing it Close to the Chest
At the time of his retirement, Darrell Blocker was the most senior black officer in the CIA’s Directorate of Operations with the rank equivalency of a three-star general. He was also the recipient of the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, and he’s ready to speak with you about the life of a spy and how to determine what to share and what to conceal. He proves that you can lead and inspire – without giving everything away. Blocker will also explore the significance of diversity in any field and discuss why the CIA put together a program to support mental health due to the stress and secrecy of the job.