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Sandy Grimes

Sandy Grimes is a former CIA Officer who co-investigated and uncovered the actions of notorious spy Aldrich Ames.

Sandy Grimes is a twenty-six year veteran of CIA's Clandestine Service, who spent the majority of her career working against the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. She joined the CIA in July 1967 shortly after graduating from the University of Washington with a degree in Russian.  She and Jeanne Verterfeuille co-authored ""Circle of Treason," which details their personal involvement in the search for and identification of fellow officer Aldrich Ames, America's worst ever CIA traitor.

Presentation Topics

Spy Hunters: The Women Who Caught Aldrich Ames

Ms. Grimes highlights the back story and capture of America’s most notorious spy, Aldrich Ames. She is the co-author of Circle of Treason, the first account written by CIA agents who were key members of the CIA team that conducted the intense “Ames Mole Hunt.” Sandra Grimes and fellow author and former CIA colleague Jeanne Vertefeuille were two of the five principals of the CIA team tasked with hunting one of their own and were directly responsible for identifying Ames as the mole, leading to his arrest and conviction.

One of the most destructive traitors in American history, CIA officer Aldrich Ames provided information to the Soviet Union that contributed to the deaths of at least ten Soviet intelligence officers who spied for the United States. Considering it their personal mission, Grimes and Vertefeuille dedicated themselves to identifying the traitor responsible for the execution or imprisonment of the Soviet agents with whom they worked. Her talk covers the political aftermath of Ames’s arrest, including the Congressional wrath for not identifying him sooner, the FBI/CIA debriefings following Ames’s plea bargain, and a retrospective of Ames the person and Ames the spy. It is also the compelling story of two female agents, who overcame gender barriers and succeeded in bringing Ames to justice in a historically male-oriented organization.