Intelligence field panelists champion self-worth, diversity in ‘See Her, Be Her’ event

Intelligence field panelists champion self-worth, diversity in ‘See Her, Be Her’ event

Highlighting the remarkable contributions of three Latinas in the intelligence field, Marymount University’s student-run Intelligence Club hosted an informative ‘See Her, Be Her’ panel event in the Reinsch Auditorium last month.  

All three featured speakers  Carmen Medina (former CIA Deputy Director of Intelligence), Arlene Gaylord (FBI Executive Assistant Director for Information and Technology) and Stephanie LaRue (Chief of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence) stressed the significance of self-recognition and diversity within their careers. 

They also covered other topics, such as professional milestones, mutual admiration for their accomplishments and personal anecdotes showcasing their distinct personalities. Each panelist even revealed their codenames — ‘Rebel at Work’ for Medina, ‘Corazón’ for Gaylord and ‘Mija’ for LaRue.  

“All three panelists made excellent presentations on how they navigated their career and provided good advice to young women in the intelligence community,” shared Linda Millis of Marymount’s Forensic and Legal Psychology program. 

The event also served to celebrate Marymount’s identity as the only HispanicServing Institution in Virginia.  

Intelligence field panelists champion self-worth, diversity in ‘See Her, Be Her’ event

During the panel’s second half, discussions centered on diversity in intelligence operations and its critical role in effective intelligence gathering.  

“Until we get to that place where we really can leverage and benefit from the full diversity of what it means to be an American, we are not going to be doing the best that we possibly can with respect to our mission, which is gathering and producing intelligence,” LaRue said. 

As the panel concluded, the speakers shared valuable wisdom for aspiring intelligence professionals — emphasizing reliability and mastering substance, style and savvy within the workplace.  

“Letting the work speak for itself has been so important for me,” Gaylord shared. “It’s all about adding value, no matter what the mission is. You have to do it and not just speak it.” 

The event was produced in partnership with Iron Butterfly Podcast, which pays homage to Eloise Page. The trailblazing first female Chief of Station at the CIA, she was known by her codename ‘Iron Butterfly.’ The podcast continues to honor her legacy by amplifying the voices of often-overlooked heroines within the U.S. Intelligence Community, offering their narratives as inspiration to emerging leaders.