Cynthia Strand

Vice President, Customer Excellence

Central Intelligence Agency


Ms. Strand joined Leidos in February 2023 following a 35 year career at the intersection of technology and
mission execution. She joined CIA as an imagery analyst in 1985 and worked across every mission area in the
Directorate of Science and Technology (DST) as an analyst and manager of technical collection operations,
capability development, and targeting. In 2002, she joined the Senior Intelligence Service.


Organizational culture, officer development and diversity are long standing passions of Ms. Strand. In May

2012, she founded the George Methlie School for Technical Intelligence Officers to standardize skills
development and create a coherent culture across the DST. This was the first DST enterprise dedicated to the
recruitment, development, and retention of Technical Intelligence Officers. The school implemented an
onboarding program which became the model for the CIA Program of Intelligence that every new CIA officer
completes when they enter on duty.


In the early 2000s, the explosion of massive data stores and increasingly powerful computing capabilities gave

rise to AI applications that threatened traditional field tradecraft practices. In 2013, while serving as Director of
the Office of Integrated Missions, Ms. Strand established the CIA’s first laboratory to assess implications of
ubiquitous technical surveillance against CIA tradecraft. She subsequently secured more than $1B to develop

and evaluate new methods and techniques in the laboratory for deployment to the field.


When the CIA embarked on its modernization program in 2015 and created mission centers, Ms. Strand was
tapped to serve as Deputy Assistant Director of CIA for Global Issues. The Global Issues Mission Center was
responsible for CIA’s widest range of challenges from international energy and economics to emerging
technologies to foreign conflict. Ms. Strand successfully integrated diverse missions, from multidisciplinary

analysis to human and technical collection operations into a single, high impact enterprise.


Ms. Strand had worked with In-Q-Tel since it was founded in 1999. In 2017, she joined In-Q-Tel as an
Executive Fellow and led the design and launch of eyeQ, an unprecedented initiative among international
security communities to improve situational understanding of emerging technologies globally through In-Q-Tel
seed capital. She developed the operating concept and built consensus across the Pacific Rim, European, and
US national security communities and provided embedded consultation and advice to the foreign partners.


After retiring from CIA in 2020, Ms. Strand joined a natural language processing startup, Primer.AI. She

framed the strategy to bring Primer’s capabilities to missions across the Intelligence Community and Five Eyes
to expand and deepen collaboration among the partners.
Ms. Strand remains engaged with the National Security Community as an Advisory Board Member of the Cyber
Security Forum Initiative, a Director on the Central Intelligence Retiree Association Board, and an Advisory
Board Member for the George Washington University Cyber Security Strategy and Information Management
Program. She holds a BS in Political Science from James Madison University and an MBA from The George
Washington University. She is the recipient of the Presidential Rank Award – Meritorious, the CIA Director’s
Award, and the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal. She has three grown daughters and three ridiculously
perfect grandchildren.