Linda Weissgold

Influential National Intelligence Leader, CIA Deputy Director for Analysis from 2020-2023
Linda Weissgold in a aquamarine blazer and shirt smiling at the camera
  • National security leader for close to four decades who served as the CIA’s top analyst
  • Served as a trusted advisor to the nation’s leaders and decision-makers, including as the intelligence briefer for President George W. Bush
  • Leads a clear and comprehensible deep dive into national and global intelligence trends and issues, as well as their potential impact on organizations and society

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At the height of her 37-year career as a distinguished national intelligence leader, Linda Weissgold was among an elite group of trusted advisors who informed the US’s national security strategy. From March 2020 to April 2023, she served as the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) Deputy Director for Analysis, making her the organization’s top analyst. As the CIA’s Deputy Director of Analysis, Weissgold was called upon by the nation’s highest-ranking officials, policymakers, and military leaders to brief them on global risks, emerging trends, and actionable opportunities, and provide the decision advantage needed to navigate the complexities of national security and protect our democracy. Having served seven presidents, including two years as President George W. Bush’s intelligence briefer, Weissgold offers audiences incomparable analysis of the national and global intelligence landscapes and their impact on organizations and society.

Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, Weissgold challenges groups to look at the world through an intelligence lens as she draws upon her extraordinary experience and expertise to delve into the intricacies of the challenges and risks in national and global security. In doing so, she sheds light on how critical intelligence analysis shapes policy and decision-making at the highest levels of government, and how, in turn, those decisions affect businesses, industries, and all aspects of our daily lives. Having held multiple roles of importance in the Intelligence Community during periods of crises, Weissgold is also well-positioned to share tried-and-true strategies for leading effective teams and innovating in support of organizational objectives.  

For close to four decades, Weissgold was crucial to the creation and delivery of intelligence analysis on complex security issues and ensured the quality of all-source, global intelligence analysis with precision and grace. She was an invaluable presence in the aftermath of 9/11, ultimately heading the CIA’s Office of Counterterrorism Analysis, and generating insights that informed US policy and operations across multiple administrations, including identifying Osama bin Laden’s location, as well as the rise of ISIS. Before that, she was an analyst and leader of analytic programs that focused on the Middle East. Later, Weissgold served as a C-suite leader for the CIA for close to a decade. It was during this time that she successfully spearheaded efforts to optimize strategic planning and hiring for agility, expertise, and risk management. She also oversaw multi-million-dollar budgets to ensure maximum flexibility for research and training. She is universally recognized as a driver of innovation, including the development of new tools and the use of AI to research, produce, and disseminate analytic products.

Weissgold’s contributions to the Intelligence Community have been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including the Presidential Rank Award — the most prestigious award for outstanding career senior leaders in the federal workforce. She is also the recipient of the CIA’s Distinguished Intelligence Medal, Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, and multiple Director’s awards, as well as the William Langer Award.

Known for her commitment to inclusivity, pragmatism, and candor, Weissgold’s legacy is defined by her dedication to not only the CIA’s national security mission, but to the officers she led as well. She is a testament to the power of vision and leadership, and has left an indelible mark on the Intelligence Community.

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Looking at the World Through an Intelligence Lens. In this captivating keynote, Linda Weissgold offers audiences a fascinating overview of the day’s most-pressing intelligence issues from the perspective of a leader who formerly served as the CIA’s top analyst. As she briefs the audience as she would the President on the trends, risks, challenges, and opportunities in the national and global landscape, she gives a clear and comprehensible explanation that relates what’s going on in the world back to their organizations, and offers informed insights on how events may unfold, and what the lasting impact could be.

The Art of Intelligent Leadership. Former CIA Deputy Director for Analysis Linda Weissgold explores the intricate world of leadership, while drawing from her own experiences to share profound insights on how to step up and lead effectively in complex, high-pressure environments. Delving into topics related to risk management, the art of communication and decision-making, and fostering inclusive and dynamic teams, she leaves the audience with a deep understanding of the principles and practices that elevate leaders so that they can then elevate their teams.

Unraveling the Middle East’s Past, Present, and Future. As one of the Intelligence Community’s most respected voices and an expert in Middle Eastern affairs, former CIA Deputy Director for Analysis Linda Weissgold offers audiences a comprehensive look at the historical, cultural, and economic complexities that have shaped the region as it is today. As she pivots to the present, she sheds light on the current geopolitical environment in the region — including ongoing conflicts, shifting alliances, and socio-economic challenges and opportunities — while also sharing ideas for what potential future scenarios for the region might look like based on current and anticipated trends. Weissgold’s compelling walkthrough is intended to help audiences understand what’s actually happening in the Middle East and why it’s relevant to their interests — be they in national security, business, or another area of societal impact.

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