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Women of WHC Present: Tracy Walder

The Unexpected Spy: From the CIA to the FBI, My Secret Life Taking Down Some of the World’s Most Notorious Terrorists

Tuesday May 10, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


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When Tracy Walder enrolled at the University of Southern California, she never thought that one day she would offer her pink beanbag chair in the Delta Gamma house to a CIA recruiter, or that she’d fly to the Middle East under an alias identity. But, that’s exactly what happened!

Walder’s memoir, The Unexpected Spy, is the riveting story of her tenure in the CIA and, later, the FBI. In high-security, steel-walled rooms in Virginia, Walder watched al-Qaeda members with drones as President Bush looked over her shoulder and CIA Director George Tenet brought her donuts. She tracked chemical terrorists and searched the world for weapons of mass destruction. She created a chemical terror chart that someone in the White House altered to convey information she did not have or believe, leading to the Iraq invasion. Driven to stop terrorism, Walder debriefed terroristsmen who swore they’d never speak to a womanuntil they gave her leads. She followed trails through North Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, shutting down multiple chemical attacks. 

Then Walder moved to the FBI, where she worked in counterintelligence and helped take down one of the most notorious foreign spies ever caught on American soil. Catching the bad guys wasn’t a problem in the FBI, but rampant sexism was. Walder left the FBI to teach young women and encourage them to find a place in the FBI, CIA, State Department, or the Senate–and thus change the world. 

This program is free and open to everyone.  It will take place on Zoom.  Please RSVP to receive the Zoom information.


About the Author:

Tracy Walder is a former Staff Operations Officer at the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center and a former Special Agent at the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office specializing in Chinese counterintelligence operations. She now teaches global terrorism at the all-girls Ursuline Academy in Dallas and is an adjunct professor of Domestic Terrorism and Criminal Justice at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. She is on the Board of Directors for Girl Security, a nonprofit, nonpartisan group that brings national security curriculum to girls in high school throughout the United States. 

Click here to purchase the book through WHC’s Mitzvah Mall


Presented in partnership with the Jewish Book Council



Tuesday, May 10


12:00 pm - 1:00 pm




Adult Ed, Lecture, Women of WHC


Lori Wise