This just in from Ad Age:
The Central Intelligence Agency is looking for a few good men and women, and what’s more, it wants the next generation of spies to be more diverse.
The highly secretive organization has reached out to big shops on Madison Avenue to evaluate whether they may be suited for working with the CIA down the road on its recruitment advertising campaigns. According to an unclassified document obtained by Ad Age: “The Central Intelligence Agency seeks to build on its existing brand identity and be positioned as the No. 1 employer of choice for a variety of career paths by reaching and engaging with prospective employees.” The document added, the CIA “seeks to optimize its marketability to this audience by focusing on creative and innovative advertising.”
Responses to what the CIA is calling a “market survey” are due back this week. Depending on the answers the agencies provide, it could lead to an official request for proposal.
One key goal of the CIA’s recruiting messages seems to be attempting to attract a more diverse workforce. The document sent to agencies said the CIA is focused on “increasing the percentage of officers from ethic and minority backgrounds, as well as those with relevant foreign languages.”…
I’ve gotta think that there’s nothing new in the CIA looking for “diversity” in its recruiting. The job requirements have always called for it. Yeah, I think I once read that in the postwar period it was kind of heavy on Irish Catholics (or was that the FBI?), but it seems I’ve also heard that field officers tend to be people who had spent extensive time in their youths in foreign cultures.
Or have I gotten the wrong impression?
There was a time when I might have been a good prospect — but I let my Spanish slide after living in South America in my youth.
At one point when we lived in Guayaquil, Ecuador, my parents considered the possibility of sending me to the local school for German expatriates, at which all classes were taught in that language. I didn’t much like the idea then, but that would have been awesome — a working fluency with German at the same time that my day-to-day life was making Spanish second nature to me. I thought and dreamed in Spanish in those days. No more. (Although I suspect it would come flooding back with total immersion, I don’t know that.)
I’ve wondered what course my life would have taken if I’d seized that opportunity to be trilingual.
Oh, well. Even if I had the languages, they’d really have to embrace diversity to hire me. As in, accept trainees over the age of 55…