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Jack Devine, Vernon Loeb & Jan Herring headline IAFIE gathering at Mercyhurst

Thursday, July 3, 2014

A who’s who of intelligence practitioners, from educators to journalists to veteran national security professionals are convening on the campus of Mercyhurst University July 14-16 for the 10th Annual Conference of the International Association for Intelligence Education (IAFIE).

IAFIE, the paramount professional organization for intelligence education and training with members in 30 countries, was founded at Mercyhurst and the university’s intelligence studies staff have continued to play a key role in its development over the past decade.

Among this year’s keynote speakers are Jack Devine, former chief, CIA Directorate of Operations, who held supervisory authority over thousands of CIA employees involved in sensitive missions throughout the world; and Vernon Loeb, managing editor of The Houston Chronicle and former metro editor of The Washington Post. Devine and Loeb co-authored Devine’s just-released memoir, Good Hunting: An American Spymaster’s Story. Loeb is also well known as co-author of All In: The Education of General David Petraeus with Paula Broadwell. Kicking off the keynote speaking engagements is Jan Herring, a former 20-year CIA intelligence officer who organized government’s first business intelligence program.

The past decade has witnessed significant growth in intelligence studies programs across the U.S. and worldwide, in large part due to the events of 9/11 and their aftermath. This year’s IAFIE gathering, which at last count numbered 111 attendees, will concentrate on “Varying Approaches to Intelligence Education,” with participants delivering presentations consistent with the “traditional” scholarly approach found in most institutions, and the “applied” approach developed with considerable success over the past 20 years.

Among those presenters from the Tom Ridge School of Intelligence Studies and Information Science at Mercyhurst University are faculty Steven Zidek, David Grabelski, Kristan Wheaton, Shelly Freyn and Bill Welch along with recent alumna Melonie Richey.

Bios of Keynote Speakers

Jack Devine

Jack Devine is a 32-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency, where he held many senior positions, serving as both acting director and associate director of the CIA’s operations outside the United States. He maintained supervisory authority over thousands of CIA employees involved in sensitive missions throughout the world. He is also a founding partner and president of The Arkin Group LLC, an international risk consulting and intelligence firm. Devine’s memoir, Good Hunting: An American Spymaster’s Story, was published in June.

Vernon F. Loeb

Vernon F. Loeb is an American journalist and book author. Before being named managing editor at The Houston Chronicle, Loeb was metro editor at The Washington Post. He is co-author of the books King's Counsel: A Memoir of War, Espionage, and Diplomacy in the Middle East with Jack O'Connell, All In: The Education of General David Petraeus with Paula Broadwell, and Good Hunting: An  American Spymaster’s Story with Jack Devine.

Jan Herring

Herring manages his own consulting firm, Herring & Associates, through which he advises business executives and intelligence professionals. His professional experience includes developing Motorola’s intelligence program, co-founding the Academy of Competitive Intelligence, and organizing the U.S. government’s first business intelligence program. Upon leaving government, where he served as an intelligence officer at the CIA for 20 years, he was awarded the agency’s highest honor, the Medal of Distinction. He is a Fellow of the Society of Competitive Intelligence and a recipient of its highest honor, the Meritorious Award; as well as the first recipient of the Faye Brill Service Award. 

NOTE: Devine and Loeb will talk about their recently released book, Good Hunting, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 15, as guests of the Jefferson Educational Society.