New Intelligence Program Director Has Big Plans


Image courtesy of The Catholic University of America

By Patrick D. Lewis

Dr. Bianca L. Adair was hired as a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Politics Department and Director of the Intelligence Studies Program in 2022. She succeeds Dr. Nicholas Dujmovic, who founded the Program in 2017. 

Before coming to CUA, Dr. Adair worked at the University of Texas, Austin, as a representative from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) but spent most of her 20-year CIA career in the Middle East as the Operations Officer in the Directorate of Operations. 

She also worked with US policymakers, helped to coordinate things at the CIA’s headquarters, worked on budgets, and served in other roles.

Her new job at CUA marks a return to her roots. Dr. Adair has a Ph.D. from the University of Alabama and originally was a professor. As her CIA career came to an end, Dr. Adair considered job offers from multiple universities in the central and western part of the country, before Dr. Dujmovic asked her about applying at CUA.

Dr. Adair explained why running a program at CUA felt like the right decision for her.  

“I couldn’t be more grateful, because I’m also active with the Campus Ministry here at Catholic University, “ Dr. Adair said. “It’s a combination of doing two things I dearly love. I love our faith, as Christians, as practicing Catholics, and doing my research.”

Photo courtesy of The Catholic University of America

Impressed by the work of her predecessor, Dr. Adair developed plans to take the program to the next level. 

“It becomes about how to grow the program without growing outside of the mission of Catholic University,” Dr. Adair said. 

Part of that goal is to ensure the classes that make up the program are very intertwined with Church teachings, ethics, morality, and issues that are relevant to considerations made within the Intelligence Community (IC). 

“Should you recruit sources in prison,” she asked. “Should you coordinate a targeted killing?” 

To help address those issues, Dr. Adair has added new material to some classes and will continue to adjust them. She even plans to write her own textbook that intertwines theology and philosophy.

Dr. Adair also plans to expand the program in other ways, such as the first annual war game simulation the CUA Intelligence Club held earlier this semester. 

“[We’re] starting to look for opportunities to have activities that are active,” she said.“It’s opportunities to put you in our shoes and get you to work. It’s an opportunity to learn without your job on the line. It’s opportunities to think about key issues without anyone getting hurt.”

Dr. Adair also announced new additions to the program that will support students, such as sponsoring students to go to Cambridge Intelligence Initiative during the summer and also offering an annual scholarship award named after Dr. Dujmovic. Other plans include research contests for students and holding a conference at CUA that will bring senior military and intelligence officials to campus to present their own research. 

The program isn’t just for people who want to work at the CIA, since there are many agencies within the Intelligence Community, such as the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. 

“This type of background shows your potential employer that you do have an understanding of how the IC works, “ she said. “You bring with you a series of skills that consist of critical thinking and writing that make you marketable.”

Dr. Adair also said that these skills are relevant and sought-after outside the IC. 

“You don’t have to be in the IC to use this information,” she said. “If you want to be a staffer on The Hill, especially if you want to be working in foreign policy, this Certificate will be massively valuable.” 

To take advantage of these opportunities, students need to first join the Intelligence Studies Program. Dr. Adair explained how the IC is a workforce interested in people with a variety of educational backgrounds.

“The number one thing is, you all should consider this,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what your major is. It’s not intended to be just for someone studying politics or history.”

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