Episode 228 – Tracy Walder is the Unexpected Spy who hunted terrorists for the CIA
This is the incredible but true story of Tracy Walder who happened to meet a CIA recruiter while at a jobs fair. She was recruited by the agency while still a USC student and also a Delta Gamma sorority sister. Walder would spend the next five years as a covert operative for CIA’s Counter-terrorism Center. She would assume aliases, help thwart terrorist attacks, and also hide in the trunks of cars while on her way to debrief terrorists at black sites.
Tracy travelled to war zones and other countries including Afghanistan, Jordan, Uzbekistan, Algeria, Morocco, Denmark, Sweden, Italy, and England. She also received multiple awards for her service from both the CIA and from foreign intelligence offices. These include the counter-terrorism medal, as well as multiple exceptional performance awards. Walder also worked as Staff Operations Officer (SOO) Intelligence Agency's Counter-terrorism Center Weapons of Mass Destruction Group.
Among Walder's awards were four exceptional performance awards from the Director of the CIA. These included two Special Activity Awards, a Meritorious Unit Citation Award, a DCI Counter-terrorism Center Medal, and two Operation Enduring Freedom Targeting Awards. After her time in the CIA, Tracy became a Special Agent at the FBI's Los Angeles Field Office that specializes in Chinese counter-intelligence operations.
Life beyond the CIA and FBI
Post CIA and FBI, Walder enrolled herself in both a master's and a teaching credential program. Tracy now works as an author and adjunct professor of Criminal Justice, at Texas Christian University. She also sits on the Board of Directors of Girl Security, which is a non-partisan organization increasing the representation of women in the national security field. Tracy’s is the author of “The Unexpected Spy: My secret life chasing down some of the world’s most notorious terrorists.” Her audio book was also a bestseller, since its release it has also been translated into Portuguese and Korean.