Intelligence Perspectives

Emily Francona


Emily FranconaEmily Francona overcame unique challenges as an American intelligence officer and later as a professional staff member of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Tackling organizational obstacles within the traditionally male-oriented military system, she excelled in an even more male-dominated specialty – as a clandestine case officer. During her distinguished intelligence career, Emily served with the Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency in Europe, the Balkans, the Middle East, and Latin America. After retiring from the Air Force, Emily joined the professional staff of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence – where she conducted direct oversight of sensitive Department of Defense and Central Intelligence Agency operations. Her extensive intelligence background enabled her to draft legislation on intelligence operations standards and intelligence restructuring, still in force today.

Emily is passionate about educating citizens on intelligence issues and countering frequently sensationalized and often inaccurate media reporting. She believes that citizens need to be better informed about the capabilities, limitations, and costs of intelligence – and the impact of intelligence on national security and foreign policy decisions. Her audiences have included the Naval Postgraduate School's Center for Civilian-Military Relations, Portland State University's International Affairs Department, Willamette University's Institute for Continued Learning, and the Argentine Ministry of Defense. She also provides customized analyses for the Central Intelligence Agency on intelligence issues for emerging democracies.