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Former CIA operative to speak at King about Iranian nuclear program

February 15th, 2013 2:03 pm by staff report

Charles “Sam” Faddis, retired chief of the CIA’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Counterterrorism Unit, will speak at King University Feb. 18-19 as part of a two-month lecture series on how to resolve the political stalemate around the Iranian nuclear program.


The series is hosted by the King Security and Intelligence Studies Group (KSI), in association with the Security and Intelligence Studies (SIS) program.  It is funded through a generous grant from the United Institute of Peace (USIP), an independent, nonpartisan federal institution created and funded by Congress to strengthen America's capacity to promote the peaceful resolution of international conflict.


On Monday, Faddis will present “Is Iran Building a Nuclear Weapon, and Why?”  at 1:40 p.m., in Kline Hall 121 and at 4 p.m. in Sells Hall 211.


On Tuesday, he will speak on “Is War Necessary to Prevent the Iranian Nuclear Program?” at 1:10 p.m., and at 4:30 p.m., in Kline Hall 121


“We are extremely pleased to be able to offer our students and the community the opportunity to view one of the world's most pressing international issues through the eyes of someone of Charles Faddis’ experience and caliber,” said Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis, instructor who coordinates King’s Security & Intelligence Studies program.  “The Iranian government’s nuclear ambition is generally viewed as one of the most critical challenges to international peace and security today.  Can this apparent impasse be solved by the international community without resorting to war?  Charles Faddis was tasked by the CIA with helping combat nuclear proliferation, so his insight on this pressing issue will be both extremely fascinating and highly enlightening.”


A CIA operations officer for 20 years, Faddis retired in 2008, last serving as chief of CIA's WMD Counterterrorism Unit.  Previously, he served in the Middle East, South Asia and Europe.  In his most recent overseas tour, Faddis served as CIA chief of station in a Middle Eastern country.  In 2002, Faddis led the first covert CIA team into Iraq prior to the Gulf war, as related in his book “Operation Hotel California.”  A former assistant attorney general for Washington state, Faddis also served as an officer in the U.S. Army (captain, armor, and J.A.G. Corps).  


Faddis also has written and co-written several books.  His first novel, “Codename Aphrodite,” was based on his own experiences as a counterterrorist operative.  His other works include the novel “Operation Barbarossa,” “Willful Neglect,” a street-level look at homeland security ten years after 9/11; “Beyond Repair,” an examination of the state of the CIA; and “Operation Hotel California,” an account of the actions of Faddis’ team inside Iraq in 2002 and 2003.


Faddis received a juris doctorate from the University of Maryland School of Law and a bachelor of arts degree from Johns Hopkins University.  Currently, he divides his time between consulting and writing.  


King’s new minor in Security and Intelligence Studies provides students with the opportunity to learn about espionage and intelligence, international terrorism, the Cold War, covert action and advanced topics in geopolitics. 


Career paths where a minor in SIS is beneficial include careers in government, military, diplomacy or intelligence.  Areas of study complemented by a SIS minor include political science, history and business — particularly finance, economics, management and administration.  Other majors enhanced by the minor are neuroscience, forensic science, physics, mathematics, psychology and foreign language.  King is one of 25 schools in the nation offering this type of program.


For more information on King’s Security and Intelligence Studies program, call Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis at (423) 652-6014 or e-mail jfitsanakis@king.edu.

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