The first female CIA officer in Cold War Moscow (236)


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Marti Peterson was the first female CIA operative to be assigned to Moscow, probably the most challenging posting during the Cold War. Her story begins in Laos during the Vietnam War where she accompanied her husband John, a CIA officer. She describes their life in a small city in Laos, and the devastating news she received on October 19, 1972.

Marti returned to the United States and one night at dinner a good friend suggested she look into working for the CIA.

After making it clear to CIA recruiters that she didn’t want to be a secretary or an admin assistant they trained her to become an operative, effectively a spy. When Marti was posted to Moscow during the day, she worked as a diplomat at the U.S. Embassy. At night, on weekends and during her lunch breaks, she would report to the CIA station in the same building to do her work as an operative.
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I am delighted to welcome Marti Peterson to our Cold War conversation…

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