John Kiriakou was born in Sharon, Pennsylvania in 1964 and
raised in nearby New Castle. He graduated from New Castle
High School in 1982 and left for Washington, DC, where he
earned a Bachelor’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies and a
Master’s degree in Legislative Affairs from George
John served in the Central Intelligence Agency from 1990 until March 2004, first as an analyst, and later as a counterterrorism operations officer. As a senior operations officer, he became chief of counterterrorist operations in Pakistan following the September 11 attacks. This tour culminated in the March 2002 capture of Abu Zubaydah, al-Qa’ida’s third-ranking official.
Upon his return from Pakistan, John was named Executive Assistant to the CIA’s Deputy Director for Operations, where he was principal Iraq briefer for the Director of Central Intelligence.
After a stint in the private sector, John became senior investigator on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he focused on international terrorism, piracy, and counternarcotics, and served as senior intelligence advisor to the Committee’s chairman, Senator John Kerry.
Following his service on the Hill, John was an intelligence and counterterrorism consultant and author.