Association of Former Intelligence Officers

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AFIO Central Office
6723 Whittier Avenue
Suite 200
McLean, Virginia 22101-4582
Telephone: 703 790 0320
Facsimile: 703 991 1278
© 2010 AFIO
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About AFIO

Icon AFIOThe Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) was incorporated in 1975 as a 501(c)3 non-profit, non-political, educational association for current and former intelligence professionals and supporters of the US intelligence community. The Association is based in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Current Composition of Members as of September 2011

Current Board of Directors

Our History

During the 1970s the Intelligence Community was buffeted by a number of leaks and revelations, culminating in the Church and Pike Congressional investigations. CIA officer David Atlee Phillips took early retirement in 1975 to respond to the growing sentiment that the CIA was a “rogue elephant.” As part of this effort, Phillips founded this organization, known then as the Association of Retired Intelligence Officers (ARIO). Although much attacked at the time when many people called for the dismantlement of the CIA, Phillips toured the world to speak out in favor of the need for a strong intelligence community. He was subsequently personally accused of being a participant in the Kennedy and Letelier assassinations. He successfully sued several publications for libel, retractions were issued and monetary damages awarded. Phillips donated some of these proceeds to ARIO for the purpose of creating a legal defense fund for American intelligence officers who felt they were the victims of libel. This defense focus was later moved to a separate group called Charter, which disbanded in the early 1980s, and AFIO's focus narrowed to public education within its 501(c)3 charter.

The first ARIO convention was held in September 1975, and the organization defined its purpose to explain to the nation the function of intelligence and what intelligence officers can and cannot do. From the very beginning it sought to reach out to teachers and students across the country as well as to the media, through publications, such as Periscope and through periodic luncheons. These early efforts have grown into the robust academic outreach and support programs present today, including scholarships, civic outreach, a variety of print and online publications and media fora, an annual symposium as well as the quarterly luncheons featuring senior officials from the Intelligence and Policy Communities, authors and media representatives.

In 1978 the name of the organization was changed to Association of Former Intelligence Officers to reflect a pool of members who were not necessarily retired, which widened the pool of eligible members and reflects the current dynamic membership. From its inception in Dave Phillips’ living room and a few hundred members in 1975, AFIO has grown to over 5000 members, with 24 active chapters across the United States.

A member of the Intelligence Community Associations Network (ICAN), AFIO is more than a professional or fraternal organization. Its distinguishing mission is reach out to the public and explain what intelligence organizations do, and to build a nation-wide constituency for intelligence as a profession. In many ways, AFIO is the public face of the Intelligence Community.

Our Mission

Our mission is to build a public constituency for a sound, healthy and capable U.S. intelligence system. Our focus on education fosters an understanding of the important role of intelligence in National Security and nurtures interest by students in careers in the many fields used by U.S. Intelligence Agencies. This includes the role of supporting intelligence activities in U.S. policy, diplomacy, strategy, security and defense.

In addition, AFIO focuses on understanding the critical need for effective counterintelligence and security against foreign, political, technological or economic espionage, as well as covert, clandestine and overt counter-terrorist or criminal operations threatening US security, the national infrastructure or corporate and individual safety.
AFIO’s mission has special significance in today’s international diplomatic and business environments.


  • The Honorable George H. W. Bush, Chairman

  • The Hon. Shirley Temple Black
  • The Hon. Frank C. Carlucci
  • Lincoln D. Faurer, LtGen, USAF, Ret.
  • Michael V. Hayden. Gen, USAF, Ret.
  • Bobby R. Inman, ADM, USN, Ret.
  • Milton S. Maltz
  • Maria L. Ransburg
  • The Hon. William H. Webster
  • Nigel West
  • The Hon. R. James Woolsey



  • Charles A. Briggs
  • Donald P. Harvey, RADM, USN, Ret.


  • M. E. 'Spike' Bowman, Capt., USN, Ret. - CHAIRMAN
  • Sarah L. Botsai, PhD - VICE CHAIRMAN
  • Stewart A. Baker
  • C. Emerson Cooper
  • Christopher N. Darlington
  • Kenneth E. DeGraffenreid
  • Martin C. Faga
  • Robert A. Harding, MG, USA, Ret.
  • James R. Hughes
  • John Lenczowski, Ph.D.
  • N. John MacGaffin III
  • David G. Major
  • Don H. McDowell, RADM, USN, Ret.
  • C. Carson Morris
  • Peter C. Oleson
  • Albano F. Ponte
  • Douglas R. Price
  • John R. Sano
  • Michelle Van Cleave
  • Elizabeth A. Bancroft - ex officio
  • S. Eugene Poteat, LL.D. - ex officio


  • President - S. Eugene Poteat, LL.D.
  • Sr. Vice President - André V. Kesteloot
  • Executive Director - Elizabeth A. Bancroft
  • Director of Membership - Patricia S. Lebeau
  • Publications Research - Priscilla Adams
  • Special Events - Arlene Wagner
  • Financial Counsel - DuvallWheeler LLP

Special Committees

  • C. Emerson Cooper - National Board-Chapter Liaison
  • Don H. McDowell, RADM, USN, Ret. - Speaker Programs
  • Albano F. Ponte, Endowment and Fund-Raising

Editors and Managers of Special Areas

  • Dwayne Anderson - Founding Co-Editor, Intelligencer; Contributing Editor /
  • Richard Gay - Special Historical Projects
  • Joseph C. Goulden - Contributing Editor / Intelligencer
  • Gary Harter - Academic & Community Outreach
  • Hayden Peake - Contributing Editor / Intelligencer
  • Teri Rustmann & Lisa Ruth - Editors / Weekly Intelligence Notes
  • Gary Wass - Special Events / Corporate Support

AFIO Code of Ethics

AFIO Officer, Director and Member Code of Ethics

     Membership in the Association of Former Intelligence Officers including National and Chapter leadership positions imposes a responsibility to uphold and further the Association's purposes and objectives as set forth in the Association's charter and bylaws and the resolutions and decisions of its Board of Directors. Members at all times should conduct themselves and their professional and business affairs in a manner that reflects credit upon and enhances the reputation of AFIO.

     AFIO’s Board of Directors vests the President of AFIO with the power to enforce these membership obligations by removing from membership, with concurrence of the Executive Committee [EXCOM], any member who, in the judgment of the EXCOM, gives cause for dismissal. Such causes include, but are not limited to:

1. Any material misrepresentation of service, employment, or credentials in application for membership, during the duration of membership or when serving in any office in the Association or its chapters.
2. Any act intended to disrupt the existence or unity of the Association or its chapters.
3. Any act that violates the Association's charter, such as using one's position in the Association to suggest or promote personal, political, policy, religious, or social agendas.  To ensure that members' statements are not misconstrued in public fora that are not sponsored by the Association, whether through introductions or biographic profiles, such statements cannot be accompanied by publications, slides, handouts, etc. which have the logo or insignia of the Association. If affiliation with AFIO is noted or apparent, any handouts, publications, or slides must bear the caveat: "The opinions expressed in this (letter, blog, event, speech, newsletter, slide, paper, presentation, discussion, etc.) are those of the individual writer/speaker, and do not reflect the position of, or the endorsement by, the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, its members, officers, chapters, or board."
4. Any act that misrepresents the Association's 501(c)3 non-profit, non-political, educational charter, including any act that brings public disrepute or embarrassment upon the Association, or seeks to undermine the purposes or programs of the Association.
5. Any defamation, vilification, or deceitful act, false accusation, calumny, or slander or libel against the Association, its officers, or its members.
6. Any misrepresentation, or use for purposes other than the stated purposes of the Association, of the AFIO name, symbols, icons, trademarks, certificates, purposes, activities, membership or member data, of the Association, including any act, assertion, or implication of, affiliation with, sponsorship of, or approval by the Association not permitted by the Association.
7. Any act in violation of a fiduciary or other trust exercised on behalf of the Association or its subsidiary chapters.
8. Any felonious violation of U.S. federal, state, or local laws or any prosecutable or indictable act, at the discretion of the Board of Directors, whether or not related to the Association.
9. Any conflict of interest or appearance of conflict of interest with the Association's charter, purposes, neutrality or objectives if not resolved immediately and satisfactorily upon notification and concurrence of the President.
10.  Any violation of the ground rules ["background use only" "off the record" "Not for attribution"] set forth on behalf of speakers at AFIO luncheons, seminars, symposia, or colloquia.

Adopted by AFIO National Board of Directors on 26 August 2009

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