Jonna Hiestand Mendez began her CIA career as a “contract wife” performing secretarial duties for the CIA as a convenience to her husband, a young officer stationed in Europe. She needed his permission to open a bank account or shut off the gas to their apartment. Yet Mendez had a talent for espionage, too, and she soon took on bigger and more significant roles at the Agency. She parlayed her interest in photography into an operational role overseas, an unlikely area for a woman in the CIA. Often underestimated, occasionally undermined, she lived under cover and served tours of duty all over the globe, rising first to become an international spy and ultimately to Chief of Disguise at CIA’s Office of Technical Service.
In True Face recounts not only the drama of Mendez’s high-stakes work—how this savvy operator parlayed her “everywoman” appeal into incredible subterfuge—but also the grit and good fortune it took for her to navigate a misogynistic world. This is the story of an incredible spy career and what it took to achieve it.
About the Author:
Jonna Mendez is a former Chief of Disguise with over twenty-five years of experience as a CIA officer working in Moscow and other sensitive areas. With her late husband Tony Mendez, she is the bestselling coauthor of Argo, The Moscow Rules, and Spy Dust.
Virtual Meeting Information
Tuesday, March 26 at 7:00pm to 8:00pm
Central Library, Wheeler Auditorium
400 Cathedral Street, Baltimore, MD 21201