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A quick glance at Robert Grenier’s bio and you start believing a little bit in James Bond.

This is a legit superspy, with a knack for being in the thick of some of the most epic events of our time.

In 2001, Grenier was the CIA station chief in Islamabad – perhaps one of the most challenging counterterrorism positions in the world in the aftermath of September 11. There he planned and directed covert operations in support of the US invasion of Afghanistan.

In the summer of 2002 he was promoted to be CIA’s Iraq Mission Manager, splitting his time between CIA and the White House to coordinate covert operations in support of America’s 2003 invasion of Iraq.

He has also been deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia, and headed the “Farm,” CIA’s school for spies. Among many other contributions, he is credited with founding the CIA’s Counter-Proliferation Division.

He went on to occupy top rung positions in the CIA, wrapping a stellar 27-year career in the Clandestine Service as director of the Counter-Terrorism Center for a year and then, controversially, leaving the CIA amid reports that he, according to London’s Sunday Times, “opposed detaining Al-Qaeda suspects in secret prisons abroad, sending them to other countries for interrogation and using forms of torture such as ‘water boarding’.”

Grenier is now an investment banker, a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and speaks and writes frequently on foreign policy issues. His memoir of the Afghan campaign – including advice for future policy – is due out shortly.

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