John Kiriakou, Academic Advisor
John Kiriakou is a journalist, former CIA counterterrorism officer, former senior investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and former counterterrorism consultant for ABC News. In 2007, Kiriakou blew the whistle on the CIA’s torture program, telling ABC News that the CIA tortured prisoners, that torture was official U.S. government policy. He became the sixth whistleblower indicted by the Obama administration under the Espionage Act — a law designed to punish spies. He served 23 months in prison as a result of the revelation.
In 2012, the Ralph Nader family honored Kiriakou with the Joe A. Callaway Award for Civic Courage, an award given to individuals who “advance truth and justice despite the personal risk it creates.” He won the PEN Center USA’s prestigious First Amendment Award in 2015, the first Blueprint International Whistleblowing Prize for Bravery and Integrity in the Public Interest in 2016, and also in 2016 the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence, given by retired CIA, FBI, and NSA officers.
Kiriakou is the author of eight books, including The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA’s War on Terror; Doing Time Like a Spy: How the CIA Taught Me to Survive and Thrive in Prison; The Convenient Terrorist: Abu Zubaydah and the Weird Wonderland of America’s Secret Wars; and The CIA Insider’s Guide to the Iran Crisis.