Arturo Munoz (intelligence)

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Arturo G. Muñoz
Born Arturo G. Muñoz
Education B.A., M.A., A.B.D., Ph.D.
Alma mater Stanford University, UCLA, Loyola University, Central Intelligence Agency
Known for CIA Chief of Operations; Afghanistan/Pakistan Subject Matter Expert; PSYOP, Counterterrorism, Counterinsurgency, al-Qaeda and Taliban Expert.
Awards CIA Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal and CIA Career Achievement Medal

Arturo G. Muñoz is a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) senior officer with three decades of analytical skills and operational experience, both in the Directorate of Intelligence (DI) and in the Directorate of Operations (DO). He managed highly classified covert-operations and HUMINT collections for the CIA National Clandestine Service in various high-ranking positions. Muñoz is highly regarded at the CIA as a Intelligence Officer and a Psychological Operations expert with countless successful programs; to include innovative Covert Action campaigns with verifiable impacts in Latin America, Southwest Asia, the Balkans, the Middle-East, and North-Africa. Muñoz is a well known pundit on national security, international affairs, espionage and U.S. foreign policy.


Muñoz holds a B.A. in history and Spanish literature from Loyola University; an M.A. in anthropology and a Ph.D. Magna Cum Laude in Latin American history, from Stanford University; and A.B.D. in anthropology, from UCLA. As a graduate student, Muñoz lived with the Emberá people in Panama’s Darién Province, and the Yanomamo, conducting years of field work in Venezuela’s Upper Orinoco. As a Sierra Club activist, Muñoz lobbied in Washington D.C. against U.S. funding for the Pan-American Highway in the Darien Gap, arguing that completion of this road would devastate the tropical forest environment, as well as its indigenous people.

Muñoz joined the CIA in 1980. In the Directorate of Intelligence (DI), he contributed to National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs): wrote for President’s Daily Brief (PDB) and National Intelligence Daily (NID); and gave well-received briefings to congressmen, policymakers and military commanders. Additionally, Muñoz pioneered the application of anthropology to intelligence in groundbreaking intel assessments on insurgencies in Latin America. As a certified Case Officer in the CIA Directorate of Operations (National Clandestine Service) Muñoz recruited and handled assets covertly, producing disseminated intelligence reports. Additionally, he implemented U.S. Military projects in Central America as Special Advisor for Counterinsurgency and Psychological Operations detailee at USSOUTHCOM. During his tenure with the CIA, Muñoz established successful counterterrorism, counterinsurgency and counternarcotics programs, from initial HQS planning to full-fledged field operation.

In 2009, Muñoz retired overtly from the CIA and works in the private sector as a Senior Political Scientist.[1] for RAND Corporation specializing in al-Qaeda, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Intelligence, Covert Action, Psychological Operations (PSYOP), Counterinsurgency, and Counterterrorism.

Muñoz returned to Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2009, 2010 and 2013, meeting a broad range of civilians and military officials, as well as Pashtun tribal leaders, Arbakai commanders and Taliban members. Muñoz provided new insights on enemy forces to U.S. Military and participated in advisory panel for ISAF Commander, applying analysis to operations. He supported USMC and SOCOM Afghan mission; helped improve human terrain understanding to Pashtun tribal environment; briefed/debriefed deploying Marines and Special Forces. Muñoz's PSYOP effectiveness study contributed to ongoing Pentagon reassessment of doctrine, organization and methods; stirred debate; subject of two Air Force conferences; and cited by journalists and congressional staffers. In 2013, Muñoz received a prestigious award from the U.S. Government for highly classified case study currently used as a lessons learned reference for ongoing projects.

Muñoz also spent his post-CIA career participating in diverse international lectures and conferences, to include lecturing on Afghanistan at the Foreign Service Institute, as well as teaching courses on “Covert Action and Counterintelligence” and “Intelligence and Diplomacy" at Georgetown University’s Center for Security Studies (CSS).[2] Muñoz has lectured on various military, national security, and intelligence topics at National Defense University (Washington D.C.); University of Virginia (Charlottesville); George Mason University (Fairfax), Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond), Air Command and Staff College (Maxwell Air Force Base), U.S. Army War College (Carlisle), U.S. Marine Corps School of Advanced Warfighting (Quantico), Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force;[3] King's College London (UK); Mexican Intelligence Academy ESISEN (Mexico City).

Muñoz's analysis and commentaries have been aired on international media, cable stations, national television, streamed all over the internet and cited by newspapers/magazines (C-SPAN,Reuters, PBS, London Times, Wall Street Journal, Asia Times Online, BBC, Washington Post, Associated Press, Newsweek, CBS, MSNBC,CNN Newsroom, New York Times, Financial Times, Voice of America, International Herald Tribune, Al-Jazeera, and other media venues).

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