National Security Institute and the Amazing Women of the IC Launch the Iron Butterfly Podcast

September 8, 2020
Contact: Grant Haver


National Security Institute and the Amazing Women of the IC
Launch the Iron Butterfly Podcast


Arlington, VA – On September 8, 2020, the National Security Institute (NSI) at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School and the Amazing Women of the IC (AWIC) launched the first episode of the Iron Butterfly podcast.

Iron Butterfly will feature interviews and conversations exploring stories from the careers of women in intelligence.

Eighty years ago, Eloise Page joined the Office of Strategic Services, or the OSS, a predecessor for what we recognize today as the Intelligence Community.  Page started as a secretary but worked her way to becoming a case officer, and later, she became the first female Chief of Station at CIA.  Along the way, she earned the nickname “Iron Butterfly,” because she was a fierce fighter with a core of steel.

Every week, Megan Jaffer, one of the founding members of AWIC and Iron Butterfly’s host, will interview America’s intelligence leaders, who will share details of their journeys in the world of clandestine work and stories of how they trailblazed new paths for women in national security.

“We are excited to bring the listeners stories from women in the IC, like you have never heard them before,” Ms. Jaffer said.  She added, “we hope it will inspire young women thinking about government service to consider an incredible career path in intelligence.”

“Our country’s diversity is one of our country’s foundational strengths and, as we face an increasing number of threats that are both more severe and more dispersed, it is absolutely critical that we are attracting our very best minds to the Intelligence Community,” said John Lipsey, Director of Policy of the National Security Institute at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School.  “By shining a spotlight on the extraordinary contributions women have already made defending the nation, and by tapping into their experience and wisdom in confronting today’s security challenges, this podcast will hopefully serve as a catalyst for informing today’s debates and inspiring the next generation to serve and succeed,” said Lipsey.

The first episode features an interview with Carmen Medina, former Deputy Director for Intelligence Central Intelligence Agency and NSI Advisory Board member, joins Iron Butterfly to discuss her 32 years’ experience in the Intelligence Community.  This wide-ranging interview hit on a variety of topics including racism, diversity, and inclusion in the Intelligence Community; how to be a leader that breaks the mold; and working in apartheid South Africa.

About the National Security Institute
The National Security Institute serves as a platform for research, teaching, scholarship, and policy development that incorporates a realistic assessment of the threats facing the United States and its allies, as well as an appreciation of the legal and practical challenges facing U.S. intelligence, defense, law enforcement, homeland security, and cybersecurity communities.  NSI draws on the experience of its fellows, as well as its highly distinguished advisory board and faculty, to produce timely research and policy materials that deliver insightful analysis and actionable recommendations to senior policymakers in the White House and key departments and agencies, as well as those on Capitol Hill.

About the Amazing Women of the IC
The Amazing Women of the IC or AWIC is a grassroots organization that  is dedicated to the development of professional women serving the United States national security mission. AWIC brings together Amazing Women throughout the IC to support, empower, and inspire one another at all stages of their careers.

About the Scalia Law School
The Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University is defined by three words: Learn. Challenge. Lead. Students receive an outstanding legal education (Learn), are taught to critically evaluate prevailing orthodoxy and pursue new ideas (Challenge), and, ultimately, are well prepared to distinguish themselves in their chosen fields (Lead).  It has been one of America’s top-ranked law schools for the last fifteen years.

About George Mason
George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls more than 37,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states.  Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity, and commitment to accessibility.