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Have a Question About the CIA? Ask Molly!


Meet Molly Hale. She’s been the CIA’s public voice since 2002, responding to faxes, phone calls, emails, and snail mail sent to the Agency. Now she’s going digital.

Molly is venturing for the first time into the social media sphere. She’s going to be periodically answering your questions in a new series called: Ask Molly. Check the CIA.gov blog regularly for Q&A columns by Molly, as well as our official social media accounts.

“Molly Hale,” as you may have guessed, is a pseudonym. Over the years, there have been several different “Mollys,” including a few men! All are real people, who work at the Agency. Some were Molly for only a short time, while others served as Molly for years. It’s a unique role and one that we are excited to introduce to the social media world.

How to Submit a Question:

The easiest way to submit a question for Molly is on our official @CIA Twitter and Facebook pages using the hashtag #AskMollyHale.

You can also send an email to us via our comment form on CIA.gov (upper right hand corner). Just be sure to use our hashtag if you want your question featured.

A Few Ground Rules:

As anyone who follows us on Twitter or Facebook knows, we get tons of comments and questions that span the gamut from recruitment to conspiracy theories to history to policy.

There’s a lot that Molly will be able to answer and she can’t wait to see your questions. Unfortunately, there are also a few things she won’t be able to write about. Here’s what kinds of questions Molly will not respond to:

  • She won’t be answering general recruitment questions (all that information is available on the cia.gov/careers portal). Nor can she check your application status.
  • She won’t respond to conspiracy theories, trolls, or spam.
  • She cannot comment on FOIA requests. All FOIA inquires will still have to go through the usual FOIA request process, outlined here.
  • This one should be obvious, but… she won’t answer anything classified.

If we receive several similar questions, we may combine them into a single question for Molly to answer. We may edit and shorten questions for clarity and brevity. We may also pull questions from other sources, such as those asked at recruitment events, during public panel discussions, in the media, and the like.

Now, to kick off our inaugural Ask Molly column, here’s a quick peek of a common question asked of Molly upon (virtually) meeting her:

Dear Molly,
Who are you?
~ Pseudōnymos

Dear Pseudōnymos, Great question. Molly’s not my real name. It’s my persona, and I guess also my informal job title.

My surname “Hale” is a tribute to Nathan Hale, the first American executed for spying on behalf of our country. You may remember his famous last words, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” We have a life-size statue of him outside our Headquarters building.

No one remembers exactly why “Molly” was chosen as my first name, other than it’s a common American girl’s name. I wasn’t always “Molly” though. Years before “Molly Hale,” OPA used the name “Grace Sullivan” – inspired by the “GS” level government worker—to respond to public queries.

Many different “Mollys” have come before me, and I’m honored to be among this long line of distinguished public servants. One thing all of us have in common (besides working for one of the world’s most famous spy agencies, of course!) is our commitment to engaging with you, the American public, and helping you understand your intelligence agency better.

As for my real name: That’s classified.

~ Molly


Posted: Feb 04, 2019 07:13 AM
Last Updated: Feb 04, 2019 10:59 AM