Message from the Acting Director: Jeanne Vertefeuille
Statement by CIA Acting Director Michael Morell on Jeanne Vertefeuille
I wanted to take a moment to observe the passing last Saturday of one of our legends, Jeanne Vertefeuille—a true CIA icon who served our Agency for 58 years and played a central role in uncovering the KGB mole, Aldrich Ames. A quintessential expert on counterintelligence and a Soviet and Eastern Bloc specialist, Jeanne led the unit charged with the mole hunt. She was both uniquely suited for the job and determined to find the traitor whose devastating betrayal had led to the death of key CIA agents in the Soviet Union.
Jeanne joined CIA in 1954 as a GS-4 typist and proceeded to blaze a trail for women in the NCS at a time when it was an overwhelmingly male enterprise. She worked her way up to leadership positions and retired as a member of the Senior Intelligence Service in 1992. Without as much as a day’s break in service, she continued her work as a contractor after mandatory retirement well beyond the arrest of Ames in 1994. She was still making invaluable contributions to our mission when she became ill a few months ago.
For many of us, Jeanne was both a friend and a widely admired colleague. She was a beloved member of our Agency family, and I join with all of you in mourning our loss as we also celebrate her life and the legacy she entrusted to us.