Ask Molly: CIA at SXSW

March 4, 2024

Dear Molly,

I’ve wanted to go to SXSW for a long time and heard that CIA might be there again this year. I thought the events were like a big movie and music festival. Why does CIA participate?

~ Austin-bound

* * * * *

Dear Austin-bound,

You’re right on both accounts! SXSW does include movies and music, and CIA will be there again.

Let me expand on this, but first, for those out there who don’t know, SXSW stands for South By Southwest and is sometimes referred to as just “South By.” It was founded in Austin, Texas in 1987 and is perhaps best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of film, music, education, technology, and culture. So it’s not JUST movies and music!

To answer your question, CIA participates in SXSW to showcase and explain our mission, culture, and partnerships… and to talk to YOU! And by you, I mean anyone there who is interested in connecting with us. Many people know CIA based only on limited information or shows and movies, and it can be hard to discern what is true. One thing that is true is that CIA has a lot to offer in the realm of creativity, innovation, technology, career opportunities and so much more.

Some of my fellow CIA officers will be at SXSW to answer questions about what we do and to let visitors know about the wide range of specialties at the Agency and how their skills and expertise could fit in here. The officers will also be on hand to answer questions about partnership opportunities. After all, CIA cannot carry out its mission alone. The Agency collaborates across academia, industries, and the government to stay on the cutting edge of technology and to find outside solutions to some of the toughest national security challenges.

Oh, and back by popular demand, we’ll be bringing our VR headsets, so don’t miss out on the chance to virtually explore CIA’s headquarters and experience things through the “Looking Glass!”

If you’re not able to make it to SXSW, you can learn more on our website.

~ Molly

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