Stories

Have a Question About the CIA? Ask Molly!

February 4, 2019

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 gone digital.

But who, exactly, is this mysterious Molly Hale, you might wonder…

“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 has expanded into the social media sphere.

How to Submit a Question:

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

You can also send an email to us via our comment form on CIA.gov (see the “Contact Us” option located at the bottom of the drop down navigation menu). Just be sure to use our hashtag if you want your question featured.

A Few Ground Rules:

As anyone who follows us on Twitter, Instagram, 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 can answer, and she’s always excited to see the questions you send in. Unfortunately, there are also a few things she can’t write about. Here’s what kinds of questions Molly will not respond to:

  • She won’t answer general recruitment questions (all of 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 (see our FOIA Electronic Reading Room for more information).
  • 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 that you’re familiar with the guidelines and how to submit questions, Molly wanted to take a minute and answer the question most often asked whenever anyone meets her (virtually) for the first time:

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,” CIA’s Office of Public Affairs 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

ask molly

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