Martha Neff Kessler

(former) Intelligence Officer - U.S. Central Intelligence Agency

Martha Kessler was an intelligence officer with the Central Intelligence Agency from 1970 until her retirement in 2000. During her career, she held analytic and management positions in the Directorate of Intelligence and on the National Intelligence Council focusing on the Middle East and South Asia.

She was the Assistant and the Acting National Intelligence Officer (NIO) for the Near East and South Asia as well as the author of numerous national intelligence estimates (NIEs) on Middle East issues. She headed the Directorate's efforts on the Arab-Israeli area for six years and was liaison with U.S. peace negotiators throughout the Madrid peace conference process following the 1991 Gulf War.

Ms. Kessler was appointed to the National War College in 1985, where she authored a book on Syria, publiched in 1987. She also served as a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution from 1996 to 1998, where she published articles on Syria in the Middle East Policy Journal.

Ms. kessler was awarded the National Intelligence Community's Medal of Achievement, the CIA's Medal of Career Achievement, and various outstanding performance awards throughout her career for her work during the Lebanon crisis, the rise of political Islam, the Iran-Iraq war (1980's), the Persian Gulf War (1991), and the Middle East peace negotiations.

She currently consults to the CIA, MITRE, CENTRA and SAIC.