Meroe Park (SFS’89), former executive director of the CIA, will provide faculty, students and university leaders with insights and perspectives as the university’s newest Distinguished Executive-in-Residence.
Meroe Park (SFS’89), former executive director of the CIA, is the university’s newest Distinguished Executive-in-Residence.
Park, a 27-year veteran of the agency, served in the position from 2013 to 2017 – acting as the agency’s chief operating officer.
In that role, she managed the day-to-day operations of the agency, guided the organization through its largest organizational and cultural change, modernized the agency’s information technology systems and helped revamp the CIA’s talent management and development system.
Sharing Her Story
“I’m looking forward to sharing my own personal and professional story,” says Park, whose residency at Georgetown began earlier this month. “I believe the lessons I’ve learned along the way – navigating a career in intelligence and identifying an authentic leadership style – have been invaluable for me, and I hope my experience will help students and other members of the Georgetown community.”
As Distinguished Executive-in-Residence at Georgetown, she will provide faculty, students and university leaders with insights and perspectives based on her lengthy career in public service.
Former FBI director Robert Mueller and former U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel have held past residencies.
The Georgetown alumna also served as the acting CIA director for a short time in 2017, maintaining the agency’s operations and providing a smooth transition for Mike Pompeo to take the helm as the new director.
Her other leadership roles at the CIA before she retired from government included serving as chief of human resources, director of corporate resources for analysis and chief of payroll.
The Georgetown alumna currently serves as executive vice president of Partnership for Public Service, a nonpartisan nonprofit that focuses on enabling a more effective government through leadership training, providing a bridge between administration and convening public and private sector actors to develop solutions to pressing issues among other activities.
“Once I left government service, I really wanted to look for ways to continue to give back,” she says. “Being affiliated with Georgetown is another way to give back, especially since it’s where my dreams about public service took root.”
She recently gave the keynote speech to students at the School of Foreign Service (SFS) for “Jumpstart January,” a series of panel discussions, presentations and workshops designed to help students refocus their career search after winter break.
“Meroe will bring an extraordinary depth of understanding to questions of public service and public policy in the 21st century,” says Georgetown President John J. DeGioia. “She is well known for her thoughtful leadership and dedication to serving others, and we are grateful for the opportunity to have her back with us at Georgetown.”
Public Service Interest
The SFS alumna says a Georgetown course on the intelligence community helped her decide on her career path.
“It was really through Georgetown where I became enamored with the idea of public service and possibly serving overseas,” recalls Park, who was a science, technology and international affairs major. “I thought maybe I would like to be a diplomat.”
She instead charted a career within intelligence.
“I liked the idea of working someplace where your role is to advise and provide information to help inform the national security process, rather than being on the political or policy side,” Park says.
Her achievements within the CIA have earned her numerous awards, including the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, Presidential Rank Award – Distinguished, Distinguished Intelligence Medal and Presidential Rank Award – Meritorious, among other honors.
The public service leader says reconnecting with Georgetown brings back memories of leaving her hometown of Eugene, Oregon, for Washington, D.C., as well as her days of playing clarinet in the pep band.
“I loved being able to support the basketball team, but I really think I mostly loved being with the people who participated in that pep band community,” she recalls. “That experience is one of many about Georgetown that is a particularly good memory for me.”