CIA Director Gina Haspel to speak at UofL next week

CIA Director Gina Haspel

CIA Director Gina Haspel will visit the University of Louisville next week to take part in the McConnell Center’s Distinguished Speaker Series.

According to the university’s news release, Haspel — a UofL graduate born in Ashland, Ky. — will deliver remarks and take questions about her career in the CIA and “how she is positioning the agency to confront today’s intelligence challenges,” in addition to sharing “how her years in Kentucky and at UofL prepared her to serve the CIA.”

Haspel will be joined on stage by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and UofL President Neeli Bendapudi.

After more than 30 years as an intelligence officer, Haspel was confirmed as the first female director of the CIA in May by a 54-45 vote in the Senate, with McConnell voting for her and Sen. Rand Paul voting against her.

Paul, most Democrats and the late-Sen. John McCain had opposed Haspel for her role as chief of a CIA black site in Thailand in which prisoners were waterboarded, and her role in the destruction of tapes of those interrogations.

The free public discussion begins at 9 a.m. on Sept. 24 in Bigelow Hall of the Miller Information Technology Center. Tickets can be obtained here, and the event will also be streamed live on the McConnell Center’s website.