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Peter Earnest: Spy Vs. Spy

Peter Earnest, ex-C.I.A intelligence guru turned head of the International Spy Museum.
Courtesy of the Intrnational Spy Museum
Peter Earnest, ex-C.I.A intelligence guru turned head of the International Spy Museum.

Founding executive director of Washington D.C.'s Spy Museum, Peter Earnest joins host Ophira Eisenberg on this week's episode of Ask Me Another from the nation's capital. Earnest talks about how his experience as a former C.I.A. agent informed much of what you'll see when you visit the Spy Museum, including crytograms to uncypher and technologically-advanced gadgets to admire.

We put Earnest to the test in an Ask Me Another Challenge that's spy versus, well, a fan of movies about spies. He battles another contestant to see who knows their James Bond villains best, and who can do the best impression of Goldfinger. Plus, the lucky grand prize winner of this week's show receives a private tour of the Spy Museum with none other than Earnest as tour guide.

About Peter Earnest

Peter Earnest is a 35 year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency (the C.I.A.). He served in the C.I.A.'s Clandestine Service for more than two decades, primarily in Europe and the Middle East. Earnest is also the founding executive director of the International Spy Museum, where he plays a leading role in its extraordinary success — now in its 9th year and nearing six million visitors. Under Earnest's leadership, the Museum launched the highly successful Spy City Tours and SpyCast, a monthly podcast featuring interviews and programs with ex-spies, intelligence experts, and espionage scholars.

Mr. Earnest also edits the Museum's book ventures including the popular International Spy Museum Handbook to Practical Spying and Declassified: 50 Top Secret Documents that Changed History. He co-authored The Real Spy's Guide to becoming a Spy for young adults and Business Confidential, a management manual based on CIA practices. He lives in McLean, Virginia.

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NPR Staff