PM Point of View
Spies Like Them: Project Management in Intelligence

US intelligence operations and analysis has a long history with the project management discipline, and the Central Intelligence Agency has purposefully implemented rigorous organizational level project management techniques. Beyond missions and analysis, the agency also develops some interesting R&D projects, as you can imagine.

Listen in to this episode and learn how our PM discipline has been manifested in multiple intelligence practices from the past through to the present in this extremely risky, dynamic and sensitive environment, and what this community has learned about PM practices that we could all consider implementing.

Special music credits for: “La Foule” by Ángel Cabral at , Parade-Marsch Cavallerie No.2 by Richard Strauss - performed by The President's Own United States Marine Band, and “A Brief Moment in Time” by Joe Ray Realite.

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About the Speakers

Dr. Vince Houghton

International Spy Museum

Dr. Vince Houghton is the Historian and Curator of the International Spy Museum. He has a PhD in Diplomatic and Military History from the University of Maryland, where his research centered on US scientific and technological intelligence (nuclear intelligence) in the Second World War and early Cold War. His Masters, also from the University of Maryland, focused on the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union.

He has taught extensively at the middle school, high school, and university level, most recently at the University of Maryland, where he taught courses on the history of US Intelligence, US Diplomatic History, the Cold War, and the History of Science.

Vince is a veteran of the United States Army, and served in the Balkans, where he worked closely with both civilian and military intelligence agencies in several capacities.


Michael O'Brochta, ACP, PMP


Mr. O'Brochta, who has managed hundreds of projects during the past thirty years, is also an experienced line manager, author, lecturer, trainer and consultant. He holds a master's degree in project management, a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, and is certified as an ACP and a PMP. As Zozer Inc. President, he is helping organizations raise their level of project management performance. As senior project manager at the Central Intelligence Agency, he led the project management and systems engineering training and certification program to mature practices agency-wide.

Mr. O'Brochta's other recent work includes leading the development of standards and courses for the new U.S. Federal Acquisition Certification for Program and Project Managers. He is currently supporting FAC-P/PM programs by providing subject matter expertise for instructional design and delivery to the Federal Acquisition Institute and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. He serves at the PMI corporate level on the Ethics Member Advisory Group where he led the development of an ethical decision-making framework that was released PMI-wide, and at the chapter level where he built and led the international PMIWDC Chapter-to-Chapter program; he is a graduate of the Leadership Institute Mater Class.

Mr. O’Brochta has written and presented papers at every PMI North American Global Congress during the past decade as well as at many international, and regional conferences. Topics that he is currently passionate about include how to get executives to act for project success and great project managers. Audiences enjoy his blend of information, stories, and humor. Since his recent climb of another of the world’s seven summits, he has been exploring the relationship between project management and mountain climbing; he carried the PMIWDC banner on his climb of the highest mountain in Bolivia.


Mark Stout, PhD

Johns Hopkins University, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Advanced Academic Programs
Program Director

Mark Stout, PhD is the Program Director of the MA in Global Security Studies, Certificate in National Security Studies, and the Certificate in Intelligence at Johns Hopkins University’s Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Advanced Academic Programs in Washington, DC. He has previously worked for thirteen years as an intelligence analyst, first with the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research and later with the CIA. He has also worked on the Army Staff in the Pentagon and at the Institute for Defense Analyses. Dr. Stout also spent three years as the Historian at the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC. He has degrees from Stanford and Harvard Universities and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom.

Dr. Stout is the co-author of three books and has published articles in Intelligence and National Security, Studies in Intelligence, The Journal of Strategic Studies, and Studies in Conflict and Terrorism.

His research interests include intelligence history; military history, especially the history of military thought; terrorism; and irregular warfare. He is presently co-edited a two volume set entitled Spy Chiefs for Georgetown University Press and writing a book on American intelligence during World War I.

Direct download: Spies_Like_Them__Project_Management_in_Intelligence.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:19am EDT