FBI and CIA agents explain their role in government

By Lauren Hunter
Staff Writer

Former FBI and CIA agents discussed their role in government to help educate students about safety and awareness on April 24 at 7:30pm in the Gentile Gallery. 

Jeff Cortese, a former FBI agent, and Danny Andersen, a former CIA officer, led the discussions. 

During the talk, there were chips and dip for the attendees and beer for the twenty-one and older crowd. 

To start the evening, Fr. Gregory Plow, TOR, led a prayer for everyone who works in the government. Dan Dentino, vice president of student life and a close friend of Cortese and Andersen, interviewed the guest speakers during the talk. 

Cortese and Anderson first spoke about the differences between the FBI and the CIA, making fun of each other about their distinctions. The audience laughed during this. 

Then, the question was asked of why both men join their respective government positions.  

“A smarter man than me would say it had something to do with 9/11 and the burning patriotism that we had and the desire to serve … I wish I could say those things, but reality is I thought it was a cool job … I mean they do some cool stuff on TV,” answered Cortese. 

Cortese went on to talk about how hard it is to be an FBI agent and the difficult things that one sees. Andersen shared similar sentiments. 

Another question was asked about navigating one’s Catholic faith in a secular environment like the government.  

“The CIA was very friendly to me as a Catholic. I never felt, you know, ostracized or excluded because of my faith,” said Anderson. “But again, it is easy to get into a very secular flow, very easy to compartmentalize your life.” 

“To go to Mass in the morning and have morning prayer and then six hours into your work day at the CIA you’re having lunch with your secular friends you sort of lose focus and suddenly your life doesn’t look much different from theirs,” continued Anderson. 

Andersen told the audience to keep one’s Catholic faith integrated with one’s work. He also said that topics such as just war theory and defending others are things that one should have a firm grasp on.