Former Assistant Director for Near East at the Central Intelligence Agency
Eric Traupe is a former Intelligence Community executive who amassed 30 years of combined experience in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the U.S. Marine Corps. Eric’s career focused on responding to trends impacting the global landscape, from his early years in the CIA’s paramilitary ranks up through the senior enterprise level. This included directing traditional intelligence activities focused on—Iran’s nuclear and regional ambitions, CIA’s foreign partnerships across the Middle East and North Africa, and global competition with China and Russia—and pursuing innovative cyber, technology, and data exploitation solutions to address complex national security issues.
Eric most recently served as the CIA’s Assistant Director for the Near East where he led thousands of officers from different career disciplines and US agencies, developed and executed multi-billion dollar budgets, and tackled acute intelligence and foreign policy challenges. As a member of CIA’s senior leadership team, he served on the Expanded Corporate Board and cultivated enduring partnerships across the U.S. interagency and with foreign partners to ensure U.S. national objectives were achieved. Throughout his career he was a trusted advisor to CIA Directors, Presidents, Cabinet and military officials, and members of Congress and participated in a range of White House strategic, policy, and resource decisions.
He held various leadership roles in CIA’s Near East, Counterterrorism, East Asia, and Special Activities Centers where he integrated operational, analytic, cyber, data, and support components to address US national security interests at home and abroad. As a senior Operations Officer, he served overseas as a Chief of Station in two Middle Eastern countries and other senior positions in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and three conflict zones. Eric is a trusted expert across the US interagency in Middle East-related intelligence, security, defense, and geopolitical challenges.
At CIA, he received several honors including—the Distinguished Presidential Rank Award, Meritorious Presidential Rank Award, Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, CIA’s Director Award (two-time recipient), Intelligence Medal of Merit, ODNI’s National Intelligence Medal of Achievement, Clandestine Service Career Award, Directorate of Operations Excellence in Leadership Award, George W. Bush Award for Excellence in Counterterrorism, and SAC’s Leadership Award. Eric holds an MBA in International Business from American University and a BA in Communications from the University of Michigan. While at Michigan, he played Division I football as an inside linebacker participating in two Rose Bowls and a Gator Bowl.
After leaving the public sector, Eric founded Azimuth Global LLC, a consulting firm that provides strategic advisory services to Fortune 500 companies in the technology, national security, and strategic risk sectors. He serves as an operating partner with Lightspeed Venture Partners. He sits on the Board of Advisors for Intel Corporation and serves as an advisor to Anduril Industries Inc. and other emerging technology companies. Eric is also a Senior Advisor at WestExec, on the Board of Advisors for the Center for a New American Security, a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center, and a panel member for the Special Competitive Studies Project focused on geopolitical rivalries associated with China and Russia. Eric is an active speaker with Leading Authorities Inc. on topics related to geopolitics, leadership, and risk management. He was previously the President of Capella Federal Inc., a subsidiary of Capella Space Corp. Eric is also an Ambassador for the Third Option Foundation and the CIA Officers Memorial Foundation.