LinkedIn tracking pixel

Spy Schools: How Foreign Intelligence Secretly Exploit U.S. Universities

Tue, Apr 10, 2018, 4:00pm - 5:00pm

You are cordially invited to a lecture on the topic of

Spy Schools: How Foreign Intelligence Secretly Exploit U.S. Universities


Daniel Golden 

Senior Editor, ProPublica

Tuesday, April 10th
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

The Institute of World Politics
1521 16th Street NW
Washington, D.C.



About the Lecture: Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Daniel Golden will expose how academia has become the center of foreign and domestic espionage—and why that is troubling news for our nation’s security through his book Spy Schools: How The CIA, FBI, and Foreign Intelligence Secretly Exploit America’s Universities.

Grounded in extensive research and reporting, Spy Schools reveals how academia has emerged as a frontline in the global spy game. In a knowledge-based economy, universities are repositories of valuable information and research, where brilliant minds of all nationalities mingle freely with few questions asked. Intelligence agencies have always recruited bright undergraduates, but now, in an era when espionage increasingly requires specialized scientific or technological expertise, they’re wooing higher-level academics—not just as analysts, but also for clandestine operations.

Golden uncovers unbelievable campus activity such as a Chinese graduate student at Duke University stealing research for an invisibility cloak, and a tiny liberal arts college in Marietta, Ohio, exchanging faculty with China’s most notorious spy school. He shows how relentlessly and ruthlessly this practice has permeated our culture, not just inside the US, but internationally as well. Golden, acclaimed author of The Price of Admission, blows the lid off this secret culture of espionage and its consequences at home and abroad.

About the Speaker: Daniel Golden is a senior editor at ProPublica, a non-profit website for investigative reporting. His latest book, Spy Schools: How The CIA, FBI, and Foreign Intelligence Secretly Exploit America’s Universities, was published by Henry Holt in October 2017. John Le Carré, the renowned spy novelist, has described it as “timely and shocking.” CBS has optioned it for a television series.

Before joining ProPublica in October 2016, Golden was managing editor for education and enterprise at Bloomberg News. There he edited a series about tax inversions–companies moving headquarters overseas to avoid taxes– that earned Bloomberg’s first-ever Pulitzer Prize in 2015. Golden also won a Pulitzer as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal in 2004 for a series of articles on preferences for children and donors in college admissions. He expanded that series into a critically acclaimed national bestseller, The Price of Admission: How America’s Ruling Class Buys Its Way Into Elite Colleges–and Who Gets Left Outside the Gates, which the Washington Post selected as one of the best non-fiction books of 2006. It has recently drawn renewed attention because of its disclosure that Jared Kushner (now President Trump’s son-in-law and adviser) was a less than outstanding student who was admitted to Harvard after his father pledged $2.5 million to the university. Golden is also a co-author of “Affirmative Action for the Rich: Legacy Preferences in College Admissions” (Century Foundation Press 2010).

Prior to The Wall Street Journal, Golden spent 18 years as a staff reporter at the Boston Globe, including four years on its Spotlight team. He has won numerous honors aside from the Pulitzer, including three George Polk awards, three National Headliner awards, the Sigma Delta Chi award, the New York Press Club Gold Keyboard award, and two Education Writers Association Grand Prizes. Golden won a Gerald Loeb Award and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2011 for a series of Bloomberg articles on for-profit colleges that recruit soldiers, veterans, the homeless, and low-income students, often to leave them with debt and no degree. He won an Overseas Press Club award in 2012 for a magazine feature about a test-prep firm in China that cracked the code of the SAT.

Golden joined Bloomberg News in 2009 from Conde Nast Portfolio, where he was senior editor for investigations. His Portfolio cover story, “Some Friend,” revealing that Countrywide chief executive Angelo Mozilo provided favorable mortgages to notables including members of Congress and former Cabinet members, prompted a U.S. Senate Ethics Committee investigation. A 1978 Harvard graduate, Golden lives in Belmont, Mass.