Nigel West: Women Make Effective Spies

Nigel West, keynote speaker, 2009 Raleigh Spy Conference
Nigel West, keynote speaker, 2009 Raleigh Spy Conference

(RALEIGH, NC, USA) — Women are good at keeping secrets. They don’t feel the need to compete or brag about their accomplishments. They are astute observers, and they think chronologically, according to Nigel West, former Member of Parliament and author of the recently released Historical Dictionary of Sexspionage.

“They make excellent spies,” West added in his keynote address to the crowd attending the 2009 Raleigh Spy Conference on the subject of Sexspionage: Famous Women Spies and the Ancient Art of Seduction. Segments of the conference are currently airing on C-SPAN.

Founded in 2003 by Bernie Reeves, editor and publisher of Raleigh Metro Magazine, the annual conference brings intelligence operatives, scholars and experts from around the globe to share observations and insights on what lurks behind the scenes of international espionage.

“We don’t really know what happened until it is declassified,” says Reeves. “Our conference has gained a good reputation worldwide for presenting intelligence as the calculus of history.”

The roster of speakers discussed stories of successful female spies, from the harlot who helped bring down the walls of Jericho to Katrina Leung, code-named “Parlor Maid,” a Chinese national who seduced two FBI agents.

Other speakers included Brian Kelley, former chief of counterintelligence for CIA’s Soviet division; Ron Olive of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service who tracked down Jonathan Pollard – the American double agent who spied for Israel with this wife Anne; I.C. Smith of the FBI who cracked the Katrina Leung case; and  British historian and author Terry Crowdy.

NCIS’s Ron Olive called the 6th Raleigh Spy Conference “the best spy conference I ever had the pleasure to be a part of.”  FBI Library Unit Chief Eugenia B. Ryner said, “The speakers were splendid, the venues wonderful and the information was outstanding.”

This year’s conference was presented in association with the Department of Political Science at NC State University, Andrew Taylor, Chairman.

For a complete recap of the 2009 Raleigh Spy Conference, and for information on past events, go to or

posted by blueplate pr

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