Go inside the CIA with the Smithsonian’s newest Resident Associates Program

Ever dreamed of being a spy? In today’s increasingly covert operations-governed world, agencies like the CIA are playing a key role in major international events.

The latest offering from the Smithsonian Resident Associates Program is showcasing a six-course series about how the Central Intelligence Agency carries out its principal missions of collecting, analyzing, and protecting secrets and helping inform and implement foreign policy.

Classes will explore the myths portrayed in novels, movies and academia, examine how CIA directors interact with the President, how different types of espionage operations are run, examine different spy technologies and discuss the complex world of moles and double agents.

Instructors include CIA experts, General Michael Hayden, the 18th director of the CIA and the official CIA historian. The class is $120 for general admission and $84 for Smithsonian members and begins October 5.

Can’t stay in town that long? We’d recommend visiting the International Spy Museum in Chinatown, where, for $20, you can learn about many of the same subjects in a fun, game-like environment. It’s perfect for families, too.