Chris Costa, Director of the International Spy Museum, the United States. Photo © Courtesy of the museum

1.What is your museum about and what is your work there?

The International Spy Museum in downtown Washington, D.C., or as we like to say, SPY, is the only museum in the world dedicated to fostering public understanding of intelligence and espionage from a global perspective. The Museum reveals the shadowy world of spying and intelligence for visitors from across the world. We explore not only how intelligence has played a critical role in world history, but its impact on our daily lives. Our exhibits and programs help participants unpack relevant current events.

When I joined the SPY team my expertise and leadership had been developed through more than three decades of intelligence and special operations work, from battlefields to the White House. In short, I serve as the Museum’s “resident spy.” As a former intelligence officer, I bring my unique perspective to the Museum’s engaging programs and exhibits—from workshops on the streets of DC to virtual field trips, lectures, and events. Our collection of international espionage artifacts is the largest ever publicly displayed—and we are recognized as the Guinness World Record holder!

The Spy Museum © Nic Lehoux, Courtesy of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

Because the International Spy Museum is located in Washington, D.C., a hub for international intelligence, we are literally at the heart of the ever-changing world of global espionage. So, I am in the unique position of constantly growing our friendly ‘network’ of former and current intelligence officers to keep our spy stories fresh, exciting, and diverse. If you happen see me around D.C. in the evening, in our incredible restaurants, I could be meeting with a former spy or someone still in the business. But just know there’s a good chance I will also be watching the door… old habits are hard to break!