Trewstar Corporate Board Services

Fireside Chat: Mission Illuminate, a Conversation with Sue Gordon

September 22, 2020

Last week, I was lucky to have the opportunity to sit down for a virtual fireside chat with Sue Gordon, the dynamic and brilliant former Deputy Director of National Intelligence.

After nearly four decades at the CIA with leadership roles in every branch of the agency, Sue became the number two to Director Dan Coats at the umbrella organization that runs all 17 agencies in the US Intelligence Community. She was appointed by President Trump in 2017 and resigned abruptly in August of 2019 when the president signaled she would not take the top job upon Coats’ departure.

"Mr. President," she wrote, “I offer this letter as an act of respect & patriotism, not preference. You should have your team. Godspeed, Sue." 

After a career of government service, with a bird’s eye view of realpolitik, Sue is both a realist and an optimist, two characteristics one seldom finds coexisting – particularly in this current world of uncertainty. Her insights are balanced, incisive, and fascinating.

But don’t take my word for it. Here is what our friends who joined us live had to say:

  • “Thanks so much for the great insight. One of the best Zoom sessions that I’ve been part of!  Thanks, Trewstar for hosting and to Sue for being amazing!!!”
  • “Thank you so much – so valuable to hear Sue’s fair and balanced perspectives.”
  • “I was close to being 'zoomed-out' with all the director events offered by many...but this is amazing!!!  Thank you so much. I love the balanced perspective being offered and authenticity.”

Grab a cup of coffee (or two, it is an hour) and watch our wide-ranging conversation!

The link is here (password: trewstarzoom).

By the way, we first met Sue earlier this year as a prospective board candidate. She now sits on the board of CACI, one of her many retirement engagements. We mention this, both to further underscore the breadth of Sue's accomplishments and to emphasize that months into this era of Zoom-only meetings, we are as busy as ever placing women, and men of color, on corporate boards.

Warm regards,


Beth Stewart
Founder and CEO
Trewstar Corporate Board Services