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Former CIA Undercover Agent Michele Rigby Assad to Speak at University of Mobile Torch Society Fall Kickoff Sept. 18

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MOBILE, Ala. – Former CIA intelligence officer and counterterrorism specialist Michele Rigby Assad, whose efforts to rescue persecuted Christians in Iraq were featured on ABC’s 20/20, will be the keynote speaker for University of Mobile Torch Society’s fall kickoff dinner Tuesday, Sept. 18.

Assad is the author of “Breaking Cover: My Secret Life in the CIA and What it Taught Me About What’s Worth Fighting For.”

The public is invited to attend the dinner, sponsored by Cottage Hill Baptist Church. Proceeds benefit the Torch Society Student Scholarship Fund which provides scholarships to University of Mobile students.

Individual tickets are $35, a table of eight is $280, and those who pre-purchase the book “Breaking Cover” for $25 are invited to a VIP reception. Tickets may be purchased online at umobile.edu/breakingcover, or call the University of Mobile Torch Society at 251.442.2226.

The dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. at Cottage Hill Baptist Church, 4255 Cottage Hill Road, Mobile, Alabama.

Michele Rigby Assad began her career in the government relations department of an international relief and development organization in Washington, D.C., in 1995. She joined the CIA in January 2002 to work as an intelligence officer in the Directorate of Operations, the covert arm of the agency. Specializing in counterterrorism and counterintelligence issues, Assad worked in Iraq and other secret Middle Eastern locations. To date, she has lived in six countries in the Near East region and traveled to more than 45 others.

After a decade of government service, Assad left the undercover life to serve as a public speaker, author, trainer and international security consultant focused on the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. Her book “Breaking Cover: My Secret Life in the CIA and What It Taught Me about What’s Worth Fighting For,” published by Tyndale Momentum, was released February 2018. She and her husband, Joseph, live in Florida.

She holds a master’s degree in contemporary Arab studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and a political science degree from Palm Beach Atlantic University.

Assad credits student-led mission trips to Egypt, Russia and Ukraine and a study abroad program in Egypt, Israel and the West Bank as being the catalysts for her passion for foreign cultures and international travel. The year she spent studying in the Middle East changed the course of her life, taking her from rural central Florida to the front lines of the war on terror.

She is motivated to use her unique platform to educate and inspire, showing how critical courage is to living a life of impact and purpose. She writes about her many passions at www.michelerigbyassad.com, where she features articles on counterterrorism, personal security, the Middle East, faith and inspiration.


About University of Mobile

University of Mobile is a Christ-centered liberal arts and sciences institution with a vision of higher education for a higher purpose, founded to honor God by equipping students for their future professions through rigorous academic preparation and spiritual transformation. Core values are: Christ-Centered, Academically-Focused, Student-Devoted and Distinctively-Driven. The university offers on-campus and online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in over 40 areas of study. Founded in 1961, University of Mobile is affiliated with the Alabama Baptist State Convention and is located 10 miles north of Mobile, Alabama on a campus of over 880 acres.

For more information about University of Mobile, visit the website at www.umobile.edu or call Enrollment Services at 1.800.WIN.RAMS or 251.442.2222.

About the Author

Kathy Dean

Kathy Dean is assistant vice president for university communications and has helped tell the University of Mobile story since 1993. She is an award-winning public relations professional and former journalist. Her husband and daughter are UM graduates. She loves playing in the yard – planting flowers, picking blueberries, pulling weeds and petting her two mini-schnauzers.

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