Dr. Jeannie Johnson, a former CIA intelligence analyst and current director of USU’s anticipatory intelligence program, visited BYU-Idaho on Thursday.
Johnson spoke to a crowd of students about her time as a CIA analyst, and her transition to teaching at Utah State University and creating the Center for Anticipatory Intelligence (CAI).
Johnson began her presentation by inviting the audience to ask her questions; the Q&A lasted 30 minutes. Students asked Johnson about her experience as a woman in the CIA, how majors other than political science can apply to future careers in the CIA and her program, CAI, at USU.
As Johnson spoke, she invited students to take advantage of every learning opportunity presented to them, especially opportunities that provide hands-on learning.
“Take advantage of experiential learning wherever you can get it,” Johnson said.
She described the importance of knowledge and learning gained beyond a classroom. She spoke from her own experience and from the perspective of a teacher.
“When you’re out there, your mandate is to speak truth to power, and in specific terms, to speak uncomfortable truth to power,” Johnson said.
Johnson urged students to consider what hasn’t been done, to think outside the box and to be innovative.
“Maybe the job you’re going to have someday doesn’t exist yet,” Johnson said. “Be aware of what the gaps are.”
Johnson focused a big part of her presentation on USU’s, first-in-the-nation anticipatory intelligence program, co-founded by her.
She invited BYU-I students to consider USU’s anticipatory intelligence master’s program, certificate and minor. Johnson showcased the opportunities, trips and experiences those in the CAI program have.
A brief overview of anticipatory intelligence and CAI can be viewed on YouTube.
According to the CAI website, “Anticipatory Intelligence is a multidomain approach to anticipating threats and opportunities emerging from the world’s increasingly complex security environment. The goal of anticipatory intelligence is to reduce uncertainty and design resilience across future scenarios.”
Moises Diaz, the director of outreach for CAI and alumnus of Ricks College, spoke to the students about his role in the program and the “incredible people” he gets to associate with on a regular basis.
“Everyone associated with CAI brings the same depth of insight, skill and passion,” Diaz said. “… (At CAI) we address the complex challenges of our society.”
Diaz emphasized that the CAI program invites students of all majors and emphases to participate. The program has had participants from each college at USU.