Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Burton Gerber

Burton Gerber - CIA Case Officer; CIA Station Chief in Moscow during the Cold War; CFR and Royal Society for Asian Affairs Member; Board of Directors of SHARE (food network)

Worcester, MA - Former CIA Case Officer Burton Gerber has always possessed a unique willingness to experiment and take on new things.

Growing up as a newspaper delivery boy in smalltown Ohio during the World War II era, Gerber quickly became fascinated with world affairs and the military. This fascination would eventually lead him to an exciting, unpredictable and lengthy career in the CIA.

Gerber shared his story of career development and offered advice to Assumption College students in Professor Jeanne McNett's Management and Organizational Behavior (MGT 100) course on the afternoon of March 21, 2006.

During his career in the CIA, Gerber lived and worked in Germany, Bulgaria, Iran, Yugoslavia, and Russia as well as the United States. His basic duty was to recruit international spies in order to gain intelligence on foreign countries for the benefit of the U.S. Gerber refers to his work in the CIA as "not normal activity." He was trained in various psychological and intellectual methods in order to perform his recruiting tasks. Gerber stated that the goal of this line of work is to "get things that can't be gotten through any other means."

His missions forced him to learn several foreign languages including German, Bulgarian, Russian, and Farsi. Gerber also conducted intelligence missions in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. Often times Gerber didn't know what the next step of a mission would involve but as he puts it, "Your time is never your own. It's the government's time."

In his presentation to Assumption students, Gerber also provided some career and life advice. He stressed the importance of training, the willingness to experiment and overcome apprehensions, and loyalty.

Gerber will speak formally at Assumption on Wednesday, March 22 at 7:00 p.m. His lecture will address “Intelligence Challenges in the 21st Century: Terrorism/Proliferation/Civil Liberties.” The event will be held in the La Maison Francaise Auditorium and is free and open to the public.

Gerber spent 39 years with the CIA primarily in operations related to the former Soviet Union and the former Warsaw Pact countries. He served with distinction in some of the most challenging overseas posts, including as Station Chief in Moscow during the Cold War. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the recipient of the CIA’s Distinguished Intelligence Medal among other CIA honors. Gerber, at the request of U.S. Government agencies and other organizations, often lectures on ethics as related to public policy and intelligence. He is also a frequent guest lecturer with Georgetown University's Security Studies Program and recently edited a book on U.S. Intelligence entitled Transforming U.S. Intelligence with Jennifer Sims by Georgetown Press.

This public lecture is sponsored by the Office of Academic Affairs. For more information, please contact the Office of Public Affairs at (508)767-7160 or acpa@assumption.edu.


At the Allied Museum, standing in front of a section
of the Berlin tunnel. From left: Oleg Gordievsky,
Burton Gerber, Helmut Trotnow, Oleg Kalugin,
Peter Sichel. (Photo: W. Durie)


Speaker Biography:


Mr. Gerber served in the Central Intelligence Agency for 39 years as a case officer and Chief of Station. He worked primarily in operations concerned with the former Soviet Union and the former Warsaw Pact countries. In three Communist countries he was the CIA's Chief of Station. In Washington for eight years he directed the Agency's operational programs in the Soviet Union and Europe. Mr. Gerber has received CIA's Distinguished Intelligence Medal, Intelligence Commendation Medal and William J. Donovan Award. On three occasions he was designated a Meritorious Officer.

After his retirement in 1995 Mr. Gerber has spoken and written on questions of espionage and ethics and the importance of espionage and intelligence in the war on terrorism. He has particularly focused on the need to respect civil liberties and human rights in fighting terrorism. Mr. Gerber has also spoken on business ethics and ethics in public service.

With Professor Jennifer Sims of Georgetown University, he is the co-editor of and contributor to Transforming U.S. Intelligence, published by Georgetown University Press in September 2005.

Mr. Gerber is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs. He is a member of the Board of Directors of SHARE, a food network, and of the Board of Visitors of James Madison College at Michigan State University. He is a Knight of Malta.

Mr. Gerber graduated with high honor from Michigan State University in 1955 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations. With his late wife Rosalie, Mr. Gerber endowed scholarships at Michigan State University, Beta Theta Pi Fraternity and Assumption College in Worcester, MA.

Volunteer Projects

Members of the Order (and their families) who are interested in participating in one of these activities should contact the Regional Hospitaller. The phone/fax number is available in Federal Association Directory.
Project SHARE

Food distribution center

Contact: Burton Gerber, Stephen Gavin

http://www.smom.org/federal-regional.php?area=17 (Proof Positive)

Social Network Diagram:

Germany 1957-1965 Bulgaria 1966-1968 Iran 1973-1975 Yugoslavia 1976-1979
USSR 1979-1982

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* Wise,D. The Spy Who Got Away. 1988 (12, 16-7, 127)

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