TONY & JONNA MENDEZ
Tony and Jonna Mendez are former CIA Intelligence Officers with 52 years of combined service. Both served as the CIA’s Chief of Disguise. On the CIA’s 50th anniversary, Tony was chosen as one of the CIA’s top 50 officers for its first 50 years.
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Jonna Mendez was undercover in the lobby of a fancy American hotel when she locked eyes with a dangerous terrorist, guarded by two armed men. A potentially fatal mistake that could have cost her life, she later found out.
It may sound like something straight out of a spy fiction movie, but that’s the reality Mendez lived as the former CIA chief of disguise who worked alongside her husband for the intelligence agency.
While Mendez became an international man of mystery, his Park Lane paintings languished in a warehouse after the hotel was demolished. A local man later salvaged them, and his daughter, Lesa Leiter of Thornton, discovered the true identity of the “A. Mendez” who had signed the pieces.
Following Mendez’s death at age 78, Leiter sold the paintings to Simon Lofts, the co-owner of Workability, a Denver co-working outfit. Lofts plans to hold a public unveiling on August 26; they’ll permanently hang in Workability’s Sherman Street office. “My father would be thrilled that his work is in the public eye,” says Toby Mendez, one of Tony’s four children and an esteemed sculptor himself, “and being seen once again.”
Jonna Mendez is a former CIA Chief of Disguise, who is also a specialist in clandestine photography. Her 27-year career, for which she earned the CIA’s Intelligence Commendation Medal, included operational disguise responsibilities in the most hostile theaters of the Cold War, including Moscow, and also took her into the Oval Office. She is the co-author, with her late husband Tony Mendez, of “The Moscow Rules: The Secret CIA Tactics that Helped America Win the Cold War.”
Perhaps no one in the world is more familiar with the crossover between science fiction and spycraft than the final panelist, Jonna Mendez, the former CIA chief of disguise, who described how she and her husband (whose work freeing hostages in Iran was dramatized in the Ben Affleck film Argo) studied the mask-making techniques from some of Hollywood’s top monster makers.
Orange County Register: Comic-Con 2019: Former CIA agents explain 6 ways to conduct and evade surveillance
Here are 6 CIA-tested espionage techniques you can use the next time you need to conduct or escape surveillance — hypothetically speaking, of course.
Join us for a conversation with a real-life spy about her experiences as a covert operative and her role in the advancement of the American intelligence strategy that helped America win the Cold War.
History News Network – The Cold War Spy and CIA Master of Disguise Writing the History of CIA Tactics in the Cold War
Jonna Mendez is a former Chief of Disguise with over twenty-five years of experience as a CIA officer working in Moscow and other sensitive areas.
Join Jonna for the launch of the Mendez’s new book THE MOSCOW RULES Tactics That Helped America Win the Cold War, where she and her late husband Tony tell the story of the intelligence breakthrough that turned the odds in America’s favor.