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This week in DIA history: DIA Torch Bearer — Wanda Mikovch

In 2015, Wanda Mikovch was recognized as a DIA Torch Bearer for her efforts in shaping the Agency. According to former DIA director Lt. Gen. Michael Maples, her contributions, “place her in that elite set of individuals whose personal impact on DIA rises above all others.” Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper identified her as, “an iconic legend of the Agency and the Intelligence Community.”

Mikovch began her career at DIA in 1967 as a secretary in the Office of Science and Technology. She went on to hold positions with Plans, Estimates and the Office of the Chief of Staff before Lt. Gen. James Williams asked her to join his staff in 1981. From that point on, she became a front office mainstay for the next 30 years, serving 10 directors as an executive assistant. She saw directors through some of the most influential events of in U.S. history, from the fall of the Berlin Wall to Desert Storm to 9/11, in which she was at the Pentagon with the director when the plane hit. VADM Thomas Wilson recalled:

“Wanda Mikovch’s positive impact and superb service was never more important than during and after the attacks on the Pentagon on 11 September 2001. As DIA director during that trying time, I personally witnessed Ms. Mikovch’s courage during the immediate attacks and her sensitivity in assisting with the care and support for the families of DIA’s dead and wounded colleagues during the days and weeks that followed.”

When discussing her time at DIA, Mikovch noted the positive evolution of the Agency. “With each new director, we’ve moved up another notch. The Agency has gotten so much more knowledgeable and trusted.” She credited the Agency’s progress to the same qualities that made her successful: being very flexible, mission focused and enthusiastic about the work.

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