Tony Mendez

Tony Mendez

Officer, An Author and An Painter at Central Intelligence Agency

P.O. Box 12727, Arlington, Virginia, United States

General Information


fine art , University of Colorado

degree  - Brooks Institute

masters of deception  - 


Board Member  - International Spy Museum

Member  - Foundation Council

Board of Advisors Member  - CI CENTRE

Member of the Fledgling Criminal Profiling Unit  - Federal Bureau of Investigation

Member  - Star Wars

Recent News  

Antonio Joseph Mendez Former Chief, Graphics and Authentication Division, Central Intelligence Agency
Jonna Hiestand Mendez Former Chief of Disguise, Central Intelligence Agency Dame Stella Rimington Former Director General, British Security Service (MI5)

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Antonio Joseph Mendez
Founding Board Member Tony Mendez A former Chief of Disguise and Chief of the Graphics and Authentication Division in the CIA's Office of Technical Service, Mr. Mendez's 25-year career with the Agency included undercover work in the most important theaters of the Cold War. Mr. Mendez conducted the secret rescue of six U.S. diplomats during the Iran hostage crisis in 1980. That operation was the basis of the Oscar Best Picture winner Argo starring Ben Affleck as Mr. Mendez. Mr. Mendez is currently a landscape painter, author, lecturer, and consultant on intelligence matters and served as a consultant to the CBS television series "The Agency. With her husband Antonio, she published Spy Dust: A True Story of Espionage and Romance.

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Foundation Council Welcomes Tony and Jonna Mendez
Foundation Council Welcomes Tony and Jonna Mendez The Foundation's Council is now under increased "surveillance" with the addition of retired Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officers Jonna and Tony Mendez. Tony is also an author and award-winning painter; Jonna is a fine art photographer, a consultant/lecturer, and an author. Because both Tony and Jonna believe in the potential of this technology to revolutionize treatments for patients like Tony, they have eagerly accepted our invitation to join the Council. Tony Mendez Tony Mendez is a retired CIA officer, an author, and an award-winning painter with an international reputation. He lives and works in his studios and gallery on 40 acres in rural Maryland. For 25 years, Mendez worked undercover for the CIA, participating in some of the most important operations of the Cold War. As Chief of Disguise, he was responsible for changing the identity of thousands of clandestine operatives. In 1980, he was awarded the Intelligence Star for Valor for engineering and conducting the rescue of six U.S. diplomats from Iran during the hostage crisis. Mendez retired in 1990, having also earned the CIA's Intelligence Medal of Merit and two Certificates of Distinction. In 1997, on the fiftieth anniversary of the CIA, he was one of fifty officers awarded the Trailblazer Medallion, recognizing him as an "officer who by his actions, example, or initiative...helped shape the history of the CIA. Warner Brothers and Ben Affleck produced the story of the escape from Iran in the 2012 film ARGO, in which Affleck starred as Tony.

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