Episode 4: Asha Rangappa – Former FBI Special Agent and her stories behind catching spies, overcoming barriers, and creating your own career path


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“My advice would be to ignore your parents. At some point you have to decide what you want to do for yourself.” – Asha Rangappa

Asha Rangappa (@AshaRangappa_) is a former FBI Special Agent in the New York Division specializing in counterintelligence investigations. Her work at the FBI involved assessing threats to national security, conducting classified investigations on suspected foreign agents, and performing undercover work. While in the FBI, Asha gained experience in electronic surveillance, interview and interrogation techniques, firearms and the use of deadly force.

Asha is now a Senior Lecturer at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and was an Associate Dean at Yale Law School. She has taught National Security Law and related courses at Yale University, Wesleyan University, and University of New Haven. Asha has published op-eds in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post and has appeared on NPR, BBC, and several major television networks. She is an editor for Just Security and is currently a legal and national security analyst for CNN.

Asha’s career is fascinating, and hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did. With further ado, Asha Rangappa.

Listen to the podcast! (And please leave a review if you enjoyed it!)

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Show Notes

  • Asha’s start and why she decided to apply to the FBI (2:24)
  • The various phases of the FBI application and the tough tests she had to take to be considered (3:20)
  • The amazing story how Asha overcame a car accident one week before she was told to report to Quantico (6:00)
  • The mental toughness Asha to pass her physical test at the FBI with flying colors (08:15)
  • Her experience and identity as an Indian-American and how they factored in her career choices (14:02)
  • How Asha caught spies in the counterintelligence department of the FBI (19:02)
  • The decision behind leaving the FBI and moving to Yale as dean of admissions (21:00)
  • How Asha transitioned to leading the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs to finding a new challenge (24:31)
  • Asha’s strong point of view on the Russian investigation and how she developed her voice (26:12)
  • How Asha got her break with CNN as an exclusive contributor (29:32)
  • Asha’s way of conversing with people she didn’t agree with on TV (31:24)
  • Asha’s love of acting and community theater and how she developed that interest (33:40)
  • The movie that Asha has had a big impact on her (35:37)
  • Asha’s advice to South Asians who are interested in law enforcement and the FBI (36:50)

Selected Links + People

Connect with Asha

Affiliate Disclosure

South Asian Stories is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

The post Episode 4: Asha Rangappa – Former FBI Special Agent and her stories behind catching spies, overcoming barriers, and creating your own career path appeared first on South Asian Stories.

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