The IC’s Own Geek Superheroine

FACT: According to the law establishing the new position, the Director of National Intelligence is charged with “the recruitment and training of women, minorities, and individuals with diverse ethnic, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds,” as a way of broadening the personnel base on which the nation relies for intelligence analysis.

ANALYSIS: I’ve noticed that one of the single-most-viewed posts in this six-month-old blog has been my early profile of Dr. Lisa Porter, when she was appointed the first director of IARPA, the advanced-tech crowd for the intelligence community.

I can tell that the large volume of hits isn’t from my normal reader crowd, but comes in from search results. There was another uptick of hits on that old post this week, driven by searchers using Google and Live Search, and I believe it’s because WIRED magazine has its own profile of Porter in its new edition, the one with “Apple: Evil/Genius” on the cover.

The new profile, while short, doesn’t mind taking advantage of her apparently unexpected good looks; it begins, “Picture Q as a tall blonde woman with an American accent, and you’ve got Porter. Lisa Porter.”

When Dr. Porter’s appointment was first announced, the WIRED website made sure to feature her attractive photo as well, and they made sure to point out that one of her previous employers, the more famous DARPA, had never had a woman as director.

I suspect that Dr. Porter is developing quite a fan base among the geek audience, who are thirsty enough to seek out any info on her they can find, even on this musty blog…. Sure to come: fan sites, wall posters, and a “Dr Lisa Porter Anime Series.”  🙂

But if the publicity continues, it should also make her a role model among young women (and men), drive interest in working for the intelligence community, and help to meet the DNI’s strategy for diverse recruitment.

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5 Responses

  1. […] [Note also my more recent post about Dr. Porter here.] […]


  2. 🙂

    Good read! Thank you!


  3. Dude! excellent characterization. you’ve wandered into a fascinating wolrd, check out the real superheroine fanbase community at:

    we would welcome Dr Porter there! can you pass that along, someone should do a comic or graphic novel on her life and adventures…


  4. I found tyour post from a running search I use on “superheroines” and I find this phenomenon fascinating, I wrote a thesis on the depiction of women in comics and film as villainesses and superheroines. I also help edit the Wikipedia page at

    You’d be surprised at the long list of them:

    there’s also:


  5. […] which she did well and I’ll discuss those soon as well.  (She also kidded me about my efforts to make her a cultural phenomenon, but I blamed it on WIRED […]


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