“ Former CIA agents Tony Mendez and his wife, Jonna Hiestand Mendez, gave a presentation, titled “The Iranian Hostage Crisis & the Canadian Caper,” on the Bedford campus. ...we used the idea of misdirection to hide (the stranded Americans) in plain sight. As they say in the movie, it was really the best bad idea we had. One World Series Hosts Tony Mendez of ‘Argo’ Fame o clever disguises or elaborate cover stories were needed to make two former CIA agents’ visit to the Bedford campus interesting – their stories were more than enough to keep the crowd on the edge of their seats. In February, MCC’s One World Series hosted former CIA agent Tony Mendez, whose efforts to help six Americans escape from Iran inspired the Academy Award-winning movie “Argo,” in a special event titled “The Iranian Hostage Crisis and the Canadian Caper.” His wife, Jonna Hiestand Mendez, also a retired CIA agent, joined Mendez on the Campus Center stage. “Tony and I worked in a section of the CIA that resembled the Q shop from James Profiles N Bond,” said Hiestand Mendez. “We were both in charge of creating technology to help spies in the field.” Mendez told the crowd of students, faculty, staff and community members that he was recruited to the CIA because he was an artist and could impeccably forge documents. He was named CIA Chief of the Graphics and Authentication Division. But it was Mendez’s involvement in the 1979-80 Iranian Hostage Crises that changed his career. When the CIA needed a cover story to extract six Americans from Tehran during the crisis, Mendez devised a scheme that revolved around a Canadian film crew scouting locations for a fictitious movie, dubbed “Argo.” Mendez said the idea for getting the Americans out of Tehran, and the actual events that followed, closely mirror those shown in the movie. “In what was sort of an act of desperation, we used the idea of misdirection to hide them in plain sight,” said Mendez. “As they say in the movie, it was really the best bad idea we had,” he added. In fact, Mendez organized and completed more than 150 exfiltration missions during his CIA career, never failing to bring people to safety. He was awarded the CIA’s Intelligence Medal of Merit, the Intelligence Star, and two Certificates of Distinction for the part he played in the “Argo” mission. • “ Tony Mendez Retired CIA Agent 4 Tura Linderholm [3]