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Asha Rangappa    

Former FBI Special Agent, Legal & National Security Expert for CNN

Asha Rangappa is a Senior Lecturer at the Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and a former Associate Dean at Yale Law School.

Prior to her current position, Rangappa served as a Special Agent in the New York Division of the FBI, specializing in counterintelligence investigations. Her work involved assessing threats to national security, conducting classified investigations on suspected foreign agents, and performing undercover work. While in the FBI, Rangappa gained experience in intelligence tradecraft, electronic surveillance, interview and interrogation techniques, and firearms and the use of deadly force. She has taught National Security Law and related courses at Yale University, Wesleyan University, and University of New Haven.

Rangappa graduated cum laude from the Woodrow Wilson School of International and Public Affairs at Princeton University and was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study constitutional reform in Bogotá, Colombia. She received her law degree from Yale Law School and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Juan R. Torruella on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She is admitted to the State Bar of New York (2003) and Connecticut (2003).

Rangappa has published op-eds in The New York Times, The Atlantic, and The Washington Post, among others, 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.

Speech Topics


The 2016 presidential election highlighted the ability of Russian intelligence to exploit social media to target and manipulate the American public. As the county prepares for another election amidst a global pandemic and increased social unrest, former FBI counterintelligence agent Asha Rangappa explains how interference by foreign powers puts all citizens at risk. Russia has adapted Cold War tactics for the Digital Age, and the growing political fragmentation in America facilitates its efforts. These threats have serious implications for the future of democracy and public health.


How does a first-generation child of Indian immigrants from southern Virginia end up as a Special Agent for the FBI? Asha Rangappa describes her unique (and often humorous) career path and the personal challenges she encountered along the way, offering inspiring life lessons for anyone who’s considered the road less traveled.

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