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Member Spotlight: Amy Sareeram

Who is the FBI AIA? We are a diverse and passionate group of intel professionals who have taken our experiences and skills from the FBI to places outside the government. Get to know us a little better! This month, meet Amy Sareeram, CPC, PCC:

How long were you in the FBI, and what did you do?

I spent 13 years in the FBI, working everything from counterterrorism to criminal to national security policy. I had some unique opportunities, including two years at the National Counterterrorism Center, a tour in Iraq, and representing FBI's equities at White House policy meetings. I was selected as the first Senior Supervisory Intel Analyst in the NY Field Office, which was extremely rewarding. As a Senior Executive, I managed intelligence policy, analyst promotions and training, the intelligence budget, and the foreign language program. I finished my career as the Deputy Assistant Director in the Criminal Division.

Where are you now and what are you up to?

When I left the Bureau, I spent three years leading an intelligence division in a cybersecurity firm. After reflecting on my career, I realized my passion is developing leaders and high potential individuals. I acquired my professional coaching certification and started my own business. I am now a leadership and change management coach working with public and private sector leaders to grow in their leadership capabilities, navigate challenges, more effectively communicate, and develop highly-effective teams.

How would you say your FBI skills have translated for you?

My FBI skills translated extremely well outside of the government. Many of the skills we think are common in the FBI, are less common externally. 

First, effective communication. The BLUF (bottom line up front) approach we are taught for both written and oral communication is really important. Tailoring the message to the audience is a skill that is very transferable no matter what type of work you do.

Second, critical thinking and judgment. The ability to process a large amount of data, extract key points, use rigor to evaluate findings, and convey what really matters to your audience are fundamental skills that have enabled me great success.  

Resilience in stressful environments. In an ops environment, things happen quickly, responses are required fast, and things change all the time. Handling stress in a crisis is something we often take for granted and is a very advantageous skill.   

Finally, reading people and situations. We are trained to always think through the why: asking “what are their motivations and interests? How do I best work with this person?” This skill is very transferable.

What do you enjoy most about your new role?

I really enjoy helping individuals recognize and identify their strengths and how to leverage them to achieve their goals, both personally and in navigating bureaucratic and political cultures. I enjoy helping people find ways to overcome challenges and approach things in a different way so they can realize greater success. I love seeing people flourish!

Always our final question- what do you like to do in your free time?

I love being Aunt Amy! I am prioritizing family and time with friends right now. I also love to travel. I’ve been to 42 countries and 45 states. I’m hoping to hit all 50 soon. In any down time, I like to read and get outside when the weather cooperates.

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