Mossad appoints two women for first time to top spy roles

"A." was made head of the Mossad Intelligence Department and "K." was appointed to head the Iran Department.

 A., head of a technological department at the Mossad (photo credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY)
A., head of a technological department at the Mossad
(photo credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY)

The Mossad made history on Thursday, announcing that it has appointed two women to senior roles in the organization. There are now four women in the executive forum that leads the agency.

The first woman, “A.,” took up her role recently as head of the Mossad’s Intelligence Department, which is equal to the level of the head of Military Intelligence in the IDF. The second woman, “K.,” was appointed to head the Iran Department.

The Mossad’s Intelligence Department, currently managed by two women, A. and her deputy, “H.,” is considered one of the organization’s core anchors and growth engines.

A., who has served in the core of the intelligence community for the past 20 years, is being entrusted with the formation of the strategic intelligence picture at the national level on a series of topics, including the Iranian nuclear threat, global terrorism and normalization with the Arab world. She is also responsible for intelligence in all Mossad operations.

A. has served in the past as head of one of the Mossad’s technology departments and received the Israel Security Award at a ceremony held about two months ago.

 Mossad chief David Barnea attends a ceremony marking Remembrance Day for Israel's fallen soldiers and victims of terror, at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City, on May 3, 2022.  (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90) Mossad chief David Barnea attends a ceremony marking Remembrance Day for Israel's fallen soldiers and victims of terror, at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City, on May 3, 2022. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

“I use this honorable platform to call on women to act to realize their potential and influence in the security system, including the combat or technological units, in order to make their mark,” she said.

A. will now join K., who serves as the head of the Iran Department, the organization’s main area of activity. The head of the Iran system is responsible for the Mossad’s strategy in dealing with the Iranian threat in all its forms and is responsible for leading the combined campaign of operations, technology and intelligence in the spy agency, together with the IDF and all security branches.

There is full equality in the organization between men and women,” Mossad Director David Barnea said. “Many women serve in operational roles, as fighters and handlers of agents, and are integrated into the core of our operational and intelligence activities with talent, professionalism and resourcefulness.”

Women in the Mossad

The path to promotions to high-level positions in the Mossad is open to all, men and women, based on their suitability and talents, he said.

Four women currently serve in the forum of department heads and are part of the senior executive team that runs the intelligence agency.

The woman who held the highest position in the Mossad was Aliza Magen, who served as the Mossad’s deputy director 30 years ago.

“It is important for the Mossad, as an agency that stands at the forefront of providing security for the state, to send a message to women about the unlimited possibilities that are available to them in the organization, as well as to serve as a role model for other security agencies when it comes to integrating women into key positions,” Barnea said.

Other women in senior roles include “H.,” who is the deputy head of the agency’s Intelligence Division, and “E.,” who was recently appointed as deputy head of the Manpower Division.