Clarence Ashley is a former analyst
for the Central Intelligence Agency who was born in Columbia, South Carolina. He
graduated from the University of South Carolina with a bachelor of science
degree in mechanical engineering in 1957 and a master of science in the same
field in 1964.
During his military service at
Vandenberg Air Force base, Mr. Ashley was part of the team that launched the
first-ever strategic missile launched by an operational crew anywhere in the
world. He later worked on the development of the Atlas Missile, one of the first
ICBM missiles placed into service by the US Air Force during the Cold War, and
worked for General Electric on the development and manufacture of the components
of the Minute Man missile program. He was also part of the Polaris Missile
program at Johns Hopkins University.
Mr. Ashley then took a career turn
and accepted a position as an analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency,
assessing Soviet strategic missile capabilities of the (then) USSR and preparing
national intelligence estimates. At the CIA, he also contributed to the creation
of procedures and techniques for evaluating the capabilities of alternative
collection systems, designed to provide a foundation for resource allocation
Mr. Ashley became interested in
being in business for himself and left the military-industrial complex for a
small commercial real estate firm in McLean, Virginia. It was there that he met
George Kisevalter and formed a friendship that lasted twenty-four years, until
Kisevalter's death in 1997. Though Mr. Ashley has published poetry in national
publications, his first book, CIA SpyMaster, is an outgrowth of
his friendship with the CIA's most decorated case officer.
Currently, Mr. Ashley is the owner
and principal broker of a commercial real-estate firm in northern Virginia and
is an active member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers. He lives
in Great Falls, Virginia, with his wife.