ELK RUN HEIGHTS -- Richard Wurtz, a 1978 graduate of East High, has retired from the CIA.
After graduating with honors from the University of Northern Iowa (economics and mathematics), Richard obtained a master's degree in economics from the University of Iowa, where he served as an instructor.
Richard then worked in research at the Federal Reserve, where he monitored the economy and published research articles on trends.
As a career CIA officer officer, Richard provided intelligence on the priority national security issues to the nation's senior leadership, enforced trade and financial sanctions against rogue nations, and specialized in counterterrorism. He received numerous awards and letters of recognition, including from senior officials in the White House, the U.S. military and members of Congress.
As part of the global war on terror surrounding the 11 September 2001 attacks, Richard served overseas for nine years disrupting the activities of Islamic extremists and terrorists. For his work, Richard received numerous awards, including the William J. Casey Award for Outstanding Service in Counterterrorism and the Millennium Counterterrorism Campaign Medallion.
As a senior CIA officer, Richard served as liaison to Capitol Hill on national security issues of interest to members of Congress. Later, while assigned as a representative to the U.S. military, he provided CIA intelligence updates to the command's leadership. He also served at FBI as CIA representative to the Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell, which recovers U.S. hostages held abroad.
Richard, who now plans to work in the private sector, resides with his family near Washington. After retirement he hopes to move back to Iowa, where his parents, Don and Mary Lou Wurtz, reside in Elk Run Heights.
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