Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Incognito.

Dr. Scholl's foot powder, tin foil, dead rats—former CIA Chief of Disguise Jonna Mendez used them all to conceal agents and secret messages. She shares stories about getting creative undercover.

About Jonna Mendez

Jonna Mendez is a retired CIA intelligence officer. She was recruited to the agency in 1966, and retired in 1993 from her role as the Chief of Disguise in the CIA's Office of Technical Service.

Mendez worked abroad from cities including Havana, Beijing and Moscow.

After her retirement, she has worked as an author, lecturer, teacher and consultant on intelligence matters. She and her late husband, former CIA officer Antonio Mendez, cowrote several books about spies and espionage, including Spy Dust: A True Story of Espionage and Romance, Argo and The Moscow Rules.

This segment of the TED Radio Hour was produced by Katie Monteleone and edited by Katie Simon. You can follow us on Twitter @TEDRadioHour and email us at

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