Felix Leiter is a senior operations officer for the Central Intelligence Agency.
Leiter was born and raised in Houston, Texas. His German-American father, Jeffrey Leiter, was a private investigator and former U.S. Marine Corps military policeman; while his African-American mother, Jacqueline Leiter (née Lord), was an elementary school teacher. After high school, Leiter began attending Rice University. He graduated from Rice with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps via the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps.
While at Rice, Leiter decided to become an intelligence officer. Upon graduating from The Basic School, he went on to the Navy and Marine Corps Intelligence Training Center in Virginia Beach, Virginia. There, Leiter was trained as a human source intelligence officer. Afterwards, he was assigned as a platoon commander to the 1st Intelligence Battalion at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. Eventually, Leiter was elevated to the position of a company executive officer. He attended the Marine Air-Ground Task Force Intelligence Officer Course soon after being promoted to Captain. Upon completing the course, Leiter was assigned to 3rd Battalion 1st Marines as the battalion intelligence officer. He eventually returned to the 1st Intelligence Battalion as the assistant battalion operations officer. Leiter later briefly served as an operational intelligence watch officer at the National Military Joint Intelligence Center in The Pentagon.
With numerous commendations, he left the Marine Corps after eight years of service. Leiter then moved to Washington, D.C., where he was hired by a private security firm as a security management consultant while he simultaneously sought employment with the Central Intelligence Agency. Before he could join the Agency, he had to go through a thorough medical and psychological exam, a polygraph interview and an extensive background investigation. Upon successfully completing the entire application process, Leiter was accepted as a clandestine service trainee. He then quit his job at the private security firm. After an orientation period, Leiter was sent to the CIA Special Training Center - "The Farm," Camp Peary for intensive operational training. There, he went through the Basic Operations Course, which trained him in so-called "operational intelligence" or "tradecraft" espionage skills. Because of his military experience, Leiter excelled through training.
After completing the Clandestine Service Trainee Program, he was given official cover status; that is he is an operations officer with an innocuous government cover that gives him diplomatic protection abroad if ever caught in an act of espionage. Leiter's cover is that of a political officer with the United States Foreign Service. His first assignment was at the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá, Colombia. While his primary duty there was recruiting foreign agents, Leiter also involved in the interrogation of captured enemy agents and joint CIA-DEA interdiction efforts against cocaine trafficking between Colombia and the United States. In addition, he also once took part in four days of black ops reconnaissance in Venezuela, penetrating military compounds. Leiter was later assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Paris. Although based nominally in Paris, his duties took him to the United Kingdom, Morocco, Algeria, Sudan, Turkey, Somalia and Montenegro. Leiter's work in Montenegro was a special assignment to capture a terrorist-affiliated private banker. Afterwards, he was assigned to the U.S. Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia as the Chief of Station, and a little while later was promoted to Section Chief of South America.
Since then, Felix Leiter's exemplary work has proven him to be one of the most extraordinary officers in the CIA's employ.
- This character appears in the James Bond franchise.