About George Kalaris
George T. Kalaris
This conference is made possible in part by the generosity of the George T. Kalaris Intelligence Studies Fund.
George Kalaris was born in Billings, Montana. In 1933, at the age of 11, Mr. Kalaris’ mother took him to Greece. He remained there through the Nazi occupation under false papers. Mr. Kalaris returned to America when he was drafted into the U.S. Army for two years. He then completed law school at the University of Montana. He worked briefly for the National Labor Relations Board before joining the CIA in 1952.
From 1952 until 1974, Mr. Kalaris spent most of his career as a clandestine operations officer in Greece, Indonesia, Laos, the Philippines, and Brazil.He won special admiration for his central role in acquiring a warhead and operational manuals for a Soviet SA-2 anti-aircraft missile in Indochina. In 1974 he was assigned by the CIA to clean up an internal mess left by his predecessor, a seemingly endless hunt for a Soviet agent in the agency’s own ranks that had caused significant internal damage.
After two years of leading the counterintelligence staff, Mr. Kalaris was named chief of the Soviet-East Europe Division, where he continued to try to clean up damage from the spy hunt. He was named special assistant to the new director of central intelligence, Stansfield Turner, in 1979 and the following year was credited with ending decades of hostility between the agency and the FBI with the creation of a joint operation to turn Soviet agents into defectors. He retired in 1980 and passed away in 1995.