By Suzanne Kelly
Editor's note: In the Security Clearance "Case File" series, CNN national security producers profile the key members of the intelligence community. This story is the first in a special Case File series focusing on the roles women play in the U.S. intelligence community
You never know when a life of espionage is right there in front of you, in an advertisement, calling you to a new adventure. At least, Stephanie O'Sullivan says she didn't know when she answered a help wanted ad more than two decades ago for an employer looking for someone with experience in "ocean engineering."
The recent college graduate with a civil engineering degree had moved in with her parents in Annapolis, Maryland, while her fiance, whom she'd met in college, finished up his own program. Her parents, in full anticipation of sailing off into the sunset when her father retired, had bought a boat, and that's where the three of them lived.
"I thought, 'Well I know about that, I live on a boat and I've been into boating all my life because my father was into it," said O'Sullivan, who answered the ad, not really understanding the full scope of what "ocean engineering" meant. She soon realized why the ad was so cryptic: it was for work on a classified program. "It turned out to be intelligence community work and it was luck because it's been a career of infinite challenge." FULL POST