DealBook has the details on the ongoing debate about In-Q-Tel, the CIA's venture capital firm. The gist of it is that NY Post columnist Byron York says In-Q-Tel is a mess and the In-Q-Tel folks say that it just aint so.
Mr. Byron’s declaration that In-Q-Tel “continues to funnel agency money into penny stock and micro-cap companies in Wall Street’s murkiest back alleys” is also countered in The Red Herring. “In-Q-Tel does not invest in public companies,” Mr. Tighe said. Further, it has “no involvement in any of those countries mentioned” by Mr. Ryals...
On Wednesday, The Red Herring followed up on Mr. Byron’s claims. It interviewed Donald Tighe, In-Q-Tel’s vice president of marketing and communications, who said the firm has a list of promising candidates for the chief executive job. Furthermore, the company’s portfolio has shown overall returns of more than 26 percent, he added. Some In-Q-Tel-backed companies do lose money, The Red Herring wrote in its unsigned article, “a situation not unknown to all venture firms.”
What you won't find in DealBook, the Post or the Red Herring, however, is any more information on Donald Tighe. So who is the marketing and communications guy for the spook venture fund?
Prior to joining In-Q-Tel, Tighe was a Bush administration appointee, most recently serving as Director of Communications and Public Affairs in the Office of Science and Technology Policy. He has also worked as spokesperson for Department of Homeland Security and USAID. Before that he was a staffer for Katherine Harris, the candidate for Senate in Florida who rose to noteriety for her rule in the 2000 presidential election recount. Tighe has a masters of public administration from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, and studied economics and political science as an undergraduate at Duke University.
In-Q-Tel did not respond to inquiries. Not surprisingly, we couldn't find a picture of Mr. Tighe on the internet.
Spy-Fund Story vs. Spy-Fund Story [DealBook]
CIA INC. STINKS [NY Post]
CIA Gains in Hunt for VC CEO [Red Herring]