I am a storyteller that excels in connecting with and inspiring audiences of all sizes and backgrounds. My experience living undercover and involvement in counter-terrorism operations are remarkably relatable to a wide variety of industries and people. Those hard-won lessons impact audiences from all backgrounds: blue collar workers to C-Suite executives, boat builders and airport snow removal experts, as well as bank executives, professional sports teams, and Google engineers.

One of my core strengths is the ability to frame my experiences to reach my audience and reinforce my clients’ objectives. I seek to understand each group’s composition, strengths, challenges, and organizers’ expectations to deliver outstanding, bespoke presentations that stick with the attendees far after the conclusion of the event. My goal is to spark life transformations.

Popular Speaking Topics

  • Get Off the X (aka How to get out of your personal or corporate comfort zone)
  • The Life-Altering Power of Grit
  • Lessons from the CIA–How to Handle Extreme Stress, Unexpected Change, and Uncertainty
  • How to Turn Perceived Liabilities into Your Greatest Strengths
  • My Advantage as a Female in the CIA
  • What’s Worth Fighting For: Your Unique Approach to Operations
  • Teamwork and Sales: How to Connect with Anyone (If I can do it with terrorists, you can do it with anyone)


Thank you to Cigna for such an inspirational session! I really enjoyed Michele’s book and the many incredible reminders of the value of preparation and using your unique attributes to your advantage. Being able to meet Michele was terrific.

VP Consulting Services

I was fortunate to have seen Ms. Rigby-Assad address an audience last year.  I was so impressed that I purchased her book, ‘Breaking Cover.’  It was a ripping yarn!  I knew that the professional association to which I belonged was to hold their annual conference early this year.  I helped arrange her to present.  She spoke to our group and was fantastic!  The feedback from the attendees was off the charts.  They particularly commented on her real-life anecdotes, the lessons therein, and the inspiration it provided.  She prepared a fascinating PowerPoint slide show that was tailored to the group.  I whole heartedly recommend Ms. Rigby-Assad to inspire and entertain in just about any group setting!

Ollie Phipps, Board Member, Florida Association of Private Investigators

Michele has been an absolute delight to work with. The feedback from our attendees has been overwhelmingly positive; they truly loved the interaction. I would recommend Michele as a speaker for any executive event, thought leadership session, female empowerment, leadership, etc. She truly is a catalyzer of incredible content and debate–her content is simply eye opening.

Alice Grasset, Salesforce

Michele was a dynamic thinker and speaker. Her content was powerful and shaped to our needs. It was highly impactful for my team to learn from someone far outside of their realm of responsibilities. Leadership lessons and lessons in perseverance are universal, and my team greatly appreciated Michele’s thoughtfulness, content and delivery. We would definitely consider Michele for a speaking engagement again.

George Hines, Lithia & Driveway

I found this session with Michele to be so inspirational. So happy that I had the opportunity to participate. Can’t wait to read her book!

Executive Vice President and Employee Benefits Practice Leader, USI Insurance Services

Michele was our opening Critical Conversations keynote speaker in May 2018. Her first person accounts of being on the inside of CIA operations in unnamed countries kept the audience spellbound. She shared personal stories not usually heard through the filtered media, as well as personal feelings about what kept her strong in the midst of out-of-control circumstances. Her faith is strong and her accounts genuine – her friendly persona and interaction with the moderator and audience were encouraging and enlightening. She is a delight!

P. Stan Keith, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Hope Center, Plano, Texas

Michele was an inspiration at our conference! It was a pleasure and an honor to hear her speak. Her story is one for the ages, and she incorporates such meaning for the audience to show them how they make a difference. What we do behind the scenes in government and education is not glamorous nor often recognized. Michele has a way of touching the audience that revives them and reminds them of why they do what they do.

Les Vaughn, President, Florida Records Management Association

Michele was a compelling speaker who our employees loved. Her stories of life in the CIA provided great life lessons and inspired our team to reach for their full potential!

Bill Yeargin, President/CEO, Correct Craft

What a powerful speaker you are, Michele!

Dental Consultant

I have attended a large number of these types of conferences. Michele’s session, however, was incredibly different. I have never heard such interesting stories and what’s truly amazing is the way she adapted these lessons to our life and work. Her session was the most popular once the word got out, and conference administrators had to turn people away at the door. Michele is a very gifted speaker.

Senior Corporate Leader and Event Attendee, Disney Institute

This was a great presentation, and the book is fantastic! I’ve already had dinner conversations about it and recommended the book to several. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

VP Health Solutions, Aon


San Diego

The Power of Grit

TEDx Binghamtom University

Intuition is marketable — Lessons from the CIA


Turning liabilities into advantages