Russia Bans ASU President, Cites CIA Connection

May 29, 2023

By Corinne Murdock |

Russia has banned Arizona State University (ASU) President Michael Crow for his CIA connections.

Last week, Russia banned Crow and about 500 other Americans from coming into their country. In listing Crow among hundreds banned, the country identified Crow as the chairman of the board of trustees to the CIA venture capital firm specializing in intelligence agency technology, In-Q-Tel Corporation, but not in his capacity as ASU President. 

Crow remarked on his ban on Tuesday in a brief, tongue-in-cheek tweet.

“I will miss those cards and flowers from Putin,” wrote Crow. 

In-Q-Tel was launched in 1999 by the former CEO of government defense weapons giant Lockheed Martin. It was the first government-sponsored venture capital firm, created with the intention of expanding CIA research and development into the private sector. In-Q-Tel relies on CIA funding to invest in startups developing intelligence technologies.

Crow had plans to launch an ASU extension in Ukraine, American University Kyiv (AUK), up until the Russian invasion. As AZ Free News reported last February, those behind AUK harbored deep ties to the Clintons and the Bidens.

Crow wasn’t the only In-Q-Tel leadership banned: others included Stephen Bowsher, the president; Megan Anderson, executive vice president; Christopher Darby, the executive director; executive vice president for political affairs, Sarah Sewall; executive vice president George Hoyem; Safra Ada Catz, Michael Glenn Mullen, Judith Miscik, George John Tenet, William Ballard Hurd, and Ted Schlein, board of trustees members.

As Arizona Daily Independent noted, Tenet was a former CIA director and Hurd was a former CIA operative.

The remainder of the 500 added to Russia’s ban list included other high-profile figures in global affairs. Among the list of the names of congressmen (49 members), attorneys general (17), governors (8), and top leadership in the White House, federal agencies, and military branches was former President Barack Obama.

The executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Corporation, Tim Cahill, was also banned. Another executive for another defense corporation giant, senior vice president Jeffrey Shockey of Raytheon Technologies, was banned.

Multiple executives from George Soros’ Open Society Foundations were also banned: the CFO, Maija Arbolino, and the executive vice president, Leonard Benardo. 

Several organizations had many individuals named to Russia’s ban list. This included over 80 members of the Rand Research Corporation; nearly 30 members of the Brookings Institution; nearly 60 members of the Carnegie Endowment; and 15 members of General Dynamics.

Also named to the ban list were 21 members of the National Security Council; 34 members of the NGO Atlantic Council; 11 members of the NGO Center for a New American Security; 23 members of the NGO Center for Naval Analysis; two journalists, Matthew Continetti with National Review and Jeffrey Scott Shapiro with The Washington Times; and three commentators, Joe Scarborough with MSNBC, Erin Burnett with CNN, and Rachel Maddow with MSNBC

Military-wise, bans included the deputy secretary, secretary, and chief of staff for the Air Force; the secretary and the general of the Army; and the minister of the Navy.

There were several bans of interest, due to their apparent disconnect with global affairs: Michael Byrd, the U.S. Capitol police officer responsible for fatally shooting Ashley Babbitt during the January 6 incident; and Georgia’s Brad Raffensperger, the only secretary of state listed.

Another ban of interest was Nina Jankowicz, selected last April by the Biden administration to lead a newly created, highly controversial, and quickly scrapped Disinformation Governance Board within the Department of Homeland Security. In September, Jankowicz registered as a foreign agent to embark on a similar disinformation initiative with the United Kingdom-based Centre for Information Resilience (CIR).

The ASU president wasn’t the only high-profile Arizonan to make Russia’s most recent list of banned persons. Both Rep. Eli Crane (R-AZ-02) and Gov. Katie Hobbs also made the cut. 

Hobbs wrote that she would continue to support Ukraine in light of this ban. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to

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