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Marc Ruskin

Retired Undercover FBI Agent; Awarded Five Commendations from Director of FBI; Author, “The Pretender: My Life Undercover for the FBI”; Lawyer

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Marc Ruskin is a retired FBI Special Agent with 27 years’ experience working primarily undercover in operations for which he was awarded five Commendations from the Bureau Director.

His over twenty years working undercover found him successfully infiltrating a New York Mafia crime family, an ethnic Chinese Malaysian heroin organization, a Wall Street trading exchange, right-wing terrorist groups, and working on espionage cases.

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  •  Marc  Ruskin

Marc Ruskin is a retired FBI Special Agent with 27 years’ experience working primarily undercover in operations for which he was awarded five Commendations from the Bureau Director.

His over twenty years working undercover found him successfully infiltrating a New York Mafia crime family, an ethnic Chinese Malaysian heroin organization, a Wall Street trading exchange, right-wing terrorist groups, and working on espionage cases. Though these cases and many others received significant media coverage, neither Marc’s name nor any of his dozen aliases could ever be mentioned. His work and successful career has been acknowledged and awarded by the Director of the FBI by receiving five Commendations.

A native French and Spanish speaker, Marc has also worked at US Embassies in Paris, Madrid, Buenos Aires, Montevideo and Asunción, where he was given a Letter of Recognition from the Minister of the Interior for the rescue of a kidnapped former Miss Paraguay, Mariangela Martinez. As an FBI certified police instructor, Marc has lectured at universities and law enforcement academies.

Since his retirement from the FBI in 2012, Ruskin authored the book, The Pretender, My Life Undercover for the FBI, released June 2017 by Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin's Press. A memoir and exposé of the inner workings of the FBI, The Pretender has received extensive domestic and international media attention.

Marc’s path to the FBI included degrees from Vassar College and cum laude from Cardozo Law School, clerking for Federal Judge H. Curtis Meanor, two years in Washington on the staff of U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and four years as an Assistant District Attorney with the Brooklyn D.A.’s Office.

He currently divides his time between a law practice in New York and extended sojourns with his family in Liaoning Province, China, where he writes and studies Mandarin.

A personal, first-hand account of the dark-side and how working undercover for the United States’ principal law enforcement agency isn’t so glamorous.


Ruskin’s edge-of-your-seat true-crime stories that include infiltrating a New York Mafia crime family, an ethnic Chinese Malaysian heroin organization, a Wall Street trading exchange and right-wing terrorist groups will leave audiences wishing they could know more.


With a 27 career as an undercover FBI Agent, Ruskin has developed an illustrious career with incomparable stories and intel. His monumental undercover work has saved countless lives and resulted in major arrests and crackdowns.


Ruskin’s extensive work abroad with Intelligence Services and the National Police of several nations—and at the highest levels: Cabinet Ministers, Directors of Government Agencies and Supreme Court Justices make him an invaluable and unforgettable liaison to the world of international affairs.


Ruskin will discuss his new book, “The Pretender,” and walk the audience through specific undercover cases with personal anecdotes and thrilling experiences.


This talk includes detailed accounts of some of Marc’s most notable cases, including Marc’s rescue of a former Miss Paraguay in Asunción, while he was assigned as an FBI liaison officer in South America, Marc’s police corruption sting in Westchester County, and posing as a disaffected Jewish Defense League Operative to crack down on Jewish Terrorism.


Ruskin will discuss all aspects of working as an undercover agent for over twenty years. This includes the indispensable value of undercover work, the constant threat of the unexpected, creating fictitious identities, counterintelligence, and the emotional toll of working undercover.


This talk will feature detailed and engaging first-hand accounts from Marc’s work undercover.


The risks posed by an all-powerful, centralized federal police authority, and how to mitigate them for the preservation of our civil rights.


As an undercover agent for the FBI, Ruskin has taken on dozens of different identities throughout his career working in the field.


Gaining Trust: How to apply it in the world of business: Instead of “Targets,” substitute prospective clients and competitors.


Includes successful strategy and tactics to gain another’s confidence, and then use that to develop a prosperous relationship.


Ruskin’s perspective was formed directly by working in counterintelligence and on espionage cases at home and abroad, including partnering with the CIA and intelligence services in South America and Western Europe.


He also tackles the plaguing threat of terrorism by tapping into his own personal fight and experiences on the front lines. He will discuss how he believes we can combat it.


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