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LaRae Quy

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LaRae Quy is a retired FBI agent with 24 years of experience working as an investigator. The majority of her career focused on counter-espionage, investigating foreign spies who came into the country to steal classified secrets from the U.S. government and proprietary technology from American companies. As an FBI agent, she developed the mental toughness to survive in environments of risk, uncertainty, and deception. Faced with stressful and fast-moving situations, she needed to move through barriers if she was to succeed.


She worked numerous cases as an undercover agent to infiltrate foreign spy rings operating in Silicon Valley. Her targets included foreign officials with diplomatic immunity assigned to their official consulate in the United States. Her other targets were undercover spies who overtly operated with the cover of an individual with business interests in the U.S. while covertly inveigling their way into the high-tech industry.


In this capacity, she learned how to read people’s verbal and non-verbal cues to determine their level of honesty. Often, the key to recruiting a foreign spy was to differentiate when they were lying to her to protect their cover, or to themselves because of their lack of self-awareness. As a perpetual learner, LaRae studied various personality assessments to enable her to identify strengths and weaknesses in her targets. She then utilized this information to construct specific approaches to the diverse group of targets she persuaded to work for the FBI.


LaRae spent the last four years of her career as the FBI spokesperson in Northern California. In this role, she worked with local, national, and international news organizations covering FBI-related stories. Her career was profiled by ABC News and she has been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Good Morning America, NPR, The Washington Post, Al Jazeera, and other news outlets.


She was born and raised on a remote cattle ranch in Wyoming where she learned from a young age that she needed to look inward to find the courage and resilience to confront challenges head-on. After retirement, she took graduate studies at San Francisco Theological Seminary and received a diploma in Spiritual Direction. She combined her experience in recruiting foreign spies with graduate studies in Persuasion Theory at Arizona State University (ASU) to develop the Mental Toughness Assessment, a questionnaire that has been validated by ASU’s clinical psychology department and taken by over 50,000 professionals to help them better assess their mental toughness.


In 2021 she founded the Mental Toughness Center and worked as a C-level leadership coach. She has been a keynote speaker in finance, energy, and health sectors—all industries going through immense changes. She worked first-hand with people who need resilience to overcome obstacles and embrace change. Based on her experiences, she produced an online training program called Secrets of A Strong Mind which taps into her background, training, and work with people at all leadership levels.


She has written two books. "Secrets of A Strong Mind: How To Build Inner Strength to Overcome Life’s Obstacles." The book offers field-tested methods for readers to develop mental toughness and a curated package of tools and techniques to help them realize they are capable of far more than they believe possible. The second book is "Mental Toughness for Women Leaders: 52 Tips To Recognize and Utilize Your Greatest Strengths." The book shows how mentally strong women manage in ways that set them up for success in life.


She is a Forbes Business Council writer and is a top contributor to Smartbrief, an online leadership magazine. She has also contributed articles to and The World Economic Forum.


LaRae Quy

Visit my blog at and website at
My Secrets of a Strong Mind online training will increase your confidence in the face of adversity and get you ready to survive and thrive through any challenge.


Board of Trustees/Graduate Theological Union

Society of Retired FBI Special Agents


Author of Secrets of A Strong Mind (2nd edition) and Mental Toughness For Women Leaders, both available on Amazon

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