AUBURN, Ala. -- Gina Haspel, the director of the United States Central Intelligence Agency, spoke at Auburn University on Thursday, April 18.

Haspel spoke praises about her staff and explained how the CIA is in need of new recruits to keep the nation safe. Haspel has been a part of the CIA for 34 years, and is approaching her first anniversary as director. Haspel is also the first female director that the agency has ever had. 

"It is a great time to be a woman in the agency," she said.

Throughout her career, Haspel has received some of the nation's greatest honors, including the intelligence medal of merit, a presidential rank award, the Donovan award and the George H. W. Bush award for excellence in counter terrorism. 

Haspel spoke mostly about the commitment to fighting the nations problems, especially the opioid crisis, and about recruiting. She thanked Auburn for being a university that continues to serve. 

 “Work hard. Raise your hand for the tough jobs. Don’t stand on the sidelines,” said Haspel.

Her speech was not without controversy. University officials had to escort and attendee out after they heckled her during her speech. The university has not yet commented on the incident.