Richard Owen is an agent with the CIA.
In the two-book chronicle of the activities of Owen, he is considered about the best there was, which is a shame since he dies almost immediately. Not really, of course. His death is faked. Still, it's not a bad way to start.
According to statements made by the character to a fellow agent, Richard Owen was the son of a very wealthy family who moved about the world a great deal, resulting in his learning to speak as a native a considerable number of languages. He would use this to further his abilities at disguise to make it possible to become virtually any nationality he wished. It wasn’t just that he spoke a language well, it was that he studied dialects and nuances such that one of his superiors said he would challenge anyone to prove by listening that Owen was not from the region he was impersonating.
Couple with that ability was the intelligence that Owen had, learned well from both his formal education at the best universities including Oxford and the Sorbonne and his grasp of street smarts. He could fit in virtually anywhere from a bar in a slum or a executive boardroom.
The main downside that people found in Owen was his cold-bloodedness. He was not evil or vicious in any way, often going out of his way to avoid injury to innocents. But if a person needed killing, Owen could and would do it quickly and without blinking. That icy demeanor proves disquieting to most around him.
And policy was something that never bothered him in that he did not care why an order was given. He would ask questions about when and where, usually who and how, but never why. That bothered people, too.