Mark Aldin is a consultant to the CIA.
This 42-year-old college professor who teaches about Middle Eastern languages and cultures at UCLA routinely receives requests for assistance, and has done so for some time, from the Agency when obscure texts and messages deemed likely important exceed the skillsets of its numerous full-time analysts and of the impressive set of computers at its call. As we are told, "Mark translates documents for the CIA when they can't be done by a computer. Many documents use subtle references or historical facts that only a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages can decipher, or so the CIA believes. Mark knows he is one of several 'experts' who work on documents for a handsome fee. It's a great gig and he loves doing the research."
Aldin comes about his extensive knowledge of such matters as a result of his upbringing. He came to the United States when he was 12 years old, traveling with his father and grandmother. The family last name of Nasir al-Din was changed to Aldin and he took the first name of Mark to better fit in. He attended college on a full scholarship to Stanford where he "ran track and majored in Middle Eastern Language, Literature and Culture".
After graduating from college, Aldin joined the Navy and immediately applied for and was accepted by the SEALS. He saw action in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria before leaving the Service to return to school to earn his Masters and then his Ph.D.
Aldin is fluent in six languages including Farsi, Arabic, and Afghani. One language that he is especially skilled in is Aramaic, the tongue thought used by Jesus of Nazareth and still used in a small part of Jordan where his grandmother grew up from whom he learned it as a young boy.
Aldin is described as 6'2" tall with long hair cut just at the collar and often a week's work of dark beard. He is said have emerald eyes and to be "ruggedly handsome, smart, and [with] a new photographic memory". He is a divorced father of two.
Though Aldin is technically just a consultant, he will find that his involvement in matters of concern to the Agency will see his participation be considerably more. That is where his prior training as a SEAL will prove quite useful.