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Working for the government hasn't usually been considered a route to high pay. After all, the president earns only $400,000, the vice president receives $202,900--much less than executives in the private sector. But at least one federal IT research organization provides paychecks close to private-sector levels. In-Q-Tel, the CIA's nonprofit research arm, is a hybrid of a venture capital company and a government agency. During 2002, In-Q-Tel's chief executive officer Gilman Louie received total compensation of $704,756. While venture capital executives can make more money if their investments pan out, they take greater personal financial risk if their investments don't succeed. In-Q-Tel's total revenue in 2002 was $31.2 million, all of it provided by the government.

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