- "You're no longer David Webb. From now on you'll be known as Jason Bourne. Welcome to the program."
- ―Albert Hirsch to Jason Bourne during their first meeting.[src]
Dr. Albert Hirsch was a a specialist employed by the Central Intelligence Agency who had supervised Jason Bourne's behavior modification training prior to Operation Treadstone. He later was the one who aided him in the recovery of his memory.
Hirsch was the overarching antagonist in the cinematographic franchise, being the secondary antagonist in the 2007 film The Bourne Ultimatum, a minor character in the 2012 spin-off film The Bourne Legacy and a posthumous antagonist in the 2016 film Jason Bourne. He was portrayed by the late actor Albert Finney.
Hirsch essentially designed and implemented the training program that was utilized by the CIA for both Operation Treadstone and Operation Blackbriar. His program included what Nicky Parsons claimed was experimental training called "behavior modification". He also held a close, public friendship with a Sterisyn-Morlanta researcher, Dan Hillcott, who spearheaded Operation Emerald Lake and was the eventual medical director of Operation Outcome, which would become problematic in the future.
He was the mentor to young David Webb when he first opted to join Treadstone, when Neil Daniels brought him to the secret training facility underneath a hospital on 415 East 71th Street. He mentally broke Webb by deprivating him of any rest or sleep, and subjected him to torture by suffocation in a water tank. Eventually, Webb, mentally broken, obeyed Hirsch's command without question and shot a man who was gagged in the facility. He also assigned him his new titular identity, Jason Bourne. He also confiscated his former dog tags.
The Bourne Ultimatum
His voice is heard throughout The Bourne Ultimatum as Bourne flashbacks to instances when he was in the training program. At the end of the film, Noah Vosen contacts Hirsch to warn him that Bourne is on his way and that he should leave the facility. Hirsch instead volunteers to stay and keep Bourne in play long enough for Vosen and his team to arrive. Hirsch takes Bourne to the room where he was continually subjected to the "water treatment" and where he subsequently murdered the real Jason Bourne and assumed his identity, even providing him with his old dog tags. Bourne renounced his former identity to him, and decided to spare his life, reasoning that he respects Marie's wishes, and that "he doesn't deserve the star he would be given at Langley." After Bourne's escape and Pamela Landy's faxing of the key pages of Vosen's documents to an affiliate in Washington D.C., Hirsch is brought before a Congressional Hearing regarding his involvement with Treadstone and Blackbriar along with Noah Vosen and CIA Director Ezra Kramer.
The Bourne Legacy
In The Bourne Legacy, Hirsch is murdered by the National Research Assay Group to prevent him from disclosing any information about the Program. The official explanation given for his death is that of a heart-attack. His public friendship with Dan Hillcott is a major source of concern for Eric Byer of the NRAG, who feels that the Senate investigation will eventually lead the government to investigate both Hilcott and Operation Outcome, which is the reason for his assassination.
- His first name "Albert" is a possible reference to his actor.