“The lack of awareness by executives on the state of their cyber security protocols and training initiatives is alarming, and puts them at a serious disadvantage against cyber attackers." BAE Systems - Cyber Security Survey Report 2016

Leadership Team
Michelle C. Watson

President and Founder

Michelle is the President and Founder of Cyber Intelligent Partners (CIP), a Washington D.C. area firm focusing on Cyber Intelligence professional training and education for corporate, academic and government organizations. She began her career in Silicon Valley, and has 17+ years of experience working in international business in the telecommunications, information, computing and technology (ICT) industry, primarily for British Telecom (BT), where she was Vice President, North America for the Global Network Solutions Group, leading business development, data security, and strategic business partnerships. Michelle formerly served as Vice President of Corporate Relations at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, DC, where she co-founded the Cyber Intelligence Initiative, as well as developed the Corporate Statecraft and Cyber Statecraft academic programs. Michelle is a member of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA) Cyber Intelligence Task Force.


Michelle holds a B.A. in Political Science from University of Kentucky, an M.A. in National Security Affairs and Statecraft from the Institute of World Politics, and studied International Relations at New College, Oxford University.


Michelle is a globally recognized Cyber Intelligence expert and is regularly invited to speak at conferences, forums, and summits around the world.

Previous Professional Speaking Engagements: 

  • The Institute of World Politics, A Graduate School of National Security & International Affairs, Virginia - "Launch of Cyber Intelligence Initiative"

  • Cyber Intelligence Symposium, Scotland - "Cyber Security, Cyber Intelligence and Geopolitical Risks" 

  • The European Freight and Logistics (F&L) Leaders’ Forum, Scotland - "Cyber Supply Chain Vulnerabilities and Adversaries"

  • End-to-End Supply Network Summit 2017, Florida - "Cybersecurity: How Secure is Your Supply Chain"

  • George Mason University, Virginia - Cyber Intelligence Workshop "Developing Cyber Solutions and Bridging the Gap"

  • Supply Chain & Logistics Summit & Expo, Amsterdam - "Cybersecurity: How Secure is your Supply Chain?"

  • George Mason University, Virginia - Analytical War Game-Cyber (AWG-C)

  • Cyber Intelligence Readiness Workshop, Virginia - "Training Today's Professionals to Solve Tomorrow's Cyber Challenges"

  • Cyber Awareness Executive Symposium 2018, Arizona - "Cyber Intelligence: Why it is Necessary for Businesses Today"

  • Economic Diplomacy Conference of the Brussels Diplomatic Academy, Brussels - "Safeguarding our Economic Security"

  • Konrad Adenauer Stiftung's 6th "Adenauer Conference", Berlin - "Security Policy Challenges in Cyber Space"

Charles Finfrock

Executive Vice President

Charles Finfrock brings 20 plus years experience in national security, intelligence, counterintelligence, law enforcement, security operations, anti-money laundering, and supply chain security to his current position as Senior Threat Investigator-Global Security for Tesla, Inc., and as the founding Executive-Vice President of Cyber Intelligent Partners (CIP) LLC, a Washington D.C. based consulting, training and education firm focusing on Cyber Risk Management, Geopolitical Risks Impacting Economic and National Security, Economic Warfare, and Inside Threat Program Analysis and Management.

He previously served 18 years at the Central Intelligence Agency as a Senior Operations Officer, gaining extensive experience working and living in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia while specializing in counterintelligence, supply chain security, identifying and countering threats, insider threats from U.S. adversaries, including China.  Leading large (100 plus officer) field and Washington DC based teams, he has maintained an extensive network of contacts in relevant national security organizations, in the U.S. and abroad. Holds a current Top Secret, SCI security clearance.

Charles began his career at the National Air Intelligence Center, Wright Patterson AFB, in Dayton Ohio, as an Intelligence Analyst focusing on the Chinese Air Force and Chinese strategic military and foreign policy issues.


Earning his B.A. from Wittenberg University, with a dual Major in Political Science and East Asian Studies with a focus on Chinese Foreign Policy, Military Studies and Chinese Language.

Charles served in the U.S. Navy as a Criminal Investigator with experience in traditional law enforcement investigations, force protection, physical security and anti-terrorism in Manama, Bahrain.

James Robb

Partner | The Robb Group, LLC 

Jim Robb is currently Managing Partner and Co-Founder of The Robb Group, LLC. The Robb Group are creators of Revenue Growth & Sales Optimization Programs for Economic Development for cities and companies. As Managing Partner of The ROBB Group, Mr. Robb is responsible for advisory board development and strategic relationships that supported the growth of the consulting firm.  He co-authored The ROBB Group’s library of revenue optimization, channel optimization and competitive displacement methods, practices, process and products such as the Corporate Revenue Audit, Global Sales Audit, Channel Analyzer and CEO Institute curriculum.

With over thirty years of comprehensive professional experience in all facets of corporate leadership, new business development, sales and marketing, venture capital acquisition, IPO’s and loss-to-profit turn around scenarios, Mr. Robb has earned a reputation as a passionate vision-oriented executive who operates with a high degree of intensity and integrity.


While in Seattle, Mr. Robb was the Director of North American Sales for Attachment, Inc. where he grew sales revenue from $8 million to over $85 million within 24 months. This success was duplicated at Wall Data, Inc. by growing sales revenue from $2 million to $150 million in four years accelerating the company into a successful IPO.

Mr. Robb participates on various boards advising on revenue generation strategies and value-differentiation growth methods and assists with securing new strategic alliances, and customer agreements.

Katherine Thomas

Director of Strategic Operations

Katherine joined Cyber Intelligent Partners (CIP) in January 2018 from Ankura, where as a Geopolitical Risk Senior Associate, she covered Europe and Russia, as well as geopolitical cyber risk. 


She is a member of the German Marshall Fund’s Young Transatlantic Network of Future Leaders and a contributing author to leading publication for political risk news and analysis, Global Risk Insights.


Katherine holds a B.A. in history from Williams College, a M.A. in Statecraft and National Security Affairs from the Institute of World Politics, and a M.Sc. in accounting and finance from the London School of Economics.

Kathryn Hayat

Director of Marketing

Founded her online marketing consulting business beginning of 2016. After working for large corporations, such as Disneyland in both Hong Kong and in Paris, as well as ThyssenKrupp AG in Germany, she decided to try her hand in the startup world. Kathryn did a deep dive into a high tech startup, called Ondigo, in Tel Aviv, wearing lots of hats and learning on the go. From there, she started honing her focus on online marketing. 


After working with them for several years, she moved over to an established medium-size company, developing financial software platforms, that had until then done all sales through word-of-mouth and cold calling. Kathryn was hired to set up their online marketing and social media strategy. In the process of developing their branding strategy, she realized that this was the niche market she had been looking for - smaller, independent or family-owned businesses who don’t have the time and/or resources to develop and implement their own marketing strategies and actions. 


Kathryn currently works with companies across a variety of industries, helping them with SEO and online marketing strategies, building/editing their websites, establishing branding guidelines, as well as managing email campaigns, social media campaigns, and corporate events.

Board of Advisors
Don DeBolt

Mandiant, FireEye

Don is a Senior Manager with the Education and Training Division at Mandiant, a FireEye company.  Don brings over 20 years of experience developing and managing cyber security operations across cyber intelligence, malware research, incident response, and vulnerability management disciplines. As a player-coach, Don has contributed technical solutions to improve the scalability and efficiency of business line operations in each leadership role.   Don has a deep understanding of cybersecurity operations and management, and today leverages that understanding to develop unique service offerings helping customers prepare for the emergent cyber threat.

Don DeBolt

Mandiant, FireEye

Don is a Senior Manager with the Education and Training Division at Mandiant, a FireEye company.  Don brings over 20 years of experience developing and managing cyber security operations across cyber intelligence, malware research, incident response, and vulnerability management disciplines. As a player-coach, Don has contributed technical solutions to improve the scalability and efficiency of business line operations in each leadership role.   Don has a deep understanding of cybersecurity operations and management, and today leverages that understanding to develop unique service offerings helping customers prepare for the emergent cyber threat.

Ben Fricke

Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Security Affairs

Mr. Fricke is currently Desk Officer for Security Affairs at the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) in Berlin, Germany. KAS is a German political party foundation associated with but independent of the centrist Christian Democratic Union (CDU), has over 100 offices worldwide and runs programs in over 100 countries. KAS is a partner of the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies, the official foundation and think tank of the European People's Party (EPP).


 Mr. Fricke also served the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung´s regional program South Caucasus as scientific associate from 2016-18.  He received his M.A. in Statecraft and International Affairs from The Institute of World Politics (IWP) in Washington D.C. in 2013 with integrated research studies at New College in Oxford, England. He was awarded his B.A. in Political Science from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio as a DAAD scholar with two years of prior studies at the University of Leipzig, Germany. He has also taught English at a Mapuche elementary school in Temuco, Chile and worked on several high-profile internships, such as at the U.S. Consulate General in Leipzig, Germany, the U.S. Senate, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in Washington, D.C., and the German diplomatic mission in New York. In 2014, Mr. Fricke was elected town council member of his hometown of Radis in Wittenberg County, Germany for two years.

Jeff Hoffmann

Booz Allen Hamilton

Jeff is a Senior Executive Management Consultant (Cyber) at Booz Allen Hamilton.  He has over twenty years of experience working across several security cooperation areas including projects, operations, and activities in the cyber domain. His work began as a Legislative Defense Director's aide in the U.S. Senate and was a participant of the National Defense Panel release of the, "1997 Transforming Defense:  National Security in the 21st Century Report," where the words cyberterrorism, cyber assault, and cyber weapons were addressed. He continued Congressional Affairs liaison for the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition & Technology, including work on the Strom Thurmond National Defense Authorization Act for 1999. 


Since the late '90's, Jeff has worked across various public and private sectors starting with the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Defense Exports and Cooperation, liaison in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, served as a civilian in the U.S. Air Force from 2008-2015 where he managed multiple missions across Europe and in the Pacific and the Middle East in support of DoD's Foreign Materiel Program, co-chaired effort to stand-up regional intelligence fusion centers, and was a Senior Research Associate for the Political Instability Task Force.  He was SAIC’s Technical Manger/Site Lead for the Counterintelligence Field Activity and International Operations Consultant for General Dynamics IT.  In 2017, Jeff was part of a team that was recognized with an Office of the Director of National Intelligence award for executing seven mission campaigns that impacted day-to-day operations of multi-agency multi-intelligence operations.  


Jeff received his masters of International Commerce and Policy from George Mason University where he also studied abroad in the People’s Republic of China, the Russian Federation, and the Republic of Turkey. He just recently completed the Cyber and Corporate Statecraft Certificate program at The Institute of World Politics, which included a Sabbatical with the University of Oxford Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre in 2016 with research contributions proposed for inclusion in the "Intentions and Cyberterrorism,” section for the Oxford Handbook of Cyber Security. 


Jeff remains active with several other organizations like the Atlantic Council, serves on the Foreign Area Officer Association Board of Governors, and past Board Member of the UN Association/National Capital Area/former co-Chair of their Peace & Security Committee. He retired as an Air War College graduate after first joining the military reserve forces in 1992. This military time included the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI), and active duty for the Aerospace Command and Control, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Center (AC2ISRC), the predecessor to the Air Force Global Cyberspace Integration Center.

Chistopher R. Lew Ph.D.

Water Dragons Consulting

Chris has over twenty years of experience as an intelligence, cyber, and East Asian specialist. He is currently the President and Founder of Water Dragons Consulting, a firm specializing in cybersecurity intelligence and policy, business intelligence, training, and analytical solutions. He also serves as Director of Research and Intelligence at Strontium Group, a venture capital advisory firm; Executive Director of International Programs at the University of Maryland University College; and Major in the U.S. Army Reserve.  As a military officer, Chris has participated in combat operations in Iraq, foreign military engagement in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and as a Defense Attaché in various embassies in the Asia-Pacific theater.  Previously Chris served as Senior China Policy Analyst for SAIC; Principal Cyber Threat Intelligence Analyst at Mandiant; Associate at Booz Allen Hamilton; and Senior Intelligence Analyst for the Department of Defense. 


Chris holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Pennsylvania and is certified in Supply Chain Management and Security+.

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