Corporate Leadership

Mischel Kwon – Founder and CEO

Mischel Kwon is an IT executive with more than 30 years of experience ranging from application design and development, network architecture and deployment, Information Assurance policy, audit and management, technical defensive security, large wireless system security, to building organizational and national level Computer Emergency/Incident Response/Readiness Teams. Ms. Kwon currently serves as the CEO of MKACyber.

Prior to starting MKACyber, Ms. Kwon served as Vice President of Public Sector Security for RSA Security, where she was responsible for leading RSA in assisting the public sector security solutions, strategies, technologies and policy. Before RSA Security, Ms. Kwon was named the Director for the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) in June 2008 where she spearheaded the organization responsible for analyzing and reducing cyber threats and vulnerabilities in federal networks, disseminating cyber threat warning information and coordinating national incident response activities.

Ms. Kwon brings a unique blend of hands on experience, academic research and training, and a seasoned understanding of how to build operational organizations from inception. Among her successes include her work at the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), where she was Deputy Director for IT Security Staff. While at the DOJ she built and deployed the Justice Security Operations Center (JSOC) to monitor and defend the DOJ network against cyber threats.

Ms. Kwon holds a Master of Science, Computer Science and a graduate certificate in Computer Security and Information Assurance. In addition, she serves as an adjunct professor at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where she also runs the GW Cyber Defense Lab.

Katherine Baylor – Director of Finance

Katherine Baylor has nearly a decade of experience in accounting, finance and tax functions. Ms. Baylor currently serves as the Director of Finance at MKA Cyber, where she is responsible for overseeing all functions relating to accounting, finance and tax.

Prior to joining MKA Cyber, Ms. Baylor held a variety of positions at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, most recently serving as a Tax Manager in its asset management practice, focusing primarily on venture capital clients.

Ms. Baylor holds both a Master in Accounting and Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting. She is also a licensed Certified Public Accountant in Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Julia Ellefson – VP of Development

Julia Ellefson has over 17 years of software development experience in variety of industries, with nearly a decade of experience in development for the cybersecurity industry. Ms. Ellefson currently serves as Vice President of Development at MKACyber where she is responsible for leading the development of MKACyber technologies.

Previously Ms. Ellefson worked at Concept Solutions leading the development of an enterprise level cyber-focused Incident Management system for a Federal client. Her work ranged from designing, coding, testing, and implementing several Web 2.0 Oracle applications.

Preceeding her work at Concept Solutions, Ms. Ellefson held software engineering roles at both Citizant and Verizon.

Ms. Ellefson holds Bachelor of Science, Mathematics.

Cindy Gagliano – President

Cindy Gagliano has 20 years of experience in cybersecurity, focused in maturing enterprise-wide risk management and incident management programs to strengthen an organization’s protection and response capabilities to threats. Ms. Gagliano serves as President of MKACyber where she is responsible for overseeing customer engagements and the teams responsible for delivering technical defensive security, security operations and information assurance services.

Prior to joining MKACyber, Ms. Gagliano served as the Director for Strategy and Risk Management at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) where she led a team executing CFPB’s risk management, authorization, and assessment processes and worked with stakeholders from across the Bureau to integrate risk-based security into on-premises and cloud-based CFPB systems.

Preceding CFPB, Ms. Gagliano served as the Director of Enterprise Security Services at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) where she led HHS’s planning for Sector-level coordination and response to cyber threats and incidents. While also at HHS, she led the Cyber Security Operations Team that coordinated enterprise-wide cyber threat detection and response and the  HHS Information System Security Line of Business team in delivering security authorization, assessment, and information system security officer services.

Prior to HHS, Ms. Gagliano consulted for Federal and commercial clients in enterprise-wide risk management and cybersecurity operations, to include Department of Homeland Security (DHS) United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT). She led consulting teams in organizations such as MKACyber, Blue Glacier Management Group, and Booz Allen Hamilton.

Ms. Gagliano holds a Master of Science, Information and Telecommunication Systems for Business and a Bachelor of Arts, International Studies. She also holds numerous certifications including, the Healthcare Information Security and Privacy Professional (HCISPP) and Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP) with the Information Systems Security Management Professional (ISSMP) concentration. She is also a Project Management Professional (PMP).

Christen Gentile – Chief Marketing Officer

Christen Gentile has over a decade of experience in marketing and corporate communications. Ms. Gentile currently serves as the Chief Marketing Officer at MKACyber, where she is responsible for the strategic direction and execution of all marketing and communication efforts.

Ms. Gentile has proven experience in building cross-functional teams with a track record of achieving results in digital marketing, demand generation and corporate communications. Prior to MKA Cyber, she served as the Senior Director of Marketing at Globalscape, Inc., where she was responsible for corporate marketing, including demand generation, digital marketing and marketing communications.

Preceding Globalscape, Ms. Gentile led the North American Corporate Communications team at Kaspersky Lab, where she was responsible for public relations, internal communications, content and social media, as well as the day-to-day management of a team dedicated to corporate communications, executive visibility, social media, internal communications, product communications and threat research communications for the North American market.

Prior to Kaspersky Lab, Ms. Gentile worked at multiple public relations firms and served as a government contractor to the U.S. Department of Defense.

Ms. Gentile holds a Bachelor of Arts, Communication.

Mark G. Hall – Director, Operational Risk and Compliance

Mark Hall has over 30 years of experience in cybersecurity, and was a key U.S. Department of Defence (DOD) and federal leader in cybersecurity architecture, policy development, compliance and enforcement, threat awareness, cyber training, information-sharing frameworks, and international partnerships. Mr. Hall serves MKACyber as the Director, Operational Risk and Compliance. In this role, he assists customers in aligning their cyber defenses against identified threats and risks to their business operations and high value data and systems, ensuring compliance with legal, regulatory, and operational policies, using MKACyber’s proven methodology and solutions.

Prior to joining MKACyber he worked as an independent consultant and senior partner with the Cyber Security Consulting Group. He also served as Vice President, Cyber Security Engineering at Decisive Analytics Corporation.

Preceding his move to the private sector, Mr. Hall spent nearly 25 years in the Intelligence Community and later the Department of Defense (Office of the Secretary of Defense) as it transitioned from Communication Security to Information Security to Cyber Security and was a key Department of Defense (DOD) and federal leader in cybersecurity architecture, policy development, compliance and enforcement, threat awareness, cyber training, information-sharing frameworks and international partnerships.

Most notably, Mr. Hall was the former Director Cyber, Information Assurance (IA) Policy and Strategy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, U.S. Department of Defense. In this capacity, he was responsible for ensuring a secure DOD network architecture was designed and maintained through a variety of IA initiatives and programs supported by appropriate enterprise security policies. He supported technology developments and security implementations that increasingly used automated tools to ensure enforcement and compliance with policy and security protocols. Mr. Hall ensured DOD policy and solutions related to cyber security and IA were developed and coordinated across the Department to meet the ever evolving cyber threats. Additional responsibilities included ensuring the Department addressed new cyber threats through rapid deployment of host and network based security capabilities and appropriate IA policies.

Mr. Hall was also a foundational leader for U.S. government inter-departmental cybersecurity collaboration and coordination, where he was a principal contributor to the development of the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI) which established federal cyber objectives. He was a former co-chair of the National Cyber Response Coordination Group, an interagency group responsible for organizing the national response to significant cyber incidents and threats especially those targeted at the federal government and national critical infrastructures. In these positions, Mr. Hall has worked closely with national leaders in cyber security strategies, gap analysis, threat awareness, incident response, and public-private collaboration.

Mr. Hall also served as the Director of the International Information Assurance Program (IIAP) for DOD where he worked to develop cybersecurity relationships with over 40 countries worldwide. He was a key stakeholder in the development of NATO’s 24×7 cyber defense operations center and worked extensively with many NATO nations to build national cyber operational capabilities.

During his tenure with the DOD, Mr. Hall also funded several national and international training initiatives including; the development of the System Administrator Simulation Trainer (SAST) tool which provides real world cyber incident response training, and he envisioned and founded the International Cyber Defense Workshop which brought over 30 countries together into a virtual joint training and exercise environment.

Mr. Hall holds a Graduate Certificate in Telecommunications and Information Systems, as well as a Bachelor of Arts, International Relations.

Justin Monti – Chief Technology Officer

Justin Monti has nearly 20 years of IT and Information Security experience in the private and public sector, applying this experience to bring a pragmatic balance to security that is focused on a holistic approach to risk management. Mr. Monti currently serves as Chief Technology Officer of MKACyber where he is oversees technical security services delivery including security architecture, managed security services and security program consulting. Mr. Monti brings an executive-level eye to complex technical security challenges and leads MKACyber clients in applying technology to the successful execution of holistic security programs that are focused on protecting the organization’s mission.

Prior to MKACyber, Mr. Monti was a co-founder of NetWitness Corporation, serving the organization in a variety of capacities, as it grew from a small startup all the way through to acquisition by RSA Security in 2011. While at NetWitness he supported key commercial and Government customers focusing on deployment design, implementation and operations to enhance situational awareness of security threats on the network.

Preceding NetWitness, Mr. Monti supported enterprise financial management systems in the Government space as a system architect/engineer and information system security officer (ISSO).

Mr. Monti holds a Bachelor of Arts, Computer Science and Business Economics.

Technical Services Team

Ron Fleming – Director, Security Operations & Services

Ron Fleming has over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology and Cybersecurity fields, rooted in IT design and implementation, network engineering, architecting and deployment, as well as building organizational security operations and global cyber information sharing and collaboration capabilities. Mr. Fleming serves as the Director of Security Operations and Services at MKACyber, where he is charged with delivering a state-of-the-art managed security operations solution to the private and public sectors.

Prior to MKACyber, Mr. Fleming held dual senior management positions with General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT) in Security Operations and Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISAC). During his tenure with GDIT, he was instituted the company’s first internal SOC specializing in highly-defined use-case development, incident response, and threat hunting and developed the ISAC to serve as the central threat intelligence collaborative service for all 13 of General Dynamics geographically dispersed, business units to combat all forms of cyber threats and attacks.

Mr. Fleming holds a Master of Science, in Management of Secure Information Systems, as well as a Bachelor of Science, in Computer Information Systems.

Heather Foley, Chief Security Officer

Heather Foley has over 15 years of experience in the information assurance field, with extensive experience in Risk Management Framework (RMF) implementation as a cornerstone of a holistic security program. She has broad experience in RMF, from organization-level policy to operational practices and technical implementations. Ms. Foley currently serves as Chief Security Officer at MKACyber, as well as MKACyber’s Facility Security Officer and Insider Threat Program Senior Official.

Prior to her current role, Ms. Foley supported a number of clients, both federal agencies and commercial, in information assurance, security program assessments and security program development at Mischel Kwon & Associates, LLC. In her roles she has been actively focused on the development and maturation of insider threat prevention and detection programmatics, integrating her years of information assurance and RMF experience.

Ms. Foley holds a Master of Science, Management of Information Systems/Information System Development and a Bachelor of Arts, International Relations. She is also a Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP).

Jamie Gausemel – Director, Security Operations

Jamie Gausemel has 15 years of of experience in IT security and specifically security operations, in both the public and private sectors. Mr. Gausemel serves as a Director of Security Operations and SME resource at MKACyber where he is responsible for SOC floor operations, as well as leading SOC assessment activities for MKACyber clients.

Prior to MKACyber, Mr. Gausemel provided detection and response capabilities in managed security service provider operations centers as well as security operations centers for large enterprise and government entities.

In his various roles across government and private security operations, Mr. Gausemel has managed several SOC teams and has also led incident investigations involving APT actors breaching cleared defense contractors, and government agencies.

He began his IT career in the Air Force where he spent six years as an enlisted member gaining experience in IT operations and information security practices.

Nazia Khan – Director of Assessments

Nazia Khan has over a decade of experience in IT security, assessments and accreditation, and advising on security programs.  Ms. Khan currently serves as the Director of Assessments at MKACyber, where she is responsible for the delivery of consulting services for assessing and improving customer cybersecurity operations programs.

Prior to MKA Cyber, she served as the Security Assessment Manager at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), where she was responsible for leading the team that conducted independent verification and validation assessments on systems, networks and data. She developed, implemented and matured the test and assessment methodology, and advised senior leadership and organizations on security risks and solutions.

Preceding HHS, Ms. Khan worked as a contractor with experience as a program manager, team lead, security analyst and security engineer. She reviewed and advised on security policy and procedures, authored and developed various technical security documents, conducted technical testing and vulnerability assessments, ensured compliance with regulations, policies and procedures and provided recommendations on mitigation strategies.

Ms. Khan also served as an IT Auditor at the Department of Homeland Security where she was responsible for planning and conducting the technical aspects of audits. She performed risk assessments and developed and executed on audit test scope and methodology. She contributed to multiple Inspector General reports that were published to Congress.

Ms. Khan holds a Bachelor of Science, Computer Science with a specialization in Information Assurance. She holds technical certifications including, Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) and Certified Web Application Penetration Tester (CWAPT). Ms. Khan is also a National Science Foundation Scholarship for Service Recipient and a Cybercorps Alumni.

David Scanlan – Senior Vice President of Operations and Product Development

David Scanlan has more than 20 years of experience managing personnel, projects, and technologies. Mr. Scanlan currently serves as the Senior Vice President of Operations and Product Development at MKACyber where he focuses on security operations consulting, product development, project management, MSSP consulting, business development, marketing, and company recruiting.

Prior to MKACyber, Mr. Scanlan oversaw the delivery of software and technology products at FireEye, Inc. (iSIGHT Intelligence). He owned the development of the corporate product roadmap and the project execution of external-facing and internal-facing intelligence automation systems. While at FireEye Mr. Scanlan was also responsible for developing the governance process which managed the Software Development Lifecycle and Process Improvement Lifecycle.

Preceding FireEye, Mr. Scanlan worked for Convergys Corporation and other consulting firms managing project and account management teams that delivered dozens of software development and hardware implementation projects in the private and public sector.

Mr. Scanlan holds a Bachelor of Science, Environmental Science. He also holds his Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.

Board of Directors

Mischel Kwon – Chairman

Mischel Kwon is an IT executive with more than 32 years of experience ranging from application design and development, network architecture and deployment, Information Assurance policy, audit and management, technical defensive security, large wireless system security, to building organizational and national level Computer Emergency/Incident Response/Readiness Teams. Ms. Kwon currently serves as the President and CEO of Mischel Kwon Associates, a security consulting firm specializing in Technical Defensive Security, Security Operations and Information Assurance.

Formerly Vice President of Public Sector Security for RSA Security, Ms. Kwon was responsible for leading RSA in assisting the public sector security solutions, strategies, technologies and policy. Ms. Kwon was named the Director for the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) in June 2008 where she spearheaded the organization responsible for analyzing and reducing cyber threats and vulnerabilities in federal networks, disseminating cyber threat warning information and coordinating national incident response activities.

Ms. Kwon brings a unique blend of hands on experience, academic research and training, and a seasoned understanding of how to build operational organizations from inception. Among her successes at the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), where she was Deputy Director for IT Security Staff; she built and deployed the Justice Security Operations Center (JSOC) to monitor and defend the DOJ network against cyber threats.

Ms. Kwon holds a Master of Science in Computer Science and a graduate certificate in Computer Security and Information Assurance. In addition, she serves as an adjunct professor at George Washington University in Washington, DC, where Ms. Kwon also runs the GW Cyber Defense Lab.

Debbie Lee James – Director

Deborah Lee James is former Secretary of the Air Force, Washington, D.C. She is the 23rd Secretary of the Air Force and is responsible for the affairs of the Department of the Air Force, including the organizing, training, equipping and providing for the welfare of its nearly 660,000 active-duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian Airmen and their families. She also oversees the Air Force’s annual budget of more than $139 billion.

Ms. James has 30 years of senior homeland and national security experience in the federal government and the private sector. Prior to her current position, Ms. James served as President of Science Applications International Corporation’s Technical and Engineering Sector, where she was responsible for 8,700 employees and more than $2 billion in revenue.

For nearly a decade, Ms. James held a variety of positions with SAIC to include Senior Vice President and Director of Homeland Security. From 2000 to 2001, she was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Business Executives for National Security, and from 1998 to 2000 she was Vice President of International Operations and Marketing at United Technologies.

During the Clinton Administration, from 1993 to 1998, Ms. James served in the Pentagon as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs. In that position, she was the Secretary of Defense’s senior advisor on all matters pertaining to the 1.8 million National Guard and Reserve personnel worldwide. In addition to working extensively with Congress, state governors, the business community, military associations, and international officials on National Guard and Reserve component issues, she oversaw a $10 billion budget and supervised a 100-plus-person staff. Prior to her Senate confirmation in 1993, she served as an assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs.

From 1983 to 1993, she worked as a professional staff member on the House Armed Services Committee, where she served as a senior advisor to the Military Personnel and Compensation Subcommittee, the NATO Burden Sharing Panel, and the Chairman’s Member Services team.

Ms. James earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in comparative area studies from Duke University and a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs.

Tiffany Jones – Director

Tiffany Jones is the VP of Global Strategic Partnerships and Alliance Operations at FireEye.  In this role she is responsible for leading FireEye’s Global Strategic Partnerships teams, outbound OEM partnerships and the Alliance operations function for the company.

She joined the FireEye team through the acquisition of iSIGHT Partners where she was the SVP of Client Solutions & Chief Revenue Officer for iSIGHT.  As CRO, Ms. Jones led the development of business strategy, field execution and all revenue generating functions.  She was responsible for managing the sales, marketing, product management, alliances, channel, delivery teams, and all customer and partner revenue contributions.

Prior to iSIGHT Partners, Ms. Jones spent over a decade at Symantec in senior roles.  Ms. Jones also had a distinguished career in the government as Deputy Chief of Staff at the White House Office of Cyber Security and Critical Infrastructure Protection under the leadership of Richard Clarke.   In additional to her Deputy Chief of Staff duties, Jones contributed to the development of the President’s National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace.

Ms. Jones graduated from the Coast Guard Academy and received her commission as a Coast Guard Officer.  Operational duties included Deck Watch Officer, Assistant Operations Officer and Law Enforcement Officer aboard the cutter JUNIPER in Newport, RI, Executive Officer and lead Law Enforcement Officer aboard the cutter GRAND ISLE in Gloucester, MA, and Coast Guard Congressional Affairs Liaison for the Coast Guard and Department of Transportation.

Ms. Jones currently sits on the United States Coast Guard Academy Alumni Association Board of Directors and teaches cyber safety to children in K-12 as a volunteer through the National Cyber Security Alliance. She is also a member of the CSIS Cyber Security Commission and is asked to speak as a cyber security expert for many organizations and governments around the globe.

Ms. Jones’ military awards include Coast Guard Officer of the Year Award, a Coast Guard Commendation Medal, two Coast Guard Achievement Medals, numerous Commandant’s Letter of Commendation Ribbons, the Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation award, Coast Guard Meritorious Team Commendation award, six Special Operations Ribbons, the Sea Service Ribbon and other unit citations.

Ms. Jones has two children, enjoys cooking, singing in her band and spending time with family and friends.  She is also co-founder and investor of Fair Winds Brewing Company, a new microbrewery in the Northern Virginia area.

Tom Ridge – Director

Tom Ridge is Chairman of Ridge Global. He provides clients with solutions to cyber security, international security and risk management issues.

Following the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, Tom Ridge became the first Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and, on January 24, 2003, became the first Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The creation of the country’s 15th Cabinet Department marked the largest reorganization of government since the Truman administration and another call to service for the former soldier, congressman and governor of Pennsylvania.

During his DHS tenure, Secretary Ridge worked with more than 180,000 employees from a combined 22 agencies to create an agency that facilitated the flow of people and goods, instituted layered security at air, land and seaports, developed a unified national response and recovery plan, protected critical infrastructure, integrated new technology and improved information sharing worldwide. Tom Ridge served as Secretary of this historic and critical endeavor until February 1, 2005.

Before the events of September 11th, Tom Ridge was twice elected Governor of Pennsylvania. He served as the state’s 43rd governor from 1995 to 2001. Governor Ridge’s aggressive technology strategy helped fuel the state’s advances in economic development, education, health care and the environment.

He serves on the boards of the Institute for Defense Analyses, the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress and other private and public entities. He is currently chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s National Security Task Force.

He graduated from Harvard with honors. After his first year at Penn State University’s Dickinson School of Law, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served as an infantry staff sergeant in Vietnam, earning the Bronze Star for Valor, the Combat Infantry Badge and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.

After returning to Pennsylvania and to Dickinson, he earned his law degree and, later, became one of the first Vietnam combat veterans elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served six terms.