July 26, 2019

A group of 10 students and recent graduates recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with senior industry professionals and SIPA alumni working in the field of cybersecurity and threat intelligence.

Now in its second consecutive year, the initiative known as the Cyber Career Trip is the brainchild of Jason Healey, director of SIPA’s Initiative on the Future of Cyber Risk. He intends to make it an annual event.

Over the course of two days (July 16 and 17), participants interacted with officials from U.S. government agencies, private companies, and think tanks at eight locations, discussing contemporary policy issues and learning about career opportunities in the industry.

The group began with a visit to Verisign to learn about the domain name infrastructure that serves as the backbone of the Internet. At FireEye they discussed threats and actors operating across the Internet, from cyber criminals to espionage to information operations, and spoke with Benjamin Read IF ’14, MIA ’15, a senior manager there.

At Cyber Threat Alliance, students considered the importance of information sharing in combating attackers online. And senior personnel including Natasha Cohen MPA ’17 welcomed visitors to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), a unit of the Department of Homeland Security.

The first day ended with a networking social event that gathered students, alumni, industry professionals in cyber-related fields in the capital region, and very senior officials from the Department of Homeland Security and Treasury.

The following day participants visited Facebook, where they learned about the malicious actors faced by the platform and its users, and the Atlantic Council, where they discussed the Cyber Statecraft Initiative. They enjoyed lunch with a senior policy representative from the Department of Defense, engaging in a candid discussion about the department’s Cyber Strategy and persistent engagement. The trip concluded with a visit to the newly created Cyberspace Solarium Commission, where commission members talked about objectives that will shape future cyber policy in the United States.

“It was a great trip that provided an all-round view of cyberspace, from the fundamental architecture of the Internet to the intricate policy decisions that shape our online interactions,” said one participant, Divyam Nandrajog MIA ’19. “It was a good opportunity to see the practical application of skills that we learned at SIPA.”

New and returning students should watch for information about the 2020 Cyber Career Trip to Washington, D.C., early next summer.