Born to hard-working parents, Dr. Michael Owens grew up in the rural south and has never been afraid to take on a tough challenge. During the first Gulf War, while still in high school, Michael picked up the phone and called the United States Marine Corps recruiting office, to begin his career in national security, public service, and his journey to becoming a third-generation, wartime veteran.
Michael served eight years in the Marine Corps on active and reserve duty with training in communications, engineering, and counter-terrorism after attending recruit training at Parris Island and Officers Candidate School in Quantico, Va. After completing his tour of duty and an undergraduate degree in technology, Michael launched his cybersecurity career. He led technology and data protection projects in over 100 countries and industries including finance, healthcare, government, and for the airlines, before launching his own business.
As an internationally renowned expert in cybersecurity, Michael has held leadership roles at some of the largest companies in the world responsible for tackling critical cybersecurity, data privacy, and technology issues. In 2017, after two Russian cybersecurity attacks left more than 225,000 Ukrainians without power, Michael was selected as one of the top 16 cybersecurity experts and policymakers from around the world to be featured speakers and advisors at the inaugural Global Cybersecurity Summit in Kyiv, Ukraine. In 2018, after the largest Cybersecurity breach in history, Equifax recruited Michael to help transform the Global Security team as their U.S. Information Security Officer. In 2021, Michael was named one of the Global Top 100 Leaders in Information Security.
Throughout his career, Michael has been driven by public service and been a leader in his community. In 2013, Michael launched the South Cobb Voter Empowerment Project to inform and empower people in local communities by connecting them to the issues that affect residents the most. From 2016–2019, Michael served as the innovative, ground-breaking Chairman of the Democratic Party of Cobb County—a historically red county in metro Atlanta and the state’s third-largest county. During his tenure, the group grew to become the largest organization of its kind in Georgia. His fight to add more polling locations and early voting hours expanded voting access for over 480,000 people, leading to a string of historic red-to-blue victories, including the 2018 win by Congresswoman Lucy McBath.
Michael has a D.B.A in Business Administration from CalUniversity, a Masters’ degree from the Business School at Georgia Institute of Technology, a Bachelor of Science in Computer & Electronic Technology from NC A&T State University, and was selected to attend the first-ever Emerging Leaders Program class at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He has also been a scholar at the Brookings Institute and the United States Army War College.
Michael is currently raising two children in Mableton, Georgia. When not dancing to Latin music with his kids around the house or chasing hackers through cyberspace, Michael enjoys visiting pre-Columbian ruins, playing tennis or basketball, and watching Jeopardy.