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Eric O’Neill

Executive Advisor, IWP Cyber Intelligence Initiative

Eric O’Neill, former FBI counterterrorism and counterintelligence operative, is an Executive Advisor for the Cyber Intelligence Initiative.

During his tenure at the FBI, Mr. O’Neill played an integral role in capturing one of the most notorious spies in American history, Robert Hanssen, who had been feeding secrets to the Soviet Union and Russia for over two decades. Mr. O’Neill had been selected to report to Hanssen in the newly created Information Assurance Section. He was charged with gaining Hanssen’s trust so that he could help investigate the spy and bring him out of deep cover. Mr. O’Neill was able to retrieve the so-called “smoking gun” – Hanssen’s Palm Pilot – that contained all of the evidence needed to arrest and later convict the spy in 2001. This has been called the biggest internal case in the history of the FBI.

Following this case, Mr. O’Neill retired from the FBI. He has since been Senior Associate in the Government Contracts Group at DLA Piper U.S. LLC, as well as General Counsel of Global Communities, which is a global humanitarian relief non-profit.

In 2009, Mr. O’Neill co-founded the Georgetown Group, which is an investigative and security services firm. Then in 2013, he co-founded the Schiltron Group, a supply chain assurance, and critical infrastructure protection company.

Mr. O’Neill was named National Security Strategist for Carbon Black, a leader in next-generation endpoint security, in 2016.

Mr. O’Neill is also an accomplished public speaker who currently lectures internationally on espionage and national security, cybersecurity, fraud, corporate diligence and defense, hacking, pursuing one’s dreams, and surviving Hollywood. He has made numerous keynote addresses and appearances for a number of venues, including educational institutions, consortiums of auditors, chief executive officers, corporate security officers and other executives, non-profit institutions, government agencies, foreign industry, law firms, and consultancy groups.

In 2007, the movie Breach was released, depicting Mr. O’Neill’s role in the investigation and capture of Robert Hanssen.

Penguin Random House published Mr. O’Neill’s memoir about the Hanssen case, entitled Gray Day: My Undercover Mission to Expose America’s First Cyber Spy, in 2019.

Mr. O’Neill is an honors graduate from Auburn University, where he received a B.A. in Political Science and Psychology. In 2003, he earned a J.D. with honors from George Washington University Law School. He has been admitted to the bar in both Maryland and the District of Columbia.