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Michael Mylrea

Sep 05, 2011

Manager, Consultant
Deloitte Services LP

Describe the impact on foreign policy you have made in your current/past jobs.
My experience working on foreign policy issues has focused on development, energy, and cyber security in Latin America, North Africa, Middle East, and the U.S. I helped make an impact on foreign policy by developing innovative solutions to complex challenges, ranging from technology to empower pro-democratic activists in closed countries to policies to secure critical energy infrastructure from physical and cyber attacks.

My experience includes various independent consulting positions with the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit, Good Harbor Consulting, MIT Lincoln Lab, Lakeside Oil, Harvard Berkman Center, The Democracy Council and various government agencies. I am currently a management consultant at Deloitte, working on various energy initiatives.

What personal contribution to foreign policy are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my contribution to promote freedom and democracy through the deployment of innovative internet based solutions to support civil society development, give voice to the voiceless and foster good governance in a number of closed countries.

What is your vision of foreign policy in the 21st Century?
The 21st Century will be an era of borderless engagement spurred by an integrated global economy. An effective foreign policy should leverage new technology and innovation that transcends the digital frontiers of cyberspace to promote peace on the ground. As globalization continues to merge nations into one interconnected free market, we all become neighbors. We must continue to stand united against tyranny or divided we will fall.

What is the greatest foreign policy issue facing our generation?
Two issues come to mind. Energy security: the challenge of securing a reliable and affordable supply of natural resources in an environment of increasing demand, dwindling supply and global warming. Cyber security: America is fighting a war in cyberspace. Our critical infrastructure and the economy it supports rely on networked computers that are being probed and attacked everyday by cyber spies, hackers, criminal networks, terror groups, and nation states. As attacks become more sophisticated the possibility of a crippling attack on our nation’s critical infrastructure is becoming a reality.

What challenges need to be overcome to create better foreign policy?
Foreign policy leaders need to look beyond partisan politics and four-year election terms to long-term sustainable solutions.

What personal, managerial, and leadership skills and traits must the next generation of foreign policy leaders possess?
Future foreign policy leaders must posses a deep understanding of how to develop and implement pragmatic and sustainable foreign policies. This requires gaining leadership experience, knowledge of foreign cultures, languages, and how to get things done in Washington.

How can foreign affairs be made more accessible to Americans, particularly younger generations?
Americans can make a difference as cultural ambassadors by volunteering and working at home and abroad.

Which living or dead foreign policy practitioner do you look up to the most?
I have had the opportunity to work with a number of great leaders that are making significant contributions to foreign policy. Dr. Branko Terzic, continues to be a thought leader in international energy policy, working with the United Nations and as a Regulatory Policy Leader at Deloitte. Two other important mentors, John Bumgarner, Chief Technology Officer at the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit, and Richard Clarke, Partner at Good Harbor Consulting, have been important trailblazers in creating international awareness on the most important cyber security issues. These leaders contributions also deserve recognition for inspiring the next generation of foreign policy leaders through a deep dedication to public service and teaching. In addition, American men and women in uniform and veterans for making the ultimate sacrifice to realize our foreign policy goals.

Which living or dead foreign policy practitioner do you think has missed the mark and why?
Yasser Arafat followed a path of corruption and violence that led the Palestinian people astray.

If you could change a critical decision in history to affect foreign policy, what would it be?
The United States policy of disengagement and refusal to join the League of Nations was a critical foreign policy blunder; more active engagement could have potentially served as an effective deterrent to Nazi Germany and WWII.


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