Expertise: Cybersecurity IT, Policy, and Program Development

  • Product, Cloud, and IoT Security Design & Operations
  • IT Vulnerability Identification & Incidence Response Framework
  • Regulatory Policy Compliance & Organizational Policy Development
  • Cybersecurity Training & Technical Program Development

Armed with over 20 years of cybersecurity experience across government and private sector, Mr. Gillen serves as Head of Technology Innovation for Cyber Nation Central. In this role, he helps shape the technology innovation roadmap for the ecosystem, informs Investment Committee decisions, and helps advise Cyber Nation Central’s Ventures and Clients.

Mr. Gillen also serves as Director of Product & Data Security for iRobot, a world-leading consumer robotics company, where he leads a team protecting millions of connected robots, the company’s mobile app, cloud infrastructure, web presence, customer support systems, and big data platform. His iRobot team supports the entire product lifecycle, building security into the initial product design, production, and follow-on security operations, including any necessary incident response.

Previously, Mr. Gillen spent 18 years as a civilian at the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), specifically at the National Security Agency (NSA). Mr. Gillen began his career with the NSA in 2000 as a computer programmer, working on various NSA Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) data collection systems.

In 2003, Mr. Gillen transitioned into network analysis and focused on improving intelligence access to various adversaries around the world, including counterterrorism targets and a range of countries. He specialized in using all-source data and analysis to drive SIGINT collection operations, particularly using computer network operations. In 2009, Mr. Gillen led a joint CIA-NSA effort to improve intelligence collection using human intelligence and signals intelligence, respectively. In 2012, he transitioned to become Chief of Operations for SIGINT operations against a particular geographic region, concurrently serving as Senior Subject Matter Expert in NSA/CSS’s (Central Security Service) Tailored Access Operations against that same region. This provided Mr. Gillen a unique opportunity to shape NSA’s collection operations and its resultant intelligence production to support U.S. policymakers, the intelligence community, foreign allies.

In 2016, Mr. Gillen became Deputy Chief of Operations for NSA’s Cybersecurity Operations Group. In this role, he led operations utilizing NSA’s foreign intelligence capabilities to detect and track cyber threats targeting U.S. & partner networks. The group also managed defensive sensor operations on DoD & partner networks, including development and deployment of classified and unclassified cyber signatures using a 24/7 Security Operations Center. Finally, the group led the deployment of red and blue teams to inspect DoD & partner networks and support incident response for penetration testing and signs of malicious cyber activity.

In 2017-18, Mr. Gillen volunteered with Harvard Belfer Center’s Defending Digital Democracy Project, focused on improving US election cybersecurity. Visiting 10 US state & local jurisdictions to investigate election systems, Mr. Gillen helped train 200+ state/local officials on vulnerabilities & incident response.


  • Harvard University: Research Fellowship (coursework at HBS, HLS, Harvard Kennedy School)
  • Georgetown University: M.A. in International Security Studies
  • Truman State University: B.S. in Computer Science