Nexight Group is happy to welcome Laurie Goodell to the team as our new Communications and Research Associate and Editor. Laurie is a graduate of Duke University, where she obtained a B.A. in Political Science as well as Comparative Area Studies in Russia and Eastern Europe, and she completed her master’s degree in National Security and Intelligence Studies from Notre Dame College outside Cleveland, Ohio. We sat down with Laurie to ask her a few questions about herself, her views, and her new role at Nexight.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself.
A: I’m a news junkie with a background in counterterrorism and organizational continuity of operations. Prior to Nexight, I sat in the heart of a Global Intelligence Division’s operations center, where I had final responsibility for the clarity of all tactical communications regarding ensuing incidents and updates to enrolled clients worldwide.
I have a particular interest in Russia and the former Soviet countries, so I also served as a Russian source reader with the analytical team for that region. On several occasions, I had the privilege to write an article for the corporation’s strategic intelligence platform; for example, in 2015, I summarized and analyzed Moscow’s newly proffered naval doctrine.
Prior to that, I was a middle school English and Social Studies teacher for 15 years. I think seventh graders are the true prophets of our time – they are completely transparent about everything they observe, for better or for worse.
When I’m not working, my husband and I parent our befuddled yellow lab named “Tatl” (from the Legend of Zelda) now that our two sons are out of the house. I’m a musician who is most happily found playing guitars or keys, singing along at a local concert, or occasionally crewing concerts through a volunteer network. I’m also active with the Anne Arundel-Annapolis Community Emergency Response team (AAACERT), through which I’ve obtained certification in Intermediate Incident Command for Expanding Incidents, as well as Campus Emergencies Planning, Prevention, Response, and Recovery-Management and Planning Level.
Q: Why did you decide to join Nexight Group?
A: Nexight’s mission to assist clients in closing the gaps in soft-target vulnerability, as well as the company’s involvement in critical infrastructure security and resilience, fits hand-in-glove with my graduate training and experience in risk and emergency management; I have a sincere desire to help people in crisis.
Q: Why did you decide to study Political Science and Comparative Area Studies in Russia/Eastern Europe? Why the eventual switch to Security Studies?
A: I’m dating myself here, but when I went to Duke, the Cold War was in full furor, and I found it all fascinating. I focused on international relations within my PoliSci curriculum, and on Soviet government and politics on the Comparative Area side. Together, researching these intermingled dynamics helped me gain a better perspective on where the world was, and where it might be going. I spent my junior year of college traveling throughout the U.S.S.R. on a tourist visa with four other students on a sort of independent fact-finding mission.
When I left teaching, I was fortunate to find a company where I could focus my continuing curation of English on addressing the many events of the day that threaten the well-being of individuals at home and abroad. Through exposure to this work, I decided to pursue a master’s degree so that I would have a firm handle on not only counterterror and strategic forecasting, but also all-hazards emergency management.
Q: What are you most looking forward to about your new role at Nexight?
A: Nexight is my first job working directly in the federal sector, so I have much to learn about government contracting. I also love collaborating with others toward a strong goal, and I can already see that Nexight Group fosters just that sort of vibe. Finally, I continue to be that same news junkie I always was, so I’m excited about working on the leading edge of threat mitigation.