Get to Know FBI Cyber: Tonya Ugoretz

Tonya Ugoretz is the assistant director of the FBI’s Directorate of Intelligence and the former deputy assistant director of the Cyber Division, where she oversaw national-level policy, intelligence analysis, and partner outreach.

What do you do during a typical day?

I usually start my day by listening to news radio or a cyber podcast so I can hear what others think about the latest news and incidents. Once I get to work, I read operational updates and the latest intelligence and analysis coming in from our team, others in the intelligence community, and from private industry. Then, I might represent our division at the FBI Director’s daily briefing or I might go right into meetings with my team to discuss cyber policy issues, private sector engagement, emerging intelligence, or our work with federal partners. Many days I’m on the phone with one of those partners to discuss an incident we’re both responding to or joint initiatives. Those partnerships are especially important in cyber, since no single agency, government, or company can address cyber threats alone.

In the evening, our division’s leaders hold a closeout to sync on the developments of the day. Then, I’ll spend another few hours responding to email and reviewing new analytic products that will inform our policymakers over the coming days and weeks.

Tonya Ugoretz

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What do you see the FBI cyber engagement program looking like in five years?

We’re taking steps to modernize and prioritize cyber engagement with the private sector. The nature of the cyber threat means we have to move past the old model of transactional information sharing, where it can take days or weeks to share a piece of information. We’ve had success bringing industry into a shared space with us at our National Defense Cyber Alliance in Huntsville, Alabama, and engaging in other public-private consortia led by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and National Security Agency. We’re also integrating private-sector engagement into our intelligence cycle, meaning the FBI provides industry with information, and in turn, companies share what they are seeing to give everyone a fuller picture of the threat.

What do you love about the FBI?

The FBI’s dual role as a member of the intelligence community and the lead domestic law enforcement agency means we can take direct action to disrupt national security threats within the United States, whether they come from overseas or here at home. As an intelligence analyst, that means the work I do every day can lead to tangible outcomes that make Americans safer. That knowledge is what has kept me excited about coming to work every day for the past 20 years.