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OODAcast: Bob Gourley on Operational Intelligence for Strategic Decision-making

In this OODAcast, OODA Network Expert Jen Hoar interviews noted cybersecurity and intelligence professional Bob Gourley, CTO of OODA LLC, diving deep into what makes him tick.

Jen asks Bob about his career, including the constants and dynamics in his professional life, starting with a deep background in operational intelligence as a naval intelligence officer. She explores his strengths and weaknesses and how he makes decisions in domains of overwhelming information. Jen asks Bob for advice for others on ways to keep learning.

A key point underscored by Bob was how organizations need to find balance between the use of technology for collection and analysis and humans for collection and analysis when it comes to understanding complex situations. Lessons on writing and how it can help a career are also examined.

Jen pulls stories from Bob he has never publicly revealed, including insights into how operational intelligence drove decisions in many joint and naval operations, and how those related to the business world today.

Bob’s anecdotes make it clear, “Great leaders thrive on intelligence and they take action on it.”

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Jennifer Hoar

Jennifer Hoar

Jennifer Hoar is a Los Angeles-based investigator and researcher for private sector clients with commercial, political, legal and security challenges requiring complex fact-finding and analysis. A former journalist, she specializes in domestic and international human intelligence-collection and investigative research, analysis and writing. Her firm, Sinclair Insight LLC, is retained by investigative, legal and investment research firms and their clients for due diligence, asset searches, corporate and competitive intelligence-collection on individuals and institutions, and adverse party research to support forthcoming and/or ongoing litigation and arbitration. A fluent Spanish speaker with a graduate degree in international relations, Jennifer has developed an expertise in commercial investigations and risk analysis for U.S. clients’ overseas investments, acquisitions, transactions and operations in a variety of geographies.

Jennifer began a career in reporting in the Washington bureau of ABC News, where she contributed to the network’s coverage of the 2003 launch of the U.S. military campaign in Iraq. Throughout the 2004 presidential election cycle, she was a writer for National Journal’s The Hotline and served as Associate Editor of the publication’s daily morning news digest. She concurrently served as an investigative researcher for ABC News Correspondent Martha Raddatz on her book, The Long Road Home, which focused on the deployment of a unit of the 1st Cavalry division during and after an April 2004 battle against the Mahdi Army, which foretold the Shiite insurgency. During her subsequent tenure at CBS News, Jennifer reported on and published original features on national and international political issues and figures for the network’s website, including Katie Couric’s CBS Evening News blog.

In 2008, Ms. Hoar was awarded and completed an International Development Journalism Fellowship with the Development Executive Group in Barcelona, Spain.

After earning a Master of Science in Foreign Service degree, with a concentration in Foreign Policy and International Security, in 2009 from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, Jennifer worked as an Associate at Crumpton Group, LLC, alongside of former senior U.S. intelligence and diplomatic officials, assisting U.S. companies with market entry and risk mitigation in emerging and frontier markets around the world. She worked with clients on geopolitical, security and commercial challenges they faced in countries such as Algeria, Iraq, Mexico, Russia, Nigeria, China and Brazil, among others.

From 2011 to July 2014, Jennifer served as a Senior Investigator at Investigative Group International Inc., a Washington D.C.-based private investigative and corporate intelligence firm. She led and conducted due diligence, competitive intelligence and pre-litigation investigations for major U.S. law firms and corporate clients in the legal, financial services, technology, entertainment, energy and telecommunications industries, among others.

Jennifer earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Spanish, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Georgetown’s College of Arts and Sciences in 2002. She is fluent in Spanish and has studied and worked in Madrid and Barcelona, Spain, respectively.