Feb. 6, 2023
Michele Markoff, Department of State, is our 2023 Rear Admiral Grace Hopper Award Recipient
Michele Markoff is the former acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Cyberspace Security in the Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy. Since 1998 Michele has been the senior State Department subject matter expert overseeing the development and implementation of foreign policy initiatives on cyberspace issues. She helps to coordinate United States policy on the spectrum of cyber-related policy issues across the Department, develops diplomatic strategies to encourage states to join the United States in taking steps to protect their critical networks and to cooperate internationally to enhance and preserve global cyber stability. She implements those strategies through negotiations in a wide variety of venues. Her initiative led to the successful completion of the first ever bilateral agreement on confidence-building in cyber space between the United State and the Russian Federation, announced in June, 2013. Michele also has been the United States Government Expert on five Groups of UN Government Experts (2005, 2010, 2013, 2015, 2016) devoted to international security cyber issues. The last three GGEs led to landmark consensus reports regarding norms for state activity in cyberspace. Ms. Markoff is also the architect of two agreements on cyber confidence-building measures in the Organization of Security Cooperation in Europe, and a similar initiative in the ASEAN Regional Forum.
Ms. Markoff was trained as an expert in Russian and Chinese military affairs and decision-making and spent the first half of her career in a variety of strategic nuclear arms control-related posts, among them as State Department Advisor and then Executive Secretary to the START I Talks; later as Senior Policy Advisor and Director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency’s Policy Planning Group.
Ms. Markoff has a B.A. in International Relations from Reed College, an M.A. in International Relations and an M.Phil.in Political Science from Yale University, and a M.Sc. in National Security Strategy from the National War College of the United States. She also attended high school in the former Soviet Union and attended the Chinese University of Hong Kong.