Malcolm Nance

A career US Navy terrorism intelligence collector, code breaker, and interrogator with wide-ranging field and combat experience in the Middle East, South West Asia, and Africa, Mr. Nance is a counterterrorism analyst for MSNBC. He’s the author of The Terrorist Recognition Handbook, The Terrorists of Iraq: The Strategy and Tactics of the Iraq Insurgency, An End to al-Qaeda: Destroying Bin Laden’s Jihad and Restoring America’s Honor, and the New York Times best seller Defeating ISIS: Who They Are, How They Fight, What They Believe. Drawing on his experience as a thirty year veteran of the US intelligence community’s program on combating terrorism, he’s been a Middle East policy advisor to the US and international governments on special operations, homeland security, and intelligence.

Presentation Topics

Insurgency Surge: The Rise of ISIS and how Spies can Defeat Them

What is an insurgency? You’ve heard the word before, but how do terror groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda use this strategy to destabilize places like Iraq and Syria? Malcolm Nance, author of Terrorists of Iraq: Inside the Strategy and Tactics of the Iraq Insurgency and Defeating ISIS, will share with you how Iraq became the center of the ISIS strategy to create an Islamic caliphate, what the American and British coalition soldiers endured on the ground as they fought to dismantle these forces, and even some of the street-level tactics used by the insurgents. 

Don’t Be Intimidated: How to Speak Up and Manage the Hierarchy

There is a strict hierarchy in the military and intelligence field. But that shouldn’t stop you from trying to improve the system. Career counterterrorism and intelligence officer Malcolm Nance talks about working for the SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape) program and how it led him to testify against waterboarding before the US Congress. A fierce champion of ethics, human rights, and cultural integration in intelligence practitioners and activities, Malcolm Nance has trained and advised numerous defense, intelligence, and law enforcement agencies worldwide – and so could you. 

A Black Man vs. Russia 

Malcolm Nance received attention from the Russians after accusing them of orchestrating a disinformation campaign during the 2016 presidential election. They wrote articles about him and sent out social media attacks against him. So why did it he do it? How did he figure it out? And why did he think it was important to share his findings on national television to the American public? Nance answers all these questions and more as he talks about his experience and skills in identifying Russian espionage tactics. 

Thinker, Sailor, Black Man, Spy

“I come from a very old US military family. And for African-Americans, that's sort of an achievement.” Career intelligence expert Malcolm Nance candidly discusses his experiences being black in the intelligence community. He explores themes discussed in his upcoming autobiography, Thinker, Sailor, Black Man, Spy and remembers some funny as well as thought-provoking anecdotes about his early foray into this majority white community.

Hostage Survival School

You survived High School, but can you survive Hostage Survival School? Career counterterrorism officer Malcolm Nance conceptualized and implemented the Advanced Terrorism, Abduction and Hostage Survival school (ATAHS) in resisting torture, exploitation and escaping terrorist captivity from 1997-2001, and he’ll share with you some of the most important tactics for staying alive. At ATAHS Nance created and led the terrorism training team formed to simulate the Al Qaeda organization and its attacks for Tier-1 National Mission Units and select members of the US Intelligence community in the pre-9/11 era. 

The Not-So-New-Anymore Frontier: Cyber Warfare and the Threat to Democracy 

They are younger, faster, and stronger than the Cold War’s KGB. Cyber warfare is big business and intelligence agencies are looking for the best. Join Malcolm Nance in a discussion on the use of cyber warfare, theft and management of criminals, and cyber criminals being hired as subcontractors to intelligence agencies. Using research from his books, The Plot to Hack America and Hacking ISIS: How to Destroy the Cyber Jihad, Malcolm Nance will also talk about the power of Dark Web operations and social media campaigns designed to undermine democracy. 

Spying in Any Language 

Were you a French Major? Spanish Major? Chinese Major? Language skills are an important asset to have in an inextricably connected world, and spies with language skills are increasingly more valuable than ever. Malcolm Nance studied Russian, Chinese, Spanish and French in grade school. It was his Arabic skills, however, that took him overseas with the Navy working in cryptologic intelligence. Hear from Nance as he talks (mostly in English) about his first decrypt of a Hebrew text and the importance of lightening-speed linguistic decrypts during times of war. 

The Long Ball Game: Russian Disinformation Campaigns 

Perception management is a technique where you frame the information sphere around your opponent, whether it’s an individual or a nation, with so much information that is relatively credible that your opponent adopts the framework that you are giving him. Sowing disinformation has been a robust spy tactic used throughout the world for centuries. Everybody lies, and spies use that to their advantage. Let Malcolm Nance take you on a journey, exploring the old KGB disinformation tactics that have been brushed off and improved by modern day Russian intelligence agencies and illustrating how these tactics were used in the 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020 US political campaigns.