Former federal prosecutor James M. Aquilina is an accomplished business leader and strategic advisor, a renowned cybersecurity expert and digital investigator, a regular speaker and commentator, a published author, and a certified boardroom Qualified Technology Expert.
James currently serves on the advisory board and as a strategic advisor to the CEO of cybersecurity firm BlueVoyant; as a member of the advisory board of League, a leading healthcare PaaS provider; as a member of the advisory board of global investigative firm Nardello & Co.; as a member of the board of governors of the Advanced Imaging Society, a trade association formed by content creators and tech companies to advance the use of emerging technologies in film and TV production; and as an Emeritus board member of the Constitutional Rights Foundation, a nonprofit helping young people understand civics. James also serves as a cybersecurity investment advisor to Silicon Valley private equity firm Gryphon Investors. He is a current director member of the National Association of Corporate Directors, the Corporate Directors Forum, and the Digital Directors Network.
James was the President of Aon Global Cyber Solutions after its acquisition of Stroz Friedberg, the technical and cyber security consulting firm he built with other former federal law enforcement officers from the ground up.
Mr. Aquilina was an instrumental business executive and leader in negotiating and structuring private investments, identifying, acquiring, and integrating multiple acquisitions, and growing the firm to a global and internationally recognized powerhouse. James served over 500 unique clients in the tech, internet, media and entertainment, financial, manufacturing, healthcare, aerospace and defense, energy, telecommunications, and retail industries, including more than 50 of the 2020 Fortune 500. He has been retained by over 150 different law firms, including many of the 2020 Am Law 100. In various complex matters involving digital evidence, James was selected as a special master or court-appointed neutral, including in disputes between two major universities over clinical drug studies, the conflict between CrossFit and the National Sports Conditioning Authority, and the 1-800-Get-Thin federal criminal prosecutions.
After stepping down as President of Aon Global Cyber Solutions, James served as an advisor to the board of directors of The Crypsis Group through its acquisition by Palo Alto Networks; as the co-chair of the advisory board of ESG consulting firm Wallbrook through its acquisition by Anthesis; and as the independent member of the board of directors of Cadien Cyber Response through its initial start-up phase.
Before entering the private sector, James served for almost a decade as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, where he led significant multi-defendant cybercrime investigations and prosecutions, served as a member of the Los Angeles Electronic Crimes Task Force and chair of the Computer Intrusion Working Group, and helped establish and run the Legal Section of the FBI’s Emergency Operations Center following the September 11, 2001 attacks.
James co-wrote Malware Forensics: Investigating & Analyzing Malicious Code and two associated field guides, published by Elsevier/Syngress in 2008, 2012, and 2013, respectively. Together these books constitute the first complete published work on the topic.
A regular speaker and commentator on cyber, Mr. Aquilina has appeared on Bloomberg, CNN, and CNBC, and at Interpol, the International Law Enforcement Academy, the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, the Media Finance Focus Conference, and the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology. He has been quoted in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, Newsweek, and Fortune.
James is a graduate and Richard Erskine Academic Fellow of the University of California Berkeley School of Law and completed his undergraduate studies magna cum laude at Georgetown University.