7 Questions with National Security Analyst Michael DeVinney

National security includes many components—each of them as critical as the next. By land, by sea, online, and even in our own backyards, today’s threat landscape is incredibly multifaceted. Our country’s infrastructure (and way of life) could be vulnerable to attack without the right kind of people and processes keeping it safe. Thankfully we’ve got people like U.Group’s Michael DeVinney who, through our work with the Department of Defense, uses his expertise to analyze foreign transactions that may endanger our nation.

A Navy veteran and member of U.Group’s foreign investment team, Michael reviews and analyzes business acquisitions—particularly those involving Navy assets —for national security risks. Read on for more on his background, plus a few fun facts that might surprise you. 

Describe yourself in three words. 

MD: Conscientious, diligent, and resolute.  

The first two are kind of similar, and the third could have easily been stubborn. I try to do what’s right and better myself everyday which would make me conscientious. I read nonfiction books, closely, every morning, including workdays. I guess this has to do with bettering myself, but I believe diligent would be a good description. Last but not least, resolute. Without giving my entire background, I am very determined to improve. 

Who or what inspires you, and how? 

MD: I don’t know if it’s inspiration, but I guess I’m inspired by who I was yesterday to be better today. 

Do you have a hobby that influences your professional work?  

MD: It’s definitely reading—I do it every morning, even before I go to work. I like to read nonfiction books. For some reason, I enjoy philosophy, economics, and psychology. They’re all connected and it helps me think logically. This allows me to think beyond stage one. 

If you had one piece of advice to give someone just starting out in your field, what would it be?  

MD: This is a little tricky. As a foreign investment analyst, there are more than a few combinations of countries, technologies, systems, companies, etc. I would tell them to be prepared. A lot can and will happen. 

Before working at U.Group, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had? 

MD: I was a firearms demonstrator for the FBI. That’s exactly as it sounds, only better. I demonstrated the historical weapons of the FBI. Yes, I did shoot the revolver, but even more exciting than that, I shot the Thompson submachine gun—better known as the Tommy gun. Not only did I get to shoot it, I got to shoot on full auto. I had a very fun job and worked with great people.  

What is something few people know about you? 

MD: Well, since I like sports and working out, I may not strike people as much of a reader. However, I have well over 500 books and many of them have highlights and tabs in them. 

Where is your favorite place in the world, and why?  

MD: I may be able to say a beach or something, but it’s difficult to say anything other than home.  

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