Gaining Information Advantage: Alliances and Partnerships

August 14, 2023 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM

On Monday, August 14, the INSA Foundation (INSF) held the second installment of the 2023 “The Future of the IC Workforce” Multimedia Campaign, Gaining Information Advantage: Alliances and Partnerships.  Underwritten by QinetiQ US, the discussion featured David Cattler, Assistant Secretary-General for Intelligence and Security, NATO; Major General Michelle McGuinness, Deputy Director for Commonwealth Integration, DIA; and was moderated by Lindy Kyzer, Director of PR and Content for


The conversation started with the speakers highlighting the importance of building and maintaining allies and partnerships for information sharing. Gen McGuinness and Mr. Cattler agreed that the 5 Eyes partnership and NATO alliance require significant trust and understanding to foster stability and deterrence. Both speakers noted that today no individual country can successfully fight a war by itself. Mr. Cattler illustrated this by highlighting the critical role of NATO in support of Ukraine following Russia’s invasion.  

As alliances and partnerships continue to leverage the capabilities of industry to support mission needs, Gen McGuinness and Mr. Cattler offered insights into how industry can help. The ideas ranged from investing in dual-use technology and start-ups, to offering services to enhance capabilities in AI, open source, and big data.  When asked what experiences best prepared them for their work today, Mr. Cattler reflected on his time at the Office of Naval Intelligence where he was challenged to operate independently, become well-rounded, and open-minded. Gen McGuinness noted that being culturally competent has helped her throughout her career, especially when working with partners and allies.  

Regarding effective information sharing, Gen McGuiness and Mr. Cattler agreed that creating innovative ways to share personnel across allies is the biggest constraint, not technology. Mr. Cattler believes this can be mitigated by developing common standards across an alliance so that when a new ally joins, they know what criteria they need to meet so that their personnel are ready to serve.  

Ms. Kyzer concluded the program by asking the speakers to discuss their views on open source intelligence. Both agreed that open source is a force multiplier for alliances and partnerships. Gen McGuinness also stressed the need for greater capabilities to process and manage the volume of publicly available data.