Marissa is a Director in PwC’s Forensic Services Group, where she has developed the Strategic Threat Management service offering. She works with corporate, government, and non-profit clients to frame complex initiatives to align their strategies, personnel, and systems to become more agile as they operate in and respond to increasing complexities and risks in global markets. Her client engagements have included assisting firms as they managed business disruptions in the Middle East during the Arab Spring to creating and implementing state-of-the-art information security programs to executing post-merger integration change management programs to address human capital vulnerabilities. Marissa has honed these capabilities specifically for industries and companies operating in high risk/high threat environments, recognizing that organizations in these spaces necessarily operate in the most dangerous parts of the world and face not only physical threats, but regulatory/compliance and operational issues as well.
Marissa is also responsible for the creation and launch of multiple service offerings within Forensics, including frameworks to evaluate and protect critical business assets and intellectual property based on risk; building a strategic intelligence capability; the ability to mine, aggregate, and analyze social media for threat intelligence; and frameworks for integrating threat and risk analysis into corporate strategy.
Marissa served as the lead drafter of a major study undertaken with the Center for Responsible Enterprise and Trade (CREATe) to assess the economic impact of trade secret theft for U.S. companies, and helped develop a practical framework for companies to use to guide consensus on which trade secrets were most critical to the organization; where they were and who had access to them; understand which threat actors may be targeting them; and assess the value lost if those trade secrets were stolen, in order to prioritize security measures. This study was launched in February 2014.
Marissa joined PwC from a global investment bank, where she was the deputy global head of an operational risk management team. In this role, she created and managed a globally-based team that tracked and assessed operational risks to the bank’s interests, with a focus on emerging markets in the Middle East, Africa, and other areas targeted for strategic growth. She worked on site across the Middle East and North Africa to identify risk issues tied to specific business lines, and developed and led project teams to manage known risks as part of broader go-to-market efforts. She frequently served in a high profile communications role to senior executives, and generated and executed communications to bank staff and clients. Prior to this, Marissa served as an intelligence officer for the US Government, focusing on counter narcotics and money laundering analysis.
Marissa earned a Masters of Letters in the International Security Studies Program at University of St. Andrews, where she received a full scholarship from the Ernest Ransome Trust for academic and athletic achievement. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Security Studies from American University.
Marissa is a frequent public speaker for numerous government agencies and industry groups in the US, Europe, and the Middle East on risk management, crisis management, analytic methodologies, money laundering, and threat finance. She has published on risk and crisis management issues, including in ASIS Online, as well as on policy issues including threat finance in the mobile banking sector for The Georgetown Journal of International Affairs. She has appeared on network television to discuss terrorist threats to Wall Street, the implications for corporations during and after the Arab Spring, and crisis management.