News

Going Backstage with a Professional Speaker

On Tuesday, February 20, 2007, Ray Semko, also known as the D*I*C*E Man, spoke to an audience of about 150 students and executive education participants at Spangler Auditorium. The event was the third of the HBS Public Speaking Club’s Outstanding Speaker Series for 2007. D*I*C*E stands for “Defensive Information to Counter Espionage.”

Ray Semko uses Dice as a memory aid-every time you see dice, he wants you to think about the important message he conveyed in his briefing about security and OPSEC. The most sought-after speaker in the U.S. government, he has presented around the world to hundreds of thousands of people-often to packed, standing-room only audiences. Semko started in the government as a combat engineer in Vietnam and then worked in the intelligence community for 35 years, including Army Intelligence, the National Security Agency, the Defense Security Service, the Department of Energy, and the Defense Intelligence Agency.

His presentation took the audience through some of the tactics and techniques he uses for his regular D*I*C*E briefings, whose goal is to raise awareness of the importance of information security. At times, some audience members found him “in your face,” but he was never boring. This is the approach that made him the most demanded speaker in the gigantic bureaucracy of the U.S. government. In fact, Semko was a rarity in government. He is something of an entrepreneur, having developed his program in 1989 as he started doing security awareness briefings while a counterintelligence agent in the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) as a way to inform employees of the threats to our nation’s security as the result of espionage. His D*I*C*E briefings became very popular and soon were in demand at agencies throughout the government. By the time Ray retired from government service, he was traveling around the world full-time, briefing U.S. government personnel, always at the invitation of some agency in the federal government. In this way, his audiences included the CIA, the White House, Camp David, and now, Harvard Business School.

Ray Semko currently works with the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies (www.cicentre.com), where he has worked since August 2006 to continue to provide his signature D*I*C*E briefings. Now he has an expanded audience of federal, state and local government, police, public safety, military, corporations and other organizations who wish to increase their employees’ security awareness of threats from espionage (including cyber and industrial espionage) and terrorism.

Several upcoming events remain in the semester’s Outstanding Speaker Series. Dale Deletis, the only communications and speaking instructor on the HBS campus, will be delivering a presentation on March 7, 2007 in Spangler Auditorium at 4:00pm. World-famous motivational speaker Tony Robbins will be coming to Burden Auditorium on March 29, 2007 at 4:15pm. The Fourth Annual HBS Speaking Competition on April 11 at 4:15pm will feature our own home-grown outstanding speakers.

Any questions? Email the Public Speaking Club’s Vice President of Marketing, Alex Wong, at mwong@mba2008.hbs.edu

February 26, 2007
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