November 15, 2021

Center for Global Affairs MSGCC Students Place Second at 
Prestigious Atlantic Council Cyber 9/12 Strategy Competition

Congratulations to the team of students from the MS in Global Security, Conflict, and Cyber Crime (MSGSCC) program at the NYU School of Professional Studies Center for Global Affairs (CGA) for placing second among more than 30 global teams at the prestigious Atlantic Council’s Cyber 9/12 Strategy Competition. An annual cyber policy and strategy competition in which students from around the world compete in a crisis-simulation meets war-gaming exercise, the virtual event, which took place on November 4-5, 2021, was hosted by the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs.

The CGA team #NoClickFix – (from left to right) Sarah Graham, Amanda Tobey (team leader), Lorenz Cohen, and Gabrielle Hempel – competed against 32 university teams. The participants were given intelligence regarding a fictional ongoing, international cyber crisis and were tasked with analyzing the threat and advising the National Security Council on the best course of action to mitigate the crisis.

The #NoClickFix team met regularly for three weeks leading up to the competition and spent over 36 hours together during competition white-boarding policy ideas, writing up decision documents, and creating presentations. In the semifinals, the CGA students competed with teams from Tufts, Cornell, MIT, and Columbia, among others. In addition to coming in second, the CGA team also won the award for “Best Teamwork.”

“The competitive process is not a walk in the park,” said Pano Yannakogeorgos, clinical associate professor and program director of MSGSCC, who, along with his colleagues, advised the CGA team. “Our team developed solutions deemed as credible and feasible by judges who are drawn from the most senior-level positions across government, the military, private sector, and academia.”

He added, “It’s a great accomplishment for a program that launched in 2019 and is helping to fill the cyber workforce gap for cyber strategists, policymakers, planners, and intelligence analysts. It validates that what we are teaching in the MSGSCC program prepares students to frame problems and develop solutions for national and economic security cyber challenges.”

For Amanda Tobey, who has competed in other cyber tournaments and will graduate this January, the competition was a fitting finale to her years at CGA. “Winning second place, and more importantly, being able to compete in all of the rounds was an amazing way to end my competition career, but doing so with my teammates was the absolute best,” she said. Tobey, who will start work at NATO, noted that the finalists received job offers from the United States Space Force and special links to apply for CISA (The Cybersecurity Infrastructure and Security Agency). 

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