Michael J. Cifrino


Mr. Cifrino has over 30 years experience in business and government, with more than ten years in senior management, managing business risks for a $9B U.S. Government agency and for a $3B UK defense corporation.  Until 2011, as VP and General Counsel for Cobham plc’s North American business units, he was responsible for all legal matters, including regulatory compliance for mergers and acquisitions, contract compliance, export and import compliance, and government security requirements.

Previously, as General Counsel of the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) in the U.S. Department of Defense he was a member of the team that: transformed agency management and employee culture to achieve planned goals; integrated independent development programs into a single, manageable Major Defense Acquisition Program; and obtained authorities which permitted establishment of streamlined processes to expedite program execution. 

He is experienced in bidding and formulating successful proposals and successfully executing all types of U.S. federal government contracts (e.g., GSA schedule, fixed price, cost type, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity, multi-year).  As MDA General Counsel, he also managed all agency internal and external investigations.  He advised senior agency officials and program managers on mitigating organizational conflicts of interest in an exceptionally complex contractual environment and as the Designated Agency Ethics Official, he executed the agency’s ethics program nationwide.

He has twenty-five years of experience formulating, negotiating and implementing a wide variety of international agreements, from commercial licensing to multi-party cooperative program agreements in Asia and Europe, including NATO.  He has focused on policy, regulations and procedures for: export and import controls and for national security reviews by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) for foreign corporate purchases of U.S. companies engaged in U.S. classified programs.

Earlier, as an Associate Deputy General Counsel on the Secretary of Defense’s legal staff, he reviewed and advised on intelligence and counterintelligence activities including DoD support to the CIA, execution of Presidentially approved covert activities, and National Security Agency (NSA) electronic surveillance of foreign government activities in the U.S.  He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Defense Industrial Association.