Joe Sullivan has been working at the intersection of government, technology, and security since before the Internet went mainstream. He’s dedicated his career to helping to make the online world a safer place for everyone, where businesses and people can thrive without risk.
Joe was the government employee who in 1995 was able to convince the Department of Justice to let him run a direct Internet cable into the office, where he used the connection to research global politics related to claims for political asylum in the United States. In 1997 he was given special technical training and computer equipment by the DOJ and invited to join the Computer and Telecommunications Crime Coordinator program. He eventually became 100% focused on technology-related crimes, received national recognition from the DOJ for outstanding service as a federal prosecutor, and worked on many first-of-their-kind cybercrime cases, including supporting the digital aspects of the 9/11 investigation.
Joe thought he would spend his whole career with the government but was recruited to eBay in 2002 to build out their eCrime team, and since then has been working at the cyber front lines, building large teams that have fought hard to protect consumers from digital harm. While the governments of the world struggled to be proactive in preventing internet crime, Joe took jobs at companies at the forefront of the Internet, where the companies needed to invest in building out their defenses to try to prevent harm from happening in the first place. At eBay and PayPal between 2002 and 2008, those efforts were focused on protecting people who used those services from financial harm. At Facebook between 2008 and 2015 he prioritized child safety, at a time when children were joining social networks and parents were struggling to keep up. At Uber he focused on protecting riders and drivers from physical world dangers, as technology revolutionized transportation. From early 2018 through late 2022, Joe was part of the team at Cloudflare, building out the team protecting the customers of the company and the privacy and security tools that are given away for free for everyone to use online.
Even though he left government service in 2002, he’s never stopped actively supporting government efforts to promote safety online for everyone. He’s testified before the US Congress twice, been a commissioner on the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, a board member on the National Cyber Security Alliance, a many-time opening plenary speaker at the Dallas Crimes Against Children Conference, a participant in a White House anti-online-bullying effort, an advisor to the Department of Homeland Security, and accepted an appointment from President Obama to his Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity.
Joe is currently the CEO of a nonprofit named Ukraine Friends where he focuses on providing humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine. He also advises a number of startups and mentors security leaders.