“40 under 40” Class of 2019 — JT Mendoza, 40

Deputy Director, Air Force Insider Threat Hub
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Friday, November 1, 2019

JT Mendoza is Deputy Director of the Air Force Insider Threat Hub, which was established by the Air Force to defend against insider threats, identify indicators of potential risk and mitigate those risks.

“On a day-to-day basis, I am focused on the outreach, strategy and integration of the Air Force’s efforts to bring together a holistic program to detect, identify, prevent and mitigate potential insider threat events,” said Mendoza.

Prior to his current position, Mendoza was a senior leader within DIA’s counterespionage program.

He pointed out, “I started out working national security issues when I first joined the Air Force and was then recruited by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. Primarily I was inspired by the work that is done by security/LE professionals on a day-to-day basis to keep the public safe.”

From his perspective, the top trend in security is related to threat management. “This includes insider threat/risk and human threat management,” he said. “In our current society, there has been a huge increase in violence within our places of work, worship and academic institutions.” 

Mendoza believes it is an exciting time to be in security, as there are “numerous exciting security technologies for various security disciplines,” he said. “Based on my specific focus, I am highly interested in machine learning and artificial intelligence and the measured use of these technologies to detect and prevent future incidents.”

When asked what can be done to get more talented, diverse young people involved in security, Mendoza said he thinks “it’s incumbent on leaders to recruit and retain diverse and talented young professionals. This means being intentional and focused on growing our next generation of security professionals.”