Bios for our key personnel can be found below. For information about our Board of Directors, please see our Board page.
Pete Dordal, Jr.
Pete Dordal, Jr, is the President of GardaWorld Federal Services. He is an accomplished security management professional and business leader with over 35 years of experience gained in the U.S. military, private and public security, the intelligence community and entrepreneurial commercial endeavors. He’s been a senior executive at GardaWorld since 2008, having served in a number of progressive operational and leadership roles.
Pete joined GardaWorld from service with a select US government agency, where he provided highly specialized risk management services supporting the Global War on Terror. Earlier, Pete was the Director of Corporate Security at SPX Corporation, a multi-industrial Fortune 500 company, where he oversaw the security and risk management of 24,000 employees operating in 23 countries. In a dual-role he was also the President of SPX Security & Investigations, a commercial business unit that provided a range of security and investigative services to global corporate customers, the US government and other friendly foreign nations. In 1995, Pete founded The Potomac Group & Associates (PG&A), a boutique international security firm he grew to a multi-million dollar business and sold five years later to SPX Corporation.
He entered the private security industry in 1989 with Vance International, the premier executive protection and high-end security consultancy of its time. His professional career began in 1981 with his enlistment in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving eight years in special operations and training.
Pete has a Master’s Degree in Business from the McColl Graduate School of Business, and a degree in Security Administration. He is also a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government International Security Program. Pete sits on the boards of the US Libya Business Association (USLBA), Executive Security International (ESI), the Investigative Management Group and the US-Kurdistan Business Council (USKBC). He is also a member of the International Stability Operations Association (ISOA) Advisory Council.
Chief Financial Officer
Matthew Daake is the Chief Financial Officer at GardaWorld Federal Services. He is the senior executive responsible for all Finance activities.
Matthew has over 13 years of Financial Analysis and Planning experience within the government contracting industry. Prior to joining GardaWorld, Matthew worked at AECOM acting as Director of Finance for their Federal Services division, responsible for financial planning, management, and analysis over a worldwide project portfolio.
Matthew is a graduate of University of Nebraska at Omaha with a Bachelor's degree in Business Finance, Commercial Banking, Business Investment and Portfolio Management.
Chief Legal Officer, General Counsel & Secretary
Mark DeWitt is the Chief Legal Officer, General Counsel & Secretary for GardaWorld Federal Services. He is the senior executive responsible for legal, compliance, contracts, and risk management.
Mark’s career spans 20 years working both in private practice and as in-house legal counsel. Prior to joining GardaWorld, Mark was Associate General Counsel at Booz Allen Hamilton, where he supported key business accounts in the defense and intelligence sectors that totaled $1B+ in revenue, and also assisted in the firm’s government relations efforts, meeting with members of Congress and working with various industry associations on key legislative issues. Mark also spent nine years as Vice President & Deputy General Counsel at an international private security services provider, where he oversaw legal, contracts, compliance, and government relations matters. Mark started his career in private practice, where he spent 8 years working at two leading Washington D.C. law firms, specializing in government contracting, procurement policy and legislation, compliance, and international law.
Mark holds a B.S. degree from the Pennsylvania State University in Finance and International Business, and a Juris Doctor degree from the Columbus School of Law, the Catholic University of America, in Washington, D.C., with a specialty certificate in International Law. Mark previously served on the Board of the International Stability Operations Association (ISOA), including a term as Vice-Chair and Chair. He also was a key participant in the drafting of the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers (ICoC), and was elected as the representative for U.S. industry to the ICoC Temporary Steering Committee, and subsequently to the Board of Directors of the ICoC Association, a multi-stakeholder organization based in Geneva, Switzerland. A frequent speaker and panelist, Mark is considered a leading industry legal expert on U.S contingency contracting and the role of private security providers operating in complex environments.
Senior Vice President, Business Development
Michael O’Connell is the Senior Vice-President for Business Development at GardaWorld Federal Services responsible for Business Development activities including Strategy, Capture and Solution Development.
Michael’s career includes over 23 years of Business Development and Project/Program Management in the government contracting industry. Prior to joining GardaWorld, Michael served in business executive leadership roles for several industry leading companies specializing in OCONUS Security Operations, Contingency Operations, Capacity Development and Post Conflict Operations. Michael has served as the PMO Program Manager for USG contracts operating in over 50 countries. These projects include over 40 US Embassy Security contracts, Weapons Reduction and Abatement operations, Humanitarian Demining projects, Capacity Development and Disaster Response. Michael spent over 10 years as a Project Engineer, Program Manager and Executive on USG CONUS contracts for the DOE/NNSA and DOD. His work focused on a wide range of complex, challenging projects including weapons sanitization support, conventional and chemical weapons demilitarization, facility decommissioning, explosives remediation, spent nuclear fuel solutions, technology development and integration.
Michael is a graduate of Tufts University and the University of Massachusetts (Boston) with degrees in both Engineering and Business.
Vice President, Security and Facility Security Officer
Sarah Barnhart is the Vice President of Security and the Corporate Facility Security Officer for GardaWorld Federal Services. She is responsible for the implementation of the National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual (NISPOM), the formulation and enforcement of government and company security policies and the implementation of GWFS’ Special Security Agreement and Proxy Agreement, respectively.
Sarah has over nine years of Corporate Security experience, specializing in Foreign Ownership, Control or Influence (FOCI) mitigation, NISPOM compliance and information assurance. She has managed a number of security personnel and developed programs to enhance accountability within the security program and to ultimately promote enterprise-wide security awareness and compliance. Over this time, she has been a key player in multiple acquisitions, separations and integrations of FOCI mitigated companies.
Prior to her role at GWFS, Sarah held several positions at QinetiQ North America, Inc. (QNA), to include Personnel Security Specialist, Security Administrator, Corporate Assistant Facility Security Officer and Facility Security Officer. During her tenure at QNA, a Proxy company, she was a key contributor to the corporate security program receiving and maintaining superior security ratings, which resulted in being a 2014 James S. Cogswell Outstanding Industrial Security Achievement Award recipient.
Sarah is a Certified Protection Professional (CPP®) Board Certified in Security Management and a graduate of Taylor University with a degree in Business Administration. Sarah is an active member in the security community, to include a recent role as an industry panel member at the 6th Annual DSS FOCI FSO Conference in 2016.
Director, Information Technology
Ryan Buehl is the Director of Information Technology and is responsible for Information Technology (IT), Information Security (IS), and IT Compliance strategy. He provides the overall management and definition of all computer and communication activities within the enterprise and is also responsible for all aspects of the Insider Threat Program as defined by DSS.
Ryan has over sixteen years of experience in IT and IS, specializing in US Government compliance and security. He has worked with multiple Department of Defense, Department of State, and other government agency programs.
Prior to joining GWFS, Ryan served in several capacities within multiple government contracting businesses, most recently AECOM, a Fortune 500 company. At AECOM, he served as the Director of Information Technology, US Government Compliance, and as lead Information Systems Security Manager (ISSM). In this role, he created a USG compliance and audit program to allow for self-certified compliance with NIST and ISO standards, and provided IT strategy for the Federal Services division. He also oversaw thirteen programs as lead ISSM, helping to improve the average security rating from marginal to commendable, with multiple programs earning a superior rating.
Ryan is a certified ITIL Expert in information technology service management. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland College Park with a B.S. in Computer Science.
Canine Program Manager
Jerry Johnson is the Canine Program Manager at GardaWorld Federal Services. He is responsible for leading the delivery of all CONUS and OCONUS K-9 Training.
Jerry has 31 years of canine operations, training and program management experience. He has extensive experience in both the government and private sectors, including seven years in Iraq and Afghanistan, and time at the DOD Military Working Dog Training Center. He is a former Criminal Justice Instructor for Central Texas University.
Jerry is a graduate of Florida State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences with a concentration in Criminal Justice. Jerry completed his course work for a Master’s of Public Administration at the University of Oklahoma. Jerry is currently pursuing his MBA.
Vice President, Operations Support
Kevin O’Leary is the Vice President for Operations Support for GardaWorld Federal Services. He is responsible for recruiting, deployments, travel, logistics, manpower suppliers, mobilization, operational support and special projects.
Kevin’s career includes 26 years as a US Marine mustang in both active and reserve components and over 20 years as a defense contractor with industry leading management consulting and technology integrations firms. In this capacity, his focus areas have been in protective operations, high threat environments and risk management. His clients are fortune 500 companies, Department of Defense, Department of State and members of the Intelligence Community.
Kevin has a BA from St Anselm College in Manchester NH.
Vice President, Finance
Debbie Ray is the Vice President of Finance at GardaWorld Federal Services. She joined GardaWorld in 2006 and is responsible for the management of the finance, accounting and payroll functions.
Prior to joining GardaWorld, Debbie worked in public accounting, security consulting and other professional services where she has been successful in the development and management of accounting departments, personnel and corporate policies and procedures.
Debbie attended Polk State College and majored in Accounting.
Vice President, Department of Defense Contract Operations
Michael Reynolds is the Vice President for Department of Defense Contract Operations for GardaWorld Federal Services. He is responsible for maintaining and promoting excellence in mission operations.
Michael has over 37 years of law enforcement and international security experience working both domestically and in high threat locations throughout the Middle East and Asia. Michael served in the United States Marine Corps and is a retired law enforcement officer. While employed with GardaWorld Federal Services, Michael has had assignments as a Deputy Project Manager for Operations and as a Project Manager.
Michael is a graduate of Columbia Southern University with a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice. He is also a graduate of North Carolina State University's Administrative Officer's Management Program and the Senior Management Institute for Police at Boston University.
Director, Executive Protection and Strategic Development
Matt Spring is the Director of Executive Protection and Strategic Development for GardaWorld Federal Services. He is responsible for all protective operations and for directing executive protection training programs.
Matt has over 25 years of diverse experience gained in law enforcement and the private security industry. Prior to joining GardaWorld, Matt planned and led high-risk operations for members of royal families, foreign dignitaries, U.S. military leaders and politicians, CEOs and executives, celebrities, and witnesses under threat. He is a former member of the Arlington County, Virginia Police Department including work as a liaison with the Drug Enforcement Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and U.S. Secret Service.
Matt holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and Political Science from Radford University.
Vice President, Training
Willie Swinton is the Director of Training for GardaWorld Federal Services. He is responsible for leading the delivery of all CONUS and OCONUS pre-employment training for our WPS programs.
Willie is a former British Army officer with 26 years active duty, including command of 1st Battalion Scots Guards and service in the Pentagon as a UK Liaison officer to CJCS. Willie has worked in the security and risk management industry as the senior project director in Iraq for large Department of Defense programs as well as being the Aegis General Manager in Iraq.
He is a qualified WPS firearms instructor and a very active member of the Color Guard of the Saint Andrew's Society in Washington D.C. He was awarded the MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in 2002 and is also a member of the Queen's Body Guard for Scotland, Royal Company of Archers.
Willie has a Masters Degree in Defence and International Affairs from Cranfield University, United Kingdom. He is a graduate of the Join Services Command and Staff College, the Royal Military College of Science, and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.
Director, Human Resources
Charles Thompson is the Acting Director of Human Resources at GardaWorld Federal Services. He is responsible for all Human Resources activities.
Charles has over 20 years of Human Resources experience within the government contracting industry. Prior to joining GardaWorld, Charles worked in multiple Department of Defense government agency programs. He has held roles as Director of Talent Acquisitions, Corporate Recruiter, and Director of Human Resources. Charles Served in the Air Force.
Charles is a graduate of Houghton College with a Bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts, a Masters from Central Michigan University in Business Management, and an additional Masters from Regent University in Human Services Counseling.
Vice President, Department of State Operations
Matthew Twigg is the Vice President of Operations (DoS) of GardaWorld Federal Services overseeing the operations of the U.S. Embassy Kabul Security Forces.
He is a career security professional with over 27 years of extensive training and operational experience gained in law enforcement, private and public security. He’s been a senior manager in support of Department of State security services since 2007.
Matt began service in support of Diplomatic Security in 2004 in support of the U.S. Embassy, Baghdad with the close protection of Ambassadors Negroponte, Jeffrey, Khalilzad, and Crocker; ultimately, becoming the Project Manager of all U.S. Embassy Baghdad mobile security forces to include aviation, close protection and emergency response teams. Prior to coming to GWFS, Matt was also responsible for the operations and security provision of 3,000 personnel performing force protection in support of the Department of State at U.S. Embassy Baghdad, Iraq. Previously, Matt is seasoned law enforcement professional with fifteen years specialization in weapons and tactics, training and investigations. In service to the U.S. government, he resided in Iraq from 2003 to 2010.
Matt is a graduate of Coastal Carolina University and holds a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Business Management and Psychology.
Vice President, Contracts
Dave Watson is the Vice President of Contracts for GardaWorld Federal Services. He is responsible for the contracts administration and procurement activities of the organization.
Dave has been working in the federal contracting arena for over 30 years, almost exclusively in the areas of contract administration, procurement and pricing. Prior to joining GardaWorld, Dave held leadership positions with several federal contractors, most recently with AECOM and URS.
Dave holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from The Catholic University of America and has completed various graduate courses and programs specific to the areas of contract administration and procurement.
Associate Vice President, Recruiting
Jonathan Wilcoxon is the Associate Vice President of Recruiting at GardaWorld Federal Services. He is responsible for the complete staffing process, including recruitment and deployment of U.S., third country nationals, and local national personnel on all active contracts worldwide.
Jonathan has more than 15 years of experience in managing recruiting operations for U.S. Government contracting and commercial partners. He has overseen compliance with complex contract requirements such as arming authorization, security clearances, and specialized certifications. He has supported recruitment and deployment operations for personnel in 16 countries for contracts performed in the U.S., Europe, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.
Jonathan has obtained multiple certifications through AIRS, which sets the industry standard for recruitment operations. He attended Strayer University for Business Management.
Spencer Williams is the Director of Logistics at GardaWorld Federal Services. He is responsible for corporate and government property and logistical support to CONUS and OCONUS contracts including delivery of all support equipment and facilities.
Spencer is a former British Army officer with 26 years active duty and temporary duty service with the FBI. Spencer has since worked in the security and risk management industry as Director of Logistics in Iraq and the US for large programs for the Department of Defense.
Spencer is a Late Entry Officer graduate of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He has also earned membership in City and Guilds as a Charter Professional in Leadership and Management (MCGI).
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