From serving 10 years in the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to helping create insider threat programs for some of the biggest names in the private sector, Nick Gicinto (William Jewell, ’03) has devoted much of his life to ensuring the protection of the country’s most sensitive information.
What has turned into an impressive career in national security and beyond, though, all started with the simple choice to join Lambda Chi Alpha.
Though he didn’t seek out Greek Life immediately at William Jewell, Gicinto is forever grateful for that fateful choice.
The decision to join Lambda Chi itself was fundamentally about what the organization stood forNick Gicinto
“It stood apart from other organizations; you could tell this was an organization that believed in something that had an intrinsically higher value than what came across through the members [of other organizations].”
Gicinto was drawn to the values of service and sacrifice, things that would later play a huge role in his professional career. He also learned the invaluable lessons of leadership and integrity, especially when it came to working with others of all different backgrounds and opinions.
But one event that changed the course of Gicinto’s life was the tragic day of 9/11. In that moment of watching in horror as the second tower fell with his chapter Brothers, Gicinto felt a strong wave a gratitude for everything he held dear and made a promise to himself that he would serve his country, no matter what that looked like.
Unfortunately, Gicinto never got the chance to follow through on his promise in the way that he hoped. Just before he was set to join the military, he suffered a broken arm that caused him to withdraw from consideration.
Gicinto still had the desire to do what he could for his country and decided it was time to find an alternative way to serve. Up until this point, Gicinto had never considered the intelligence community until an advisor told him that all of those great values he had sharpened through his Lambda Chi days made him an incredibly attractive candidate.
Gicinto began his research on different graduate programs across the country and settled on Missouri State University.
Shortly after attending a CIA networking event towards the end of his graduate school career, Gicinto got the call that his time to serve had finally come. For the next 10 years, Gicinto’s role was to help gather foreign intelligence as an operations officer.
Following his service in the CIA, Gicinto made the difficult decision to switch to the private sector and use the skills he learned to help companies better protect themselves against threats.
Gicinto went on to work for such names as Uber and Tesla, helping create an insider threat program for each company to help protect crucial information.
But as Gicinto has been building a name for himself in the private sector, he hasn’t forgotten those formative undergraduate years in Lambda Chi that led him on this path.
“When you sit down to do an interview with the government, and they place such a high premium on integrity because you are being trusted with classified information of the highest sensitivity, to be able to look back at my time as a member of Lambda Chi and being able to demonstrate integrity, that gave me excellent examples I could lean on,” said Gicinto
Now, Gicinto shares his journey each year with Brothers, hopeful that he can act as an example of taking pride in one’s fraternity, community and beyond.