Who am I?
Dan Seals, CISSP
We now live in a world with seemingly infinite choices. There was a time, in the not too distant past, when an IT professional’s job was just to choose between IBM, DELL, or HP, and stick to an implementation schedule. Those times are over. There are millions of apps, countless computers, and an increasing demand by users to allow them to pick what they want. Some still believe it is IT’s job to force users into a rigid structure; I believe it is IT’s job to secure the platform users want to use. Mac or PC, iPhone or Android. It is easier for a user to adhere to best practices when they’re using a device they understand. Making sense of choices, and navigating the juxtaposition of technology and security is where I thrive.
We may live in a world of infinite choices, but we needn’t fear the unknown. Security is making choices while managing risk, and in the last 15 years I have gotten quite good at it. Below you will find more information on my current and previous work experience, including unique challenges I faced at each position, and the choices I made to overcome them. Please take a look below, and if you would like some more information, or have a need for someone to make sense of things like the CIA triangle, deciding between Slack, Hipchat or MS Teams, or just understanding Advanced Persistent Threats, Spear Phishing or Incidents of Compromise, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Also, if you’d rather just talk about the Washington Nationals or how much I can’t live with my Apple AirPods, we can do that too! Thanks for reading!
My Professional Background
2011 August - 2017July
2014 - 2017 · Director of Technology & Security
2012 - 2014 · Deputy IT Director
2011 - 2012 · Technical Support Specialist
Working at the DSCC
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is a branch of the Democratic Party responsible for achieving and maintaining a Democratic majority in the United States Senate. As the Director of Technology and Security, my job is to ensure the confidentiality, availability, and integrity of the DSCC's data, as well as secure, innovate, and optimize the IT systems in place.
- Unprecedented ongoing attempts by a foreign nation state to infiltrate the DSCC network and exfiltrate data.
- Rapid staff on-boarding and off-boarding where 85% of staff turn over every 2 years due to the cyclical nature of Senate campaigns.
- Mixed office environment, BYOD, high profile staff and expectations of availability.
- Varied level of technical & IT Security expertise of staff and Senators.
- Successfully maintaining IT security through staff awareness, employee education, and technological means while being targeted by foreign hackers.
- Reduced IT expenses over 25% through targeted IT component upgrades, cloud migrations, and vendor management.
- Streamlined inventory control and joiners, movers, and leavers process to rapidly redistribute technology during and between cycles.
- Punctilious project management to enable the committee to upgrade all computers, PBX to VOIP phone system, and entire network infrastructure in a 10 day period between cycles.
- Elected to chair "Fun Committee" to address morale associated with rapid on-boarding and off-boarding between cycles.
- Active Directory (Managed upgrades from 2003 to 2008 to 2012 to 2016)
- Casper MDM Suite (Managed transition from BES to Tarmac to Casper)
- Office 365 - AD Connect (Managed transition from on-prem exchange server to O365)
- Star2Star VOIP (managed transition from Nortel PBX)
- Right fax - Managed transition from on-prem to hosted fax server.
- Wireless perimeter (Managed transition from 802.11b to 802.11ac through new wireless controller & APs)
- Employee cell phone plan including phone purchases and upgrades. (Managed transition and cosolidation of AT&T & Verizon to just Verizon saving 60% YOY)
- Manage support team
- Inventory and maintenance of 85+ servers, computers & laptops.
- Security management of Advanced Threat Protection, IDS, Anti-virus solutions
- Vendor management
2010 March - 2011 August
Technical Project Manager
Working for Jackson River
Jackson River is a Drupal implementation, Salesforce integration, and fundraising consultancy established in 2008. As a Technical Project Manager, my job was to manage Drupal website builds from creative handoff to post launch. I also helped establish the Jackson River support department as clients transitioned from launch to ongoing support.
- Communication and knowledge transfer due to Jackson River being a virtual company.
- Extremely tight timelines.
- Utilized new technologies integrating Drupal with Salesforce CRM, trailblazing with no support.
- Clients limited understanding of the technologies involved required extensive training and support.
- Consistently exceeded client expectations which led to new client requests to work with me specifically.
- Establishment of support policies and procedures as well as metrics to ensure adherence.
- Helped test and recommend features and improvements to the Springboard platform.
- Created scripts for the Forcify.me video training series specializing in the Salesforce Non-Profit Starter Pack.
- Trained and became Salesforce Administration certified to better support client needs.
- Customer Support.
- Ongoing Project Management.
- New documentation.
- Proactive Customer Success.
- Vendor Management.
- Customer training.
- Recruitment of new staff through Craigslist and other channels.
2009 June - 2010 March
2010 · Tier 3 Support
2009 · Tier 1 & Tier 2 Support
Working at Salsa Labs
Salsa Labs is a SaaS fundraising and advocacy platform that enables campaigns and non-profits to fundraise, advocate, and market their vision online. I started as a Tier 1 support agent and was quickly promoted to Tier 2, and then Tier 3 due to my ability to quickly understand the complex Salsa toolset. I then became the ambassador for the support department to the development department, managing the bug workload for all developers.
- High support ticket volume.
- Communication between management, support, and developers was strained.
- No ticket standards or prioritization.
- Rapidly changing systems as development was constantly evolving.
- Quick advancement through rapid understanding of support challenges and procedures.
- Worked with developers to help create and develop internal communication system built in XMPP (think Slack in 2008).
- Established ticket standards and utilized Confluence to document and create templates for bug tickets and feature requests.
- Established change control for new processes and procedures to help increase visibility and understanding.
- Helped manage transition from Kayako to Zendesk which enabled support to increase D2D ticket volume by over 30%.
- Triage all support tickets.
- Be the ambassador from the support team to development.
- Address customer concerns about key aspects of the Salsa platform.
- Manage product documentation of feature requests.
- Internal documentation of current and future features.
- Investigate email deliverability issues from Salsa mailer.
2008 April - 2009 June
Democracy Data & Communications (DDC)
Client Project Manager
Working for DDC Advocacy
DDC is a public affairs and advocacy firm. As a Solutions Consultant, I acted as the single point of contact for new client initiatives to achieve successful product launch by prioritizing objectives, coordinating various technology teams (creative, development, database, and networking teams), and managing client expectations to ensure customer satisfaction.
- Working with high profile clients such as Target, Verizon, Philip Morris, Home Depot, Comcast, & ING Bank.
- Many government affairs staff had very little technical knowledge, requiring significant training and advice.
- Notable disparate teams, management of process from creative, development, database and networking was challenging.
- Worked and managed clients and projects of which I was ideologically opposed.
- Well loved by Govt affairs staff, frequently requested to be sole point of contact for support requests.
- Successfully managed the launch of a completely rebranded Tobacco Issues website on behalf of Philip Morris USA on time and under budget. (see last bullet under Unique Challenges above)
- Successfully managed the launch of the internal Target advocacy platform for Target PAC on time and under budget.
- Successfully managed the rebranding Comcast internal PAC website on time and under budget.
- On boarding of new client advocacy projects staff and internal teams.
- Establishing requirements documentation for new initiatives.
- Maintained ongoing support post launch.
- Training of Govt affairs staff on DDC Advocacy product as well as website administration.
- Translate client needs to various internal teams and ensure final project met or exceeded client expectations.
- Ongoing management of mini-projects and rebranding of existing sites.
2007 June - 2008 February
Hillary Clinton for President
Nevada Director of Operations & Technology
Working for Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton ran for President in 2007/08, and during that time I acted as her Director of Operations and Technology for the state of Nevada. Nevada was the 3rd state in the Democratic Primary circuit after Iowa and New Hampshire and a key state for her path to victory. This was the first time Nevada was pushed up so early, and it was very new to many in the state.
- Mixed office environment with BYOD being standard.
- Remote offices with no IT staff.
- No IT infrastructure in place, no established wiring at all.
- Extensive paperwork requirements for staff reimbursement requests.
- Extremely tight budget constraints.
- Wired entire office network infrastructure of 1.5 miles of cat5e, including patch panels, 200+ ports and VOIP phone banks saving over 60% of the IT budget.
- Maintained state operational budget 60% lower than other comparable states.
- Established IT support procedures for remote offices to reduce travel frequency and continued uptime.
- Spearheaded a new software procedure using Sharepoint to enable mileage reimbursement paperwork to be done electronically.
- Managed state-wide breakdown of all offices.
- All joiners, leavers and movers paperwork including W2, 1099, healthcare, and reimbursements.
- Vetting and background checks of all new staff through LexisNexis and other tools.
- Control of statewide operational budget.
- Identification, negotiation, and maintenance of leasing arrangements.
- Storage acquisition and maintenance.
- Management and assisting of GOTC Logistics crew including transportation and site logistics.
- Management of predictive dialer to ensure phone bank compliance.
- Incident handling and physical security upgrades with local police.
- Management of IT Infrastructure and inventory for Nevada HQ and remote offices.
- All hardware acquisition and setup throughout the campaign.
- Vendor management.
2002 July - 2006 January
2005 - 2006 · Geek Squad Double Agent
2004 - 2005 · Geek Squad Agent
2002 - 2003 · Service Technician
Working for Best Buy
Best Buy is the leading retailer of technology products, services and solutions in the US. I started as a Service Technician, helped transition to Geek Squad services during the acquisition, then earned my way to the store’s only Double Agent and was issued a company car and managed my own schedule.
- Extremely high volume of customers everyday with varying level of technical knowledge.
- Time management as in store customers, customers on the phone, and pre-sales questions arrived concurrently.
- Constant new virus and spyware threats would be created faster than tools could be made to prevent them.
- Helped win #1 store banner for the entire US market. Store #369, State College PA.
- Highest Geek Squad attachment percentage for both in store and in home during my time as Double Agent.
- Established myself as a leader in the department, earning the position of Double Agent through high sales numbers.
- Assist Customer Service department on all returns to ensure accuracy and prevent loss.
- Answer phone calls related to Geek Squad services.
- Assist sales staff throughout the store on technical questions.
- Configure and setup new computer sales.
- Install Antivirus/antispyware solutions for new computers and customer computers.
- Perform all in store functions as requested by customers.
- Perform in house (customer homes) functions as a Double Agent.
- Open and close register.
2015 May - 2015 August
My time at general assembly
General Assembly (GA) is a global educational company focusing on the most relevant and in demand skills across data, design, business and technology.
This particular class was a 12 week part time course that yielded over 72 hours of instruction in iOS development. I gained a familiarity with Xcode, Git / Github, iPhone SDK, Swift 2, Sketch and development best practices. I also built an application from scratch using both interface builder and code.
GA is exceptional due to its highly practical and hands on approach to development. This course gave me a greater insight into iOS development, and has enabled me to work in unison with developers through a keen understanding of the various stages of mobile application development.
Pennsylvania State University
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
Crime, Law & Justice
My time at Penn State
Penn State is a world class institution nestled in the center of Pennsylvania. I loved my time in Happy Valley and I try and return once a year for a football game and some delicious creamery ice cream. I majored in Crime, Law & Justice, but took a significant number of computer classes, as well as minoring in business and sociology.
President, Alpha Phi Omega - Alpha Beta Chapter Alpha Phi Omega is a national coeducational service organization founded on the principles of Leadership, Friendship and Service. It provides its members the opportunity to develop leadership skills as they volunteer on their campus, in their community, to the nation, and to the organization. I served as President of the Penn State chapter for two semesters.
Webmaster, Alpha Phi Omega - Alpha Beta Chapter When I joined APO, sign-ups for volunteer events were done by passing a piece of paper around the room during our weekly meetings, low tech but functional. It was up to the brother to remember what they signed up for, and up to the Service VP to manage signups and make sure we had enough people at an event, or more likely, make sure we didn't have too many. As webmaster I changed all that. I recruited a developer to volunteer and we built a platform in PHP with a calendar and social interactive features. You could "friend" others, and when they signed up for an event, it would alert you so you could join them, this was in 2003 as well long before Facebook was popular. It was easy to sign up for events electronically, and it would send automatic reminders before events. We had auto waitlist functionality and made managing events a breeze. It was a full SaaS platform, and it increased our volunteer hours over 400% the first semester it was implemented. That was when I really saw the value of how technology could be used to accomplish logistical wonders. Because of the success of that platform, I was elected President of the APO chapter at Penn State, which then led to my interest in Govt / Politics.
Dan exemplifies the intelligence and drive you look for in an employee and personality that makes you want to work together every day. Dan is so multi-talented that he did everything from managing our IT infrastructure to organizing office outings. And he tackled each task with a smile and attention to detail not often found in the workplace. I highly recommend Dan for any position. He has a desire to achieve and will do it for your organization.
Senior ManagerApple Inc.
I have never come across a problem Dan couldn't fix, or a personality he couldn’t work with. His patience (especially for those without a technical background), thoughtfulness, attention to detail and calm demeanor under extraordinary pressure are only matched by his genuine and good natured personality. He is also incredibly smart, an excellent communicator, phenomenally driven, and a fantastic team player. This combination of technical skills, passion, and warm personality is what draws friends and colleagues to him and to remain with him.
Dan brings the highest level of dedication and knowledge to managing and implementing technology projects. I have had the pleasure of working with and managing Dan for over four and a half years where he has brought a results-driven, cost-effective approach to IT solutions. Dan would be an asset to any team where innovative and pragmatic solutions are desired for complex technological issues.
Software EngineerGoogle, Inc.
Dan is a developers dream. When we worked together, his bug reports and feature requests were always so detailed and precise, we almost never needed additional information. It isn't everyday you get to work with someone who can so effortlessly translate customer desires into concise software requirements. While not coding himself, he understands software development and is able to make quick decisions based on level of effort and existing constraints. I would work with him again in a second!
Dan is is a uniquely genuine person with technical expertise, excellent communication skills, a sharp eye for detail, and a fantastic sense of humor combined with a true thoughtfulness for those around him. Dan also constantly seeks out opportunities to challenge himself, both to build his professional skills and also to develop himself as a colleague and manager. From his broad background and experience, he understands how to operate in a fast paced, high pressure environment and yet prioritizes above all his quality of work.
What I’m best at
Skills & Knowledge
Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
1 January 2016 · ISC2 · ID Number: 548566
Certified Casper Administrator (CCA)
13 May 2016 · Jamf Software
Salesforce Certified Administrator
3 September 2010 · Salesforce Inc.
- Business Logistics & Operations
- OS X & Mac Administration
- Active Directory & Windows
- Networking & Wireless
- Vendor Management
- Branding · Marketing
- Mobile Device Management
- Customer Success & Support
- Salesforce Administration
- Project Management
- iOS Development / Swift 2
- Zendesk & Kayako Helpdesk
- Atlassian Jira
- Atlassian Confluence
Hobbies & Interests
It almost goes without saying. It touches all parts of my life. From my watch to scale and everywhere in between.
I love Apple and revel in the vertical integration and design. Some of my friends think it's too much. It's not.
American, British, the world. Who we are and how we got here. Ken Burns helps keep things interesting!
When you can't travel, movies can take you to far off lands. Gladiator and The Departed are some of my favorites.
Intuitive UI makes me feel joy inside. Experience is key. The Runkeeper app is a great example of excellent UI.
I love broadening my horizons and visiting lands near & far. If I'm not adding a stamp to my passport every year, I'm sad.
Baseball, Football, and Ultimate Frisbee are some favorites. Nationals, NY Giants, & The DC Current respectively.
The culture, the passion, the many hats I get to wear. Pure joy. Who doesn't love searching for unicorns?
From aperture to f stop, capturing imagery is addictive. When my iPhone can mimic depth of field, I'll cry.
For as much as I love technology, sometimes it's great to disconnect and remember our roots. The earth.
Take it apart and put it back together. I love learning how it works. The world is a fascinating place.
Get in touch
I would love to hear from you! Please feel free to send me an email. We can chat about movies, or Apple or about career opportunties. Can you tell I enjoy talking? Hit me up!
My Current info
- Washington, DC
- It's an iPhone... you'll have to ask for the number!
- [email protected]