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Michael G. Baker

Former CIA covert operations officer and cofounder of Diligence LLC, a global intelligence and security firm. Host of Discovery Network's new Spring 2020 series Black Files Declassified on The Science Channel

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With over 25 years’ experience as the CIA’s operations officer and as the President and Co-Founder of Diligence LLC, Michael Baker specialized in counterterrorism, counternarcotics and counterinsurgency operations.

Michael uses his experience within the CIA’s Operations Directorate, to speak to audiences about how they can maximize their use of intelligence to minimize risk and maximize opportunities globally. His first-hand examples, case studies and experiences from both the Agency operating era and the time spent building Diligence, LLC, are shared to provide his audience with an unforgettable experience.

Featured Videos

Black Files Declassified Promo Reel

 Michael G. Baker Video

Saudi Arabia considering nuclear weapons program?

 Michael G. Baker Video

Seeds of Terror: Analyzing extremism in France


During a career spanning almost two decades as a covert field operations officer for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Mike specialized in counterterrorism, counternarcotics and counterinsurgency operations. He engaged in, organized and supervised operations around the globe, working in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, the former Soviet Union and elsewhere. He was recognized professionally for outstanding performance and for operational achievements in hostile environments.

After leaving government service, Mike co-founded Diligence LLC, a global intelligence, investigations, risk management and security firm that has grown over the past decade into one of the acknowledged industry leaders. As a principal partner he led the company as it expanded around the world, opening offices in London, New York, Washington DC, Moscow, Sao Paulo, Brussels and Geneva. He also established the company’s security operations in Iraq, building a team of over 300 expat and local personnel involved in security and information collection.

The Diligence Advisory Board has included numerous senior leaders from the intelligence world, government and business including Judge William Webster, former Director of both the CIA and Federal Bureau of Investigation, Lord Charles Powell, former National Security Advisor to Margaret Thatcher, Mack McClarty, former Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton and others who have worked with Mike and the Diligence management team to create business opportunities and assist in the company’s growth strategy. Investors and partners have included Haley Barbour, the former Governor of Mississippi and Ed Mathias, senior partner of The Carlyle Group.

Mike is a regular contributor in the national and international media on intelligence, security, counterterrorist issues, geopolitical affairs and cybersecurity. He appears regularly on CNN and Fox News, as well as other major media outlets.

Represented by AGI Entertainment, Mike has cohosted television series including America Declassified and also World Access on the Travel Channel, and SPY on the UK’s Channel Four. He is currently the host of a new Discovery reality series, Black Files Declassified, currently in production for release in Summer 2020.

He served as consultant and script advisor for the UK's long running scripted spy drama Spooks and recently served as script advisor for the TNT drama Legends. He is a partner in Classified Trash, a television and film production company and is involved in the creation and development of television shows, and serves as a technical consultant and script advisor for feature films and television.

A former resident of New Canaan, Mike, his wife Emily and their three young sons now reside out West in Boise, Idaho.

Speech Topics

In today’s increasingly interconnected and global business community, information is your most valuable commodity. Learn what how to look at the steps, resources and mindset necessary for a company to develop an internal business intelligence unit capable of providing senior management with timely, critical information supporting the company’s strategic goals and vision. Baker explains the intelligence cycle and how it relates to the commercial world.

An examination of the threats, the perpetrators and the methodologies involved by looking at recent case studies, best practices from the commercial world and what our intel, law enforcement and military are doing to protect US interests.

An exploration of the key geopolitical issues that pose as top threats to US National Security.  A thorough walk through of current relations and concerns with China, Russia and Iran. Furthermore, what are the dangers and daily protocols to combat the War on Terrorism with insight on the latest from the Middle East and North Korea?

It’s been called the greatest transfer of wealth in history.  For the US, aggressive economic espionage by China, Russia and a host of state and non-state actors means lost intellectual property, lost jobs, lost revenues and lost investment potential to the tune of tens of billions of USD per year.  As former Operations Officer of the CIA, Mike Baker gives a true examination of the perpetrators, their methodologies and how US corporations, big and small, can protect their interests.

With more than 15 years within the CIA’s Operations Directorate, Baker takes and explains the 10 key rules gathered over the course of his career and show how they directly apply to starting, building, and growing a successful business. Using examples of case studies, stories, and personal experiences from both the Agency operating era and the time spent building Diligence, LLC, rules are shared and reinforced on how to properly lead a global intelligence and security firm.

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