Born to hardworking parents in the rural South, Michael Owens is the former Chairman of Cobb County Democrats, elected in 2016 and 2018. A third-generation military veteran, Michael is a proud graduate of Leadership Cobb and Leadership Georgia. As a Democratic Party and grassroots organizer, Michael is known throughout the state of Georgia as a regular panelist on Georgia Public Broadcast’s popular radio and TV show, Political Rewind.
Dr. Owens is a Political Partner with the Washington, D.C.-based Truman National Security Center, and currently acts as Political Director for the organization in Georgia. In this role, he regularly consults with elected officials and candidates on issues related to national security, cyber security, military and veteran affairs. Dr. Owens serves on the Georgia Advisory Committee with the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, representing the 13th Congressional District for the past seven years.
Michael's organizing has gained national attention as Cobb County turned blue in the 2018 election.
In the midst of the 1st Gulf War, while still in high school, Michael picked up the phone and called the United States Marine Corps recruiting office. He is very clear about when this was because, in the days prior, the ground operations began with the U.S. and the 39 country coalition moving in to liberate Kuwait. It was then that Michael began his journey to becoming a 3rd generation wartime veteran. Michael served 8 years in the Marines Corp on active and reserve duty with training in communications, engineering and counter-terrorism after attending Marine Corps Recruit Depot (Boot Camp) at Paris Island and Officers Candidate School (OCS) in Quantico, Va. Service has always been a part of what has driven Michael.
After completing his tour of duty, and an undergraduate degree in technology, Michael began his transition into corporate America as an information technology help desk analysis. Two decades later, Dr. Owens is now an accomplished senior-level global business leader, former entrepreneur, and executive that has helped lead some of the largest companies in the world responsible for solving complex cybersecurity and technology issues. As part of his political advocacy, in 2013, Michael launched the South Cobb Voter Empowerment Project, whose mission is to inform and empower people in local communities, by connecting them to the issues that affect residents the most. The Project provides tomorrow’s leaders with opportunities to meet elected officials and candidates for office, in order to organize around proposed legislation.
Since 2016, Michael has served as Chair of the Cobb County Democratic Party. During his tenure, the party — in a historically red county in metro-Atlanta — has grown to become the largest county party in the state of Georgia, with a string of victories that includes two city council seats, two state House seats, one state Senate seat and the 2018 win of Congresswoman Lucy McBath. The Marietta Daily Journal chronicled Michael’s tenure in a recent article.
Dr. Owens is the founder and president of the U.S. Global Center of Cyber Policy, a nonprofit organization with a focused mission to provide federal, state and local governments with key information related to cybersecurity, cybercrime and cyberwarfare trends, strategies and policies on a domestic and international level. Prior to this, Michael led the Global Cybersecurity, Cybercrime and Critical Infrastructure Program for EY within the Forensics, Investigations & Dispute division. He also filled a senior leadership role with Cisco Systems, working with public sector clients in the Gulf States Region and the State of New York.
In June 2016, Dr. Owens was selected by the International Agency for Regional Development to be one of the top 16 cybersecurity experts and policymakers from around the world to be featured speakers and advisors at the inaugural Global Cybersecurity Summit 2017 (GCS17), which convened hundreds of cybersecurity and technology experts, organizations and high-level government officials in Kiev, Ukraine.
In 2018, after the largest Cybersecurity breach in history, Dr. Owens was recruited by Equifax to fill a senior leadership role within their Global Security and US Information Solutions division, and currently serves as their Vice President of Information Security.Dr. Owens has filled innovative leadership roles at several fortune 500 companies, including Cisco Systems, Delta Air Lines, Fidelity Investments and Wells Fargo. As an entrepreneur, Michael has excelled in small business ownership several times and pioneered the practice of technical managed services as the founder and president of an innovative IT consulting firm.
His academic background includes a Ph.D. in Business Administration from CalUniversity, a masters’ degree from the Business School at Georgia Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science in Computer & Electronic Technology from NC A&T State University. In 2012, Michael was selected to attend the first ever Emerging Leaders Program class at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. His post doctorate studies focused on International Security and Government at Harvard University and the Brookings Institute.
Dr. Owens is currently raising two children in Mableton, GA who attend public school. When not chasing his kids around the house or chasing Russians through cyberspace, Michael enjoys playing tennis, basketball and watching Jeopardy.
North Carolina A&T State University
Georgia Institute of Technology
California Intercontinental University
United States Army War College
United States Marine Corps
Career in Cybersecuity and Technology
Ernst & Young
State / National Leadership
Truman National Security Project
US Global Leadership Coalition
Georgia State Advisory Committee
US Global Center for Cyber Policy Founder, President
Democratic Party of Georgia
State Committee Member
Local Community Leadership
Cobb Chamber of Commerce
Diversity Council Member
Cobb Chamber of Commerce - South Cobb Area Council
Cobb County Democratic Committee