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Personality Profile

Scott Borg

Current job: Director and Chief Economist, U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit and Senior Research Fellow, Center for Digital Strategies, Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College
Career steppingstones: Became exasperated with the neo-classical economics in which I was trained. Built a new set of models with fewer constraining assumptions, drawing on some game theory concepts invented by Harborne Stuart and Adam Brandenburger. Applied the new models successfully to the economics of information. Developed the theoretical basis for a series of value creation concepts that rapidly became very influential in business consulting circles: value net analysis, value-based pricing, channel providers, configurators, markets employing multi-variable matching.
Then was foolish enough to turn my attention from value creation to value destruction! Discovered that the American economy could be extremely vulnerable, not to the past sorts of denial-of-service attacks, but to the sort of cyber attacks that would hijack our information systems with false information. Decided that I had better try to do something about this. Hence, my current job.
Education: Primarily self-educated, but with extensive studies at the Helmholtz Gymnasium in Frankfurt, Germany, the University of Chicago, the London School of Economics and Yale University
Homeland security mission: To assess the economic and strategic risks from various potential cyber attacks and to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of possible counter-measures.
Top job priority: Making corporate America aware of vulnerabilities that our potential attackers are already discussing.
Biggest obstacle: People’s unrealistic belief that if a given disaster hasn’t happened yet, it won’t ever happen.
Homeland security involvement outside work: You mean it’s possible to have an activity outside of work?
Proudest career moment:
Getting the Committee on National Security Systems and the CIOs or CSOs of several government departments and agencies to acknowledge that they need to look at cyber security risks in a new way.
Your role model: There are a number of senior civil servants whom I aspire to use as role models, but I hesitate to name them because I do such a poor job of following their impressive examples.
Career ambition:
To make enough progress in preventing massive value destruction, so that I can go back to thinking about value creation.

Hometown: I grew up on a farm near Mound, Minnesota, west of the Twin Cities. The same hometown as Kevin Sorbo, TV’s Hercules.
Current residence: Norwich, Vermont
Last book read: “Animals in Translation,” by Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson
Favorite film: “Groundhog Day,” starring Bill Murray (1993)
Personal detail: Despite writing articles and books and being a natural speed-reader, I am severely dysgraphic and scramble letters so badly that I can only write with the aid of a computer.
Ideal vacation: Exploring natural wonders or historical sites with my wife and kids.
Hobby / sport: Downhill skiing, scuba diving, wilderness or whitewater canoeing.
Favorite meal: One where the conversation is more important than the food.
Major regret: I don’t spend a lot of time looking back. There’s always so much ahead that needs to be figured out.
Proudest achievement:
The next one or the one after that.