Ken coordinates Cisco's strategic contribution to the security of worldwide critical infrastructures. He is also Founding and Past Chairman of the Partnership for Critical Infrastructure Security, a non-profit organization dedicated to assuring the reliable provision of critical infrastructure services in the face of emerging risks to economic and national security. He has also had instrumental roles in the development of the critical infrastructure assurance public-private partnership in the US, including founding, leading, and directing several component organizations. He came to Cisco with the WheelGroup acquisition in March 1998, where he was Director, Professional Services.
Before WheelGroup, Watson served 23 years in the Marine Corps, retiring with the rank of lieutenant colonel. His last assignment was as the Marine Liaison Officer to the Air Force Information Warfare Center. Assigned there by the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, his responsibilities included refining and evaluating Marine Corps requirements regarding information warfare and its implementation on the battlefield via command and control warfare. He led multi-Service information warfare teams in military operations spanning several continents. His efforts helped convince the Marine Corps to establish permanent policy, doctrine, personnel positions, and operational requirements to make offensive and defensive information warfare an integrated part of Marine Corps operations. As Marine Liaison Officer to the Air Force Information Warfare Center, he participated in the beginnings of organized network security in the military services. He also led the Electronic Warfare Reprogramming Support Division, responsible for supporting reprogramming updates for all US Air Force aircraft threat warning and countermeasure systems.
During his military career, Watson was a carrier-qualified A-6E Intruder and EA-6B Prowler pilot. A Joint Specialty Officer, he served at the Joint Electronic Warfare Center, helping to coordinate publication of the annual Department of Defense Electronic Warfare Plan. He also wrote a handbook on US responses to hostile wartime reserve modes and provided planning and analysis support to various contingencies and operations. He co-authored Marine Corps doctrinal textbooks on directed energy weapons, electronic warfare, and command and control warfare.