Michele Guel

Distinguished Engineer and Chief Security Architect

Security and Trust Organization

Michele D. Guel joined Cisco in 1996 as the founding member of Cisco’s internal security team, and in 2010, she was promoted to Distinguished Engineer, one of 8 women in that role across the company. She recently co-founded the Cisco Women in Cybersecurity Community, which focuses on developing the next generation of women cybersecurity leaders. Michele is also an avid participant, speaker, teacher, influencer and evangelist in the cybersecurity industry for nearly 30 years.

Michele’s passion is to inspire, lead and mentor people. Prior to joining Cisco, Michele spent 11 years at NASA Ames Research Center – initially as a programmer, then as a system administrator and software support specialist, and finally as an information and network security professional. In her last role at NASA Ames, she formulated, founded and headed the information security program for the Numerical Aerodynamic Simulation (NAS) Facility in 1989.

Michele’s most recent work focuses on developing and codifying the practice and art of Information Security Engineering & Architecture, with an emphasis on cloud and the Internet of Things. Her motto is all about “building it in and not bolting it on”.

“My passion is to develop and build the next generation of cyber security professionals through innovative, relevant and collaborative training and mentoring. Tribal knowledge must end and information and expertise must be shared and codified if we, as an industry, are to outpace the well-connected and highly-skilled cyber underground”, she says. “The threat landscape changes daily and cyber security professionals must be willing to partner, constantly learn and stay engaged.”

Michele has B.A., in mathematics with a minor in cybernetic systems and is currently working on a master’s in software engineering with a concentration in cybersecurity. She has also completed a two-year program in biblical studies. Michelle was awarded the 2015 Anita Borg Institute ABIE Award for Leadership which recognizes a technical woman who led an important technology development or innovation, made a significant contribution to the technology industry and inspired others with her work.


March 12, 2020


Women at Cisco take on the Cyberstart Challenge – Will You?

At Cisco, we wanted to create an internal competition to encourage our Women in Cybersecurity community members to step out of their comfort zone and learn new areas of cybersecurity. Nearly one hundred Cisco women across the globe participated in the CyberStart Challenge.

March 27, 2019


Women Leading in Cyber – Welcome to WiCyS 2019

It’s time for the annual Women in Cyber Security Conference (WiCyS). Cisco is once again a VIP sponsor as well as a Founding Partner of this motivating and important event.

October 9, 2018


Be Fearless: Advice to My 15-Year-Old Self on Pursuing a Cyber Career

Women, especially young women, please allow me to share my learnings in hopes of helping you move more confidently down the path to STEM-centric occupations.

March 21, 2018


Standing with WiCyS 2018!

Working together to bridge the cybersecurity talent gap at the Women in Cybersecurity Conference (WiCyS) on March 22-24 in Chicago! 

October 23, 2017


Cisco Takes Exclusivity Out of Cybersecurity

Nearly 30 years ago, I attended the first of what would be hundreds of information security conferences throughout my career. I was astonished to be one of only a handful...

March 28, 2017


How to Increase the Presence – and Impact – of Women in Cybersecurity

This blog is the first in a series of posts featuring perspectives from Cisco women in security. Next month’s blog will feature Chief Privacy Officer, Michelle Dennedy. When I started my information security career at NASA’s Ames Research Center in 1988, there were very few women in the field. In fact, I’d attend conferences in […]