The Alperovitch Institute is delighted to announce that Bryan Vorndran, the Assistant Director for Cyber at the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and Alan Kohler, former Assistant Director for Counterintelligence (CI), have been named Adjunct Professors at the Alperovitch Institute at Johns Hopkins SAIS.
“Together, Bryan Vorndran and Alan Kohler bring more than 5 decades of experience covering the intersection of two of the hottest topics today, cybersecurity and CI. They bring extraordinary real-life investigative experience from the bureau into the classroom,” said Thomas Rid, Professor of Strategic Studies and Founding Director of the Alperovitch Institute.
Byran and Alan have developed and are teaching one of the most-sought after courses at SAIS: The Combined Threat: Counterintelligence and Cyber. The course explores counterintelligence and cyber threats posed to the United States by nation-state and cyber-criminal actors, and examines how and why adversaries select their United States-based targets, and the efficacy of their strategic objectives.
“In understanding how our adversaries select their targets, we can begin to understand our adversaries’ strategic intent. We designed the course to explore not only about these threats and how they manifest in the United States – both at the strategic and tactical level – but also how the Intelligence Community understands the strategic intent of our adversaries and combats their actions in our country,” noted Byran and Alan.
Biographies for Mr. Vorndran and Mr. Kohler can be found below:
Bryan G. Vorndran
Assistant Director, FBI’s Cyber Division
Bryan Vorndran was named assistant director of the FBI’s Cyber Division in March 2021. Mr. Vorndran had most recently served as the special agent in charge of the New Orleans Field Office.
Mr. Vorndran joined the FBI as a special agent in 2003. He was first assigned to the Washington Field Office, where he primarily investigated criminal enterprises trafficking cocaine and heroin. In 2008, he spent five months as part of the International Contract Corruption Task Force in Afghanistan. He was promoted to supervisory special agent in 2009 and was assigned to the Counterterrorism Division at Headquarters; he was promoted to unit chief in 2012.
In 2013, Mr. Vorndran was named to lead the Washington Field Office’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. He was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of the cyber and counterintelligence programs at the Baltimore Field Office in 2016. The next year, he was promoted to chief of the Strategic Operations Section of the Counterterrorism Division at Headquarters.
Mr. Vorndran was named a deputy assistant director of the Criminal Investigative Division in 2018. As a deputy, Mr. Vorndran oversaw FBI programs intended to help dismantle transnational criminal organizations impacting the United States, combat violent and gang-related violent crimes, and counter crimes against children.
In 2019, Mr. Vorndran was named the special agent in charge of the New Orleans Field Office.
Before joining the Bureau, Mr. Vorndran was an engineer for The Procter & Gamble Co. and for Merck & Co. He earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Lafayette College in 1998 and a Master of Business Administration from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan in 2012.
Alan E. Kohler, Jr.
Former Assistant Director, FBI’s Counterintelligence Division
Alan Kohler is a 27-year veteran of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and spent his entire career working counterintelligence and national security matters. He retired in 2023 after serving three years as the assistant director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division. He is currently is the President of Pamir Consulting, a strategic risk consulting firm in northern Virginia.
Mr. Kohler joined the FBI as a special agent in 1996 and worked counterintelligence matters at the Washington Field Office. He also served on the Evidence Response Team and took part in the FBI’s response to the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon. In 2003, he transferred to the Counterintelligence Division to manage Russian counterintelligence investigations and was promoted to unit chief in 2004.
In 2006, Mr. Kohler transferred to the New York Field Office to supervise a counterintelligence squad and then later a squad working cyber national security and criminal matters. He served as an assistant legal attaché in London beginning in 2012, acting as the FBI’s liaison with British intelligence and law enforcement agencies.
Mr. Kohler moved to the Norfolk Field Office in Virginia in 2016 as the assistant special agent in charge of the counterintelligence, counterterrorism, intelligence, and crisis management programs. He returned to FBI Headquarters in 2017 as the chief of the Eurasian Section, which manages the Bureau’s operations countering Russian intelligence threats. In 2018, he was promoted to deputy assistant director in the Counterintelligence Division and managed multiple portfolios.
Mr. Kohler was promoted to the special agent in charge of the Counterintelligence Division at the Washington Field Office in 2019 and then as assistant director for the Counterintelligence Division in 2020.
Mr. Kohler is a recipient of the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service, the FBI Director’s Award for Outstanding Counterintelligence Investigation, and the Exceptional Achievement Medal from the Director of National Intelligence.
Before joining the Bureau, Mr. Kohler managed engineering research for a private technology firm. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in ceramic engineering from Rutgers University.