Ghanaian Desmond Israel takes spotlight at America’s prestigious George Washington Law School

Ghanaian Desmond Israel who has been practising cybersecurity law for over 15 years was placed on spotlight after enrolling for a Masters program LLM in National Security and Cybersecurity, at George Washington Law School (GW Law). He started in August 2022 and would graduate in May 2023.

As a GW Merit Law scholar, his Masters program specializes in law and policy for national security within the context of cybersecurity, cyberwarfare, information privacy, artificial intelligence, and blockchain.

Over his professional career, Desmond has developed an profound profile as the founder and lead consultant of Information Security Architects Ltd (a Rapid7 Gold Partner), delivering enterprise defensive cybersecurity solutions to tier-1 banks.

He is also a consulting partner for Legal Afrique Unlimited, and an Anti-Money Laundering Reporting Officer and Compliance Lead for Halges Financial Technologies Limited.

In his spotlight commentary, he mentioned that his keen interest in GW Law is because it’s “uniquely positioned not just because of its academic resources but also because of its faculty’s engagement with students is priceless. As an LLM student, you get mentored by fanstatic faculty, and in National Security & Cybersecurity, we receive direct access and mentoring from Dean Lisa Schenck.”

In spite of his illustrious profile, Desmond believes the GW Law experience will open up a new layer of exposure to his expertise.

“The LLM career advising and its related activities are designed to help students navigate the labyrinth of career opportunities in the U.S. The school’s location is well-placed within the federal law making home of the United States and places so many international organisations of interest at your disposal,” he added.

Desmond formerly worked as a lawyer in Nsiah Akuetteh & Co. for four years, providing external legal services which include open-source intelligence gathering, offensive security techniques, and regulatory compliance for technology start-up organizations including fintech firms in Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Prior to joining GW Law, he had an LLB (Hons) from Mountcrest University College; BSc. (Hons) in Management with Computing (Regent University College of Science & Technology); Practicing Certificate (Ghana School of Law); Advanced Diploma in Information Technology (Graduate of School of Management, London – UK).

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He also holds an edX Verified Certificate for Cyberwar, Surveillance and Security (University of Adelaide, Australia); and various industry certifications including One-trust Privacy Professional, CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) and QualysGuard Certified Specialist Vulnerability Management (QCS(VM)).

In 2021, he acted as a non-key expert on the Legislative Drafting Team for the Malawian e-Government Bill, and is also an expert contributor to the ICT curriculum development for the training of the Girl child through the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Unit of the Programme for Sustainable Economic Development (PSED), a project of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

He is a member of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA), International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), Cybersecurity Initiative Forum (CSIF, USA), Institute of ICT Professionals Ghana (IIPGH), a Past co-chair of the IAPP KnowledgeNet Ghana Chapter and an associate with the Child Online Africa.

Desmond was an adjunct lecturer with the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration for IT contracts and Ethical hacking and vulnerability analysis. He is currently a lead researcher for the renowned XR Security Initiative’s (XRSI) child safety framework for the Metaverse in California, United States.

As a public speaker, he has contributed to expert conferences on cybersecurity, cyberwarfare, cyber-insurance, and data privacy in payments systems with organizations like GRC Group (San Francisco), Bankable Frontier (Boston), SAYA University (Japan), CyberInAfrica (Kenya), ISACA (Ghana), Child Online Africa (Ghana) and Africa Digital Rights Hub (Ghana) etc.

His public recognitions include a nomination as part of the Top 50 Individuals Leading in Legal Innovations at the Africa Legal Innovations Award 2020, MTN Ghana Cyber Hero 2020, and Africa Cybersecurity Influencer 2019 by Cyber In Africa Magazine.

Originally published on December 11, 2022. Updated on December 12, 2022. 

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