Harry "Skip" Brandon

Harry B. "Skip" Brandon (born November 2, 1941) founded Smith Brandon International, Inc. with Gene M. Smith in 1996. Smith Brandon International is a boutique corporate investigations and risk consulting firm based in Washington, D.C.[1] Brandon is currently company COO.[2] He is a former deputy assistant director of national security and counterterrorism for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.[3] He retired from the FBI in 1993 after 23 years.[4]

Harry B. Brandon
Born (1941-11-02) November 2, 1941 (age 79)
Kansas, U.S.
Other namesSkip Brandon
Alma mater

Early life and educationEdit

Brandon is a native of Kansas.[5] In 1964, he received his B.A. in History from the University of New Mexico. Following graduation, Brandon entered the United States Navy, where he served as a Commissioned Officer for six years, including a tour of duty in Vietnam as a Navy lieutenant on a swift boat.[5][6][7][8]

In 1970, Brandon earned a Master of Arts in International Relations from the University of Texas at Austin.[5]

Professional careerEdit

With the FBIEdit

In 1970, Brandon was appointed an FBI Special Agent. His first assignment was in Norfolk, Virginia, and then to Hartford, Connecticut. In 1975, he was transferred to San Juan, Puerto Rico, where he specialized in Cuban espionage.[5][9]

In 1977, Brandon returned to Washington, D.C. to serve in the FBI Headquarters Intelligence Division. In 1982, he moved to the Madison, Wisconsin Resident Agency to serve as supervisory special agent until 1984.[5]

Following a year at the National War College, he returned to Puerto Rico as assistant special agent in charge of the San Juan Division. He later became special agent in charge. From 1990 to 1993, when he left the Bureau, he was deputy assistant director of the FBI Headquarters Intelligence Division.[5]

In his final FBI assignment, Brandon spent time working on projects in Poland and Russia and made frequent trips to Asia.[7][10]


In 1996, Brandon founded Smith Brandon International with former CIA agent Gene M. Smith. The firm specializes in business intelligence, risk assessment, and litigation support.[11] Brandon is currently COO of the company.[2]

In 1996, on one of his first assignments, Brandon traveled to Philippines island of Mindanao to negotiate a deal for his client, a North American mining company, with a rebel guerrilla group. The client had come into conflict with the group, threatening its future operations. Brandon's meetings with the rebels were successful at securing his client's interests. Various news sources picked up the story, involving face-to-face descriptions of his meetings with the rebels armed with machine guns in remote parts of the jungle.[7][10][12][13]

Personal lifeEdit

Brandon is fluent in Spanish.[7]

He has appeared on various television and radio news programs, such as ABC News and NPR, to discuss counter-terrorism. He has contributed to various industry periodicals, such as the Harvard Business Review and The Economist.[2][3][11][14][15][16][17]


  1. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Smith Brandon International. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Brandon, Harry; Smith, Gene M. (March–April 1998). "Coping with Disaster: You Need a Plan". MiningVoice. 4 (2): 23–27.
  3. ^ a b Brandon, Harry; Smith, Gene M. (March 1999). "Expert Advisor: Expect the Unexpected—Terrorism in Today's World". Crime Victims Litigation. The National Center of Victims of Crime. 6 (1): 10–11.
  4. ^ Brandon, Harry (August 17, 2005). "Talk of the Nation". National Public Radio (Interview). Interviewed by Neil Conan. Boston, Massachusetts: WBUR. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d e f The Future of U.S. Antiterrorism Policy: Hearings and Markup of H. Res. 118, To Condemn the Release by the Government of Malta of Convicted Terrorist Mohammed Ali Rezaq, before the Subcommittee on International Security, International Organizations, and Human Rights of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. 1993. p. 277. ISBN 0-16-043305-3.
  6. ^ "Busy Phis". The Scroll of Phi Delta Theta. Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. 108 (5): 133. 1985. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  7. ^ a b c d Ripley, Amanda (July 31, 1998). "Rent-a-Spook". Washington City Paper. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
  8. ^ Swiftboats.net website. "Crew Listings for PCF 30 thru 39", 19 February 2014. Accessed 11 December 2018.
  9. ^ Stein, Jeff (February 7, 2011). "Our Man in Havana". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  10. ^ a b Stein, Jeff (March 1997). "Risky Business". Impact 21: 22–25.
  11. ^ a b Finder, Joseph (2007). "The CEO's Private Investigation". Harvard Business Review. Harvard Business Publishing. 85 (10): 54. Retrieved February 16, 2013.
  12. ^ Whitefield, Mimi (April 20, 1998). "Risk Analysts Cut a Path for Latin American Investors". The Miami Herald.
  13. ^ Stein, Jeff (November 20, 1996). "The Dogs of Peace". Salon. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
  14. ^ Thomas, Pierre (July 28, 2006). "Some Experts Fear Hezbollah Attack in United States". Retrieved February 26, 2013.
  15. ^ Brandon, Harry (August 16, 2004). "Can FBI & CIA Work Together?". CNN (Interview). Interviewed by Soledad O'Brien. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
  16. ^ "Chief fiction officer". The Economist. August 23, 2007. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
  17. ^ Leshan, Bruce (September 11, 2012). "On 11th Anniversary Of 9/11, Are We Safer?". Archived from the original on September 12, 2012. Retrieved February 26, 2013.

External linksEdit