Michael C. Varga
Michael immigrated to the United States as a child from Eastern Europe. He grew up in Los Angeles and studied at the University of Southern California, graduating with a degree in International Relations. Michael conducted graduate study in the field of National Security Studies at California State University – San Bernardino.
Following his studies, Michael joined the firm of Gavin de Becker, the internationally recognized expert in the prediction and prevention of violence. Michael worked as a threat management expert investigating hundreds of cases involving public figure stalking, interpersonal violence, workplace violence, school violence, and threats to multinational corporations.
Michael served in the United States Army as an Airborne Infantry Specialist and later as a Special Agent in Counterintelligence. Following 9-11 he was deployed to the Balkan theater as part of an international task force focused on the capture of war crimes fugitives and the provision of force protection to regional military forces. While deployed overseas, Michael managed undercover intelligence gathering operations and sensitive counter-intelligence and transnational terrorism investigations.
For the last 18 years, Michael has served in municipal law enforcement in San Diego County, California. He has investigated violent crimes associated with homicide, kidnapping, robbery, cross border violence, human trafficking and commercial child sexual exploitation. Today, Michael supervises a dedicated group of detectives focused on criminal intelligence, organized crime, extremist activity, and human trafficking. Michael is a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team Leader and a lead law enforcement instructor on Active Shooter Response. (See Michael’s interview on surviving an active shooter incident HERE.) Michael has extensive experience with the regulation, oversight, and safety and security planning for high risk (police regulated) business entities.
When not working in law enforcement or engaged in work on behalf of the foundation, Michael enjoys time with friends and family (pictured above with his daughter, Chloe), and practicing the crafts of oenology and viticulture on his vineyard in Oregon.