Founded in 2008, Plessas Experts Network, Inc. is a team of social media, subject matter and technical experts skilled in collecting and applying open-source information (publicly available information recovered from internet research and analysis) for the unique needs of diverse government and private-sector organizations. Our experts include linguists, analysts, instructors and consultants; military and intelligence community veterans; Middle Eastern, Asian and Latin American cultural experts. We are a Service Disabled Veteran and Woman-Owned Small Business. Our training keeps pace with emerging communication technologies, research tools and the latest in Internet innovation.
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Kirby Plessas is founder and CEO of Plessas Experts Network, Inc. Before devoting her work full time to PEN, Kirby established herself as one of the foremost tradecraft experts in OSINT through a successful careers both as a member of the U.S. Military and as a contractor prior to founding PEN in 2008.
A service-disabled veteran, Kirby began her career in Military Intelligence as an Arabic linguist supporting the Department of Defense. Upon completion of her Army service, Ms. Plessas complimented her MI expertise through utilizing her OSINT experience at the Defense Intelligence Agency to support the warfighter as well as supporting other Intelligence Community activities. Acknowledged as an expert in her field, in 2007 she was selected to participate and instrumental in the creation and institution of an innovation center for conducting OSINT. In great tribute to her long list of personal and corporate accomplishments in her field, DHS declared Kirby Plessas an OSINT Technical Expert (2010). Through her work at PEN, Kirby shares her love of innovative technology and OSINT expert skill through corporate workshops as well as consulting and delivering hands-on training courses.
Although she maintains a diverse customer portfolio, one of Kirby’s main efforts is focused on law enforcement and the internet, where there is substantial interest in safe and investigative uses of social media. Ms. Plessas has additionally taught numerous social media, dark web and bitcoin attribution classes for the U.S. Department of Justice and conferences including SXSW Interactive, the annual HTCIA Conference and the International Conference on Transnational Organized Crime.
Kyle Elliott is the Chief Operations Officer and a Project Manager for Plessas Experts Network, Inc., who partners with law enforcement, government, and industry to consult and provide training on Open Source Intelligence (OSINT), internet technology, information and dark web data extraction, security, linguistics, and worldwide internet usage. After spending over a decade working in security and technology for federal, local, and state government, academia, multi-million-dollar brands and startups, Kyle knows what truly drives success and enjoys connecting with others to apply Internet innovations and emerging technology to challenges in safety and security.
Kyle holds a BA in Philosophy and Theology from the University of Notre Dame. His extensive study in these areas have provided him with a unique ability to communicate effectively, problem solve, think objectively, appreciate cultural diversity, assess influential human ideas, evaluate compelling points of view and process critical information in support of developing new problem-solving approaches in his day to day work.
A community organizer and non-profit leader, Kyle serves and has contributed to his community through a variety of roles and engagements including Rotary Club President, Hospice Volunteer, PTA, and Assistant Rescue Chief at the Arcola Volunteer Fire Department where he managed EMS teams. Kyle’s commitment to volunteerism has generated organizational connections and aided countless individuals and families within the community.
When he is not working for PEN or serving the community, Kyle enjoys spending time with his family and furry four-legged friends, traveling, culinary adventures, and sharing a pint of stout with his lovely wife of almost 16 years.
John Gates has been an Open Source Intelligence instructor, collector, policy developer, and leader with over thirty years’ experience teaching and managing Open Source Intelligence, as well as foreign language acquisition, Signals Intelligence collection and analysis, and All-Source Intelligence Collection Management. He was the Senior Intelligence Officer and Open Source Intelligence Officer for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the lead agency for the Intelligence Community’s Information Review Task Force (IRTF-2) dealing with the Snowden leaks from 2015 - 2017. He was Executive Officer for the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) Open Source Academy, led curriculum development, and taught a number of Open Source courses for CIA and DIA from 2007 - 2013. John was a high school and adult education Spanish and English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher, a US Air Force Signals Intelligence and Airborne Electronic Warfare collector, analyst, instructor, and worked for DIA from 2003 – 2018. John makes his home in Arlington, Virginia.