Matt Thorne – Director, Defense and Intelligence Programs

A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and the Joint Improvised Threat Defeat Organization (JIDO), with nearly two decades of academic and professional experience in counterterrorism and asymmetric warfare issues, Matt Thorne has distinguished himself with excellence in the academic, defense, intelligence, and private sectors. As an active duty U.S. Marine, Mr. Thorne served as an Arabic linguist, providing translation support to U.S. Marine and U.S. Army operations in the Middle East. He worked and studied extensively in the Palestinian West Bank Territories, gaining singular expertise in Levantine regional issues. In recent years, he provided focused support to U.S. Department of Defense Counter-Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) efforts in the Middle East and Pacific regions.

Mr. Thorne holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Dalhousie University in 1998 with coursework in Middle Eastern languages and political studies at the University of Prince Edward Island and Birzeit University. He earned his Master’s degree in Linguistics at the University of Hawaii in 2016 and presented findings of his research in Saudi Arabic speech phonetics at the December 2016 Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America.

Mr. Thorne distinguished himself as an innovator, introducing and successfully leading proof-of-concept capabilities to U.S. Department of Defense contracts with CALNET Inc. and Lockheed Martin before joining the Firebird team in 2012. Mr. Thorne is currently based in Honolulu, HI, where he manages Firebird AST Defense and Intelligence Programs and leads Firebird AST support to Special Operations Command – Pacific.