Posted by Dr. Honora Norton

The Rotary Club of Scottsdale (RCS) welcomed Craig Moringiello, Assistant Special Agent in Charge – Phoenix Division of the Federal Bureau to Investigation to the Club’s hybrid meeting.  The meeting was held via Virtual Zoom Meeting, as well as, on site luncheon at the Scottsdale McCormick with specific temperature check, limited seating, masks required and social distancing practices.  

Since 2002, Special Agent Moringiello has participated in various FBI counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and espionage investigations throughout the U.S.  When introducing Special Agent Moringiello, RCS Club President Richard Signeski noted that Special Agent Moringiello spent ten years as a Naval Flight Officer and that he had earned a bachelor degree from United States Naval Academy and a Master of Aeronautical Science from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.  

Per a quote from U. S. Department of Defense, Special Agent Moringiello stated: “inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in U. S. national Security.”  The FBI’s Counterintelligence Strategy’s mission is to defeat hostile activities targeting the United States. 


Special Agent Moringiello discussed foreign government collection methods which countries, including the Chinese Government, use to achieve their strategic goals in order to become a comprehensive national power, create an innovation-driven economic system, and modernize their military. Some of the methods employed by foreign governments include the following: 

· Talent Recruitment Programs - some countries seek to exploit America’s openness to advance their own national interests and have recruitment plans which incentivizes individuals engaged in research and development in the United States to transmit the knowledge and research they gain here to their country in exchange for salaries, research funding, lab space, and other incentives. Countries unfairly use the American research and expertise obtained for its own economic and military gain. More on the Talent Plans can be found here:

· Non-Traditional Collector-using students, researchers, and business insiders to illicitly obtain valuable intellectual property.  

· Utilizing science and technology investments, mergers and acquisitions, and front companies as well as a wide variety of security services, legal and regulatory enforcements, joint ventures, and research partnerships. Additional information about the risk to corporate America and to Academia can be found at the following links: and

A few of the many other topics that Special Agent Moringiello addressed during his talk included: 

· Specific to FBI Phoenix - counterterrorism, counterintelligence (espionage, theft of trade secrets, counterproliferation, foreign agents and critical infrastructure), cybercriminal and national activities, and crisis response.  

· The annual cost to the U. S. economy of counterfeit goods, pirated software and theft of trade secrets is $225-$600 billion. 

· The initiatives of China’s long-term strategic plan to address agriculture, aviation and aerospace, biotechnology and advanced medical equipment, electrical power, high-end robotics, 

information technology, maritime engineering, new energy automotive technology, new materials and composites and rail transportation. 

For FBI resources – see or and