Dave Merkel (aka “Merk”) is the co-founder of Expel as well as our Chief Executive Officer (CEO). He’s ultimately responsible for everything and has been frequently mistaken for Willy Wonka.Dave has been involved in the information security field for nearly 30 years, first as a federal agent pursuing cyber criminals in the era of floppy disks and 2400 baud modems, then as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and vice president of products at Mandiant. Following FireEye’s acquisition of Mandiant, Dave served as the global CTO of FireEye.
Before Dave’s 10 years as a solutions provider, he spent another decade as a security practitioner. He got his start as a special agent in the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, pursuing cyber criminals and conducting digital forensic investigations, and later as head of AOL’s technical security organization. While at AOL, he created and ran the first incident response capability for AOL and Time Warner, managed software security and policy programs, and built technologies for AOL’s security infrastructure.
He is frequently invited to comment on security-related headlines, and has been featured in news outlets like Bloomberg, The Washington Post and Forbes. Dave was also named to Washingtonian’s Tech Titans list in 2022, 2018 and 2015.