Skip to Content

Walker Institute of International and Area Studies

  • Group photo of Wilhelmina Cuono, Hannah Illingworth, and Tammy Nguyen

    Our Team

    Wilhelmina Cuono (left), Hannah Illingworth (middle), and Tammy Nguyen (right)


Walker Institute Students Compete in DC Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge

On Friday, March 15, the twelfth annual flagship Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge occurred in Washington, DC, showcasing the strategic prowess and cyber policy expertise of university teams from across the nation. Three of the Walker Institute’s Cyber Policy and Ethics students – Wilhelmina Cuono, Hannah Illingworth, and Tammy Nguyen– competed in the event. Hosted by the Atlantic Council, the event serves as a platform for students to engage in strategic thinking, crisis management, and ethical decision-making in the realm of cybersecurity.

Throughout the competition, participating teams grappled with simulated cyber crisis scenarios, testing their abilities to craft effective strategies in response to complex cyber threats. From addressing cyberattacks on critical infrastructure to navigating diplomatic challenges in cyberspace, the competition provided a realistic simulation of the multifaceted nature of cyber warfare.

This was the first year that a team from USC had competed in the challenge. Of the 48 total teams in the competition, USC’s team was 1 of the 3 all-female teams. Cuono, Illingworth, and Nguyen faired very well in the competition, making it to the semi-finals.

With cybersecurity becoming an increasingly pressing issue on the global stage, events like the DC Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge play a vital role in preparing the next generation of cyber leaders. Our students gained hands-on experience in analyzing cyber threats, formulating policy responses, and collaborating across disciplines to mitigate potential risks. As the competition unfolded, our team showcased their interdisciplinary expertise, drawing upon fields such as cyber policy, law, governance, and international relations to develop comprehensive strategies.

The 2024 DC Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge served as a testament to the dedication and innovation of the next generation of cyber policy experts. As cyber threats continue to pose significant challenges to governments, businesses, and individuals worldwide, events like these play a crucial role in fostering collaboration, innovation, and preparedness in the field of cybersecurity. We are incredibly proud of Wilhelmina Cuono, Hannah Illingworth, and Tammy Nguyen for their hard work in the competition!

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.