About SBI

Smith Brandon International, Inc. (SBI) provides a comprehensive range of professional consulting services, individually tailored to meet your needs. These services include global due diligence, risk avoidance, corporate investigations (US and International), political risk assessment of your investments, security and safety assessments of your operations and employees abroad, as well as business intelligence counsel and plans of action for your international operations.

We have an extensive network of global and US resources drawn from business, financial, legal, diplomatic, and law enforcement communities and through up-to-date Internet and media sources. This gives us unique access to worldwide sources of information on individuals, companies and your potential partners or clients, including targets in emerging economies and developing nations.

SBI’s principals, Gene M. Smith and Harry B. ‘Skip’ Brandon, have a lifetime of experience operating in challenging political and economic environments worldwide (learn more).  Their record of success in meeting challenges is widely known and respected.  The Financial Times listed SBI among the top companies in the intelligence and security consulting industry.  SBI and its principals have been featured in PM Network (2009), Vital Speeches (2008), Harvard Business Review (2007), and many other media outlets.



SBI's Principal Officers

Gene M. Smith

Gene M. Smith is the President of SBI and founded the company in 1996 with Harry B. Brandon. She specializes in international business intelligence and investigative services, and has extensive experience in economic and political analysis.  Since SBI's founding, she has worked on projects around the world, with an emphasis on developing countries in Latin America, Southeast Asia, Central Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Ms. Smith has particular expertise in providing investigative services, including:

    • Due diligence
    • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) investigations
    • Industry-specific country reports
    • Risk avoidance analysis
    • Background investigations of US and foreign businesses and individuals
    • Support for market entry abroad by newly formed business entities
    • Tailored business and competitive intelligence

She also has assisted international law enforcement authorities in the investigation and prosecution of fraud.

Gene Smith has developed a broad array of global resources that include a network of in-country associates who support strategic intelligence-gathering operations and state-of-the-art databases.

Her practice provides unique access to sources of information on companies, individuals and potential partners in developing nations and emerging economies. Beyond professional associates in countries around the globe, she has developed relationships with US and foreign government sources, international diplomatic resources, as well as sources in the US from competitive intelligence and law enforcement circles.

Ms. Smith is a former Officer with the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), serving at the US Embassy in Brasilia, Brazil, and the US Consulate in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Prior to her service with the US Government, Ms. Smith was a prosecutor and trial attorney in Louisville, Kentucky and New Albany, Indiana.

Gene Smith received a B.A., with honors, from Spalding University (Louisville, KY). She has a Juris Doctor from the University of Louisville School of Law (Louisville, KY), which included a comparative law program through the University of Houston Bates College of Law in Cuernavaca, Mexico. She is fluent in Portuguese and speaks Spanish and French.

Harry B. ‘Skip’ Brandon

Harry B. ‘Skip’ Brandon is Chief Operating Officer of SBI and founded the company in 1996 with Gene M. Smith.  He has an extensive background in US and international investigations and counter-terrorism activities, with special expertise in providing in-country support to international corporate projects. His experience and expertise is particularly great in Latin America, Asia, Africa and Central Europe.

Skip Brandon has used a “hands-on” approach to various projects. He has:

  • Reviewed corporate operations from a security and anti-corruption perspective
  • Conducted security assessments of manufacturing plants and building complexes
  • Given lectures as part of law enforcement training sessions
  • Investigated security lapses and proposed improved security measures for companies operating in unstable environments
  • Developed and presented training modules related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)

Harry Brandon is uniquely qualified to advise clients and provide accurate and timely information on such issues as risk avoidance and uncovering intelligence efforts directed against their companies. He is equally qualified and experienced in ensuring employee safety and asset security in high-risk areas, particularly in developing nations. Mr. Brandon is a frequent contributor to television and radio news programs such as ABC, CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, and NPR.

Prior to founding SBI, Mr. Brandon directed the FBI’s worldwide counter-terrorism efforts and had wide ranging responsibilities over National Security programs in his ultimate assignment as Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI for Counter-Terrorism and Counter Intelligence. Mr. Brandon participated in domestic and foreign policy deliberations as a member of various Presidential Commissions, National Security Council working groups, and interagency forums.  He testified frequently before the US Senate and the US House of Representatives. During his tenure with the FBI, Mr. Brandon was assigned to numerous posts across the US, including Puerto Rico, where he was the Special Agent in charge of all FBI activities in the Caribbean Basin.

Mr. Brandon holds a Masters of International Relations from the University of Texas (Austin, TX).  He received his undergraduate degree from the University of New Mexico (Albuquerque, NM), and is also a graduate of the National War College (Washington, DC).  A decorated combat veteran, Mr. Brandon served six years with the US Navy, which included service in Vietnam.  Mr. Brandon speaks fluent Spanish.



Smith Brandon International, Inc.(SBI) conducts international investigations and global due diligence investigations. SBI provides actionable business intelligence and risk avoidance counsel to assist companies in their international operations. SBI's principals are grounded in investigative, analytical, and intelligence gathering techniques, drawing on decades of experience in the FBI, State Department, intelligence circles and the private sector. For more information, please call 202-887-9363.


Smith Brandon International has a network of experienced professionals anywhere in the world (learn more).

SBI World Map

1156 15th Street NW, Suite 510
Washington, DC 20005