Principals and Consultants
Mike Barbero, Colonel, US Army (ret), established Sandhills Strategic Solutions LLC in 2020 to continue to provide Government Relations and Business Development assistance to small businesses seeking to navigate the Department of Defense Budgets and Congressional Appropriations Activities. Prior to 2020, Mike was the Senior Vice President for Washington Operations and Government Relations for Cobham.
Mike Barbero joined the Cobham Washington office in May 2008 as Senior Director of Government Relations and Land Warfare Programs. In that capacity Mike worked as part of Cobham’s Government Relations team supporting Cobham on Capitol Hill and leading the efforts to identify requirements for Land Warfare programs in the US DoD to include US Army and Marine Corps programs. Mike was promoted to Vice President for Government Relations in July 2012 with a focus on business development and the early identification of opportunities arising from the requirements of government end users and tier 1 and 2 prime contractors and as the primary legislative interface for the furtherance of Cobham’s goals and objectives. In March 2016, Mike was promoted to Senior Vice President Washington Operations and Government Relations with added responsibilities of the Cobham North America budget and running of the Washington DC office.
Michael Barbero was commissioned as an Army second lieutenant in Armor upon graduation from the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York in 1982. Over the next 19 years, Mike served in a variety of leadership and staff positions at the company, battalion, brigade, and headquarters staff level before returning to the National Capitol Region in 2001.
Upon reassignment to the Pentagon in June 2001 after a one year fellowship with the Rand Arroyo Center, Mike Barbero was assigned as a Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff, Army, working first in Army Strategic Communications Initiatives Group and later as Strategist in the Chief’s Initiative Group. During this assignment Mike authored “Realizing the Army Vision” smart book and video, and spearheaded the Stryker and Future Combat Systems (FCS) program for the Chief of Staff that resulted in the FCS program reaching a Milestone B decision and the authorization for six Stryker Brigades.
In June 2003, Mike Barbero was assigned to the Office of Congressional Liaison Programs Division, responsible for the current operations, readiness, training and transformation portfolio. In October 2004, he was selected as the Division Chief, of the Senate Liaison Division in OCLL. As the Senate Liaison Chief, Mike Barbero was a principal advisor to the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Army on the status of United States Senate and Army affairs.
Mike Barbero holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the United States Military Academy and a Master of Science Degree in Industrial Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. His awards include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Ranger Tab, Parachutist Badge, and is a holder of the Army Armor Association’s Order of St. George.
Michael is married to the former Vicki Jo Drake of Storm Lake, Iowa. They have two children, Mary (27) and Michael (24).