Speakers

Dr. Kathleen Hicks Bio
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Dr. Kathleen Hicks

Deputy Secretary of Defense

Department of Defense

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Dr. Kathleen Hicks

Deputy Secretary of Defense

Department of Defense

Dr. Kathleen H. Hicks serves as the 35th Deputy Secretary of Defense; she was sworn into that office on Feb. 9, 2021.

Prior to becoming Deputy Secretary, Dr. Hicks held the position of senior vice president, Henry A. Kissinger Chair, and Director of the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. From 2009 to 2013, she served as a senior civilian official in the Department of Defense. Confirmed by the United States Senate in 2012 as principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, she was responsible for advising the secretary of defense on global and regional defense policy and strategy. She also served as deputy undersecretary of defense for strategy, plans, and forces, leading the development of the 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance and the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review and crafting guidance for future force capabilities, overseas military posture, and contingency and theater campaign plans.

Prior to becoming the DUSD for SPF, from 2006 to 2009 Deputy Secretary Hicks was a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Deputy Secretary Hicks launched her career as a civil servant in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, serving from 1993 to 2006 in a variety of capacities and rising from Presidential Management Intern to the Senior Executive Service.

Dr. Hicks holds a Ph.D. in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an M.A. from the University of Maryland’s School of Public Affairs, and an A.B. magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Mount Holyoke College.

Gen. John M. Murray Bio
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Gen. John M. Murray

Commanding General

Army Futures Command

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Gen. John M. Murray

Commanding General

Army Futures Command

General Murray was commissioned as an Infantry officer in the U.S. Army upon graduation from the Ohio State University in 1982. Throughout his career, General Murray has served in leadership positions and
commanded from Company through Division, with various staff assignments at the highest levels of the Army. General Murray has held numerous command positions. His command assignments include: Commanding General Joint Task Force-3; Deputy Commanding General – Support for U.S. Forces Afghanistan; Commander Bagram Airfield; Commanding General 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, Georgia; Commander, 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, at Fort Hood, Texas while serving in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM; Commander, 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division, United States Army Europe and Seventh Army, Germany; Commander, C Company, 1-12th Infantry Battalion, 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized), Fort Carson, Colorado. Previously, he was the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-8, in the Pentagon; Director, Force Management, the Pentagon; Assistant Deputy Director for Joint Training, J-7, Joint Staff, Suffolk, Virginia; Director, Joint Center for Operational Analysis, United States Joint Forces Command, Suffolk, Virginia; Deputy Commanding General (Maneuver), 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; Deputy Commanding General (Maneuver), Multi-National Division-Baghdad OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM, Iraq; G-3 (Operations), III Corps, Fort Hood, Texas; Chief of Staff, III Corps and Fort Hood, Fort Hood, Texas; C-3, Multi-National Corps-Iraq, OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM, Iraq; G-3 (Operations), 1st Infantry Division, United States Army Europe and Seventh Army, Germany; Chief, Space Control Protection Section, J-33, United States Space Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado; S3(Operations), later Executive Officer, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; Chief, Plans, G-1, III Corps and Fort Hood, Fort Hood, Texas. General Murray’s awards and decorations include: the Distinguished Service Medal w/ Oak Leaf Cluster, the Defense Superior Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Legion of Merit with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Bronze Star Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, the Army Achievement Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Ranger Tab, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Expert Infantryman Badge, the Parachutist Badge, the Air Assault Badge, the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge and the Army Staff Identification Badge.

General Murray hails from Kenton, Ohio. He and his wife, Jane, have three lovely
daughters and seven grandchildren.

Mieke Eoyang Bio
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Mieke Eoyang

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Cyber Policy

Department of Defense

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Mieke Eoyang

Mieke Eoyang

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Cyber Policy

Department of Defense

Ms. Mieke Eoyang is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Cyber Policy.  The Cyber Policy office is responsible for establishing DoD cyberspace policy and strategy, providing guidance and oversight on DoD cyberspace activities, and managing DoD’s primary external relationships across the U.S. government, key domestic stakeholders, and our allies and partners.

Prior to that she was the Senior Vice President for the National Security Program at the think tank, Third Way, where she led their work on a wide range of national security issues including on foreign policy, Congress’ role in the national security policymaking process, non-proliferation, intelligence oversight, electronic surveillance, cybersecurity. She was the founder of the organization’s Cyber Enforcement Initiative which focused on improving the government’s efforts to impose consequences on the human behind malicious cyber activity.

Before joining Third Way, she was the Chief of Staff to Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) having previously served as the Subcommittee Staff Director for Intelligence Community Management on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. While there, she was the committee’s lead for cybersecurity, personnel management and worked on electronic surveillance reform, among other issues.

Prior to that, she served as the Defense Policy Advisor to Senator Edward M. Kennedy, advising him on all matters related to the Senate Armed Services Committee and Defense Appropriations during the Iraq War. Earlier in her career, she served as the lead Democratic Professional Staff Member on the House Armed Services Committee for the Military Personnel Subcommittee.

Ms. Eoyang received her Juris Doctor from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and her Bachelor’s Degree from Wellesley College.

Lt. Gen. Dennis A. Crall Bio
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Lt. Gen. Dennis A. Crall

Director, Command, Control, Communications, and Computers/Cyber; and Chief Information Officer

Joint Staff J6

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Lt. Gen. Dennis A. Crall

Lt. Gen. Dennis A. Crall

Director, Command, Control, Communications, and Computers/Cyber; and Chief Information Officer

Joint Staff J6

Lieutenant General Crall serves as the Director of the Joint Staff J6 (Command, Control, Communications, and Computers/Cyber; and Chief Information Officer). His most recent, previous assignments include serving as the Deputy Principal Cyber Advisor and Senior Military Advisor for Cyber Policy at the Office of the Secretary of Defense; and Director of Command, Control, Communications, Computers and the Chief Information Officer for the United States Marine Corps.

Lieutenant General Crall is a career Aviation Command and Control Officer who has commanded at the squadron and group levels. He deployed as the Direct Air Support Center – Airborne, Officer-In-Charge in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, conducting 34 combat missions spanning over 350 flight hours. Earlier in his career he was the Joint Liaison Officer to the 7th Air Force, 607th Air Support Operations Group, in Osan, South Korea. He has extensive experience in cyber, information operations, development and concepts, strategic plans and recruiting across U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) and U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM).

Lieutenant General Crall is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force’s Air Command and Staff College, where he earned a Master of Science (MS) degree in Military Operational Art and Science. He is also a distinguished graduate of the National War College, where he earned an MS in National Security Strategy. He is a graduate of the Marine Corps Command and Control Systems Course, and completed the Harvard Kennedy School’s Cybersecurity Executive Program. Lieutenant General Crall is a native of South Carolina and received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina.

Rep. Jim Langevin Bio
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Rep. Jim Langevin

(RI-02)

United States Congress

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Rep. Jim Langevin

(RI-02)

United States Congress

Congressman Jim Langevin (LAN’-jih-vin) is a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, where he is the Chairman of the Cyber, Innovative Technologies, and Information Systems Subcommittee and also serves on the Subcommittees on Seapower and Projection Forces and Strategic Forces. He is also a senior member of the Committee on Homeland Security, where is serves on the Subcommittees on Intelligence & Counterterrorism and Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, & Innovation. A national leader on securing our nation’s technology infrastructure against cyber threats, Langevin co-founded the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus to increase awareness around the issue and serves as a member of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission.  He has authored or co-authored dozens of pieces of cybersecurity legislation, including most recently the National Cyber Director Act.

As co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Career and Technical Education Caucus, Langevin advocates to improve and increase access to training that gives students and workers the skills that best fit the needs of expanding industries. He has successfully fought for strong CTE funding under the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act and, in Rhode Island, has worked to foster employer-educator partnerships and career training programs across a variety of career fields.

A voice for those facing serious challenges, Langevin championed passage of a bipartisan bill to expand services for families caring for their elderly and disabled loved ones. He is a strong advocate for inclusion and independence for people with disabilities and helped pass the ADA Amendments Act that strengthened the protections of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Langevin was inspired to enter public service by the tremendous outpouring of support he received during the most challenging time of his life, after a gun accident paralyzed him at age 16 and left him a quadriplegic. He is driven by a belief that everyone deserves a fair opportunity to make the most of their talents.

After serving as secretary for the state’s Constitutional Convention in 1986, Langevin won election to the Rhode Island House of Representatives, and in 1994, became the nation’s youngest Secretary of State. His leadership resulted in reforms to Rhode Island’s outdated election system and a landmark report documenting widespread violations of the state’s Open Meetings Law. He served in that role until winning election to Congress in 2000.

Walter S. Chai Bio
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Walter S. Chai

Director of Space Sensors and Director of Missile Integration and Operations Center

Missile Defense Agency

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Walter Chai

Walter S. Chai

Director of Space Sensors and Director of Missile Integration and Operations Center

Missile Defense Agency

Mr. Walter Chai, a member of the Senior Professional Service since October 2016, is director of the  Missile Defense Integration and Operations Center (MDIOC) and director of space sensors at the Missile  Defense Agency (MDA).  

As director for space sensors since 2013, he is responsible for developing, operating, exploiting, and  integrating joint space capabilities for the Missile Defense System (MDS). This includes increasing the  capability and contribution of space-based sensors to the missile defense regional and homeland  defense missions against emerging and future threats, providing acquisition assessments, advice, and  recommendations, and ensuring MDA space assets are effectively leveraged to improve the design and  operation of future MDS space sensors.  

As director of the MDIOC, Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Mr. Chai is responsible for operating the  MDA field activity ensuring the effective and efficient integration of concurrent test, training, and  operations activities of the Missile Defense System. Mr. Chai ensures MDIOC facility operations and  sustainment capabilities are robust and sufficient to support the myriad of missile defense activities  executed within the MDIOC to include Command, Control, Battle Management and Communications; the Missile Defense Space Center; Ground Testing; Flight Testing; Modeling and Simulation; and  Warfighter Support. Additionally, Warfigher Support includes logistical and facility support capabilities  to multiple warfighting tenant organizations: the 100th Missile Defense Brigade, Strategic Command’s  Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense, and Service Operational Test  Organizations.  

Prior to joining the Missile Defense Agency, he served as the program manager of the Joint Space  Operations Center Mission System (JMS) in the Department of the Air Force from 2010-2012. As the  program manager, he led the ACAT I AM priority program delivering joint space command and control  capabilities to the space enterprise.  

Mr. Chai was IBM Corporation’s Space and Cyberspace account manager from 2008-2010. As the  account manager, he was responsible for bridging IBM Corporation’s commercial expertise in delivering  enterprise solutions, open standards and commercial IT, and moving from stovepipes to Service  Oriented Architecture to the Department of Defense space and cyberspace enterprise. He leveraged  commercial knowledge in research, design, engineering, and development of space and cyberspace  systems to solve critical Department of Defense issues.  

Mr. Chai served as an active duty member of the United States Air Force from 1987 to 2008 in key  program management, engineering, and operational positions in various organizations including the  Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, Secretariat of the Air Force, Air Force Space Command, and Air  Force Material Command. Key positions included program manager for the Combatant Commanders’  Integrated C2 System (CCIC2S), program manager for the Shared Early Warning System, program manager for the Mobile Consolidated Nuclear Command Centers, program element monitor for  Meteorological Satellite Systems, and missile officer in the Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center.  

Mr. Chai is Acquisition Level III certified in program management and in system planning, research,  development, and engineering. He is a graduate of the Air War College, Program Manager’s Course,  Advanced Program Management Course, and Executive Program Manager’s Course, Defense Systems  Management College. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon  University, a Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Texas A&M University, and a Master of Science in  Systems Management from the University of Southern California.

Dr. Kelly D. Hammett Bio
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Dr. Kelly D. Hammett

Director, Directed Energy Directorate, Kirtland Air Force Base

Air Force Research Laboratory

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Dr. Kelly D. Hammett

Director, Directed Energy Directorate, Kirtland Air Force Base

Air Force Research Laboratory

Dr. Kelly D. Hammett, a member of the Senior Executive Service, is Director, Directed Energy Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. Dr. Hammett leads the Air Force’s center of expertise for directed energy technology, developing and transitioning research technologies into military systems. The directorate provides pervasive, world-class directed energy and imaging research technol-ogies for users across the Air Force and the Department of Defense. He is responsible for more than 960 military and civilian scientists, engineers, contractors, and support people and an annual budget exceeding $267 million. He manages numerous state-of-the-art research laboratories and testing structures at Kirtland AFB, and several unique facilities, which include the Starfire Optical Range at Kirtland AFB; a testing site at the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range, N.M; and the Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing Site in Hawaii.

Dr. Hammett entered the Air Force as a second lieutenant in 1988, receiving his commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK. His 20 year active duty career spanned a variety of positions mainly focused on directed energy weapon system technology development and acquisition, and culminated while serving as the Director of Engineering for the $7 billion Airborne Laser Program, with his retirement at the grade of Lieutenant Colonel. He began his civilian career at Kirtland AFB, N.M., where he served as Chief Engineer for the Directed Energy Directorate’s Optics Division. In this position, he was the division’s authority for system engineering practices, provided technical oversight across a $100 million per year portfolio of optical sites/systems, and oversaw comprehensive modernization and upgrade programs for the Starfire Optical Range and the Maui Space Surveillance System. Dr. Hammett went on to serve as the Directed Energy Directorate’s Chief Engineer, where he led all engineering and program management activities for the directorate, providing key technical oversight of 30+ science and technology programs valued at over $300 million. He was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in 2016.

Dr. Hammett has published more than 14 technical papers in national and international journals and conference proceedings, and has been directly responsible for the development and flight test of more than ten first-of-theirkind, world record-setting directed energy technologies. He is a member of the Acquisition Corps, having held multiple Critical Acquisition Positions over the last 12 years. He is also a level three Space Professional, and has commanded an operational space surveillance detachment. Throughout his career he has led more than 30 successful field demonstrations of optical and directed energy technologies for space surveillance, missile defense, force protection, air superiority, and global precision attack mission needs.

Rob Joyce Bio
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Rob Joyce

Director of the Cybersecurity Directorate

National Security Agency

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Rob Joyce

Rob Joyce

Director of the Cybersecurity Directorate

National Security Agency

Mr. Rob Joyce is the Director of the National Security Agency’s
(NSA) Cybersecurity Directorate, which is charged with preventing
and eradicating threats to U.S. National Security Systems and critical
infrastructure, with a focus on the Defense Industrial Base.
Prior to this role, Mr. Joyce was the Special US Liaison Officer,
London. As the senior NSA cryptologic representative in the United
Kingdom, he served as the key interlocutor between NSA and
GCHQ.

Mr. Joyce has held a wealth of technical and leadership positions
across NSA and the broader government, to include serving as
Special Assistant to the President and Cybersecurity Coordinator at
the White House, Acting Homeland Security Advisor at the White

House, and Chief of NSA’s Tailored Access Operations.
Mr. Joyce began his career as an engineer and is a technologist at heart. He received his Bachelor’s
Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Clarkson University and earned a Master’s Degree
in Electrical Engineering from the John Hopkins University.

Elsa B. Kania Bio
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Elsa B. Kania

Adjunct Senior Fellow with the Technology and National Security Program

Center for a New American Security

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Elsa Kania

Elsa B. Kania

Adjunct Senior Fellow with the Technology and National Security Program

Center for a New American Security

Elsa B. Kania is an Adjunct Senior Fellow with the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. Her research focuses on China’s military strategy, defense innovation, and emerging technologies. Her book, “Fighting to Innovate,” should be forthcoming with the Naval Institute Press in 2022.

Col. Eric Felt Bio
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Col. Eric Felt

Commander, Phillips Research Site and Director of the Space Vehicles Directorate, Kirtland Air Force Base

Air Force Research Laboratory

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Col. Eric Felt

Commander, Phillips Research Site and Director of the Space Vehicles Directorate, Kirtland Air Force Base

Air Force Research Laboratory

Colonel Eric Felt is the Commander of the Phillips Research
Site and Director of the Air Force Research Laboratory
Space Vehicles Directorate at Kirtland Air Force Base, New
Mexico. He leads a team of 1,080 military, civilian and onsite contractors who comprise the nation’s center of excellence for military space science and technology,
research and development, as well as advanced
technologies integration and demonstration. His
organization focuses on enduring Air Force space missions:
communications; position navigation and timing, missile
warning, space situational awareness, and defensive
counter space.

Colonel Felt received his commission in 1991 from Duke
University Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps. He
entered active duty in 1996 after completing a master’s in
science and doctorate degrees in electrical engineering. He
is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School and has
served as a developmental engineer and program manager
in lab, test, program office, and staff assignments. Prior to
his current position, Colonel Felt served as the Senior
Materiel Leader, Joint Mission Division, Intercontinental
Ballistic Missile Systems Directorate, Hill Air Force Base,
Utah.

Ylli Bajraktari Bio
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Ylli Bajraktari

Executive Director

National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence

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Ylli Bajraktari

Ylli Bajraktari

Executive Director

National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence

Mr. Yll Bajraktari is the Executive Director of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence.  Prior to joining NSCAI, he served as Chief of Staff to the National Security Advisor LTG H.R. McMaster, held a variety of leadership roles for former Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work, and served as Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Dempsey.  Originally joining the Department of Defense in 2010, he served in the Office of the Undersecretary for Policy as a country director for Afghanistan, and later India. Mr. Bajraktari is the recipient of the Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Medal – the highest award given to career DoD civilian employees.

Lisa R. Sanders Bio
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Lisa R. Sanders

Director of Science and Technology for Special Operations Forces, Acquisition, Technology & Logistics (SOF AT&L)

U.S. Special Operations Command

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Lisa R Sanders

Lisa R. Sanders

Director of Science and Technology for Special Operations Forces, Acquisition, Technology & Logistics (SOF AT&L)

U.S. Special Operations Command

Ms. Lisa R. Sanders is the Director of Science and Technology for Special Operations Forces, Acquisition, Technology & Logistics (SOF AT&L), U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. She is responsible for all research and development funded activities. Ms. Sanders has over 30 years of civilian Federal service.

Ms. Sanders entered Federal Service as an Electronics Engineer at Naval Avionics Center in Indianapolis, Indiana where she served in quality engineering, production engineering and program management. In 1996, she transferred to Naval Air Warfare Center and Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), Patuxent River, MD, serving as an Electronics Engineer and Program Manager for the E-2C Hawkeye aircraft. In 2003, she assumed responsibility for the production and modification of the CV-22. During her time at NAVAIR, she managed one of the first Multi-Year Procurements, and executed the modification and delivery of CV-22 production and developmental test aircraft.

Ms. Sanders transferred to USSOCOM in 2005, where she retained responsibility for CV-22 production
and worked as the Systems Acquisition Manager for the C-130 program in Program Executive Office
Fixed Wing managing all C-130 projects across the Special Operations Forces inventory. In 2010, Ms.
Sanders was promoted to position of Deputy Director for the Science and Technology Directorate; and in
2011, was assigned to the position of Director, Science & Technology.

In 2014, Ms. Sanders left USSOCOM to attend the Defense Acquisition University Senior Service College
Fellowship in Aberdeen MD. She graduated in 2015, and was assigned to Headquarters, Air Force
serving as the chair of the Air Force Capability Development Working Group. In 2016, she was selected
as a Defense Intelligence Senior Leader.

Ms. Sanders has two children and two grandchildren.

EDUCATION
GMI Engineering & Management Institute, Flint, MI -Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering, 1987
St. Leo University, St. Leo, FL – Master’s, Business Administration, 2010
Senior Service College Fellowship, Aberdeen MD – Senior Professional Military Education, 2015.

Dr. Tim Grayson Bio
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Dr. Tim Grayson

Director, Strategic Technology Office

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

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Dr. Tim Grayson

Director, Strategic Technology Office

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

Dr. Timothy Grayson is the director of DARPA’s Strategic Technology Office (STO). In this role, he leads the office in development of breakthrough technologies to enable warfighters to field, operate, and adapt distributed, joint, multi-domain combat capabilities at continuous speed. These technologies include sensing, communications, and electronic warfare technology and the supporting tools and decision aids needed to compose, integrate, and operate complex combat architectures. Grayson came to STO in 2018 from a varied career in government and industry. Most recently he was the founder and president of Fortitude Mission Research LLC, a consulting company specializing in organizational and operational strategy development and technology analysis related to defense, security, and intelligence. His primary client was DARPA, and in this role, he provided direct support to the Deputy Secretary of Defense’s modernization study, of which DARPA was the lead in the fall of 2017. Grayson helped spearhead the project that resulted in “A Blueprint for Winning,” a framework for how to modernize the Defense Department for the 21st century.

Grayson has extensive government experience. He spent several years as a senior intelligence officer with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the Directorate of Science and Technology and culminating in a tour at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Prior to the CIA, Dr. Grayson was a program manager and senior scientist at DARPA. He initiated new programs in space situation awareness and networked sensing and also managed DARPA’s quick reaction program portfolio, successfully deploying technology to Afghanistan during the early days of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Grayson holds a doctorate in physics from University of Rochester, where he specialized in quantum optics, and a Bachelor of Science in physics from University of Dayton with minors in mathematics and computer science.

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Dr. Kayvon Modjarrad, M.D., Ph.D. Bio
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Dr. Kayvon Modjarrad, M.D., Ph.D.

Director of Emerging Infectious Diseases Branch

Walter Reed Army Institute of Research

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Dr. Kayvon Modjarrad

Dr. Kayvon Modjarrad, M.D., Ph.D.

Director of Emerging Infectious Diseases Branch

Walter Reed Army Institute of Research

Kayvon Modjarrad, M.D., Ph.D. is the Director of the Emerging Infectious Diseases Branch at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. Dr. Modjarrad trained in biology at Duke University for his undergraduate degree in 1998 and then moved on to obtain his M.D. and Ph.D. through the NIH-funded Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In the course of that training, he resided in Lusaka, Zambia from 2003 to 2004 where he established a research clinic, implemented a study to evaluate the impact of parasitic infections on HIV, and developed local clinical infrastructure in preparation for the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. He then went on to respectively complete his Internship and Residency in Internal Medicine and Fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Yale, Vanderbilt and the NIH. 

Dr. Modjarrad has been working in the field of global health and infectious disease research since 2002 and vaccinology and emerging pathogens research since 2011. He is the founding Director of the newly established Emerging  Infectious Diseases (EID) Branch at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) and led  the U.S. Army’s Zika Vaccine Program. Dr. Modjarrad had been the head of WRAIR’s incubating  EID cell since 2016. Modjarrad leads the US Army’s COVID-19 vaccine program and co-leads all  of WRAIR’s COVID-19 response efforts.  

In 2015 Dr. Modjarrad was seconded to the World Health Organization where he was advising on  vaccine research and development for Ebola and other EIDs. Prior to this assignment, he served as  the Head of the Viral Pathogenesis Translational Science Core at the National Institutes of Health  Vaccine Research Center. In this position he led efforts to develop, test and advance vaccine  candidates against multiple pathogens of global importance, including HIV, RSV, Ebola, MERS-CoV  and Zika.  

Dr. Modjarrad has published more than 70 peer reviewed manuscripts in high-impact journals and  has served as the principal editor for two textbooks, most recently one on emerging vaccine  technologies. Dr. Modjarrad’s most recent Deputy Editor Chief for the Journal of the International  AIDS Society, a Member of Faculty1000, and Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

Lt. Col. Daniel Bartos Bio
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Lt. Col. Daniel Bartos

Marine Corps User Engagement Representative, Cloud Computing Program Office

Defense Information Systems Agency

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Lt Col Daniel Bartos

Lt. Col. Daniel Bartos

Marine Corps User Engagement Representative, Cloud Computing Program Office

Defense Information Systems Agency

Lieutenant Colonel Bartos currently serves as the Marine Corps User Engagement Representative within the Cloud Computing Program Office (CCPO) following completion of the Marine Corps’ Special Education Program. In this position, he assisted with the deployment of the Commercial Virtual Remote environment and managed its program transition from CCPO to the Defense Information System Agency (DISA) in October 2020. He is currently supporting the deployment of Global Directory and efforts to employ cloud computing technology within tactical edge environments. 

Prior to joining the CCPO, Lieutenant Colonel Bartos was a career logistics officer having served in both the Operating Forces and Supporting Establishment of the Marine Corps. His operational tours include service within II and III Marine Expeditionary Forces at the battalion and Marine Expeditionary Unit levels. His supporting establishment tours include service within Marine Forces Reserve and Headquarters Marine Corps. Lieutenant Colonel Bartos has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM and Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, respectively. 

Lieutenant Colonel Bartos is a graduate of the Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School, Marine Corps Command and Staff College (Distance Education Program), and the Air War College (Distance Education Program). He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy and a master’s degree in computer science from the Naval Postgraduate School.

Lt. Col. Brandon Newell Bio
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Lt. Col. Brandon Newell

Director of Technology and Partnerships, Installation Next program

U.S. Marine Corps

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LtCol Brandon Newell

Lt. Col. Brandon Newell

Director of Technology and Partnerships, Installation Next program

U.S. Marine Corps

Brandon is the first Director of Technology and Partnerships for the Marine Crops’ Installation Next program and Director of the NavalX SoCal Tech Bridge. In this position, he develops non-traditional partnerships around emerging technologies, from autonomous vehicles to artificial intelligence with industry and other government agencies. His efforts include collaboration with Verizon for 5G, Qualcomm for connected vehicles, Customs & Border Protection for computer vision, and the FAA & City of San Diego for drone applications. In his free time, he enjoys surfboarding and camping with his family.

Derek M. Tournear, Ph.D. Bio
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Derek M. Tournear, Ph.D.

Director

Space Development Agency

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Derek M. Tournear

Derek M. Tournear, Ph.D.

Director

Space Development Agency

Dr. Derek Tournear is the Director of the Space Development Agency (SDA). Established in March 2019,SDA is responsible for unifying and integrating the Department’s space development efforts, monitoring the Department’s threat-driven future space architecture, and accelerating fielding of new military space capabilities necessary to ensure U.S. technological and military advantages in space.

Dr. Tournear most recently served as Assistant Director of Research and Development for Space within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering where he was responsible for coordinating all DoD efforts in space, and initiating programs to address critical gaps.

Dr. Tournear previously held leadership roles in industry, most recently the director for Harris Space &  Intelligence (SIS) research & development. SIS was a $2B business focused on providing advanced  technical solutions addressing the top National Security threats from underwater to outer space.

Prior to industry, Dr. Derek Tournear was a Senior Program Manager (SNIS-HQE) at the Intelligence  Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).  At IARPA, Dr. Tournear served as a senior scientist for space activities and space technologies in the Office  of Smart Collection.

Dr. Tournear was previously a Program Manager for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency  (DARPA), Tactical Technology Office and Strategic Technology Office. At DARPA, he initiated and directed  a large portfolio of program, with an emphasis on sensors and space.

He has professional experience at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) managing intelligence and  defense programs.

Dr. Tournear has a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University and a B.S. from Purdue University. In 2010 he  received an “Outstanding Alumnus” award from Purdue University and a 2008 DARPA award for  “Outstanding Accomplishments in a Systems Technology Area.” Dr. Tournear is a 2011 recipient of the  Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service, and a 2012 recipient of the Office of Director  of National Intelligence Award for Exceptional Public Service.

Major Steven Harvey Bio
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Major Steven Harvey

Director of Partnerships and Technology

Marine Corps Installation Next

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Major Steven Harvey

Director of Partnerships and Technology

Marine Corps Installation Next

Steve is the Director of Partnerships and Technology for the Marine Corps Installation Next program on the West Coast.  His passion is tapping into the creativity of the Naval workforce to identify opportunities to create strategic partnerships between government, industry, and academia.  He believes that by fostering a collaborative market of ideas around commercial dual use technologies, the Naval Force can accelerate the adoption of new products and practices.  Steve earned an M.S. in Information Technology Management from the Naval Postgraduate School and is a graduate of the Centers for Adaptive Warfighting Military Scrum Master and Warfighter Centered Design courses.  In his free time, Steve studies emerging technologies and organizational leadership, and enjoys hiking, paddle boarding, and camping with his family.

Major Harvey enlisted in the Marine Corps from Romeoville, Illinois in late 1998.  He began his career as an infantryman and deployed to Panama to provide security for personnel and installations as the United States ended its Panama Canal security mission.  He also deployed to the Mediterranean on the USS Kearsarge as a member of the battalion landing team, which conducted multiple security cooperation exercises as well as participated in Operation Rapid Cheetah.  Major Harvey transitioned to the officer corps in 2006 via the enlisted commissioning program after earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from St. Leo University.  His first assignment following the Basic School and Adjutants Course was as Assistant Operations Officer and Assistant Adjutant for Marine Forces Reserve G-1.  There, Major Harvey led a team to develop and launch a web-based, CAC-enabled system to track the location and status of service members and dependents during natural disaster evacuation efforts.  Major Harvey twice deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom with 3d Marine Aircraft Wing in various roles to include seven months as the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1.  He served as Company Commander, Service Company, MCRD San Diego prior to executing orders to the Naval Postgraduate School, where he earned an M.S. in Information Technology Management.  Major Harvey’s last assignment was as the Director of Innovation at Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity where he co-founded and led a cell that created a low-cost, computer vision-based, artificially intelligent system to improve access control and physical security.  Currently, he serves as the Director of the NavalX SoCal Tech Bridge where he leads collaborative partnerships to unlock emerging technology for the DoD by leveraging the convergence of installations, academia, and military installations in the region.

Eric Sayers Bio
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Eric Sayers

Visiting Fellow

American Enterprise Institute

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Eric Sayers

Eric Sayers

Visiting Fellow

American Enterprise Institute

Eric Sayers is a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he focuses on Asia-Pacific defense policy and strategy and US-China technology policy. Mr. Sayers is concurrently a vice president at Beacon Global Strategies.

Before joining AEI, Mr. Sayers served as a special assistant to the commander at US Pacific Command, where he advised Admiral Harry Harris on strategic engagements and special initiatives in the Indo-Pacific theater. Earlier, as a professional staff member with the majority staff of the Senate Armed Services Committee, he managed the Asia-Pacific/Pacific Command policy portfolio and advised Chairman John McCain (R-AZ) on regional security issues. He has also worked on national security and defense policy issues for Rep. J. Randy Forbes (R-VA), who was, at the time, chairman of the House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee and later chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee.

Mr. Sayers has been widely published, including in The Hill, War on the Rocks, and Defense News. He has also written for several academic journals, including Armed Forces Journal, Naval War College Review, and Joint Forces Quarterly. He coauthored the report “Make China the Explicit Priority in the Next NDS” (Center for a New American Security, 2020).

Mr. Sayers holds an MSc in strategic studies from the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore and an MA and a BA in political science from the University of Western Ontario.

Peter W. Singer Bio
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Peter W. Singer

Strategist & Senior Fellow

New America

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Peter W. Singer

Strategist & Senior Fellow

New America

P.W. Singer is Strategist at New America and the author of multiple books on technology and security, including Wired for War, Ghost Fleet, Burn-In, and LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media.

Dr. Dimitra Stratis-Cullum Bio
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Dr. Dimitra Stratis-Cullum

Program Manager, Transformational Synthetic-Biology for Military Environments

U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, Army Research Laboratory

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Dr. Dimitra Stratis-Cullum

Dr. Dimitra Stratis-Cullum

Program Manager, Transformational Synthetic-Biology for Military Environments

U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, Army Research Laboratory

Dr. Dimitra Stratis-Cullum is the Army’s program manager of the Transformational Synthetic biology for Military Environments (TRANSFORME) program, at the Army’s national research laboratory, the U.S. Army Combat Capability Development Command Army Research Laboratory, DEVCOM ARL. In this role, she is responsible for the vision, planning, and oversight of an interdisciplinary essential research program, fostering transition and concept development to operationalize synthetic biology for transformational overmatch.

Dr. Stratis-Cullum’s primary research interests include harnessing biological systems for low cost, low energy adaptive production of specialty materials for the Army, expanded forward logistics, and sensing in austere military environments. In her previous role as, Dr. Stratis-Cullum led the biomaterials team and living materials program.

Prior to joining ARL in 2002, Dr. Stratis-Cullum received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of South Carolina, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the U.S. Department of Energy Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Dr. Stratis-Cullum is a nationally and internationally recognized scientist at the intersection of the fields of chemistry and materials science, and synthetic biology and her research accomplishments have significantly advanced understanding and discovery of novel biomaterials and sensing. Her scientific advances are evidenced by over 130 publications and several invention disclosures. These publication have been favorably cited over 3,300 times over the last 20+ of years.

In recognition of her fundamental and applied research in synthetic recognition materials, Dr. Stratis-Cullum received the following recognitions:

AWARDS AND HONORS:

  • 2020 Department of Army Civilian Service Commendation Medal
  • 2019 as Fellow of the SPIE, International Society of Optics and Photonics
  • 2015 Sensors best paper award
  • 2014 ARL Honorary Award for Science
  • 2012 Army Research and Development Achievement Award (RDA)

RECENT PUBLICATIONS:

Genetic Tuning of Iron Oxide Nanoparticle Size, Shape, and Surface Properties in Magnetospirillum magneticum,” Advanced Functional Materials 31 (4), e2004813 (2021)

Robust bidirectional communication between electronics and an engineered multi-functional microbial community,” bioRxiv (2020)

Dr. Brian Weeden Bio
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Dr. Brian Weeden

Director of Program Planning

Secure World Foundation

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Dr. Brian Weeden

Dr. Brian Weeden

Director of Program Planning

Secure World Foundation

Dr. Brian Weeden is the Director of Program Planning for Secure World Foundation and has more than 20 years of professional experience in space operations and policy.

Dr. Weeden directs strategic planning for future-year projects to meet the Foundation’s goals and objectives, and conducts research on space sustainability issues. He is a member and former Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Council on the Future of Space Technologies, a former member of the Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing (ACCRES) to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Executive Director of the Consortium for Execution of Rendezvous and Servicing Operations (CONFERS). Prior to joining SWF, Dr. Weeden served nine years on active duty as an officer in the United States Air Force working in space and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) operations.

Dr. Weeden holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Clarkson University, a Master’s Degree in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, and a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Public Administration from George Washington University in the field of Science and Technology Policy.

Joe Beel Bio
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Joe Beel

Director, Defense Business Development and Capture team

Cisco Systems, Inc.

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Joe Beel

Joe Beel

Director, Defense Business Development and Capture team

Cisco Systems, Inc.

Joe Beel leads the Defense Business Development and Capture team at Cisco Systems, Inc.  Prior to joining Cisco, Joe served 29 years in the U.S. Navy retiring as a Captain.  He served as a Navy helicopter pilot at sea and in various staff positions.  He also has significant experience as an acquisition professional including tours of duty in program management, Research and Development and logistics.  He commanded both Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific (SSC PACIFIC) and Naval Air Technical Data and Engineering Service Command (NATEC).  He is a certified Lean, Six Sigma Black Belt and is Level III certified in Program Management; Lifecycle Logistics; Systems Engineering; and Production, Quality and Manufacturing.

 

Joe earned a MS in Operations Research (with distinction) from the Naval Postgraduate School and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy.

Todd Borkey Bio
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Todd Borkey

Chief Technology Officer

Alion

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Todd Borkey

Todd Borkey

Chief Technology Officer

Alion

Todd Borkey joined Alion Science and Technology as Chief Technology Officer in 2017. As CTO, Mr. Borkey manages the company’s technology strategy, along with its developments and technical operations. Mr. Borkey is chartered to expand Alion’s business by developing new technologies, capabilities, and solutions which meet the changing needs of our clients. Mr. Borkey leads Alion’s Artificial Intelligence campaign where today Alion leads the market in AI/ML applications across the defense and intelligence market. While leading R&D investment and supporting lean agile systems engineering processes, Mr. Borkey also mentors new technical talent within the Alion Apex program.

Prior to Alion, Todd served as CTO to DRS Defense Solutions and Thales Defense and Security. During these periods, Mr. Borkey was responsible for the roadmap and business operations to a wide range of products including RF communications, C5ISR solutions, Remote Sensors, Radars, Sonars, and Cyber/EW products. Earlier in his career Todd performed a range of engineering and management assignments within Northrop Grumman and AT&T Bell labs. While at Bell labs, Todd project managed the development of several world record long haul undersea optical communications networks.

As the senior technology leader at Alion, Todd combines his technical resume with P&L experience, program management, and business development experience. He has a Master of Science in Engineering Management from Stevens Institute of Technology and holds an undergraduate degree in Applied Mathematics.

Joanna Burkey Bio
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Joanna Burkey

Chief Information Security Officer

HP

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Joanna Burkey

Joanna Burkey

Chief Information Security Officer

HP

Joanna Burkey is a transformational leader, senior executive and board member with deep experience in cybersecurity and digital transformation. She is currently the Chief Information Security Officer at HP Inc and has held a variety of roles throughout her career, primarily focusing on cybersecurity, strategy, engineering and risk. She is passionate about increasing diversity within technology and using her decades of experience in security and risk to serve others.

Randy Clark Bio
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Randy Clark

Business Development & Strategic Planning for DoD & Public Safety

Verizon Business Group

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Randy Clark

Business Development & Strategic Planning for DoD & Public Safety

Verizon Business Group

Mr. Clark currently responsible for Business Development & Strategic Planning for DoD & Public Safety and has held previous positions as a Solution Architect and Client Partner – Defense & National Security, Verizon Enterprise Solutions concentrating on 5G applied research for OSD R&E 5G & Beyond initiatives. 

Mr. Clark has held executive management positions at SARCOS Robotics and Oceus Networks were he has managed strategic programs and sales initiatives. Mr. Clark also served as a contractor for Headquarters Air Force – Logistic, Engineering, and Force Protection Policy Advocacy (HAF/A4PA), Pentagon as a Business Analyst for mobile technology. 

Mr. Clark is the currently elected Vice Chairman of the National Spectrum Consortium and is an active member of the AFCEA International Technology Committee and past Chairman of the AFCEA DC Mobile Working Group. 

Mr. Clark has 28 years in the Telecommunications Industry originating at Nextel Communications and served in the United States Marine Corps, as an electronics technician for Tactical Air Operations Command. 

Mr. Clark earned his Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh.

Dr. Tommy Gardner Bio
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Dr. Tommy Gardner

Chief Technology Officer

HP Federal

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Dr. Tommy Gardner

Dr. Tommy Gardner

Chief Technology Officer

HP Federal

Tommy Gardner is HP’s Chief Technology Officer for HP Federal, spanning the US Federal Agencies, Higher Education, K-12 Education, State and Local government customer segments, as well as Federal Systems Integrators. His current responsibilities include technology leadership, strategic technology plans, product and technology strategies, sales force technical support, and customer and partner relationships.

Previously, Tommy has served as the Chief Technology Officer for Jacobs Engineering, Scitor, and ManTech. Earlier in his career he was a senior technical executive at Raytheon. In the U.S. Navy he served as the Deputy for Science and Technology for the Chief of Naval Research. He oversaw the Navy’s Deep Submergence Program as well as its Advanced Technology Program. He also commanded the nuclear submarine, USS San Juan (SSN 751).

Tommy’s educational background covers multiple disciplines and fields of interest including: cybersecurity, data science, blockchain technologies, artificial intelligence, high performance computing and systems integration in government markets.

Tommy holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy, a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University, an M.S. in Management of Technology from MIT and a Ph. D. in Energy Economics from George Washington University. He is a Professional Engineer and serves as Chair of the ASME Industry Advisory Board. He is an ASME Fellow and serves as faculty on the Blockchain Research Institute.

Mark A. Johnson Bio
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Mark A. Johnson

Vice President, Federal Cloud

Oracle

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Mark Johnson

Mark A. Johnson

Vice President, Federal Cloud

Oracle

Mark is Vice President of the team driving the success of US Federal customers using Oracle cloud services.  Before Oracle, Mark was an officer for 21 years in the United States Navy, where he was a Test Pilot and the Commanding Officer of an FA-18 Hornet Fighter Squadron.  Mark has also been involved in multiple IT businesses, including founding a startup that was acquired by Microsoft in 2006.  He is an evangelist for hybrid cloud environments using modern IT automation to secure and manage multi-cloud architectures.

 

 

Doug Jones Bio
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Doug Jones

Senior Vice President and Defense Group Chief Technology Officer

Leidos

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Doug Jones

Doug Jones

Senior Vice President and Defense Group Chief Technology Officer

Leidos

As senior vice president at Leidos and chief technology officer at the company’s Defense Group, Doug Jones is responsible for the unit’s overall technical elements in enterprise IT, cyber and airborne solutions, logistics and mission services, C4ISR solutions and the U.K. business.

His technical experience includes digital modernization, defensive cyber solutions, pen testing or offensive cyber, DevSecOps, mission software, applied artificial intelligence and machine learning automation and disrupting technologies, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Before assuming the role in May 2020, Jones was vice president for enterprise IT modernization for two years, in charge of strategy, core solutions, best practices, innovation and strategic partnerships for customers.

Previously, he was the IT modernization competency lead, or corporate capability lead, directing six key areas: cloud, end-user engagement, digital workplace of the future, mobility, application modernization and data center modernization.

Jones was also a senior program manager for cloud, data center and cyber solutions for about two years, managing the Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure accounts to enhance efficiency and discounts throughout the company.

During his tenure, the company was awarded the $89M task order to offer energetics R&D support for the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Combat Capability Development Command – Armament Center.

The Air Force awarded the single-award, cost-plus-fixed-fee deal through its Information Analysis Center Multiple Award Contract. The award includes a five-year period of performance.

Under the terms of the task order, the defense contractor is tasked to deliver R&D focused on designing, synthesizing and scaling up energetic materials.

Kelly Jones Bio
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Kelly Jones

Senior Systems Architect

Cisco Systems, Inc.

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Kelly Jones

Kelly Jones

Senior Systems Architect

Cisco Systems, Inc.

Kelly Jones is a Systems Architect for the US Navy team at Cisco Systems, Inc.Prior to joining Cisco, Kelly served in the US Navy as a Cryptologic Maintence Technician. After leaving the Navy, Kelly continued to support the Department of Defense engineering and operations with positions at  Defense Information Systems, US Navy Fleet Network Operations Space Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic (SSC LANT).  She is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Cisco Certified DevNet Associate.

Erik King Bio
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Erik King

Senior Solutions Architect, Vice President

Leidos

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Erik King

Erik King

Senior Solutions Architect, Vice President

Leidos

Starting his career as a software engineer in the late 1980s, Erik has served as Chief Engineer, Program Manager, Division and Group Manager, and most currently as a Senior Solutions Architect for the Defense Solutions Group within Leidos where he provides technical leadership in the pursuit, capture, and execution of large Defense C4ISR and Advanced IT programs.  Erik’s primary role involves leading technical teams demonstrating creativity, ingenuity, and technical prowess in the development and application of internal R&D, integration of advanced commercial technologies, and systems engineering solutions to solve complex enterprise issues.  He has applied his comprehensive understanding of both Government and Commercial software and systems best practices in the preparation of solutions for over $10B in U.S. Defense contracts over the last five years.

Serving the first nine years of his career in the Department of Treasury, Erik pivoted to private industry in 1997, and has focused his career on building and managing solutions in the DOD C4ISR, Logistics, and Enterprise Business support systems arena since that time.  Prior to coming to Leidos in 2014, Erik worked at SAIC, Alion, and CACI taking on increasing roles of responsibility on larger and more complex systems and software integration engagements.

John H. King II Bio
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John H. King II

Principal Solutions Architect

World Wide Technology (WWT)

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John King

John H. King II

Principal Solutions Architect

World Wide Technology (WWT)

Retired United States Army Chief Warrant Officer Five (CW5) John H. King II serves as a Principal Solutions Architect to the Public Sector Team at World Wide Technology (WWT).

In this role, he leverages his extensive background in military service to explore and discover new business opportunities and solutions to support WWT’s most-strategic Army and DoD customers. King joined WWT in July 2020, following 25 years of distinguished service in the United States Army.

He most recently served as Chief Technical Advisor, J6, United States Africa Command. In this capacity, King was responsible for providing technical advice and expertise on Command and Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR). He also administered technical leadership and problem identification and resolution of mission support C4ISR issues, Information Technology (IT) operational challenges, and lead, troubleshoot and implement agile technical and process solutions for C4ISR mission services, Network Operations, and Cyber Security.

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon Bio
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Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

Author, Journalist and CMO at Rebellion Defense

Moderator

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Gayle Lemmon

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

Author, Journalist and CMO at Rebellion Defense

Moderator

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon serves as the CMO of the venture-backed technology for national security firm Rebellion Defense; previously she served as CMO of Shield AI.  She is the author of three New York Times best sellers, The Dressmaker of Khair Khana, Ashley’s War and The Daughters of Kobani, and serves as an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in the Women and Foreign Policy Program. She holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School, where she earned the Dean’s Award for her work on women’s entrepreneurship in conflict and post-conflict regions, as well as a Bachelor’s in Journalism from the University of Missouri.  Ms. Lemmon has served as a Fulbright Scholar and a Robert Bosch Fellow, and is currently a member of the Bretton Woods Committee as well as a board member with the international NGO Mercy Corps. She speaks Spanish, German, and French and has studied Dari and Kurmanci.

Chris Lynch Bio
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Chris Lynch

CEO and Co-Founder

Rebellion Defense

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Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch

CEO and Co-Founder

Rebellion Defense

Chris Lynch is the chief executive officer of Rebellion Defense. Previously, he was the founding director of Defense Digital Service (DDS), a SWAT team of exceptional software engineers focused on the Department of Defense’s most critical technology challenges. He served three secretaries of defense, launching numerous high-impact programs, including Hack the Pentagon, JEDI Cloud, counter-drone solutions, and providing technical expertise on programs including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and next-generation GPS OCX. He was an early member of United States Digital Service and is a lifelong tech entrepreneur. Chris is a Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center, working with Secretary Ash Carter on ensuring new technology serves a public purpose and good. Chris also is a regular lecturer at Stanford’s computer science department, encouraging nerds to serve in government.

Derrick Pledger Bio
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Derrick Pledger

Vice President | Director, Digital Modernization

Leidos

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Derrick Pledger

Derrick Pledger

Vice President | Director, Digital Modernization

Leidos

Pledger, a ten-year veteran of Leidos, is responsible for leading the corporation’s Digital Modernization
organization and edge-to-cloud computing strategy.  Since joining Leidos, he has held multiple
engineering and technical management positions of increasing scope and responsibility, to include:
Enterprise Solution Architect, Chief Engineer, Program Manager, Chief Infrastructure Architect and Lead
Systems Integrator.  He has also spent over two years deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, & Africa in support of Operation Iraqi & Enduring Freedom missions and counter-piracy operations.  His expertise ranges from managing complex software programs and designing hybrid cloud environments to supporting
development, systems integration, and data exploitation efforts for a number of DoD customers.

Rick Piña Bio
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Rick Piña

Chief Technology Officer, Public Sector

World Wide Technology (WWT)

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Rick Pina

Rick Piña

Chief Technology Officer, Public Sector

World Wide Technology (WWT)

Rick Piña serves as the Chief Technology Advisor (CTA) for the Public Sector at World Wide Technology (WWT). In this role, Rick leads the Public Sector Technology and Innovation Group. This team is comprised of Executive and Senior-Level leaders, including former CIOs/CTOs/CISOs/SVPs, who engage with customers on strategy, innovation, and overall transformation, focused on achieving tangible operational and business outcomes at enterprise scale.

Piña has over 30 years of experience in the information technology field. He joined WWT in 2015, after serving in the United States Army for 25 years. His culminating assignment was serving as the United States Army Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Principal Technical Advisor to the Army Chief Information Officer (CIO).

Piña also serves as an agent for change and thought leader, communicating WWT’s innovation in public-facing forums and venues, clearly articulating the connection between emerging technology and customer gaps and requirements.

In 2020, Piña was recognized as one of FedScoop’s Best Bosses in Federal IT. The list of winners was comprised of senior leaders from Industry who play an instrumental role in working with federal agencies to provide the mission-critical commercial technologies they use. Also in 2020, Piña was recognized by HITEC as one of the 100 most influential Hispanic leaders in technology.

Piña serves on the Board of Directors of the Fort Gordon Historical Museum Society, a non-profit dedicated to preserving the history of Army communications. He also leads a non-profit he co-founded with his wife (RIPMinistries), dedicated to serving the underprivileged, with a special emphasis in the Caribbean. Within WWT, Piña leads the Hispanic/Latinx Employee Resource Group, H.E.A.R.D. (Hispanics Embracing Awareness and Racial/Ethnic Diversity).

Piña holds an M.B.A. and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Trident University. He is also a Distinguished Member of the U.S. Army Signal Regiment and a recipient of the Signal Corps Regimental Association’s Silver Order of Mercury award.

Chris Ransbottom Bio
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Chris Ransbottom

Global Department of Defense Coordinator

Ciena Government Solutions, Inc.

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Chris Ransbottom

Chris Ransbottom

Global Department of Defense Coordinator

Ciena Government Solutions, Inc.

Mr. Ransbottom is the business lead for global US Defense Department accounts within Ciena’s Government team with responsibility of managing a team of sales professionals. Well versed and experienced in developing resilient, high capacity deterministic networks in support of mission critical networks for the ISR and Intelligence Community, his recent focus is guiding critical DoD programs on modernizing to next generation infrastructure to increase performance and decrease cyber threat while reducing the operating complexity and cost from the network.

Prior to Ciena, Mr. Ransbottom held positions with Brocade, Ericsson, Titan Systems, and Verizon as a subject-matter expert, engineering lead, and product manager in optical transmission, IP/MPLS, ATM, Carrier Ethernet, Data Center and information assurance technologies. Prior to working in industry he served six years active duty Navy as a non-commissioned officer where he completed tours with NAS Mayport and NATO HQ Southern Europe. Mr. Ransbottom holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology and several industry certifications including GSLC, CE-A, BCNE, BCFA.

Anthony Robbins Bio
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Anthony Robbins

VP, Federal

NVIDIA

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Anthony Robbins

VP, Federal

NVIDIA

Anthony Robbins works with the US government to help modernize federal enterprise solutions for the era of AI, machine learning and big data. He has more than 30 years of industry experience providing IT solutions that have modernized federal agencies while delivering more than $20B in revenue.

Prior to NVIDIA, he was Vice President of Global Defense at AT&T Business Solutions, where he was responsible for delivering integrated solutions to drive innovation, cyber capabilities and mobility to our troops. Robbins previously held leadership positions at Brocade, Oracle, Sun and Silicon Graphics.

Robbins was a past president of the AFCEA-DC Chapter, a position he held until June 2020. He’s been honored to chair their signature event, the Winter Gala, which has generated more than $500,000 to local communities for STEM scholarships and more than $100,000 in Toys-for-Tots.

FCW has recognized Robbins as a Federal 100 Award Winner in 2019 & 2013. Washington Exec recognized Robbins as one of the Top 25 Leaders to Watch in the organization’s 2019 Year of the Innovative Leader. AFCEA International presented him with the 2018 Leadership Award. Executive Mosaic has recognized Robbins for his work in AI and network modernization by inducting him into the 2020, 2019 and 2016 Wash100, their annual selection of influential leaders. In 2019, 2018 and 2015, he was selected as a FedScoop 50 Industry Leadership Award Winner.

Robbins has a B.S. from Jacksonville State University in Alabama. In 1998, he was awarded the JSU Alumnus of the Year.

Tim Robinson, D.Sc Bio
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Tim Robinson, D.Sc

Practice Manager, Public Sector Security

World Wide Technology (WWT)

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Tim Robinson

Tim Robinson, D.Sc

Practice Manager, Public Sector Security

World Wide Technology (WWT)

Dr. Robinson joined WWT from Leidos, Inc. where he served as a Chief System Engineer, Cyber Research Analyst, and Cyber Operator. Prior to that, he spent over 20 years as a Unites States Marine and served a large part of it as a Communications and Information Systems Officer.

As a Practice Manager, his role is to focus specifically on leveraging WWT’s Security Portfolio to support Public Sector Customers’ needs. He is a part of the Federal Technology and Innovation Group where he drives innovative solutions for security and information technology at scale with WWT’s OEMs. He is the primary author for WWT’s Integrated Endpoint Security Architecture and worked on a team to bring this solution to the market for customers. Dr. Robinson has a BS in Management Science & Information Technology with a focus on Decision Support Systems from Virginia Tech. His MS is in Operations Research/ Analysis from the Naval Postgraduate School. His doctorate in Cybersecurity is from Capitol Technology University in Maryland.

Jim Westdorp Bio
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Jim Westdorp

Chief Technologist

Ciena Government Solutions Inc.

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Jim Westdorp

Chief Technologist

Ciena Government Solutions Inc.

Jim Westdorp is the Chief Technical Officer for CGSI where he drives the creation of class leading network solutions for our Government customers using Ciena’s portfolio of packet optical products and services.  

Prior to this position, Mr. Westdorp was the product line manager for our Government & Utility enterprises where he was responsible for requirements definition, market analysis, and technical sales. Mr. Westdorp also spent time leading global marketing programs associated with our Government business and had over a decade of experience as a product and engineering management professional at Ciena where he oversaw the metro and long haul wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) transmission equipment business. Mr. Westdorp was a charter member of Ciena Government Solutions (CGSI) when the business first formed in 2004 and has 30 years of leadership experience in product line management and product development with a specialty in optical, digital, and RF communications systems. 

Before joining Ciena in 1998, Mr. Westdorp was a product manager and systems engineer at AlliedSignal for navigation and satcom systems serving the DoD community. He has two patents in the DWDM systems arena. 

Mr. Westdorp received Masters Degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Johns Hopkins University and an undergraduate Engineering Degree with a concentration in business from Clarkson University.

Christopher Yates Bio
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Christopher Yates

DoD Strategic Solutions Architect

Red Hat

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Christopher Yates

Christopher Yates

DoD Strategic Solutions Architect

Red Hat

Christopher Yates has worked with the US DoD and US Federal Government for over 9 years modernizing information systems and assisting in the adoption of open source technologies.

Mike Younkers Bio
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Mike Younkers

Senior Director, Systems Engineering

Cisco Systems, Inc.

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Mike Younkers

Mike Younkers

Senior Director, Systems Engineering

Cisco Systems, Inc.

Mike Younkers is the Senior Director of Systems Engineering for Cisco’s US Federal team where  he leads teams of system engineers that directly support the Federal Civilian, Defense, and  Intelligence verticals. This includes direct account responsibilities and integrated team  responsibilities for Cisco’s core, advanced and emerging technologies. Additionally, Mike is  responsible for representing US Federal customers within Cisco’s development organization for  the aggregation, validation, prioritization and delivery of all US Federal unique requirements such as new features and functionality, and certifications including FedRAMP, Common Criteria,  FIPS 140, USGv6 and DOD related certifications. Mike is a Cisco Federal spokesperson and  maintains his official social media presence on Twitter via @MichaelYounkers. 

He has over twenty-five years of Information Technology experience with seventeen years of it  specialized in Systems Engineering Leadership. Prior to joining Cisco, Mike was the Vice  President of Global Systems and Sales Engineering at LookingGlass Cyber Solutions. He also  served with the Central Intelligence Agency as a Technical Operations Office, Network Engineer and Cooperative Education Trainee. 

He’s an out-of-the-box leader whom builds communities of interest to support customer  solutions that increase employee engagement and development in a transformative digital  environment. Mike focuses on all parts of the business from employees to Cisco’s Partner  community and enables teams to work together for the common customer goal. Through his  ability to look holistically at our industry, he drives customer satisfaction and employee loyalty.  

Mike has a MS in Telecommunications and Computers from George Washington University and  a BSEE Electrical Engineering and a BS in Computer Science from the University of Maryland.

Micah Yount Bio
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Micah Yount

Senior Business Solutions Architect

Cisco Systems, Inc.

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Micah Yount

Micah Yount

Senior Business Solutions Architect

Cisco Systems, Inc.

Micah Yount is a Senior Business Solutions Architect for Cisco’s US Federal team where he  directly supports the Federal Civilian, Defense, and Intelligence verticals. Exhibiting a high level of knowledge of Cisco’s solutions & capabilities as well as maintaining insights on the  major technology trends, he enables account managers to clearly articulate cross-architectural solutions and their benefits to the customer.  

Micah is an Air Force retiree with over twenty years of Information Technology experience in  the Federal arena. Prior to joining Cisco, he was the Enterprise Capabilities Manager for Air  Combat Command, the lead Cyber Command for the Air Force IT Enterprise. Micah developed  and supported several enterprise level programs including Enterprise IT as a Service (EITaaS),  Cloud Hosted Enterprise Services (CHES), CloudONE, and many others. 

He’s an out-of-the-box thinker who manages technical complexity into easily understandable  concepts, providing effective solutions to pressing challenges. By assessing the current  strengths and weaknesses of an organization in relation to major strategic IT programs, Micah  bridges the gap between technologies available on the market and solutions that can be  invested in to realize the enterprise’s vision and strategy.

Kevin Baron Bio
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Kevin Baron

Executive Editor

Defense One

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Kevin Baron

Executive Editor

Defense One

Kevin Baron is the founding executive editor of Defense One. Baron has lived in Washington for 20 years, covering international affairs, the military, the Pentagon, Congress, and politics for Foreign Policy, National Journal, Stars and Stripes, and the Boston Globe, where he ran investigative projects for five years at the Washington bureau. He is a frequent on-air contributor and previously was national security/military analyst at NBC News & MSNBC. Baron cut his muckraking teeth at the Center for Public Integrity and he is twice a Polk Award winner and former vice president of the Pentagon Press Association. He earned his M.A. in media and public affairs from George Washington University, his B.A. in international studies from the University of Richmond, and studied in Paris. Raised in Florida, Baron now lives in Northern Virginia.

Tara Copp Bio
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Tara Copp

Senior Pentagon Correspondent

Defense One

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Tara Copp

Tara Copp

Senior Pentagon Correspondent

Defense One

Tara Copp is senior Pentagon correspondent for Defense One. Copp has reported through the Middle East, Asia and Europe to cover defense policy and its impact on the lives of service members. Her investigative reporting on military aviation accidents and on skyrocketing veteran cancer rates drove Congressional hearings and legislation. Before returning to journalism, she worked as a senior defense analyst at the U.S. Government Accountability Office, focused on readiness and military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. She is a Plan II graduate of the University of Texas and earned her masters in Security Studies at Georgetown University.

Laurie Diamond Bio
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Laurie Diamond

Senior Director of Strategic Accounts

Defense One

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Laurie Diamond

Senior Director of Strategic Accounts

Defense One

In her current role as Senior Director of Strategic Accounts at Defense One, Laurie Diamond works closely with defense and national security thought leaders. In doing so she assists with conveying their messaging and innovative solutions to top leaders and communities in the defense space. Prior to Defense One, she has 28+ years of experience serving in leadership and management roles in marketing, DoD business development, proposal and capture management, market research and networking. She has excelled in senior leadership positions at The Washington Post, Congressional Quarterly, Clear Channel, Alion Science and Technology and several technology solutions-based companies supporting federal and defense contracts.

Brad Peniston Bio
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Brad Peniston

Deputy Editor

Defense One

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Brad Peniston

Deputy Editor

Defense One

Bradley Peniston is deputy editor of Defense One. A national security journalist for two decades, he helped launch Military.com, served as managing editor of Defense News, and was editor of Armed Forces Journal. His books include No Higher Honor: Saving the USS Samuel B. Roberts in the Persian Gulf, now part of the Chief of Naval Operations’ Professional Reading Program.

Jacqueline Feldscher Bio
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Jacqueline Feldscher

Senior National Security Correspondent

Defense One

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Jacqueline Feldscher

Senior National Security Correspondent

Defense One

Jacqueline Feldscher is senior national security correspondent at Defense One. Previously, she was national security and space reporter at Politico. Before that, Feldscher covered defense issues in Congress and at the Pentagon for the Washington Examiner, the Washington Times, and Navy Times, covering the Navy and Coast Guard. She’s a graduate of Boston University, and holds a master’s in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Daniela Fayer Bio
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Daniela Fayer

Publisher

Defense One

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Daniela Fayer

Publisher

Defense One

Experienced Publisher with a demonstrated history of working in the publishing industry. Strong media and communication professional skilled in Integrated Marketing, Strategic Partnerships, Marketing, Business Development, and Marketing Strategy. Recognized by Folio’s Women in Media as 2018 Corporate Champion.

James Hanson Bio
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James Hanson

Group Publisher, Federal

GovExec

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James Hanson

James Hanson

Group Publisher, Federal

GovExec

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George Jackson Bio
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George Jackson

Director of Events

GovExec

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George Jackson

George Jackson

Director of Events

GovExec

George Jackson is the director of events at GovExec Media – the largest and most-influential media company in the public sector marketplace. George joined GovExec in October of 2020 to enhance the scale of their events and audience experiences.

He graduated from The Ohio State University in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in English. In 2006, he earned his master’s in broadcast journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.

George spent the first five years of his journalism career at WJHL-TV in Johnson City Tenn. – beginning as an overnight producer for the station’s 6 a.m. broadcast. He advanced to lead on-air reporter for WJHL’s 11 p.m. newscast.

As a reporter, George examined the earnings of two non-profit hospital systems, felony charges filed against a local sheriff, predatory paving companies, a health benefits backlog for local veterans, and a series of cold-case murder investigations. He received an honorable mention for Best TV Reporter in the 2011 Tennessee AP Broadcast awards and won a Best Investigative Reporting award from Media General in 2010.

George joined DC’s ABC affiliate WJLA-TV in 2012 to produce Capital Insider, which won him an Emmy award. One year later, he developed and recorded the pilot episode of Government Matters – a program about the business of government. It debuted as a weekly show on Sunday, August 4th of 2013. George led Government Matters through September of 2020, expanded its reach to a daily worldwide audience, and produced its first feature-length documentary “The Dawn of Generation AI.”

George is from Toledo, Ohio. He lives with his wife, twin daughters, and a pair of rescue dogs in Northern Virginia.

Patrick Tucker Bio
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Patrick Tucker

Technology Editor

Defense One

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Patrick Tucker

Technology Editor

Defense One

 

Marcus Weisgerber Bio
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Marcus Weisgerber

Global Business Editor

Defense One

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Marcus Weisgerber

Global Business Editor

Defense One