The Homeland Security Enterprise Forum (HSEF) is America’s premier summit that brings all pillars of the country together. An independent public convening, HSEF invigorates dialogue, elevates above partisanship, and integrates solutions into the homeland security enterprise.
Salamander Resort & Spa
500 N Pendleton St
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If you are planning on attending the forum but were not able to get a room at the Salamander, please register with a “Day Pass” and secure hotel accommodations at one of the below hotels that are in walking distance. Please note that we do not have a room block at any of these properties. Please contact the hotels below directly for reservations.
Mr. Allen served for over 40 years at the CIA across several different roles. Mr. Allen became the principal adviser to the Director of Central Intelligence on collection management, where he revolutionized the way the various national intelligence agencies coordinate and target their activities. In the same vein, he chaired the National Intelligence Collection Board, which united all intelligence agencies under common collection strategies. He also served as CIA’s National Intelligence Officer for Warning, Director of the National Warning Staff, National Intelligence Officer for Counterterrorism and Deputy Chief for Intelligence of CIA’s Counterterrorism Center. Most recently, Mr. Allen served on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board where he advised the President on issues facing the IC.
Mark Aysta is managing director of enterprise security for Duke Energy. He leads a team responsible for maintaining the safety and security of Duke Energy’s employees and assets. In addition to traditional physical security, Aysta is responsible for the digital forensics, insider threat and intelligence programs. Prior to joining Duke Energy in 2018, Aysta spent 22 years as a special agent with the FBI where he investigated violations of federal law and conducted national security investigations with an emphasis on undercover and sensitive operations. He’s also traveled extensively around the world to instruct law enforcement and intelligence services professionals on the topics of insider threats and the use of covert techniques.
Stewart Baker, Former Assistant Secretary for Policy at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security under President of George W. Bush.
Stewart A. Baker practices law at Steptoe & Johnson in Washington, D.C. His law practice covers matters such as homeland security, cybersecurity, and data protection. He is the author of Skating on Stilts: Why We Aren’t Stopping Tomorrow’s Terrorism, and he hosts the weekly Cyberlaw Podcast. From 2005 to 2009, Baker was the first assistant secretary for policy at the Department of Homeland Security. During 2004 and 2005, Baker served as general counsel of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission investigating intelligence failures prior to the Iraq war. From 1992 to 1994, he was general counsel of the National Security Agency (NSA), where he led NSA and interagency efforts to reform commercial encryption and computer security law and policy. In 1977 and 1978, Baker was a law clerk to the Honorable John Paul Stevens, U.S. Supreme Court. He has been awarded one patent. Baker holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Brown University and a juris doctor degree of law from the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law.
Yosry A. Barsoum is vice president and director of the Homeland Security Systems Engineering and Development Institute (which includes NCF and HSSEDI) at The MITRE Corporation. HSSEDI is the federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) that MITRE manages for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The HSSEDI provides systems engineering and technology expertise that supports DHS acquisition strategy and improved capabilities to ensure the nation’s security.
Barsoum, who joined MITRE in 1990, has been recognized for his technical and management leadership internally and externally. His work spans a range of technical areas including modeling and simulation; communications and networking; and command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR).
Barsoum previously led MITRE’s support to the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Prior to that, Barsoum was associate executive director and chief engineer for the Army Programs Directorate in the National Security Engineering Center (NSEC), the FFRDC MITRE operates for the Department of Defense.
He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from the Stevens Institute of Technology. He also holds an executive master’s degree in business administration from Rutgers University.
Theresa Cardinal Brown is BPC’s managing director of immigration and cross-border policy. She came to BPC from her own consulting firm, Cardinal North Strategies, LLC. Brown was director of immigration and border policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; associate director of business immigration advocacy at the American Immigration Lawyers Association; and worked in the immigration practices of large Washington, D.C.-based law firms. She also served as a director and of counsel at The Sentinel HS Group, LLC. She was a policy advisor in the office of the commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and was on Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff’s Second Stage Review of USCIS. In 2005 and 2006, she became a member and later director of the Immigration Legislation Task Force in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Policy. She then served as the first DHS director of Canadian affairs, and subsequently as the first DHS attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa.
Charles Carithers, Principal at Cornerstone Government Affairs and visiting fellow at the National Security Institute; former staff member on House Committee of Homeland Security, Georgetown University Professor
Charles Carithers is a principal at Cornerstone Government Affairs, a full-service, bipartisan consulting firm, where he advises a diverse set of clients with interests related national security, defense, and Homeland security. He previously served as a Professional Staff Member with the Committee on Homeland Security in the House of Representatives, advising Chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS2), on various national security and intelligence matters. Before joining the Committee, Charles spent 11 years in the Intelligence Community, having served in various leadership capacities, IARPA, ODNI’s Policy Division, and DIA. Charles also served as a Brookings Institution legislative fellow with the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in the Senate where he advised then Ranking Member Sen. Thomas Carper and Committee staff on matters related to national security. Charles serves on the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) DC Leadership Council, is a term member with the Council on Foreign Relations, and a visiting fellow with the National Security Institute at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School. He is the recipient of the Joint Civilian Service Commendation Award and Medal and the Secretary of Defense Global War on Terrorism Award
Catherine Chen has spent more than two decades building innovative social justice programs and pushing for policy change to address the root causes of sex and labor trafficking. Today she serves as the CEO of Polaris, the leading anti-trafficking organization in the United States. Before joining Polaris, Chen spearheaded a global campaign for Humanity United that raised the plight of migrant workers in Qatar ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and resulted in Qatar becoming the first nation in the Persian Gulf to enact a national minimum wage. She also created the Partnership for Freedom, a series of national competitions to spur new technology, new data, and new policies in anti-trafficking efforts, launched by President Barack Obama.
Earlier in her career, Chen served as the inaugural global Anti-Trafficking and Child Protection Advisor for Save the Children and led a nationwide training and technical assistance program for U.S. Department of Justice anti-trafficking task forces. In 2022, Chen was appointed to the Homeland Security Advisory Council by Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. She is a Board member of the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF) and a founding member of Chief, a national network of 15,000 women executives.
She holds a B.A. from Stanford University and a Masters in Public Health from Columbia University.
Michael Chertoff is the Executive Chairman and Co-Founder of The Chertoff Group, a global advisory services firm that applies security expertise, technology insights, and policy intelligence to help clients build resilient organizations, gain competitive advantage, and accelerate growth. In this role, he counsels global clients on how to effectively manage cyber risk while incorporating a proper mix of people, process, and technology to achieve their security goals. He serves on the board of directors of several security companies and is a frequent speaker on security and risk management issues. From 2005-2009, Mr. Chertoff served as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Earlier in his career, Mr. Chertoff served as a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and head of the U.S. Department of Tustice's Criminal Division. He is the author of the recently published book Exploding Data: Reclaiming Our Cvbersecurity in the Digital Age.
Patty Cogswell is a strategic advisor and former homeland and national security executive, working in the areas of organization and mission transformation and redesign.
Prior to her arrival at Guidehouse, Patty led national security organizations at the Department of Homeland Security, the National Securitv Council, and Department of Justice, in transportation, intelligence, policy, border security, screening, information sharing initiatives, and counterterrorism. She led complex strategic, operational, and information technology programs, in the law enforcement, homeland security, and intelligence communities, as well as with international partners.
Jeff Cole has been passionate about aviation since childhood when he flew RC planes as a hobby. In 2018, he co-founded Hidden Level with the vision of building a next generation RF sensing company for a safer and smarter world.
Jeff started his career at Sensis (which was later bought out by Saab). During his time there, he focused on the advanced development of aviation technology as a systems engineer. In 2011, he began his tenure at SRC to focus on cutting edge sensing technology for the Department of Defense and Intelligence Community. While at SRC, Jeff was one of the co-founders of Gryphon Sensors, a wholly owned commercial subsidiary of SRC. At Gryphon Jeff supported key partnerships, customers, and the development of sophisticated surveillance technology for the integration of Unmanned Aircraft Systems into the National Airspace System.
As CEO of Hidden Level, Jeff has been a strategic leader, helping the company raise over $21 million in funding and building strategic partnerships with key companies including Lockheed Martin and Joby Aviation. Hidden Level is headquartered in Syracuse, NY and has grown to over 50 employees in just 4 years.
Jeff resides in Syracuse, NY with his wife and two dogs. He has a passion for sneakers, and spends his free time cycling, hiking, and enjoying the outdoors with his family.
Kevin Davis currently serves as the 11th Police Chief for the Fairfax County Police Department – Virginia’s largest police agency and the nation’s 32nd largest.
Davis led the Baltimore Police Department as its 39th Police Commissioner from 2015 to 2018 following a period of historic unrest and during the Department of Justice’s civil rights investigation. Davis negotiated a federal court-ordered consent decree with DOJ during a Presidential transition of power. He has substantial crisis leadership experience in a national spotlight while leading reform initiatives in mental/behavioral crisis response, use of force, training and technology that received industry attention and accolades. Davis has built a reputation as a collaborative leader and consensus builder amongst diverse community groups, faith communities, elected officials, law enforcement peers and business partners.
Prior to leading the nation’s 8th largest police department in Baltimore, Davis served as Police Chief for the Anne Arundel County, Maryland Police Department and retired as the Assistant Police Chief for the Prince George’s County, Maryland Police Department. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and FBI National Executive Institute. Davis served on the Board of Directors for the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Vice-Chair of the Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission, First Vice President of the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association, member of the Maryland Governor’s Justice Reinvestment Oversight Board and member of the Commission on Judicial Disabilities, an independent body that hears complaints made against Maryland judges.
Recognized by the Maryland Daily Record as an Influential Marylander, Davis earned a master’s degree in Management from Johns Hopkins University and bachelor’s degree in English from Towson University. He has been recognized by the Johns Hopkins University Alumni Association with its Woodrow Wilson Award for Distinguished Government Service and is one of 16 alumni from DeMatha Catholic High School to ever receive its Distinguished Alumnus Award. A fourth-generation public safety servant, Davis was born and raised in College Park, home to Maryland’s flagship University. He was awarded the Key to the City of College Park.
During a stint in the corporate world, Davis served as GardaWorld’s Director of Security Consulting Services and Chief Security Officer for Armored Things in Boston. He is an adjunct professor at American University and lecturer at The Catholic University of America, both in Washington, D.C. Davis is married with four children.
Elaine Duke is the Principal of Elaine Duke & Associates, LLC, after recently retiring from Deloitte Consulting LLP Government and Public Service.
Ms. Duke is an accomplished leader in the federal government, serving for 30 years. She was the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from April 2017 to April, 2018; also serving as the Acting Secretary of DHS from July, 2017 to December, 2017.
She also served as DHS’ Under Secretary for Management, a position she held from 2008-2010, serving as the DHS Chief Management Officer and Chief Acquisition Executive. Prior to that Ms. Duke was the Department’s Chief Procurement Officer.
Ms. Duke was the first Deputy Assistant Administrator for Acquisition at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), delivering an acquisition program that met the post 9/11 legislative mandate to federalize passenger and baggage screening at U.S. airports. Prior to her service at DHS, Deputy Secretary Duke held various acquisition positions with the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of Transportation, and Smithsonian Institution.
Recognized worldwide as a security executive, Mr. Fleming has over 20 years of senior management and leadership experience in government, private industry and the non-profit sector. Mr. Fleming served the Transportation Security Administration as the Chief Operating Officer (COO), responsible for strategic planning, implementation, and oversight of all facets of the operation for an agency that employed 52,000 staff with an operational budget of 5.7 Billion dollars. After his tenure at TSA, Mr. Fleming joined the leading large-scale event security company and helped pioneer this service in the events industry. During his time there, Mr. Fleming recognized the need for a private company to assist governments and private industry to operate and maintain detection technologies; as a result of this he founded and developed S2 Global Inc., and a new inspection model. S2 Global became a service-based company focused on the operations, maintenance, and training for the use of detection technology for homeland security purposes. Now, Mr. Fleming serves as President of S2 Global and is responsible for leading the company’s efforts to provide turnkey screening solutions for airports, seaports, border crossings, events, and critical infrastructure for governments and private industry worldwide.
Mr. Steve K. Francis is currently the Acting Executive Associate Director for Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the principal investigative component of the Department of Homeland Security. HSI investigates, disrupts, and dismantles transnational criminal organizations and terrorist networks that threaten or seek to exploit the customs and immigration laws of the United States. In this role, Mr. Francis oversees HSI’s workforce, which consists of over 10,000 employees to include special agents, criminal analysts, mission support personnel and contract staff assigned to over 220 offices throughout the United States and across 50 countries worldwide.
Prior to this assignment, Mr. Francis was dual hatted as the Assistant Director for HSI’s Global Trade Investigations Division and the Director of the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center. In these roles, he oversaw HSI’s counterproliferation investigations, which prevents illicit procurement networks, terrorist groups, and hostile nations from illegally obtaining U.S. military products, sensitive dual-use technology, weapons of mass destruction, and nuclear materials. In addition, Mr. Francis led the federal government’s response to combat global intellectual property theft, enforce intellectual properties rights violations, and protect public health and safety.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Francis served as the Special Agent in Charge for HSI Detroit which has an area of responsibility that includes the states of Michigan and Ohio. During this time, Mr. Francis led and supported more than 220 law enforcement agents, intelligence analysts, and professional administrative staff charged with investigating over 400 violations of U.S. laws in furtherance of promoting national security, as well as public safety, and border security.
Mr. Francis has served in several critical leadership positions throughout his career and has been recognized for his achievements as he has been presented the DHS Secretary’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Diversity Management, HSI Excellence in Public Service, DHS Civil Rights and Civil Liberty’s “Game Changer” Award for establishing the Middle Eastern Law Enforcement Officers Association, Top 25 Trademark Influencers Award, and Michigan State University’s 2020 Wall of Fame Award.
Mr. Francis is a proud alumnus of Michigan State University, where he earned his bachelor's degree in criminal justice, and is a member of the Center of Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection Board of Directors.
Briana Petyo Frisone advises on security and international affairs for the Defense and National Security Sector at Guidehouse. In this capacity, Ms. Frisone runs engagements across the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State to deliver strategies, policies, and programming across the border security, law enforcement, counterterrorism, domestic violent extremism, and international capacity building space.
Ms. Frisone is an experienced national security professional who held senior advisory roles for multiple administrations and routinely advised for and executed on behalf of Secretaries, Deputy Secretaries, the Commissioner of CBP, the Administrator of TSA, the Undersecretary for Strategy, Policy, and Plans, and Assistant Secretaries for International Affairs on priorities, initiatives, and programs related to international affairs, transportation security, biometrics, screening and vetting, counterterrorism, and information sharing as well as on capabilities and requirements and budget and finance.
Ms. Emily Frye is Director for Cyber Integration at the Homeland Security Center. The Cyber Integration group identifies cyber needs and demands across the civilian sponsor arena and serves as the connective tissue between MITRE offerings and sponsor priorities. This organization is also responsible for driving corporate efforts to press forward in developing leading-edge solutions to address emerging cybersecurity challenges that our sponsors face.
Prior to this, Ms. Frye was the Director of National Protection and Resilience within the HSSEDI FFRDC. Ms. Frye has practiced law, moved a startup through three rounds of venture funding, served as the Director of Research for a think tank, and consulted extensively across technical and policy is-sues in both the public and private sectors. Her particular expertise brings together technical, legal, and business perspectives to inform homeland security risk and resilience management, cybersecurity policy and critical infrastructure protection. With twenty years of experience in creating novel solutions to the problems associated with emerging technology and security risk, she is seasoned in guiding divergent communities toward uniquely effective solutions. Her relationships with stakeholders across industry and government bring cross-sectoral depth to the design and execution of programs, exercises, analyses, and related events.
Since joining MITRE, she has helped define and explore options for the future of comprehensive nationwide cybersecurity approaches across both public and private sectors, bridge the divide between federal and state government on cybersecurity initiatives, and strengthen public-private partnerships in support of Critical Infrastructure security and resilience. Her work has focused on the financial services, information technology, electricity, and telecommunications sectors. She has served on both the Long-Range Planning Committee for the Section of Science and Technology of the American Bar Association, and as advisor to the Diversity Committee of the American Bar Association. Ms. Frye is an accomplished speaker and moderator, and is published on issues relating to critical infrastructure, national resilience, digital technology, national security, privacy, economic impacts of cybersecurity, and the role of insurance in Critical Infrastructure Protection.
Gregory Garrett serves as Vice President, Cybersecurity for Peraton. He leads the Peraton Cybersecurity Leadership Team supporting 3,000 information technology (IT) and cybersecurity team members company-wide, with a portfolio of more than $3 Billion in active cyber programs supporting the U.S. Public Sector. He also leads the Peraton Cybersecurity Community of Practice (CoP) to advance cybersecurity education, training, and communications with Peraton employees and partners nationwide and internationally.
He has 30+ years of experience successfully managing the P&L of over $40 Billion in Information Technology, satellite communications, telecommunications, and cybersecurity programs worldwide. Mr. Garrett advises Peraton customers on cyber governance, risk and compliance frameworks, as well as cyber threat assessment tools and cyber incident response plans. Through a suite of IT and cyber products, services, and integrated solutions he helps clients identify their biggest IT and cyber pain points and develop technology and business roadmaps to enhance business operations and digital security.
Mr. Garrett has held several senior executive positions in information technology and cybersecurity, including: Head of U.S. & International Cybersecurity for BDO, President & General Manager, Information Technology, UIC Corporation, Partner & Head of Cybersecurity for Blue Canopy LLP, Chief Information Officer & CISO Lucent Technologies Government Solutions. He is a highly decorated former USAF Military Officer with over 20 years of distinguished service including leadership positions at Space Systems Division, Aeronautical Systems Division, Air Force Institute of Technology, and HQ USAF the Pentagon. During this time, he honed his focus on all aspects of information technology, telecommunications, cybersecurity, systems engineering, satellite communications, program management, and government contracting spaces.
Mr. Garrett has experience working around the world with clients that range from Fortune 500 companies to U.S. federal government agencies. He is a best-selling author of 24 business books, including: “Cybersecurity in the Digital Age”, “Winning U.S. Government Contracts”, World Class Contracting:7th Edition”, “Managing Complex Outsourced Projects” and 150 articles. Mr. Garrett earned a B.S. Chemistry and Engineering Physics from Miami University, a M.S. Systems Engineering & Systems Management from The University of Southern California (USC), a Graduate Certification in IT Project Management and Government Contracts from The George Washington University, and completed an executive education program in Advanced Program Management from Stanford University.
Will Grannis is the founder and leader of Google’s CTO Office, a global team of technology executives and senior engineers who work hand-in-hand with Google’s largest customers to enable industry and category-defining transformations while also catalyzing Google’s approach to emergent imperatives like Web3, digital sovereignty and sustainability. He first joined Google in March 2015 as managing director of the group, and most recently served as CEO/Founder of Google Public Sector as it was launched in June 2022.
Before joining Google, Will spent a few decades as an entrepreneur, enterprise technology executive, and an investor, building and scaling technical platforms that today power commerce, transportation and the public sector.
Will graduated from United States Military Academy at West Point and a MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He and his family reside in Austin, Texas.
Jane Harman, Distinguished Fellow and President Emerita, Wilson Center, is an internationally recognized authority on U.S. and global security issues, foreign relations and lawmaking. A native of Los Angeles and a public-school graduate, she went on to become a nine-term member of Congress, serving decades on the major security committees in the House of Representatives. Drawing upon a career that has included service as President Carter's Secretary of the Cabinet and hundreds of diplomatic missions to foreign countries, Harman holds posts on nearly a dozen governmental and non-governmental advisory boards and commissions.
Since 2018, Monte Hawkins has served as the first Director of the National Vetting Center within U.S Customs and Border Protection. From 2006 until joining CBP, Monte was an intelligence officer with the National Counterterrorism Center where he worked on issues related terrorist watchlisting and established NCTC’s screening and vetting support. During this time, Monte completed two assignments to the National Security Council, the first from 2008-2011 as the Director for Identity Management and Biometrics and most recently in 2016-2017 as Senior Director for the Border and Transportation Security Directorate for both the Obama and Trump administrations. Monte has served in various positions at the CIA’s Counterterrorism Mission Center, FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, and the Secret Service. Monte received his B.A. in Sociology from the University of Tulsa and his M.A. in Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland-College Park. He is a member of the adjunct faculty at Georgetown University.
Seamus Hughes is the Deputy Director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University. Hughes has authored numerous academic reports on extremism in America and published a critically acclaimed book, Homegrown: ISIS in America.
In addition to his academic pursuits, Hughes also assists as a New York Times research journalist, working with their D.C. and Investigative Bureaus on myriad of stories related to the federal court system. In 2022, he was part of a New York Times team that won a Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting on law enforcement in America.
Hughes previously worked at the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), serving as a lead staffer on U.S. government efforts to implement a national terrorism prevention strategy. Prior to NCTC, Hughes served as the Senior Counterterrorism Advisor for the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
Nina Jankowicz, is an internationally-recognized expert on disinformation and democratization and author of How to Lose the Information War.
Nina Jankowicz is an internationally-recognized expert on disinformation and democratization and author of How to Lose the Information War (Bloomsbury 2020) and How to Be A Woman Online (Bloomsbury 2022). From March-May 2022, Jankowicz served as the head Disinformation Governance Board of the United States Department of Homeland Security. Currently the Vice President at the UK-based Centre for Information Resilience, a social enterprise focused on countering disinformation, Jankowicz has advised governments, international organizations, and tech companies; and testified before the US Congress, UK Parliament, and European Parliament. From 2017-2022, Jankowicz has held fellowships at the Wilson Center, where she was affiliated with the Kennan Institute and the Science and Technology Innovation Program.
James “Jamie” Johnson has led and managed national security programs, homeland security research and development programs, national laboratory operations and infrastructure modernization, and multi-billion dollar acquisition programs for two federal agencies – the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Mr. Johnson currently serves as the Principal Director of the Office of Science and Engineering where he leads five divisions focused on strengthening mission-based operations through cross cutting science and engineering solutions. Mr. Johnson has also served as the Director of the Technology Centers where he led a team of subject matter experts and researchers to ensure that scientific and technological advances are applied to DHS operational needs. Previously, he served as the Deputy Director for Research and Development Partnerships, where he led the innovative partnerships with international stakeholders, federal agencies, universities, DOE laboratories, and the private sector to deliver technology solutions to the Homeland Security Enterprise.
Mr. Johnson served as the Executive Director of the $1.25B National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF), a national security laboratory and one of DHS’s largest acquisition programs. Mr. Johnson directed the site selection, design, construction and operational planning for a workforce of over 800 people. Mr. Johnson has served as source selection authority for numerous complex acquisitions and management and operations competitions. Mr. Johnson currently serves as the Component Acquisition Executive for S&T.
Mr. Johnson also served as the Director, Office of National Laboratories where he oversaw 700 employees in managing construction, laboratory operations, infrastructure modernization, and safety and security programs for the DHS laboratory network. He also led the planning, design, construction and operational standup of the NBACC laboratory in Fort Detrick, Maryland focused on cutting edge research for biological threats.
Before joining DHS, Mr. Johnson served at DOE in various nuclear security leadership and program management positions in with the National Nuclear Security Administration. Prior to joining the federal government, Mr. Johnson worked in the private sector with Westinghouse at the DOE Savannah River Site where he held positions in nuclear operations, weapons materials production, and nuclear safety analysis.
Mr. Johnson earned his BS and MS degrees in nuclear engineering from University of Arizona and Georgia Institute of Technology, respectively. He received his MBA at the University of North Carolina. He was appointed to the career Senior Executive Service in 2011 and is a 2021 Presidential Rank Award recipient.
Daniel Kaniewski is Managing Director, Public Sector at Marsh McLennan. Dr. Kaniewski is also chair of the Committee on Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate at the National Institute of Building Sciences, a Senior Fellow at the McCrary Institute for Cyber and Critical Infrastructure Security, and an advisor to Juvare, developer of the market-leading emergency management software WebEOC.
He was previously Deputy Administrator for Resilience at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). In this role, he served as FEMA’s second ranking official and led the agency's pre-disaster programs. He was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate in September 2017.
In addition to his FEMA role, he was Chair of the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) High Level Risk Forum, comprised of risk managers from the 36 OECD member nations.
Prior to FEMA, he led the Global Resilience practice at a leading catastrophe risk modeling firm, directed resilience programs at a DHS research center, and co-founded a homeland security think tank at George Washington University.
Dr. Kaniewski was Special Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Senior Director for Response Policy in the George W. Bush Administration, where he managed over 200 Presidential disaster declarations at the White House.
He earlier held positions at FEMA, the Congressional Fire Services Institute, and on Capitol Hill. Dan began his career in homeland security as a firefighter/paramedic.
He holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from George Washington University, an M.A. in National Security Studies from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, and a B.S. magna cum laude in Emergency Medical Services from George Washington University.
Zak began his career as an enterprise software developer building large scale international financial services systems, working in 27 countries including extended stints in Hong Kong and Russia. Since then, he has focused on enterprise IT at scale, leading datacenter, systems, software, security, and cloud transformation efforts for multiple commercial and Federal customers. Starting in 2009, Zak began serving Federal customers exclusively by leading programs, building industry capabilities, and providing enterprise solutions for agencies including DHS, DOJ, DOE, DOT, FAA, NIH, CMS, and others. Prior to AWS Zak was an industry Vice President, and is now an AWS Enterprise Strategist advising Federal Civilian customers on all aspects of enterprise transformation and cloud adoption, including Quantum Computing. Zak recently led a Post-Quantum Cryptography ("PQC") session at the AWS Public Sector Summit in Washington, DC, and frequently advises customers on Quantum Computing, PQC, and how to prepare for Quantum technologies in the security and mission domains. In his free time, Zak plays the electric violin, rides his motorcycle, and spends time with his wife and four teenagers.
At The MITRE Corporation, Dr. Steven G. King leads a range of CEO-funded aerial systems for first responders nationwide.
Over a decade as a senior US Department of Homeland Security official. Awarded for work developing a Presidential Executive Order enhancing the security of biological toxins and select agents. Worked closely with the then-DHS General Counsel on the country’s first federal chemical security regulations (CFATS). Led the implementation of the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative for the nation’s critical infrastructure. Taught senior military officers and civilian executives at the National Defense University as an Assistant Professor and Director of Research and Writing Programs.
Twenty-five years of experience as a firefighter and Nationally Registered EMT-Paramedic in both career and volunteer departments. Former sworn local law enforcement officer and fire/explosion investigator. Hold numerous firefighting, technical rescue, emergency medical services, and law enforcement certifications.
Published author and frequent presenter at national and international conferences in the US and Europe. Former Chairman of the American Board for Certification in Infrastructure Protection.
Doctor of Science in information systems and communications, Master of Business Administration, and Master of Science in Biodefense. Board Certified in Security Management as a Certified Protection Professional (CPP) and certified PMI Project Management Professional (PMP). Completed executive programs at the Federal Executive Institute, Naval Postgraduate School, and a Senior Executive Fellow at Harvard University.
Rhett Krulla is the CTO of Microsoft's Homeland Security Division supporting the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, and US Courts with 20+ years of experience. Rhett spent 8+ years as a Principal Technical Architect in the Microsoft Technology Center helping government and enterprise customers solve some of their biggest challenges in cybersecurity, infrastructure, mobility, identity, and governance. Prior to Microsoft, Rhett was a consultant and government contractor working at system integrators supporting Intel, DoD, Justice, and DHS customers.
Connie LaRossa has worked a variety of different national security roles for more than two decades. She led legislative engagements for the Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and Defense (DoD), and the Intelligence Community, and for private sector clients. She currently serves as the Senior Policy Manager on the Google Government Affairs & Public Policy team where she is responsible for national security policy. In her current capacity, she works across the Google enterprise to ensure that there is a robust relationship between Google and the U.S. Government's national security agencies.
Prior to joining Google she was a principal at Cornerstone Government Affairs and at General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT), where she represented national security clients to capitol hill and the executive branch. Before joining the private sector, Connie served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for House Affairs at DHS, Legislative Director at DHS, and Legislative and Public Affairs Officer at DoD. Connie managed rapid response teams and messaging during national security emergencies and continues to maintain strong relationships with committee members and staffers across the aisle on Capitol Hill.
Mr. Lewis serves as the Managing Director for Cyber & Data Analytics for The MITRE Corporation’s Center for Securing the Homeland (CSH) and provides expertise and technical recommendations across CSH and MITRE for multiple sponsors including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Treasury, and the Department of Commerce. Mr. Lewis oversees the work program strategy, development, integration, and delivery to DHS around data analytics including the development and research of novel algorithms and capabilities for the exploitation and fusion of open-source and government information. Mr. Lewis leads the applied research that focuses on network analysis, cyber analytics, risk assessments and predictive modeling for actionable information across a wide range of problems including violent extremism, cybersecurity, dual-use technologies, intellectual property theft, fraud, border security, disaster response and transnational organized crime.
Mr. Lewis brings more than 25 years of experience and a broad background working at both the strategic and tactical levels providing technical and policy support to DHS, Intelligence Community, state, local, and private sector partners. His current focus is on various big data projects and advanced analytic technologies to support counterterrorism and counterintelligence missions across the homeland security enterprise. Mr. Lewis holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and a master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Maryland. Mr. Lewis also volunteers as a Firefighter/Medic with the Howard County Department of Fire & Rescue in Howard County, MD and serves on the Advisory Board of George Mason University’s Criminal Investigations and Network Analysis (CINA) Center.
Kim Lowry is Director for Civil Programs with Civil and Regulatory Affairs at Lockheed Martin Corporation’s Government Operations Office located in Arlington, Virginia. In this capacity, Kim is responsible for working across the corporation and with customers outside of the Department of Defense, NASA and NOAA.
Kim’s career in the Federal Government spans over 29 years working national security, defense, law enforcement and international issues. Prior to joining Lockheed Martin, Kim served as the Deputy Assistant Commissioner for U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Office of Congressional Affairs. During her tenure, she led five teams responsible for strategic communications, appropriations, and operations related to border security, intelligence, and trade to promote a better understanding of CBP’s complex policies, programs and operations.
She previously served as the Director of Communications for the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs, where she led congressional, public and intergovernmental affairs activities and engagement for the Agency. Prior to joining the Office of Justice Programs, Kim was Director of Congressional Affairs for United States Southern Command, where she served as the Senior Advisor to the Commander on all congressional matters.
During her career, Kim also performed assignments within Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control; Office of Management and Budget, Executive Office of the President; Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys - Attorney General's Advisory Committee. She has completed executive leadership programs through the Foreign Service Institute, American Key Executive Program, Northeastern University, the Federal Executive Institute, and the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.
Kim has been awarded the Lockheed NOBLE Team Award and Outstanding Collaboration Award. While at the Department of Defense, Kim was awarded the Joint Meritorious Civilian Service Award from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as well as the Department of Defense Joint Meritorious Unit Award. She also received a Department of Justice Special Act Award for leading outreach and communications activities related to the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.
Kevin has spent decades managing multi-thousand, cross-functional teams for U.S national security agencies around the world. Most recently he served as Acting Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) where he managed over 240,000 employees and components of multiple security agencies including the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Coast Guard, and more. His past experiences include implementine innovations to the U.S. international arrival and departure process, which saved the government and travel industry millions of dollars. Kevin's received numerous awards for his service and leadership including a Presidential Rank Award-the nation's highest civil service award, and the Service to America Medal. Call to Service Award.
Jeanne Meserve is a national security analyst, expert interviewer, sought-after moderator and emcee, and award-winning journalist.
Jeanne is co-host of the SpyTalk podcast, and is an International Security Expert for Canada’s CTV News. During her career as an anchor and correspondent with CNN and ABC News Jeanne earned her profession’s highest honors, including two Emmys and the Edward R. Murrow Award. She also contributed to two CNN Peabody Awards.
Jeanne moderates discussions on a wide array of topics. Recent engagements have included the White House Summit for Democracy, the Munich Security Conference, AtlanticLIVE events, the Copenhagen and Denver Democracy Summits, and the Global Emerging Technology Summit of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence.
Kirstjen Nielsen is an internationally recognized expert and proven leader in addressing critical global security issues, including emerging threats, resiliency, and cybersecurity. Currentlv the founder and President of her second company, Lighthouse Strategies, Ms. Nielsen advises investors and technology companies on risks and resiliency, mission requirements, technology use cases, and the mitigation of potential threats or vulnerabilities posed by new technologies.
Ms. Nielsen has also had various roles in government and most recently served as the U.S Secretary of Homeland Security. She is currently an Advisory Board Member of multiple technology companies, and a Member of the President's National Infrastructure Advisory Council. Previously she served on the U.S. Secretary of Energy's Advisory Board, Australia's Cybersecurity Advisory Board, as Chair of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Risk and Resilience, and as a civilian expert at NATO. She holds a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.
Matt Olsen is the Assistant Attorney General for National Security. In that capacity, he leads the Department of Justice’s mission to combat terrorism, espionage, cyber crime, and other threats to the national security.
From 2011 to 2014, Olsen served as the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center. Prior to leading NCTC, Olsen was the General Counsel for the National Security Agency.
For 18 years, Olsen worked at the Department of Justice as a career attorney and in a number of leadership positions. He served as an Associate Deputy Attorney General for national security and was Special Counselor to the Attorney General. In 2006, Olsen helped establish the National Security Division and served as the first career Deputy Assistant Attorney General for National Security.
For over a decade, Olsen was a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. He also served as Special Counsel to the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, supporting the post-9/11 transformation of the FBI. Olsen began his public service career as a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.
Olsen was a law clerk to the Honorable Norma Holloway Johnson in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. He graduated from Harvard Law School and the University of Virginia.
Brian currently leads BigBear.AI’s intelligence community engagements, delivering full spectrum cyber and data enrichment solutions. Previous to BigBear, he led the Federal Civilian portfolio at Babel Street, a provider of publicly available information (PAI) tools and solutions. In this role, he worked with DHS, DOS, DOJ, Judicial and Legislative branch customers to improve PAI capabilities for fraud detection, executive protection, vetting, criminal investigations, and cyber attribution. He is a career active and reserve Marine Corps officer, with extensive experience in cyber, intelligence and communications units. He has spent his career normalizing, delivering and enabling analysis of technical and non-technical data, as a uniformed military member, consultant and SaaS solutions provider. Brian is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and a 20-year resident of Washington, D.C.’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.
For SAIC, Allison Patrick serves as the Vice President & Account Manager for their U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) business. The account is one of SAIC’s larger accounts and is anchored with their significant presence in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), with additional business across DHS, specifically in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the DHS Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) Office, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).
Ms. Patrick has over twenty-five years of experience as a Government IT services industry leader with expertise across the Federal, State and Local Government markets. Over the course of Allison’s career she has competed for and delivered on very large scale IT enterprise contracts, business process outsourcing contracts, citizen centric service delivery and cyber security contracts. In the cyber security domain specifically, Allison has lead the solution development and delivery of cyber related contracts at the Departments of Energy and Transportation.
Ms. Patrick earned a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in political science and a Master’s of Public Administration (MPA) from the Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs at Syracuse University. She resides in Severna Park, Maryland with her husband and two sons.
Richard N. Patterson Jr. has served as our Chief Information Security Officer since December 2020. Prior to joining CLEAR, Mr. Patterson was the head of security operations, head of risk at Bridgewater Associates, an investment management firm. Prior to that, he served as the director of information security, compliance and privacy at PetSmart, a pet superstore, and director of security for the Sidley Austin law firm. Mr. Patterson previously served as a special agent for the U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Army Criminal Investigative Division. Mr. Patterson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, Fullerton, and a Masters in Computer, Network and Information Security from DePaul University.
David Pekoske was first confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the Transportation Security Administration’s seventh administrator in August 2017 and was reconfirmed for a second term in September 2022. Pekoske leads a workforce of over 60,000 employees and is responsible for security operations at nearly 440 airports throughout the United States. TSA is also the lead federal agency for security of highways, railroads, mass transit systems and pipelines. Under his leadership, TSA improved transportation security through close partnerships and alliances, a culture of innovation, and development of a dedicated workforce.
During his tenure as TSA Administrator, Pekoske also served at the Department of Homeland Security as Acting Secretary from January 20 to February 2, 2021, and as the Senior Official Performing the Duties of Deputy Secretary from April to November 2019, and again from February to June 2021. At the Department, Pekoske helped lead a unified national effort to ensure the continued security of the United States, coordinating components with missions ranging from prevention and protection to recovery and response. He was also a commissioner on the Cyberspace Solarium Commission that developed a consensus on a strategic approach to defending the United States in cyberspace against attacks of significant consequence.
Before joining TSA, Pekoske was an executive in the government services industry, where he led teams that provided counterterrorism, security and intelligence support services to government agencies. Pekoske served as the 26th Vice Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, culminating a Coast Guard career that included extensive operational and command experience. As the Vice Commandant, Pekoske was second in command, also serving as Chief Operating Officer and Component Acquisition Executive of the Coast Guard. He is a recognized expert in crisis management, strategic planning, innovation, and aviation, surface transportation and maritime security. In addition, he has been twice awarded the Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal.
Pekoske holds a Master of Business Administration from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Science from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
Justine focuses her practice on both proactive and reactive cybersecurity and data privacy services, representing clients in matters related to information governance, diligence in acquisitions and investments, incident preparedness and response, the California Consumer Privacy Act and cyber litigation.
She provides actionable and practical guidance to help businesses manage data, technology, cyber threats, privacy, security and digital assets. As businesses navigate complex and far-reaching laws and regulations, Justine proactively creates compliance programs customized to client needs and budgets, including data mapping, vendor management, privacy and security by design, cyber risk management and mitigation, eWorkforce policies, data retention and destruction policies and implementation, consumer request workflows, cyber-awareness policies and trainings, and CCPA/CPRA readiness audits. She also provides reactive cyber services, including incident response, crisis management, privileged forensic investigations into business email compromises, data breaches and ransomware attacks, compliance with notice obligations to individuals and regulators, regulatory inquiries and investigations, and cyber litigation. Justine also handles employment litigation and counseling, as well as commercial litigation.
John Pistole serves as President of Anderson University (Anderson, Ind.). He earned his bachelor’s degree, cum laude from Anderson University and went on to earn a Juris Doctorate from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law before going into practice for two years. John began his career with the FBI in 1983, culminating with his over five years of service as the Deputy Director. In 2010, he was nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate as Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, and served 4 1/2 years there before retiring in December 2014 to become the AU President. For the last several years, Pistole has served on the Board of Visitors for the National Intelligence University (NIU) and as a member of the Homeland Security Experts Group (HSEG). He also serves as a security consultant to several transportation and security related businesses, along with not for profit and community organization boards.
Kimberly Pratt joined the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center (NCRIC) as its Director of Private Sector Engagement in November 2021. Previously, she was the Executive Director of the FBI-affiliated InfraGard National Members Alliance for nearly five years, after having been on its national board for two years and serving in a variety of other national and local volunteer leadership positions. She got her start in security and politics working for the Japanese Mission to the United Nations in Vienna, Austria as a speechwriter on nuclear safety and weapons proliferation, where she also served as the program manager for the international Nuclear Suppliers Group. Later, Kim was a WMD terrorism researcher for the Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey and worked for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Prague, Czech Republic helping to manage Radio Free Afghanistan and to provide political analysis and reporting. She published articles for newspapers and academic journals on topics related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and security in the Middle East and Central Asia. Kim also worked in information security at high-tech companies Solectron and Palm, and Wells Fargo Bank. She graduated from the University of California San Diego (BA in History) and Georgetown University (MA in National Security Studies). She has lived and worked in Austria, the Czech Republic, France, and Japan, and speaks French and German fluently.
Before his appointment as Ambassador of Guatemala to the United States of America, Alfonso Quiñonez was the Public Affairs Manager for a large industrial conglomerate in Guatemala for five years. Prior to his work in the private sector, Ambassador Quiñonez occupied several positions at the Organization of American States (OAS), including secretary for external relations, executive secretary for integral development, director general of the Inter-American Agency for Cooperation and Development of the OAS and director of the Office of Policies and Programs for Development of the OAS Executive Secretariat for Integral Development.
Before joining the OAS, Ambassador Quiñonez was a member of the Guatemalan Foreign Service, having held positions in Spain as Counselor, in the United States as Deputy Chief of Mission, and Ambassador, Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States until 2000.
Ambassador Quiñónez has a law degree from the Francisco Marroquín University of Guatemala and a Master's degree in Common Law Studies from Georgetown University, as well as fellowships in United States Foreign Policy Making from the School of Public Affairs of the University of Maryland and in Security and Defense from the Inter-American Defense College.
Vidhya Ramalingam is Founder and CEO of Moonshot, a company working to end online harms using evidence, ethics and human rights. Under her leadership, Moonshot has pioneered new partnerships with tech companies to respond to hate and violent extremism on their platforms, online intervention programs to pull individuals out of violent movements, and the use of automated messaging to disrupt hate groups online. In 2022, Moonshot was named to Fast Company's prestigious annual list of the World's Most Innovative Companies. Vidhya is also recognized internationally for her role leading policy responses to white supremacist extremism and terrorism. Following the 2011 attacks in Norway, she led the European Union’s first inter-governmental initiative on white supremacist terrorism and extremism, initiated by the Governments of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and the Netherlands, and launched by the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs. She regularly advises Big Tech and Heads of State on tackling white supremacy online, including recently the Prime Ministers of New Zealand and Norway. She regularly testifies before the U.S. Congress and Canadian Parliament on the global threat posed by white supremacist terrorism. Vidhya currently serves on the Board of Life After Hate, an organization set up by former white supremacists to help individuals leave hate groups.
Dr. Mikel D. Rodriguez is the director of The Artificial Intelligence and Autonomy Innovation Center at MITRE labs and leads the AI Red Team for the Department of Defense. Being part of a not-for-profit in the public interest Dr. Rodriguez works with a team that can look beyond the bottom line of any particular product or organization and focus harnessing AI to help address national and global challenges. For the past twenty years his research has focused on exploring how artificial intelligence and in particular Computer Vision can be used to help solve problems for a safer world. He obtained his PhD at UCF's Center for Research in Computer Vision. He was a visiting researcher at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon and a post-doctoral fellow at INRIA at the Département d'Informatique of Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, France. Dr. Rodriguez is the editor of the ACM Journal for Responsible Computing. Dr. Rodriguez was the chair of the ODNI Video Analytics Research Working Group and is a senior technical advisor for the Pentagon's Project MAVEN. He has served in the program committee for IEEE Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision, and IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence.
Dr. Christopher Rodriguez is the Director of the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA). In this role, Dr. Rodriguez serves as the Homeland Security Advisor and State Coordinating Officer for the District of Columbia. He also is the State Administrative Agent for all homeland security federal grants awarded to the District and the National Capital Region which includes parts of Northern Virginia and Maryland. HSEMA is responsible for emergency planning, preparedness, response, and recovery for the City, including operations for a 24-hour emergency operations center and the District’s intelligence fusion center. Under Dr. Rodriguez’s leadership, HSEMA, in partnership with the Metropolitan Police Department and Mayor’s Office of Religious Affairs, launched the Interfaith Preparedness Advisory Group to improve preparedness and the resiliency of the District's faith-based organizations for all types of hazards. Additionally, he has supported Mayor Muriel Bowser as Incident Commander for some of the District’s most complex, simultaneous emergency responses between COVID-19, First Amendment demonstrations, election security, the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, and the 59th Presidential Inauguration.
Prior to HSEMA, Dr. Rodriguez served as Director of New Jersey’s Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness from 2014-17, where he led statewide strategies, policies, and operations on counterterrorism, resiliency, and cybersecurity. While serving in New Jersey, his home state, Dr. Rodriguez led the office during the national rise of homegrown violent extremism and established close relationships with the private sector, federal government as well as state, and local law enforcement. Recognizing the critical role the public plays in stopping attacks before they happen, Dr. Rodriguez also increased the office’s engagement with the public - building and maintaining key relationships with faith-based communities. Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, he joined the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), where he became a senior analyst in its Counterterrorism Center. In this position, he monitored terrorist groups in the Middle East and South Asia, closely collaborating with U.S. Intelligence Community partners at the federal, state, and local levels to identify and counter persistent threats to the United States and its allies. During his time at the CIA, Dr. Rodriguez also oversaw an analytic unit that handled global economic and energy security, as well as related counterintelligence and cyber threats. From 2009-11, while deployed at the U.S. Embassy in Brussels, Dr. Rodriguez was a key U.S. interlocutor with the European Union during the height of the Euro crisis. He has been recognized by the CIA and Director of National Intelligence for his leadership and professional achievements.
Dr. Rodriguez received a BA from Williams College and an MA and PhD in political science from the University of Notre Dame.
Lieutenant General A.C. Roper is the Deputy Commander, U.S. Northern Command, and Vice Commander, U.S. Element, North American Aerospace Defense Command at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. As Deputy Commander, Lieutenant General Roper assists the Combatant Commander in anticipating, preparing for and responding to threats against North America and within Northern Command’s assigned area of responsibility. Additionally, he provides oversight of U.S. Northern Command’s mission to provide Defense Support of Civil Authorities.
Lieutenant General Roper's other general officer level assignments include duties as Deputy Commanding General, U.S. Army Reserve Command, Fort Bragg, NC, and Deputy Chief, Army Reserve, Office of the Chief of Army Reserve, headquartered at the Pentagon, Washington, DC. Prior to this assignment he commanded the 76th Operational Response Command in Salt Lake City, UT which was the USAR's all hazard response command. He also served as Commanding General – 80th Training Command (OPCON to TRADOC), Acting Deputy Commanding General - CBRN, 335th Signal Command and Commander of the 415th CBRN Brigade where he was dual-hatted as the Task Force Operations Commander, JTF-51, ARNORTH for the C2CRE-A homeland response mission. Lieutenant General Roper deployed to Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield and to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He also supported Joint Task Force Andrew relief operations in Southern Florida.
Lieutenant General Roper was commissioned in 1983 at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. His military education includes the Chemical Officer Basic and Advance Courses (Honor Graduate of both), Public Affairs Officers Course, Equal Opportunity Advisors Course (Commandant's Award), Inspector General Course, Combined Arms Staff Services School, Command and General Staff College (Commandant's List), the US Army War College, the Joint Senior Reserve Component Officer Course, the Defense Support to Civil Authorities (DSCA) Course, the National Defense University's CAPSTONE Course, the NORTHCOM Joint Task Force Commanders Course and Harvard University’s National & International Security Seminar. He earned a Master of Science from the University of Alabama and a Master in Strategic Studies from the US Army War College.
Lieutenant General Roper's awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Legion of Merit with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Combat Action Badge, and various other awards. He also served as a principal member of the Secretary of the Army’s Army Reserve Forces Policy Committee and the Secretary of Defense’s Reserve Forces Policy Board. In his civilian capacity, Lieutenant General Roper has over 33 years of law enforcement experience culminating with his 10 year tenure as the Chief ofPolice of the Birmingham Police Department. He is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)National Academy, the FBI National Executive Institute, and also serves as an Adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice. He specialized in protecting critical infrastructure and served on the Executive Board of the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force. He and Edith, his wife of 37 years, are the proud parents of two adult daughters.
Mr. Brian Savage serves as the Managing Director for Mission Operators for The MITRE Corporation’s Center for Securing the Homeland (CSH), directing all MITRE support to the Operational Components of DHS. Mr. Savage provides expertise and technical recommendations to DHS components including U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and the United States Secret Service (USSS).
Mr. Savage brings nearly 20 years of experience working in IT modernization, IT Platform architecture, Agile-DevOps processes, developing and evaluating wireless communication systems, and working across a broad set of sponsors including the Navy, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Defense Information Systems Agency, and the Intelligence Community. Mr. Savage has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Duke University (2001) and a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology (2003).
Dr. Sarah Sewall is Executive Vice President for Strategic Issues at In-Q-Tel, where she guides the development of innovation strategy and directs development of policy analyses. She has served as U.S. Under Secretary of State under President Obama, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Clinton Administration, and Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell. Dr. Sewall was a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government for nearly a decade, where she also directed the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. She served on the Defense Policy Board under Secretaries Gates and Hagel. She graduated from Harvard College and received her doctorate from Oxford University.
Gary M. Shiffman, Ph.D., believes that small groups of creatives and operators create the innovations which empower others and improve the world. He is a Gulf War veteran who worked in the Pentagon and U.S. Senate. He proudly served as U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Chief of Staff from 2004 to 2006.
As an economist and technology entrepreneur, he is the founder of Giant Oak and co-Founder of Consilient, both of which are behavioral science-led machine learning companies building solutions for security professionals in government and financial services.
His publications include The Economics of Violence, published in 2020 by Cambridge University Press, and his work can be found regularly in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, USA Today, and The Hill.
Dr. Erroll G. Southers is the Associate Senior Vice President of Safety and Risk Assurance at the University of Southern California, responsible for overseeing the Administration Division’s Safety Departments – the Department of Public Safety, Environmental Health and Safety and Fire Safety and Emergency Planning. He is a former FBI Special Agent, who served as a Professor of the Practice in National and Homeland Security, Director of the Safe Communities Institute and Director of Homegrown Violent Extremism Studies at the Sol Price School of Public Policy. He was President Barack Obama’s first nominee for Transportation Security Administration Assistant Secretary, and he was also California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Deputy Director for Critical Infrastructure of the California Office of Homeland Security.
Dr. Southers’ career has spanned all levels of law enforcement, formerly serving as Assistant Chief of Homeland Security and Intelligence at the Los Angeles World Airports Police Department. He previously enjoyed the distinction of FBI Special Agent and SWAT team member, as well as Santa Monica Police Officer. He also served on the faculty and tactical staff of the Rio Hondo Police Academy. Dr. Southers is also a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Research Advisory Committee, Co-Chairs the USC Department of Public Safety Community Advisory Board, Co-Chaired the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy Social Justice Advisory Board and served as an Ex-Officio member of the USC President and Provost’s Task Force on Race, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. He is a member of the USC Governing Board of the University Clinical Services and UCLA Health System Board.
Dr. Southers holds roles throughout the international counterterrorism and national security arena, including: Visiting Professor at the University of Paris II Panthéon-Assas and Honorary President of the French Federation of Psycho-Criminalistics; Fellow and member of the Professional Advisory Board and Visiting Professor at the International Institute of Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya, Israel; an adjunct subject matter expert for the RAND Corporation; and sits on the International Institute for Justice (IIJ) and the Rule of Law Advisory Board and IIJ Expert Roster in Malta. He is also the Managing Director of the Counter-Terrorism and Infrastructure Protection Division for TAL Global Corporation, an international security and risk management consulting firm.
Dr. Southers served in roles at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the nation’s fourth largest art museum, for eleven years. He was the Assistant Vice President for Visitor Services and Chief of Protective Services, managing the largest contract museum guard force in the country.
Dr. Southers has testified before the full Congressional Committee on Homeland Security on several occasions, including the first Congressional Hearing on the Boston Marathon Bombings, as a subject matter expert and counterterrorism analyst. At USC, he developed the Executive Program in Counterterrorism, the Homeland Security and Public Policy and American Contemporary Homegrown Violent Extremism courses in the Sol Price School of Public Policy, where he received the 2014 Outstanding Doctoral Project Award, was named the 2013 and 2014 Outstanding Adjunct Professor of the Year and earned the 2018 Sol Price School Robert Biller Outstanding Faculty Award. He is a regular contributor to national and international media networks on matters of terrorism and national security, the author of Homegrown Violent Extremism and member of the USA Today Opinion Board of Contributors.
Dr. Southers was the recipient of the Earl Warren Outstanding Public Service Award, was recognized in Security Magazine’s Top 25 Most Influential Industry Thought Leaders in the United States, and was a member of the Los Angeles Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Airport Security at LAX. He earned his undergraduate degree from Brown University, and he holds masters and doctoral degrees in public policy from USC.
Guy Swan is the president of Swan & Associates, LLC, an independent consultancy that provides strategic advice to businesses and educational institutions that provide top quality products and services to the U.S. Army and Department of Defense. Previously, he served as the Vice President at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA), the non-profit professional association that educates, informs, and connects the U.S. Army with a variety of audiences.
Guy served for over 35 years in the U.S. Army culminating his career as a Lieutenant General and the Commanding General of U.S. Army North (Fifth Army), responsible for homeland defense and homeland security. He also served as the Commander of the Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region, Director of Operations for U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM), and Chief of Staff for the Multi-National Force in Iraq during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM.
He is a member of the Homeland Security Experts Group, Council on Foreign Relations, and a former member of the FEMA National Advisory Council. He is a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) and a Certified Protection Professional (certified in security management).
Gary Tomasulo is Vice President of Corporate Security at American Airlines. He leads the airline’s corporate security team and represents American Airlines security-related interests and priorities at the local, state, federal, and international levels.
Gary joined American in 2019 after 28 years of service in the U.S. Coast Guard. Most recently, Gary was Managing Director of Corporate Security and Chief Security Officer, where he oversaw the airline’s domestic and international security programs, investigations; fraud and revenue Protection; crew and operations security; and regulatory compliance and border security.
Prior to joining the airline, Gary served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Border and Transportation Security at the National Security Council. He was also Director of Western Hemisphere Affairs on the National Security Council during the Bush and Obama Administrations. Earlier in his career, Gary served as a Foreign Policy and Trade Advisor to U.S. Senator Mike DeWine from Ohio.
Gary holds a Juris Doctor degree from Hofstra University School of Law, a Master of Business Administration degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from the United States Coast Guard Academy.
Paul Tortora is the Deputy Assistant National Cyber Director for Workforce, Education and Training, at the Office of the National Cyber Director. He is on a detailed assignment from the United States Naval Academy (USNA), where he serves as the Director of the Center for Cyber Security Studies. He was the inaugural Chair of USNA’s Cyber Science Department, overseeing the first Bachelors of Science Cyber Operations program in the country.
He spent over 26 years as an active-duty Naval Officer, qualifying as a Submarine Warfare Officer, Naval Nuclear Engineer, and Information Warfare Officer, serving across the globe in peacetime and combat operations over the course of five deployments. He is a USNA graduate with a Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics and Spanish Minor. He holds a Masters of Science in Management, from the University of Maryland University College, and Masters of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies, from the US Naval War College.
Brandon Wales is CISA's first Executive Director, serving as the senior career executive helping oversee execution of CISA operations. He is responsible for leading long-term strategy development, managing CISA-wide policy initiatives and ensuring effective operational collaboration across the Agency.
From November 2020 to July 2021, he was designated as the Acting Director of CISA. In this capacity, Wales oversaw CISA’s efforts to defend civilian networks, manage systemic risk to national critical functions, and work with stakeholders to raise the security baseline of the Nation’s cyber and physical infrastructure.
Prior to serving as Executive Director, Wales directly supported the Secretary of Homeland Security from August 2017 to December 2019 and he has served DHS since 2005.
Wales' contributions have been recognized with an Exceptional Performance Award from the Director of National Intelligence, a DHS Secretary’s Award for Excellence, and two DHS Distinguished Service Medals.
Dr. Starnes Walker now serves as a Member-Homeland Security Experts Group under theauspices of MITRE Corporation. Recently he served as the Global StrategyOfficer for Defense and Homeland Security/Intelligence for ANDE Corporationproviding rapid DNA operational capability to DoD, IC, DHS, & lawenforcement. Walker now serves as a standing member supporting the Office ofthe Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) Board and just completed his termon the Air Force Studies Board representing The National Academies. Walkerholds current appointments on the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories ScienceAdvisory Board for the Canadian Government and as Senior Advisor to theNational Nuclear Security Administration’s National Security Campus.
Prior to the above Walker served asthe Founding Director of the University of Delaware Cybersecurity Initiative witha focus on corporate cybersecurity in the banking/financial, energy, chemical,and electrical-grid industrial sectors. Earlier as the former Chief Technology Officerand Technical Director for cyber for the U.S. Navy, Walker served in the SeniorExecutive Service billet to stand-up the U.S. Fleet Cyber Command and the U.S.10th Fleet/NSA.
Walker previously served as DHS’s Director of Research, withresponsibility for the Office of National Laboratories, the Office ofUniversity Programs that included the DHS Centers of Excellence, the four DHSin-house laboratories and Technology Centers, and the Academic Fellowship andScholarship Program Office. Additionally, he served as the Department’s seniorscience and technology (S&T) leadership executive to Office of Science& Technology Policy. Earlier Walker served as the Office of NavalResearch’s Executive Director and Chief Scientist reporting to the Chief ofNaval Research to lead an organization ensuring technological superiority forthe Navy and Marine Corps, overseeing an annual budget of more than $2.2B andsupervising 5,494 personnel at ONR & the Naval Research Laboratory.
Walker joined the DoD as the senior executive to stand up theDefense Threat Reduction Agency and served as a standing member of DoD’sDefense Science & Technology Advisory Group and a senior S&T executivewithin the Office of the Secretary of Defense. His government tenure included a Deputy Secretary ofDefense-appointment to serve as Chairman-Joint Laboratory Board of the JointImprovised Explosive Devices Defeat Organization. Previous board-levelpositions include as a member of Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s StrategicAdvisory Group and Purdue University’s Global Affairs Strategic AdvisoryCouncil.
Walker holds a bachelor’s,master’s, and doctorate degree in physics from the University of California andan honorary degree in nuclear engineering from the University ofMissouri-Rolla.
Robert R. Wells began his career with the FBI as a Special Agent in 2003. He was assigned to the Washington Field Office, where he investigated both counterterrorism and counterintelligence matters, and served as a crisis negotiator. In January 2010, Mr. Wells was promoted to Supervisory Special Agent in the Counterterrorism Division, International Terrorism Operations Section I, where he managed the programs for international terrorism investigations in multiple west coast field offices. In
October 2011, Mr. Wells served as the Supervisory Special Agent of the Joint Terrorism Task Force in the Louisville Field Office, where he was responsible for all international and domestic terrorism investigations, as well as the Weapons of Mass Destruction Program and special events.
In March 2015, Mr. Wells returned to the Counterterrorism Division, International Operations Section I, when he was promoted to Assistant Section Chief. During his tenure, he led several units and managed programs for international terrorism investigations throughout the United States. In March 2017, Mr. Wells became an Assistant Special Agent in Charge in the Washington Field Office. In this position, he was responsible for all international terrorism investigations in Washington, DC and Northern Virginia. In August 2018, Mr. Wells was asked to serve as Chief of Staff for the Deputy Director. He led the Deputy's staff and assisted the Deputy with oversight of all criminal, national security, and intelligence programs in the FBI. In October 2019, Mr. Wells was promoted to Deputy Assistant Director of the China Branch in the Counterintelligence Division. He was responsible for oversight of the FBI's China Mission Center and China related investigations throughout the United States.
In October 2020, Mr. Wells was selected as the Special Agent in Charge of the Charlotte Field Office. In September 2022, Mr. Wells was named the Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division. Prior to joining the FBI, Mr. Wells was a U.S. Probation Officer in the Western District of Kentucky. He earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Western Kentucky University. He is married, and he and his wife have five children.