The Honorable Heidi Shyu

Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E))
The Honorable Heidi Shyu

Ms. Heidi Shyu is the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD (R&E)). In this role, she serves as the Chief Technology Officer for the Department of Defense (DoD), mandated with ensuring the technological superiority of the U.S. military, and is responsible for the research, development, and prototyping activities across the DoD enterprise. She also oversees the activities of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), the Space Development Agency (SDA), the DoD Laboratory and Engineering Center enterprise, and the Under Secretariat staff focused on developing advanced technology and capability for the U.S. military.

Previously, she served as the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology (ASA (ALT)), from September 2012 to January 2016. Prior to this, she was Acting ASA (ALT) beginning in June 2011 and appointed the Principal Deputy in November 2010. As the ASA (ALT), she served as the Army Acquisition Executive, the Senior Procurement Executive, the Science Advisor to the Secretary of the Army, and the Army’s Senior Research and Development official. She had principal responsibility for all Department of the Army matters related to logistics. Ms. Shyu also led the execution of the Army’s acquisition function and the acquisition management system. Her responsibilities included providing oversight for the life cycle management and sustainment of Army weapons systems and equipment from research and development through test and evaluation, acquisition, logistics, fielding, and disposition.

Prior to her government service, Ms. Shyu was the Vice President of Technology Strategy for Raytheon Company’s Space and Airborne Systems. Ms. Shyu holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics from the University of New Brunswick (UNB) in Canada, a Master of Science Degree in Mathematics from the University of Toronto, Master of Science Degree in System Science (Electrical Engineering) from UCLA, and the Engineer Degree from UCLA. She received an Honorary Doctorate of Science from the UNB. She is also a graduate of the UCLA Executive Management Course Program. A member of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board from 2000 to 2010, she served as the Vice Chairman from 2003 to 2005 and Chairman from 2005 to 2008. Ms. Shyu is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and AIAA Honorary Fellow.

The Honorable Ellen Lord

ETI Advisory Board Member
Former Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment

Senate Confirmed in August 2017, the Honorable Ellen M. Lord formally served as the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment (A&S). In this capacity, she was responsible to the Secretary of Defense for all matters pertaining to acquisition; developmental testing; contract administration; logistics and materiel readiness; installations and environment; operational energy; chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons; the acquisition workforce; and the defense industrial base.

Prior to this appointment, from October 2012 – June 2017, Ms. Lord served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Textron Systems Corporation, a subsidiary of Textron Inc. In this role, she led a multi-billion dollar business with a broad range of products and services supporting defense, homeland security, aerospace, infrastructure protection, and customers around the world.

Ms. Lord has more than 30 years of experience in the defense industry, serving in a variety of capacities, to include Senior Vice President and General Manager of Textron Defense Systems, now Weapon & Sensor Systems; and Senior Vice President and General Manager of AAI Corporation, now known as Textron Systems’ Electronic Systems, Support Solutions, and Unmanned Systems businesses. Earlier in her career, Ms. Lord served as Vice President of Integration Management for Textron Systems and Vice President of Intelligent Battlefield Systems for Textron Defense Systems, in addition to other business and operations positions.

Ms. Lord is a former Vice Chairman of the National Defense Industrial Association, as well as a former Director of the U.S. – India Business Council. She has served on the industry steering committee for the Center for New American Security’s (CNAS) task force on “Strategy, Technology and the Global Defense Industry,” as well as CNAS’s DoD-Industry collaborative project “Future Foundry: Forging New Industries for Defense,” which was formed to examine key technological trends and challenges facing the global defense industry. Ms. Lord has also served on the Board of Trustees of the U.S. Naval Institute Foundation.

Ms. Lord earned a Master of Science degree in chemistry from the University of New Hampshire, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry from Connecticut College.

Maynard Holliday

Performing the duties of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Critical Technologies (OUSD(R&E))
Maynard Holliday

Mr. Maynard Holliday is Performing the Duties of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Critical Technologies (PTDO, ASD (CT)). In this capacity, he oversees investment and capability analysis of the Pentagon's critical technology areas. He has oversight of 10 principal directors assigned to those critical technology portfolios and their roadmaps — the comprehensive strategies to manage, provide oversight and guide choices for each critical technology area. These critical technology areas include Advanced Computing & Software; Directed Energy; Human-Machine Interfaces; Hypersonics; Integrated Network Systems-of-Systems; Integrated Sensing & Cyber; Microelectronics; Renewable Energy Generation & Storage; Space Technology; and Trusted Artificial Intelligence & Autonomy.

Mr. Holliday has over 30 years of professional experience leading technological innovations, in both government and the private sector. Most recently, he was a Senior Engineer at the RAND Corporation working on autonomous vehicle safety metrics and policy, explainable artificial intelligence, swarm robotics and drone defense. Previously, he served as Senior Technical Advisor and Special Assistant to Frank Kendall, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics. Mr. Holliday helped establish the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental and was a member of the Defense Science Board. Mr. Holliday has also worked for the Department of Energy (DOE) as a project manager for the U.S.-Russia Nuclear Material Security Task Force. He was awarded the DOE’s Meritorious Service Award, its highest, for his exceptional service in helping secure tons of weapons grade nuclear material. Prior to his government service, Holliday was a senior engineering and robotics professional at the Lawrence Livermore and Sandia National Laboratories, as well as various robotics start-ups and technology companies in Silicon Valley.

Mr. Holliday is a co-organizer of Black in Robotics, a virtual world-wide community of roboticists and their allies whose mission is to bring together Black researchers, industry professionals and students in robotics to mutually support one another to help navigate academic, corporate and entrepreneurial paths to success. He is also Co-Founder of Robot Garden, the robotics-themed hacker space in Livermore, California. He also has been working with Bay Area public schools lecturing on robotics and teaching robotics through the Citizen Schools program in East Oakland. Mr. Holliday was named Citizen Schools Volunteer of the Year for 2012 and was also recognized with a Presidential Volunteer Service Award from the White House for his efforts. Before leaving government service in 2017 he was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service recognizing his contributions to national security through his considerable and trusted advice on multiple DoD initiatives.

Mr. Holliday graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He later won a scholarship to attend Stanford University where he earned a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Design, with an emphasis on robotics, international security and arms control. Mr. Holliday also won a scholarship to attend the International Space University in France and was a two-time finalist for the U.S. Astronaut Corps.

The Honorable Alan Shaffer

NDIA ETI Distinguished Visiting Fellow
Former Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition & Sustainment (OUSD(A&S))
Alan Shaffer 

Mr. Alan R. Shaffer served as the former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment (A&S). Senate confirmed in January 2019, he is responsible to the Under Secretary of Defense for all matters pertaining to acquisition; contract administration; logistics and materiel readiness; installations and environment; operational energy; chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons; the acquisition workforce; and the defense industrial base. 

From 2015 to 2018, Mr. Shaffer served as the Director, NATO Collaboration Support Office in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. In this role, he was responsible for coordinating and synchronizing the Science and Technology (S&T) collaboration between NATO member and partner Nations, comprising a network of about 5,000 scientists.
Previous to his role at NATO, Mr. Shaffer served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (ASD(R&E)) from 2007-2015. In this position, Mr. Shaffer was responsible for formulating, planning and reviewing the DoD Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E) programs, plans, strategy, priorities, and execution of the DoD RDT&E budget that totals roughly $25 billion per year. He has also served twice as the Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering from 2007-2009 and 2012-2015. 

Additionally, in 2009, he was appointed as the first Director, Operational Energy, Plans and Programs (Acting).  Mr. Shaffer has also served as the Executive Director for several senior DoD Task Forces, including review of all research, acquisition and test activities during the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure. In 2007, he was the Executive Director for the DoD Energy Security Task Force and, from 2007-2012, he served as the Executive Director of the Mine Resistant Ambush Protection (MRAP) Task Force, where he was responsible for oversight and fielding 27,000 MRAPs. 

Before entering the federal government, Mr. Shaffer served a 24-year United States Air Force career in command, weather, intelligence and acquisition oversight with assignments in Utah, California, Ohio, Honduras, Germany, Virginia and Nebraska. His career included deployment to Honduras in the mid-1980s and direct support of the United States Army 3rd Armored Division in Hanau, Germany. During Operation DESERT STORM, he was responsible for deployment of the 500-person theater weather force. Upon retirement from the Air Force in 2000, Mr. Shaffer was appointed to the Senior Executive Service; in 2001, he assumed the position as Director, Plans and Programs, Defense Research and Engineering. 

Mr. Shaffer earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of Vermont in 1976, a second Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from the University of Utah, a Master of Science in Meteorology from the Naval Postgraduate School, and a Master of Science in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He was awarded the Meritorious Executive Presidential Rank Award in 2004, the Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award, and the Distinguished Executive Presidential Rank Award in 2007 and 2015.

Dr. Vic S. Ramdass

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Materiel Readiness
Dr. Vic S. Ramdass

Dr. Vic S. Ramdass, a member of the Senior Executive Service since 2009, is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Materiel Readiness. In this capacity he serves as the principal advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Sustainment in the oversight of the Department’s $90 billion maintenance program. He is also responsible for the development of policies and procedures to ensure the Department meets statutory requirements to provide core depot level maintenance support of major weapon systems, military equipment, and commodities. He assumed his current position in March 2021.

From April 2019 to March 2021 Dr. Ramdass served as the Army’s Director of Maintenance Policy and Programs in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff G-4, Headquarters Department of the Army, Washington, DC. In this position, Dr. Ramdass was responsible for setting conditions for the Army to achieve sustainment capabilities (national through tactical) that support ready forces through integrated maintenance and life cycle policies, programs and operations.


Dr. Ramdass has served in numerous SES positions to include USSOUTHCOM’s Senior DoD Civilian Leader, Director of Exercise and Coalition Affairs Directorate (J7/9), USSOUTHCOM’s Director of Partnering (J9), Director of the U.S. Army Logistics Innovation Agency, and Director of the U.S. Army Operational Energy Office. His diverse functional expertise as a senior leader includes leading: synchronization and integration of the Army's strategic Operational Energy policies and programs; Test and Evaluation of ACAT 1 programs; Logistics Science and Technology solutions; Interagency integration, Public-Private Cooperation integration, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief, Science and Technology programs, Civil Affairs, Training and Exercise at a Combatant Command; and driving innovative sustainment technologies and processes to improve Army logistics. He served as the HQDA G-4’s Executive Agent for the Army Integrated Logistics Architecture, Small Business and Innovation Research Program, and related Science and Technology collaborative initiatives.


Dr. Ramdass served over 12 years on active duty, first as an enlisted aircraft crew chief, and then as an Aviation Warrant Officer, in logistics, maintenance, and training positions. He is an Acquisition Corps Member, Level III certified in Test and Evaluation, Program Management and Logistics. He is a Certified Flight Instructor/Commercial/Instrument/Multi-engine Rated Pilot, and an Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) mechanic. Dr. Ramdass has served as an adjunct Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Professor for more than 23 years.


Dr. Ramdass holds a PhD, Public Administration, from Auburn University, a MS, Aeronautics, from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, and a BS, Aeronautics, from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.

Erica Plath

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Navy for Sustainment
Erica Plath

Ms. Erica H. Plath assumed the responsibilities of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Sustainment in May of 2022. She serves as the principal advisor to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition (ASN (RDA)) on all matters related to the planning, budgeting and execution of sustainment and supply chain activities of the Department of the Navy and Marine Corps.

Prior to this assignment, Ms. Plath served as the Director, Installations and Logistics Integration (OPNAV N4Z) in the office of the Chief of Naval Operations. In this capacity, she supported the development, integration and resourcing of a roughly $20 billion annual budget for the Navy’s Fleet Readiness and Logistics portfolio which includes combat logistics, military sealift, and shore infrastructure.
Ms. Plath was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in August 2018. In years’ prior, Ms. Plath served as the

Director, Strategic Mobility and Combat Logistics Division (OPNAV N42) in the office of the Chief of Naval Operations from August 2018 to November 2021. In this capacity, she supported the development, integration and resourcing of a roughly $3 billion annual portfolio for Navy’s combat logistics, maritime prepositioning, and strategic sealift ships. Ms. Plath served as Deputy for the Maintenance and Modernization Branch in the Surface Warfare Division (OPNAV N96) from November 2012 to August 2018. She began federal civilian service in 2011 at Naval Sea Systems Command within the Surface Warfare Directorate.

Ms. Plath graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering and was commissioned as an Ensign, United States Navy in May 2001. Following commissioning, she served as a Surface Warfare Officer in USS PORTER (DDG 78), USS COWPENS (CG 63) and the Navy Operations Center at the Pentagon. Ms. Plath left active duty as a Lieutenant in December 2007.
Ms. Plath's naval decorations include the Navy Commendation Medal (two awards), Navy Achievement Medal (two awards), Meritorious Unit Commendation, and Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service medals.

Angie L. Tymofichuk

Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Logistics and Product Support
Angie L. Tymofichuk

Angie L. Tymofichuk, a Member of the Senior Executive Service, is Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Logistics and Product Support, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Arlington, Virginia. She is responsible for enterprise oversight of product support, supply chain management, materiel maintenance and support functions required throughout the life cycle of weapon systems. In addition, she is the Functional Advocate for Product Support Managers and influences logistics and product support resource decisions with a focus on ensuring weapon system sustainment levels meet warfighter requirements.

Ms. Tymofichuk began her career in 1990 as a Palace Acquire Intern at the Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, where she worked as a physicist in the materials and manufacturing directorate. She completed assignments in two other AFRL directorates before transitioning to test and evaluation in the Airborne Laser Program Office, Air Force Materiel Command staff and then in the Office of the Secretary of Defense with the Test Resource Management Center. Upon returning to the Air Force, Ms. Tymofichuk was assigned as Chief of the Engineering and Technical Management Office, 84th Combat Sustainment Wing, followed by the 309th Maintenance Wing, and she was later promoted to Director of Engineering for the Ogden Air Logistics Center, Hill AFB, Utah. Upon standup of the Air Force Sustainment Center, she served at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, as the inaugural Director of Engineering where she was the Commander's Principal Advisor on all technical information and policy for science and engineering activities and technical data compliance. In 2014, she returned to Layton, Utah, as a consultant focused primarily on sustainment innovation prior to her return to the U.S. Air Force in 2019.

Dr. Daniel Gil

Ultra Labs
Program Manager
Dr. Daniel Gil 

Dr. Daniel Gil is an innovative problem-solver with over nine years of technical project management and execution experience. Dan thrives when working on cutting-edge and disruptive technologies and is motivated by making a difference through discovery and innovation.

He is currently the Program Manager of Ultra Labs, which is the advanced concepts team within Ultra, Intelligence & Communications. Ultra Labs is an agile team focused on innovative next-generation AI/ML solutions in Command and Control to give our war fighters an asymmetric advantage. Dan is responsible for leading the AI/ML R&D portfolio, overseeing the technical execution of the team, and developing external relationships with customers and partners.

Prior to joining Ultra in 2021, he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin. Dan started his career in engineering R&D as a Graduate Research Fellow at Vanderbilt University and the University of Wisconsin–Madison, performing research in computational methods for image analysis using AI/ML and building novel optical imaging platforms.

Dan received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of University of Wisconsin–Madison, his M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Vanderbilt University, and his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering/Electrical Engineering from George Washington University. He holds five United States Patents (#10,596,282, #10,335,505, #8,784,731, #8,696,985, #8,617,479), and has ten peer-reviewed publications.

Mara Motherway

Chief Growth Officer

Mara MotherwayMara is an experienced industry and government executive who brings a decades-long track record of strategic foresight and driving results to the Chief Growth Officer role, where she leads business development, campaigns, marketing, communications, and government relations. She joins Epirus from Peraton, where she was the SVP of Government and Customer Relations. Previously, she held government relations, business execution, and business development roles as a VP at Booz Allen Hamilton and led the investment strategy as Director, Special Projects of BAE Systems’ Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) business. Before joining industry, Mara served as a U.S. naval intelligence officer, with experience spanning combat operations, acquisition oversight for satellite communications, and legislative affairs. She holds a BS in political science from the U.S. Naval Academy, a MPA from Harvard University, and a MS in national resource strategy from the National Defense University. She serves on the Board of Directors of Orion Talent, the Stimson Center, the International Spy Museum, and the National Defense Industrial Association. She is also a member of the Atlantic Council Commission on Defense Innovation Adoption.

Joel Anderson

Chief Executive Officer
Joel Anderson 

Joel Anderson is not just a seasoned entrepreneur and executive, but also a relentless advocate for the warfighter and law enforcement communities. His unique passion for supporting these brave individuals is the driving force behind his current venture, ZeroMark. As the founder and CEO, Joel is on a mission to protect American lives by equipping tactical professionals with advanced technology. ZeroMark's first product, a smart rifle grip, leverages AI and robotics to enhance marksmanship and provide critical data to shooters on the platform they will always have – their firearms.

Joel's passion for unconventional technology is evident in his career trajectory. He has consistently pushed the boundaries of what's possible, from selling a CloudOps SaaS company to a leading IT Monitoring player, to bringing adaptive learning technologies to the world with Knewton, a company backed by Accel, FirstMark, Funders Fund, Bessemer, & Atomico. He even built a wireless data, voice, and video carrier in Florida metros that led to future work on securing encrypted radios used broadly by the DoD.

At MongoDB, where he was an executive for six years, Joel helped the company's growth from less than $40 million in annual revenue to over $1 billion. He grew his team from the ground up to over 200 people and led their GTM & sales tech, cybersecurity, IT, data science, and software engineering strategies. His leadership was instrumental in exploiting opportunities and managing risk, further solidifying MongoDB's position in the market.

Joel's commitment to the warfighter and law enforcement communities extends beyond the realm of technology. He is deeply invested in understanding their challenges, needs, and aspirations. This empathy, coupled with his knack for innovation, allows him to create solutions that not only meet their requirements but also provide them with significant advantages on the field.

With a proven track record of leadership, innovation, and unwavering support for those who protect us, Joel Anderson continues to push the boundaries of technology to create a safer world.

David Balser, PMP

Growth Strategy/Business Development & Capture Management Executive

Mr. David Balser is an accomplished Business Development Strategist with 30+ years of cross-functional leadership and executive experience. He specializes in Capture Management, Pursuit, Growth Strategy, Program Management, and advisory services for a broad array of business models to include managed services, integrated enterprise solutions, and turn-key technologies to large and small businesses to maximize their competitive position through differentiation, technology, and innovation insertion.

He has performed Business Development, Operations, Acquisition, M&A, Controller and Contract Management functions for large Systems Integrators, several small businesses and as a strategic advisor. Mr. Balser has led strategic capture and large pursuit teams resulting in aggregate wins of several billion dollars through shaping, messaging with USG and foreign customers, and developing differentiated, innovative solutions and services toward both single and multi-award direct agency acquisitions as well as assisted acquisition. Mr. Balser has organized and led corporate-wide teams, coordination with the US and foreign governments and NGOs that delivered critical technology and infrastructure capabilities in support of first responders for the terrorist attack of 9/11, the natural disaster response for the Hurricane Katrina response, and the 2010 Haitian earthquake response rapidly delivering multifunctional broad based semi-temporary and mobile communications systems.

Mr. Balser develops strategies, shapes technical and acquisition requirements, develops architecture solutions, builds pursuit and execution teams delivering complex integrated solutions for large, complex, multi-faceted programs within the DoD and Intelligence Community, Federal Civilian, and Federal Health agencies. He brings broad experience delivering integrated strategic solutions across the technology continuum, from full spectrum next generation multi-domain integrated C5 Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) solutions, airborne, space, land, maritime, & cyber collection platforms and Processing Exploitation and Dissemination (PED) capabilities that deliver actionable data using integrated AI/ML, and solutions for Personnel Recovery/Casualty Evacuation (PR/CASEVAC) to global telecommunications and enterprise information technology systems; RF products & services; as well as engages with the USG’s partner nations to facilitate Foreign Military Sales/Foreign Military Financing (FMS/FMF) and international Direct Commercial Sales (DCS).

Mr. Balser participates with several industry organizations such as Association of the United States Army (AUSA), National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA), Global SOF Foundation (GSOF), and Armed Forces Communications & Electronics Association (AFCEA) to develop and maintain partnerships throughout the global defense apparatus. In addition, Mr. Balser participates as a mentor and growth coach to numerous executives across the commercial and federal marketplaces.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration Production Operations Management from the University of Central Florida. Mr. Balser is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) through the Project Management Institute (PMI).

ML Mackey

Beacon Interactive Systems
Chief Executive Officer
ML Mackey 

Ms. Mackey is the CEO of Beacon Interactive Systems, a non-traditional defense contractor that has successfully engaged with the DoD to bring commercial sector expertise to bear on national security needs. 

Beacon’s digital products transform operations at the edge, streamlining performance, driving visibility, and addressing modernization needs across the DoD.

Ms. Mackey’s non-profit efforts include not only serving at the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) on the Board and as the Chair of the Small Business Division, she is also a past Chair of the National Small Business Association (NSBA). 

She is a proud graduate of Lehigh University with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering.


Dr. Eric Volmar

Chief Strategy Officer (OSC)(OUSD(R&E))
Dr. Eric Volmar 

Dr. Eric Volmar is the Chief Strategy Officer at the Office of Strategic Capital (OSC) within the Office of the Secretary of Defense. In this role, he leads OSC’s analysis to identify and prioritize areas for investment for the organization’s mission to attract and scale private capital in support of national security. Prior to his work with OSC, Dr. Volmar was the Chief of Research and Analytics at AFWERX, the commercial innovation unit for the Department of the Air Force. At AFWERX, he explored how the U.S. Air and Space Forces can innovate in partnership with technology-based companies and investors.

Dr. Volmar received a PhD in Strategy, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship from Stanford University. He specializes in qualitative, case-based research that unpacks how organizations form strategy, organize, and compete. As part of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, he received training in technology management, business model design, and innovation processes. He assisted in developing and teaching Stanford courses on technology innovation, competitive strategy, design thinking, and the applications of entrepreneurship to national security.

Dr. Volmar is a Term Member with the Council on Foreign Relations and previously a member of the Aspen Strategy Group’s Rising Leaders Program. He was a Fellow with the Strategic Management Society to explore strategy and competition in mission-driven organizations. He was previously a management consultant at Accenture, where he worked with Silicon Valley software, hardware, and healthcare organizations undergoing digital transformations. He also conducted research at the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, a non-partisan think tank that recommends policy related to innovation in business, government, healthcare, and education. He received a BS in Accounting and an MBA from the Brigham Young University Marriott School of Business.

Matt Williams

Director, OSD Transitions, SBIR/STTR Technology (OTST) Program, OSD R&E Technology Portfolio Manager
Matt Williams 

Mr. Matthew Williams is the Acting Director, SBIR/STTR Program Office, Director, OSD Transitions SBIR/STTR Technology (OTST) Program, and the OUSD (R&E) Technology Portfolio Manager for the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering’s / Defense SBIR/STTR Program Office. Mr. Williams manages transition activities designed to assist Small Businesses Concerns in getting their technology developed and inserted into Acquisition Program of Records, Systems and Sub-Systems used by our warfighters across the agencies.


Prior to his current assignment, Mr. Williams was the NAVAIR SBIR Commercialization Readiness Program (CRP) Manager. The mission of NAVAIR’s CRP program is to provide NAVAIR Program Managers (PMA’s), Competency Managers and Naval Air Warfare Centers (NAWC’s) with transition funding and strategies for state-of-the-art SBIR technologies to be transitioned and/or integrated to NAVAIR Acquisition Program of Records, Research Laboratories and Fleet Readiness Centers. Mr. Williams was NAVAIR’s Phase III Contracting Manager, overseeing contracting support / services to five (5) Program Executive Officers (PEO’s), thirty-three (33) Programs (PMA’s) and five (5) Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC’s) - managing over 400 contract actions – valued in excess of $400M annually.


Mr. Williams retired after 24 Years of Naval Service as a Flight Engineer. After retirement, he was the KC/C-130J DAPML from 2001-2004 – during initial Aircraft Acquisition. 

Christopher Thomas

Administrator, DoD Defense Technical Information Center
Christopher Thomas 

Mr. Christopher E. Thomas, a member of the Senior Executive Service, was appointed Administrator of the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC) in March 2012.  He is responsible for DTIC’s mission to capture the research behind the Department’s Scientific and Technical (S&T) innovations and provide the knowledge platforms for future researchers to discover and move that innovation forward into new capabilities for the defense of our Nation.  Mr. Thomas leads an integrated team who are engineering DTIC’s digital transformation, employing artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to provide insights and present analysis of DoD’s S&T activities.  Mr. Thomas plans and directs DTIC’s activities to coordinate science and technology information (STINFO) policy covering preservation and reuse of the results of DoD's billion-dollar annual investment in S&T.In his role as Administrator of DTIC, a field activity reporting to the Under Secretary for Research and Engineering, Mr. Thomas oversees the DoD’s single central resource for government-funded scientific, technical, engineering, and business-related information, comprising over 4.7M records, available to all DoD users. He also leads the fielding of tools supporting DoD users and enabling diverse teams across the Department to collaborate. By preserving knowledge derived from scientific and technical research and providing to all DoD users, DTIC accelerates the fielding of new capabilities to our warfighters.

Under his direction, DTIC operates the DoD’s Information Analysis Centers (IAC), through which DoD components and federal government agencies are provided research and analysis answering thousands of technical questions each year and follow-on research and development contracted efforts. The IAC program assists in contracting R&D efforts, supporting 800 organizations, annually placing more than two billion dollars of research and development, engineering, and technical analysis funding on contract.

Mr. Thomas leads the DoD Open Science activity, serving as DoD’s representative on the National Science and Technology Council’s Subcommittee (NSTC) on Open Science and the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Working Group on Scientific Collections. He chairs the DoD’s Research Data Working Group to advocate for the unique needs and interests of the S&T community and establish enterprise guidance to ensure open access, interoperability, and reuse of research data. In addition, he co-chairs CENDI, an interagency organization that provides a cooperative forum for collaboration on scientific and technical information challenges.

In 2017 Mr. Thomas established and is the editor in chief of the Journal of DoD Research and Engineering, a quarterly peer-reviewed publication at the controlled unclassified and classified levels that provides a venue for DoD scientists and engineers to publish papers on scientific topics of significant interest to DoD.

Previously, Mr. Thomas was DTIC’s Acting Administrator; Director, Information Systems Support; Director, Component Information Support; and Chief Technology Officer. During his tenure at DTIC he worked to redefine the way DTIC collects and disseminates information and simplifies access to DoD community users.

Mr. Thomas directed the launch of DoDTechipedia, one of DoD’s first social collaboration tools available to internal DoD users, enabling DoD scientists, researchers, and engineers to add and actively update content. In 2009, Mr. Thomas was the Program Manager for the DoDTechipedia when it earned the Government Computer News Agency Award, for “outstanding information technology initiatives.”

Before entering government service, Mr. Thomas served as a Director, Program Manager, Program Engineer, and Software Developer for several federal government contractors. He led software development for DoD’s first enterprise websites, including DefenseLink (the predecessor to Defense.gov), Air Force LINK, and led a team that established over 100 websites for DoD organizations.

Mr. Thomas was awarded the meritorious civilian service medal in 2017, holds a Project Management Professional (PMP) credential from the Project Management Institute and has a Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) Security Leadership (GSLC) certificate. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Old Dominion University and a Master of Arts in Economics from George Mason University. He has completed the Federal Executive Institute’s Leadership for a Democratic Society program and the APEX Senior Executive Orientation Program.

Yvette Jacks

Deputy Administrator, DoD, Defense Technical Information Center
Yvette Jacks 

\vette Jacks is the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC), a position she has held since her appointment in October 2016.  She took on the additional mantle of Deputy Administrator in 2017.  In these capacities Ms. Jacks supports DTIC’s mission to ensure the innovation and knowledge stemming from the Department of Defense’s (DoD) past and current investment in science and technology (S&T) forms the building blocks for the next generation of discovery, enhancing and accelerating American warfighters capabilities.  Her responsibilities include policy and strategy development; preparing DTIC for the future of cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) aligned to DTIC and Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E)) priorities; and staff development including cultivating the next generation of talent and bringing innovative and high-demand critical skills in cybersecurity and data science to DTIC through the Cybersecurity Talent Initiative and the U.S. Digital Corps.

Ms. Jacks’ prior federal service includes the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) where she served as Chief Information Security Officer, and over a decade and a half supporting the U.S. Department of State.  Her State Department career included positions with the Bureau of Oceans, Environmental and Scientific Affairs; Diplomatic Security; Information Resource Management; Intelligence and Research; and finally, the Executive Secretariat.

Ms. Jacks is a recipient of the DTIC Exceptional Civilian Service Award and a and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.  She received the Distinguished Graduate Award from the National Defense University (NDU) College of Information and Cyberspace Chief Information Security Officer Program in 2010; and completed the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Quantum Computing Fundamentals Online Program in 2019.  She is also a Senior Fellow of the Partnership for Public Service Excellence in Government Service Fellows Program; and holds a Certified Information Systems Security Professional with a Concentration in Security Management (CISSP-ISSMP) credential from the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC2), a Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) credential from the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), and a Project Management Professional (PMP) credential from the Project Management Institute (PMI).

Rebecca Wostenberg

NDIA - Emerging Technologies Institute
Research Fellow
Rebecca Wostenberg joined the Emerging Technologies Institute as a Research Fellow in 2021. She currently serves as the Chair of the Emerging Technology Supply Chain Study, a multi-year research effort to assess the state of defense emerging technology supply chains and provide policy recommendations for their development, health, and resilience. Before joining ETI, Rebecca served in the Secretary's Action Group (SAG) at the Department of Defense, where she directly supported two Secretaries of Defense on long-term strategic planning, industry outreach, and National Defense Strategy implementation. Prior to joining the SAG, Rebecca worked in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. She previously worked in the think tank community and on Capitol Hill. Rebecca received a Bachelor of Arts from Franciscan University of Steubenville, a Master of Arts from the Institute of World Politics, and also conducted graduate coursework at the University of Oxford.


Dr. Judith Olson

Atomic Clock Portfolio, Technical Lead
Judith Olson 

Judith is breaking down barriers in the world of tech, quantum and physics which have traditionally been male-dominated industries. After earning her MS and PhD from CU Boulder, Judith went to work for NIST – The National Institute of Standards and Technology – which promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life. While at NIST, Judith was recruited to Infleqtion to spearhead the organization’s Atomic Clock Division. Under Judith’s leadership, Infleqtion will deliver atomic clocks that enable new capabilities in positioning and communications for use in industries such as aerospace and defense.

As one of Infleqtion’s only female executives, Judith has laid the groundwork for other diverse candidates entering the organization. Within her team, she has encouraged healthy work-life habits and established practices for improving communication. She also provided mentoring services for people within the company including encouragement and tips for public speaking, presenting skills, etc. Prior to COVID, Judith set up a monthly Women of Infleqtion event to foster a sense of community and inclusivity at Infleqtion. She was recently named Next Generation Leader of the Year at the Women in IT Awards. In addition to her work at Infleqtion taking existing atomic and optical techniques from the laboratory into the field, she was recognized for her mentorship and paving the way for other women in the field. Her accolades don’t stop there: Judith also made the 52 Wonder Women Working In Industry As Quantum Scientists & Engineers list.

Dr. Lin Xu

University of Maryland College Park
Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Material Sciences and Engineering
Dr. Lin Xu 

Dr. Lin Xu currently serves as a Postdoctoral Associate at the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Xu earned his bachelor's degree in Physics from Tsinghua University in 2014. He further fortified his expertise by attaining a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2021. With over 10 years of experience, he has accumulated a wealth of knowledge in the fabrication, structural analysis, and chemical characterization of batteries. Presently, Dr. Xu is one of the core members of the research group led by Dr. Liangbing Hu at UMD. He is actively engaged in conducting cutting-edge biomass-based batteries, which receive financial support from the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) under the Department of Energy (DOE).

David Friedmann

AFC, DEVCOM, AvMC, Technology Development Directorate
David Friedmann  

David Friedmann is an Aerospace Engineer working for the Aviation and Missile Center within Army Futures Command.  He is responsible for developing and executing the science and technology (S&T) portfolio investigating the challenges and benefits of aviation electrification.  He has a Master’s degree from Purdue University and has since been involved in technology development for over 20 years, serving as air platform lead engineer and deputy program manager for major aircraft development efforts. The last two years, he has focused much of his time on making connections with experts and technology providers associated with aviation electrification. 



Reenst Lesemann

Reenst Lesemann 

Reenst has 30 years of operational, executive, and financial experience in his career. Prior to C-Power, he co-founded a seed and early-stage venture fund, Tall Oaks Capital Partners, where he served as managing director and CFO. He has run a series of successful businesses, including a maritime logistics spin off, TradeSource, Inc., that he created, led, and managed. During his career, he has been responsible for all aspects of business management, including strategic planning, marketing, and information services. His customers have been based in over 20 countries and ranged from Fortune 50 corporations to small businesses. Reenst graduated with honors from the University of North Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in history. He also holds an MBA from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business.



Megan Milam

Anduril Industries
Senior Vice President, Government Relations and NDIA Policy Committee Co-Chair

Megan Milam is the Senior Vice President of Government Relations for Anduril Industries. In this role, she is responsible for developing and implementing Anduril’s government affairs strategy with the legislative and executive branches.

Megan has held multiple roles in the executive and legislative branches of government. She was the Deputy Comptroller (Budget and Appropriations Affairs) at Department of Defense, where she served as the senior advisor to the Secretary of Defense and DoD senior leadership on congressional appropriations matters and the Department’s lead interface with the congressional appropriations committees. She was most recently the Director of the Office of Policy and Strategic Planning at Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

Previously, Ms. Milam served as Professional Staff Member for the House Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Defense, responsible for overseeing funding and policies related to the Department of Defense and Intelligence Community. She was previously the Appropriations Associate for Congressman Mike Simpson (ID-02).

Ms. Milam received her Masters of Science degree from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and her Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton University. She also serves on the NDIA Board of Directors.

Dr. Amy Sunshine Smith-Carroll

Director for Surface Warfare supporting the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Platforms and Weapons Portfolio Management (OUSD(A&S))
Dr. Amy Sunshine Smith-Carroll

Dr. Smith-Carroll is the Director for Surface Warfare supporting the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Platforms and Weapons Portfolio Management (PWPM) in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment (OUSD(A&S)). In this role, she is the Department of Defense’s primary advisor providing guidance and advocacy for the U.S. development and acquisition of surface warfare capabilities and systems.

Dr. Smith-Carroll was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in April of 2022. She previously served as the Novel Modernization lead and Director for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons programs for the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development, and Acquisition (ASN(RDA)). In this position, she was responsible for coordination and oversight of the development and acquisition plans supporting an annual budget of $4B across Navy and U.S. Marine Corps efforts.

Dr. Smith-Carroll served as the Science and Technology Advisor to the three-star Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfare Systems (OPNAV N9). In this role, she was responsible for the coordination and oversight of the Science and Technology, Research and Development plan supporting a $9B annual integrated budget applied to surface warfare and the integration across all warfare areas. Additionally, Dr. Smith-Carroll was charged with the policy and process development of the Department of Navy’s Accelerated Acquisition for the rapid development, demonstration, and fielding of warfighter capability. She also led the stand-up of the Navy’s Unmanned Systems Directorate.

In December 2012, Dr. Smith-Carroll was selected to be the first Office of Naval Research Global (ONRG) Science Advisor to the two-star Commander of Navy Air and Missile Defense Command (NAMDC). Charged with development of the Command’s Science and Technology Strategic Plan, she successfully identified and employed technologies to current deployed destroyers (DDGs).

Dr. Smith-Carroll was selected as the founding head of the Sensors and Materials Branch in October 2005, which consists of 50 multi-disciplinary research scientists and engineers focused on sensor characterization and analysis, quantum processing, nanotechnology, and pulse power. She was accountable for the establishment of organizational structure, operating precepts, strategic planning and cooperative engagement required to develop future warfighting capability.

Dr. Smith-Carroll remains actively involved within the target tracking and sensor fusion community. She has chaired numerous national and international conferences, and published over 30 technical papers and four publications in the area of target tracking and sensor fusion. Dr. Smith-Carroll also developed a multiple model filter switching logic design that does not employ a Markov Switching Matrix, which was patented under Navy Case No. 84317.

Dr. Smith-Carroll holds a Doctorate of Philosophy from Old Dominion University in Engineering Management, a master’s degree in mathematics from Mississippi State University, and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Mississippi University for Women. She is also a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute Leadership in a Democratic Society program.

Dr. Smith-Carroll has received the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award, ASN(RDA) Civilian of the Month, NSWC Indian Head Excellence Award, and numerous Letters of Commendation. She is also a member of the Acquisition Professional Community and DAWIA certified SPRDE Level III.

Colonel Michael R. Rodick

Chief, Operation Division
Colonel Michael R. Rodick 

Colonel Michael R. Rodick has served in the Pentagon on the Army Staff as the Operations Division Chief for the JCO since 2020. He is a native of White Plains, NY and was commissioned into the Air Defense Artillery after graduating from Niagara University, NY in 2001. His professional military education includes the Air Defense Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, Command and General Staff College (CGSC), and the Eisenhower Leadership Development Program at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY. COL Rodick also holds a MA in Organizational Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University, NY.

COL Rodick’s first duty assignment was with the 6th Battalion, 52nd Air Defense Artillery (Patriot), Ansbach, Germany, where he served as a Support Platoon Leader, Patriot Battery Executive Officer and Battalion Assistant Operations Officer from 2001 to 2004.
After completion of the Air Defense Artillery Captains Career Course at Fort Bliss, TX, COL Rodick served as a Brigade Plans Officer and Air Defense Artillery Fire Control Officer (ADAFCO) for 69th Air Defense Brigade, Giebelstadt Army Airfield, Germany from 2005-2006. COL Rodick was then assigned to 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery (Patriot), Hanau, Germany, where he served as Commander for Alpha Battery from 2006-2009. After Command, COL Rodick was assigned to the 357th Air and Missile Defense Detachment, Kaiserslautern, Germany where he served as the Operations Officer in charge of a forward based AN/TPY-2 Radar system in 2009.

COL Rodick served as a Company Tactical Officer and Regimental Executive Officer for the United States Corps of Cadets at West Point, NY from 2010 to 2013. Following this assignment, COL Rodick was assigned to the 10th Army Air Defense Artillery Command (AAMDC), Kaiserslautern, Germany, where he served as the Chief of War Plans (Future) from 2013 to 2014. COL Rodick was then assigned to the 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery (Patriot), Baumholder, Germany, where he served as the Operations Officer and Executive Officer from 2013 to 2014. From 2015 to 2016, COL Rodick served as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations for 10th AAMDC from 2015 to 2016. COL Rodick then served at the United States Pacific Command as the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Branch Chief, Camp Smith, HI.

COL Rodick’s previous assignment was as the Commander of 1st Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery “Cobra Strike” (Patriot), at Fort Bliss, TX.

COL Rodick has deployed in support of Operation Southern Watch, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom I, Joint Task Force East, NATO mission Active Fence II, and Operation Spartan Shield. His military Awards and Decorations include the Joint Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Naval Presidential Unit Citation, Meritorious Unit Citation, Army Superior Unit Award, and Parachutist Badge.

Dr. Kim Sablon

Principal Director for Trusted AI and Autonomy (OUSD(R&E))
Dr. Kim Sablon

Dr. Kimberly Sablon is currently the Principal Director for Trusted AI and Autonomy at the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (USD(R&E)).  In this role, she oversees AI/ML and autonomy research activities across the DOD enterprise.  She also has responsibility for shaping the strategic direction for integrated AI and autonomy with an emphasis on trust and responsible decision making.  Previously, Dr. Sablon served as the Army’s S&T Director – setting strategic direction and with responsibility and oversight of $2.6B per year budget.  She also served as the Director for Basic Research in the office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology where she was responsible for formulating and defending selected basic research budgets, programs, plans, priorities and investments to the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), and to Congress.  Dr. Sablon received a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from the University of Arkansas in 2009.  She has published more than 70 peer-reviewed papers and contributed to nine scientific and technical books. 

Bharat Patel

Product Lead, Project Linchpin - Sensors AI, PEO Intelligence Electronic Warfare Sensors
Bharat Patel 

Bharat Patel is the product lead for Project Linchpin. An engineer with the Army’s Program Executive Office, Intelligence, Electronic Warfare, and Sensors, he managed the Army’s pilot program with Project Maven to develop and evaluate AI for sensors. As the former chief technology officer for Project Manager, Intelligence Systems and Analytics, he coordinated science and technology efforts across programs and experiments like Project Convergence. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Rutgers University and a graduate certificate in Systems Engineering from Johns Hopkins University.




Dr. Steven Rogers

Senior Scientist for Automatic Target Recognition and Sensor Fusion, Air Force Research Laboratory
Dr. Steven Rogers 

Dr. Steven K. Rogers is the Senior Scientist for Automatic Target Recognition and Sensor Fusion, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. He serves as the principal scientific authority and independent researcher in the field of multi-sensor automatic target recognition and sensor fusion. Dr. Rogers initiates, technically plans, coordinates, evaluates, and conducts research and development to advance the knowledge of interdisciplinary ATR and sensor fusion systems for all Air Force aircraft, missile and space systems. He leads collaboration across AFRL in object detection, tracking, geo-location, identification and supporting technologies. He also conducts research and development activities in the broad area of ATR and sensor-fusion technology including phenomenology modeling, model-based and learning algorithms, evaluation and tracking. Dr. Rogers also conducts research and development in image and signal processing, synthetic target and scene modeling, resource allocation and evidence accrual aimed at decreasing the cost and improving the performance of Air Force and Department of Defense systems.

Dr. Rogers has had an extensive career in both government service and civilian industry. He retired from the Air Force after 20 years active-duty service, beginning his Air Force career as a flightline enlisted logistics specialist. He was later commissioned though the Airman Education and Commissioning Program and assigned as research engineer developing of a new high order programming language. Following the completion of his advanced degrees he served as a professor at the Air Force Institute of Technology for more than a decade. While at AFIT he directed research efforts in areas that included identification of targets in a variety of sensors. He also did ground-breaking work in learning algorithms.

As Founder, President, CEO and Chief Scientist of Qualia Computing, Inc., later CADx Systems and then iCAD, Inc., Dr. Rogers led the effort to bring intelligent information processing to women's healthcare. Under his direction the company not only became the leader in mammography computer-aided design, it also developed a multi-modality CAD platform to facilitate the quick and efficient application of the technology to many medical detection problems. Dr. Rogers also has worked on developing practical applications of advanced information processing techniques for other medical products. He has authored several hundred publications and has been awarded 16 patents.

Dr. Maren Leed

Independent Consultant

Maren Leed is an independent consultant for the Army Science Board and Lumen Analytics.  She has been the Head of Industry Partnerships at Rebellion Defense, Executive Director of the National Spectrum Consortium, and an adjunct professor in the Political Science Department at the US Naval Academy. She has been a member of the senior professional staff at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. From 2015-2017, she was a senior advisor and strategic action group director for the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) nominee/appointee. Prior to her time on the Navy staff, Maren directed the New Defense Approaches Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where she created and conducted numerous analyses of key national security and defense policy issues. She served as a senior advisor to the Chief of Staff of the Army from 2010-2011, and to two Vice Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2005-2008. She also served as a member of the Professional Staff of the Senate Armed Services Committee. She has a Ph.D. in quantitative policy analysis from the RAND Graduate School, and an A.B. in Political Science from Occidental College.

Ryan Luley

Senior Mathematician, Information Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory
 Ryan Luley 

Ryan Luley received the B.S. degree in mathematics and computer science from St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY, USA, in 2001, and the M.S. degree in computer engineering and the Ph.D. degree in computer and information science and engineering from Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, USA, in 2008 and 2020, respectively.,He is currently a Senior Mathematician with the High Performance Systems Branch, United States Air Force Research Laboratory, Information Directorate, Rome, NY, USA. His current research interests include machine learning, high performance embedded computing, and neuromorphic computing.






Dr. Matthew Gaston

Carnegie Mellon University
Director, SEI Artificial Intelligence Division
Dr. Matthew Gaston 

Dr. Matt Gaston is the director of the AI Division at the Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute. He also holds an appointment as an adjunct associate professor at the Carnegie Mellon University Institute for Software Research.

As the director of the AI Division, Dr. Gaston leads a diverse team of researchers, engineers, and innovators who assist the U.S. Department of Defense in developing and using leap-ahead AI capabilities that are reliable, responsible, safe, fair, and transparent. He is a leader of the community-wide National AI Engineering Initiative focused on establishing and growing the discipline of AI engineering. Dr. Gaston also led the establishment and growth of the SEI Emerging Technology Center (ETC). With his leadership, the ETC research portfolio grew to include work in the fields of autonomy, analytics, visualization, and quantum computing.

Before joining the SEI, Dr. Gaston was the director of research at Viz, a business area of General Dynamics C4 Systems (GDC4S), where he led research activities for the Battle Management System Division. This work included a research portfolio that spanned command and control, intelligence analysis, information interaction and visualization, and cyber situational awareness. During this time, he also served as a member of the External Advisory Board for Sandia National Laboratories' Network Grand Challenge, which focused on novel techniques and computing paradigms for large-scale network analysis applications in cybersecurity, counter-proliferation, and other national security issues.

Prior to his work with GDC4S, Dr. Gaston served as the technical director of the Advanced Analysis Laboratory at the U.S. National Security Agency, where he led numerous activities to bring new technology and innovation to the process and practice of intelligence analysis. His work included developing and applying advanced computational intelligence analysis techniques, leading the development of a massive-scale network analysis system, and co-founding the Institute for Analysis.

He has published in the fields of complex networks, machine learning, multi-agent systems, and operations research. He is a member of Leadership Pittsburgh XXVIII and is a founding trustee of Awesome Pittsburgh.

Dr. Gaston holds a BS in Mathematics from University of Notre Dame, 1998, and an MS and PhD in Computer Science from University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Dr. Bruce Swett

Northrup Grumman
Chief AI Architect & NG Fellow
Dr. Bruce Swett 

Bruce Swett is an NG Fellow and the Chief Artificial Intelligence Architect within the Mission Systems sector of Northrop Grumman, a leading global provider of security systems and solutions. In this role, he is responsible for the design and implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) data analysis and autonomy capabilities across the sector. He also leads commercial and academic strategic partnerships to dramatically increase the speed of developing fieldable AI systems.

Swett has held progressively responsible positions that combine deep technical expertise with executive leadership and strategic planning. He has developed research and development laboratories, including new business capture, personnel management, intellectual property development, and building trusted relationships with customers. Prior to joining Northrop Grumman, Swett served as the Chief of Strategy for an AI group at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU APL), and as the Chief Scientist and Senior Vice President for a Department of Defense contractor. He has driven research and development for new capability creation, resulting in ten product launches in the defense, intelligence, and medical domains.

Swett’s work as an innovation leader focuses on integrating the strategic vision of the organization with tangible, real-time advances in the research laboratory, as well as translating AI technologies and applications to executives within the organization to realize market gains. His work has garnered numerous awards – including research innovation awards at Northrop Grumman, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and JHU APL. Swett also served for seven years as a member of the Army Science Board (ASB). The ASB provides independent consultation to the Secretary of the Army, Army Chief of Staff, and Army senior leaders. In his role with the ASB, Swett has evaluated Army technology investments, programs, policies, structure, and doctrine, reporting out findings and recommendations. Swett was and awarded the Army’s Meritorious Civilian Service Medal for his ASB contributions.

Swett serves as a subject matter expert and consultant in the areas of AI, distributed, collaborative autonomy, and robotics – both nationally and internationally. He has served on the Pontifical Academy of Science, advising Pope Francis on AI and robotic technologies, and is a study member for the Peace Research Institute of Oslo (PRIO) on AI on the battlefield. He has created intellectual property and patent applications on numerous topics related to AI and autonomy.

Swett completed his Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Maryland College Park and completed his Post-Doctoral studies at the National Institute of Deafness and Communications Disorders (NIDCD) at the NIH. His experimental and computational research focused on using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and high-performance computing to understand how the human brain learns and automates sequences, a topic that applies to novel forms of AI.

Doug Beck

Director, Defense Innovation Unit

Doug BackDoug Beck is the Director of the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), reporting directly to the Secretary of Defense. In this role, Doug oversees efforts to accelerate the Department's adoption of commercial technology throughout the military and also serves as a senior advisor to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense on technology innovation, competition, and strategic impact. In his previous experience with DIU, Doug founded and led its joint reserve component from the inception in 2015 through 2019.

Prior to joining DIU, Doug was Vice President at Apple, reporting directly to its CEO, Tim Cook from 2009-2023, At Apple, Doug co-led the worldwide business development and sales functions, led the company’s  businesses across Northeast Asia and the Americas, including five years resident in Tokyo, and, most recently, led several of Apple’s purpose-driven businesses worldwide, including in health, education, and other institutions of public impact.

Before joining  Apple, Doug served as Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at Charles Schwab. Prior to Schwab, he was a partner at McKinsey & Company, co-leader of McKinsey's global strategy practice, and a leader of other industry and functional practices in the United States and Asia. In 2000, he was elected as  one of the youngest partners in McKinsey history, while resident in Shanghai.  He has lived and worked for many years in Asia, including in Japan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and across China.

Currently a Captain in the U.S. Navy Reserve, Doug served in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2006-2007 with a joint special operations task force.  He has also served extensively throughout the Asia Pacific region during his 26 years of service, including command of a large joint reserve unit supporting U.S. Indo-Pacific Command in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii,  His personal and unit awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal (two awards), the Bronze Star Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon, and the Presidential Unit Citation.

As a civilian, Doug has served as a member of the Secretary of State’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board, an executive advisor to three Chiefs of Naval Operations and to Special Operations Community leadership, and, for over fifteen years, as  a formal and informal advisor to senior civilian and uniformed Defense Department leaders.   He also served from 2015-2023 as a member of the Board of Directors of the Center for a New American Security.  He is a Trustee of the Rhodes Trust, which oversees the Rhodes Scholarships worldwide,  and a member of the Advisory Board of Yale’s Jackson School of Global Affairs.

Doug holds a bachelor's degree summa cum laude from Yale and an M.Phil in International Relations from Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

Paul Madera

Meritech Capital Partners
Co-Founder and NDIA ETI Advisory Board Member
Paul Madera 

Paul co-founded Meritech in 1999 and helps lead the firm’s consumer, enterprise and fintech practices.

Prior to co-founding Meritech, Paul was a Managing Director and the Head of the Private Equity Group at Montgomery Securities, where he advised private tech companies on equity financings. He began his career in finance as an investment banker with Morgan Stanley in New York, and prior to joining Morgan Stanley, he served in the US Air Force as an F-4 and F-16 pilot based in South Korea, Spain and Utah.

Paul has been named to the Forbes 'Midas List' multiple times, a recognition given to the world's top tech investors.

Paul holds a B.S. from the United States Air Force Academy and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He currently serves as a trustee of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and on the Board of the U.S. Air Force Academy Foundation. Paul spends his time away from the office cycling across the Bay Area to prepare for ‘century rides.'

Jason Zander

Executive Vice President
Jason Zander

Jason Zander is the executive vice president of the Strategic Missions and Technologies division at Microsoft, where he leads the engineering and sales field organizations incubating technical products and driving scientific discovery for the future of cloud computing and continued company growth. He also serves as the Chief Technology Advisor of TitletownTech in Green Bay, Wisconsin—a partnership between the Green Bay Packers and Microsoft—to build and fund early-stage, high-growth businesses in the region.



The Honorable Lisa Disbrow

Former Under Secretary of the Air Force
The Honorable Lisa Disbrow 

32 years of military and civil service national security service in the Department of Defense, National Security Council, and the National Reconnaissance Office.  Currently serves on the Board of Directors of Mercury Systems, Inc.; Perspecta; BlackBerry; and LMI.  Chairs Mitre Corporation’s Air Force Advisory Board and is a Senior Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab.

The 25th Under Secretary of the Air Force from Jan 2015-July 2017, she led a global organization of more than 660,000 personnel and an annual budget of over $135 billion dollars.  She led efforts to improve space system resiliency, increase and improve weapon system inventories, and increase operational readiness.  After the 2017 Presidential inauguration and before confirmation of the new AF Secretary, she was Acting Secretary of the Air Force and the Secretary of Defense’s Principal DOD Space Advisor.

Prior to these positions, she was the Senate-confirmed Financial Management & Comptroller of the Air Force, responsible for financial policy and execution of the AF budget.  She served 19 years on the Joint Staff in multiple executive civilian positions including Vice Director of the Joint Staff J-8 Directorate where she advised Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Joint Requirements Oversight Council on warfighting capabilities, global force management, and joint weapons system requirements.

From 2006-2007, she served on the National Security Staff at the White House, contributing to major policy issues across the federal government.  In the early 1990s, she was a senior systems engineer at the National Reconnaissance Office responsible for developing requirements and programs to improve national intelligence support to deployed users.

She retired from military service in 2008 as a Colonel with over 23 years of combined active duty and part-time reserve duty in operations/signals/electronic intelligence; programming; and plans.  Deployed in Operation Desert Storm/Southern Watch and supported operations in Bosnia.

The Honorable Gabe Camarillo

Under Secretary of the Army
The Honorable Gabe Camarillo

The Honorable Gabe Camarillo was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on February 2, 2022 and sworn in as the 35th Under Secretary of the Army on February 8, 2022. As the Under Secretary of the Army, he is the Secretary of the Army’s senior civilian assistant and principal adviser on matters related to the management and operation of the Army. He is also the Chief Management Officer of the Army.

Mr. Camarillo’s prior career includes significant experience in law, government, national security and private industry. Mr. Camarillo previously served as Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Manpower & Reserve Affairs) where he was responsible for military and civilian personnel and reserve component matters for the Air Force. He previously also served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics & Technology), helping to lead and supervise Army modernization programs, procurement, logistics and R&D investment. His private sector experience includes legal practice at several law firms with emphasis in the areas of commercial litigation, campaign finance law and government ethics.

Mr. Camarillo also taught campaign finance law as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy. Recently, Mr. Camarillo served as Senior Vice President at SAIC, where he led two business units for an engineering and IT services company. Mr. Camarillo received a Bachelor of Arts in Government at Georgetown University and a law degree from Stanford University. He has two children, Ethan and Natalie, in Virginia.

The Honorable Erik Raven

Under Secretary of the Navy 
The Honorable Erik Raven 

The Honorable Erik K. Raven assumed the responsibilities of the Under Secretary of the Navy on 13 April, 2022. He serves as the Department of Navy’s Chief Operating Officer and Chief Management Officer. He is responsible for providing oversight and policy for defense and naval strategy, intelligence and intelligence-related activities, sensitive activities, special access programs, space activities, critical infrastructure, small business programs, and the naval audit service. Additionally, he is responsible for business operations, performance management, and risk management within the Department.

Mr. Raven has served in a variety of legislative senior leadership positions in the federal government. Before his nomination, Mr. Raven was the principal advisor to the Democratic Chairs and Vice-Chairs of the Committee on Appropriations and Subcommittee on Defense on budget matters relating to the Department of Defense and intelligence community.

Mr. Raven also served as a principal advisor in the offices of Senators Feinstein, Kennedy, and Byrd, advising on defense, foreign affairs, homeland security, veterans, space, and transportation policy issues.

Mr. Raven holds a master’s degree in the History of International Relations from the London School of Economics, and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Connecticut College.

The Honorable Kristyn Jones

Performing the Duties of Under Secretary of the Air Force
The Honorable Kristyn Jones 

Kristyn E. Jones is Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary of the Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia. She is responsible for the affairs of the Department of the Air Force, comprised of the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force, to include organizing, training, and equipping Air and Space Forces and for the welfare of approximately 700,000 active duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian Airmen and Guardians and their families serving around the world. As the Under Secretary, she oversees the department’s annual budget of more than $205 billion and directs strategy and policy development, risk management, weapons acquisition, technology investments and human resource management across a global enterprise.

Ms. Jones serves as the Senate-confirmed Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Financial Management and Comptroller. In this role, she serves as the principal adviser to the Secretary, Chief of Staff of the Air Force and Chief of Space Operations on all financial matters. She is responsible for providing financial management and analytical services necessary for the effective and efficient use of the Department of the Air Force resources. This includes directing the development of the Air Force program and budget, overseeing the Air Force Cost Analysis Agency's acquisition and operational cost analysis, providing analytical services and conducting Air Force accounting and finance operations.

Prior to her current governmental service, Jones was a Managing Director in KPMG’s Federal Advisory practice, where she supported the Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs, and other federal clients. Previously, Jones served in a variety of government positions. She entered the Senior Executive Service in June 2008 serving as Director, then Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Financial Information Management until 2014. From 2007 to 2008, Jones was assigned as the Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Army, Financial Management and Comptroller for Cost Management Transformation. Prior to this role, Jones was the Director of Enterprise Transition Planning at the Department of Defense Business Transformation Agency and served as a Financial Manager at the Office of Naval Research. Earlier in her career, Jones held management positions at two Fortune 500 companies, Capital One and Advanced Micro Devices. Jones also served as a Military Intelligence Officer in the U.S. Army, where she held a variety of leadership positions.