Dr. Steve G. Wax
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Science and Technology
Dr. Steven G. Wax is the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Science and Technology in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. In this role, he directs an organization responsible for the oversight of and advocacy for the Department of Defense S&T enterprise, including S&T workforce and laboratory infrastructure policy, Federally Funded Research and Development Centers, and University-Affiliated Research Centers. The ASD(S&T) office also oversees a broad portfolio of S&T programs, including Basic Research, Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer, and DOD Manufacturing Technology, including the nine Manufacturing Innovation Institutes. Furthermore, the ASD(S&T) office is responsible for technology and program protection methodologies.
As a retired Air Force officer, Dr. Wax has more than 45 years of defense research and development experience, including executive positions in DOD and industry and as a senior technical consultant. His most recent government position was as Chief Scientist of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, a Senior Executive Service position that serves as the technical advisor to the Director of DTRA and the Director, DTRA R&D. In this role, Dr. Wax was responsible for DTRA’s basic research program, its international S&T engagement, and the coordination of DTRA’s S&T program with the Combatant Commands. Dr. Wax also served 12 years at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, including as Director of the Defense Sciences Office, where he was responsible for a $450 million-per-year office portfolio of innovative basic, applied, and exploratory research and technology programs spanning the physical sciences, biological warfare defense, biological science, combat medicine, human effectiveness, cognitive science, and mathematics. His other DARPA positions included Deputy Director, DSO, and Senior Scientist, Materials. As an Air Force officer, Dr. Wax was assigned to the National Reconnaissance Office, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, DARPA, and the Air Force Rocket Propulsion Laboratory.
Dr. Wax was a member of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Human Effectiveness Directorate’s independent Review Team and the National Materials and Manufacturing Board. He also served as a panel member on the Materials Science and Technology External Review for Sandia National Laboratory. His awards include the George Kimball Burgess Memorial Award (material science) and the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in Ceramic Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, a Master of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts.
Deputy Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Officer
Director, Integrated Fires for the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Dominance (OPNAV N2/N6)
• Managed investments, training and policy for U.S. Navy integrated fires capabilities, including electronic warfare, cyber, and targeting
Director Chairman’s Action Group, Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Deputy Director, Decision Superiority (OPNAV N2/N6F4)
• Managed a diverse portfolio of strategic, operational, and tactical command, control, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C2ISR) concepts and capabilities
Director of the Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Actions Group (N00Z)
• Responsible for strategic planning, engagement planning, testimony preparation, and research for the 29th Chief of Naval Operations.
U.S. Fleet Forces Command
• Strategic planning, requirements and resources, Fleet training, and human capital
• Entered the Navy as a Presidential Management Fellow Graduated from Rutgers University with a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Bachelor’s degree in Political Science
NC3 Program Manager
Vinny DiGirolamo is a former Navy pilot and published author. He served as Corporate President of a major Steel Manufacturing and Software Development company where he implemented strategic plans, marketing initiatives, and introduced a revolutionary new software technology that significantly influenced whole industries. He has managed billion-dollar budgets and was an Independent Consultant to the Department of Defense (DoD) for over 30 years, leading numerous, multi-agency engineering, software, and National policy working groups in Nuclear and Tactical Command, Control and Communications (C3) arenas.
Vinny also founded a successful iPhone repair business, served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) teaching multiple Information Systems Management (IFSM) courses, and authored a book, “Naval Command and Control: Policy, Programs, People, and Issues” (AFCEA International Press). A diehard proponent of DoD’s Mission Engineering tenets, instead of improving it, he decided to evolve the best of all worlds into what he calls, the Adaptive Engineering model and methodology presented here.
Currently, Vinny is a Program Manager at a major defense contractor and is promoting responsible AI use and other advanced concepts in engineering, including non-engineered AI generated art. Vinny is passionate about training new engineers and believes in the potential Adaptive Engineering has for facilitating innovative solutions to everyday engineering challenges and major acquisitions.
Vice President of Projects and Engineering
Matthew Taylor is the Vice President of Projects and Engineering at MxD, leading the Institute’s Project Management Office (PMO), Engineering, Cybersecurity, and IT. He also works closely with industry partners to ensure the MxD Future Factory floor delivers maximum value for members, as we collectively work to demystify technologies and apply them to strengthen America’s manufacturers and supply chains.
Prior to joining MxD, his background spanned the semiconductor industry, as well as aerospace and defense - gaining direct experience across the entire product lifecycle. At Teradyne, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, and ManTech International, he demonstrated a track record of success as a technical fellow, manager, and architect in several functions including digital engineering, functional management, strategy, and innovation management. Matthew holds a MS in Engineering Management from Tufts University, and a BS in Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.
BG Frank Lozano
Army PEO, Land Systems
Brigadier General Frank J. Lozano is the Program Executive Officer (PEO), Missiles and Space, Redstone Arsenal, AL. He is responsible for the development, production, fielding, sustainment, and international program aspects for assigned missile and space systems. BG Lozano assumed his current position August 2022.
BG Lozano assessed into the Army Acquisition Corps in 2001 and graduated with an MBA from the University of Texas at Arlington. He served with Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in Grand Prairie, TX as part of the Training With Industry (TWI) program.
After completion of Command and General Staff College, BG Lozano was assigned as the Assistant Product Manager for Project Manager Soldier Weapons, PEO Soldier, followed by an assignment as an Ammunition and Demolition System Acquisition Manager for the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and the Army Research Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM).
In 2008, BG Lozano was assigned as a Department of the Army System Coordinator (DASC) for Tactical Missile Systems and Ballistic Missile Defense Systems. BG Lozano was selected to be a Special Assistant for the Army’s Vice Chief of Staff, GEN. As the Special Assistant, he provided insight, advice, and counsel on Army acquisition programs crossing many different functional capability areas.
BG Lozano commanded the Product Management Office for Soldier Protective Equipment, PEO Soldier from 2011 until 2014. Afterwards, he was assigned to the Joint Staff, J-8 Capabilities and Acquisition Division. Upon graduation from the US Army War College, BG Lozano was assigned as the Project Manager for the Lower Tier Project Office, PEO Missiles and Space from 2017 until 2020, followed by an assignment as the Integrated Fires and Rapid Capability Office PM. From April 2021 to May 2022 BG Lozano served as the ASA(ALT) Chief of Staff.
BG Lozano’s operational and combat experience include deployments to Bosnia, Kuwait and Iraq. His awards and decorations include the Parachutist Badge, Ranger Tab, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, the NATO Service Medal, the Army Staff Identification Badge, and the Joint Staff Identification Badge. He is certified in Program Management; Contracting; System Research; Planning and Engineering; and System Test career fields.
BG Lozano is married to the former Anne E. Yesconis of Dallas, TX and has three children: Olivia, Jackson, and Nicholas.
Program Executive Officer for Land Systems
Mr. Stephen Bowdren leads the USMC's only Program Executive Office at Marine
Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. His team of Marines and Civilian Marine acquisition professionals, across five program offices with 15 programs, develops, delivers, and sustains over $8B in lethal capabilities for the world's preeminent fighting force, the United States Marine Corps.
Appointed to the Senior Executive Service in 2015, Mr. Bowdren served as the Executive Director of the Navy's International Programs Office from 2019 to 2022, overseeing the Department of the Navy's Foreign Military Sales, Cooperative Acquisition, and Technology Security and Foreign Disclosure programs. Prior to that assignment, he oversaw the Department of Navy's TS&FD Directorate, coordinating releasability issues within the DON and with interagency stakeholders. In these and other positions, Mr. Bowdren spearheaded the development and implementation of several enterprise-wide security cooperation business and process management tools, including the Strategic International Acquisition planning process and the Navy's Case Execution Performance Tool. He was NIPO's inaugural Lean Six Sigma Deployment Champion and Black Belt and served in the same position for the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.
A retired naval surface warfare officer, Mr. Bowdren also qualified as a Joint Specialty Officer and a Strategic Planning subspecialist. His ashore tours included service as European Command's Sub-Saharan Africa Politico-Military Action Officer, Surface Warfare Requirements Officer on the Pacific Fleet Staff, and propulsion plant examiner on the Atlantic Fleet Staff.
Mr. Bowdren holds degrees from the University of Connecticut (B.A. History, summa cum laude), Georgetown University (M.A. National Security Studies), and the Naval War College Command and Staff College. He is a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute. Professional certifications include Defense Acquisition Corps Program Manager Level III, Business Financial Manager Level I, Certified Defense Financial Manager, International Affairs Certified Level III and Security Cooperation Workforce qualified. He is a recipient of the Department of the Navy's Meritorious and Superior Civilian Service Awards.
Senior Fellow For Acquisition Policy
Moshe Schwartz is an associate at Etherton and Associates, serving as an expert in defense acquisition and industrial base policy. He spent 15 years providing analysis and legislative support to Congress on acquisition policy and industrial base issues, including as a specialist at the Congressional Research Service and senior analyst at GAO. He has testified before Congress and written extensively on a wide range of acquisition and industrial base issues, including defense acquisition reform, contract types, cost and pricing, Other Transaction Authorities, the use of Major Defense Acquisition Programs, socioeconomic policies, the Defense Production Act, GAO bid protests, the DOD Audit, and wartime contracting.
Moshe teaches at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz School of Public Policy and spent five years teaching courses on congress and acquisition policy at National Defense University’s Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy. He served as Executive Director of the congressionally mandated Advisory Panel on Streamlining and Codifying Acquisition Regulations, senior advisor to the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, and an advisor at ISAF headquarters in Afghanistan.
He received an M.B.A. from Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business, a Master of Science in Public Policy Management from Carnegie Mellon’s Heinz School of Public Policy and Management, and a J.D. from Yeshiva University’s Cardozo School of Law.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Resilience
Ms. Halimah Najieb-Locke currently serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Resilience at the U.S. Department of Defense. In this role, Ms. Najieb-Locke is responsible for assessing the health of the Defense Industrial Base (DIB) and recommending key policies, investments and actions designed to strengthen the capacity and resilience of the DIB. She is also responsible for advising on actions to safeguard the DIB from potential adverse actions domestically, as well as foreign interventions. Ms. Najieb-Locke oversees the Office of Research and Analytics, the Office of Global Investment Review, and the Office of Industrial Base Support.
Ms. Najieb-Locke was most recently in the Office of the Deputy Secretary of Defense as the Senior Advisor of Industrial Base and Innovation for the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense where she advised on complex and high priority special assignments and strategies in areas such as federal procurement acceleration, joint experimentation, and critical technology areas. Prior to joining the Department of Defense, she served as the Senior Procurement Counsel for the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis in the U.S. House of Representatives where she conducted investigations and issued findings as they related to the health specific response to the coronavirus crisis, with a focus on procurement activities from companies that are government contractors and federal agencies.
Previously, Ms. Najieb-Locke was Counsel for the House Armed Services Committee where she handled all acquisition related policy issues and legislative development, including Title XIII, acquisition workforce, industrial base policy, foreign military sales (FMS)/export controls and technology transfer. Ahead of this, she served as senior professional staff for the House Small Business Committee handling contracting, entrepreneurial development, veteran’s issues and the SBIR/STTR programs.
Ms. Najieb-Locke is a graduate of the University of San Francisco and the George Washington University Law School, where she specialized in public procurement law and how procurement systems operate, both in the United States and abroad.
Director of Policy, Analysis, and Transition (OUSD(A&S))
Ms. Danielle Miller is the Director of Policy, Analysis, and Transition (PA&T) within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Policy. In her role, she provides direction, guidance, and oversight to three offices focused respectively on assessing the ability of the industrial base to meet the warfighter’s needs, developing realistic industrial surge scenarios, and evaluating the industrial base impacts of defense modernization. She directs analyses of current and emerging risks and opportunities within the defense industrial base, informing key policy, program, and budget decisions.
Ms. Miller gained extensive expertise in analysis and program evaluation in her prior roles with Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE). As the Director of Readiness and Force Employment Division, she was responsible for leading CAPES’ analysis of the Services’ readiness portfolios and responsible for funding the DoD five-year readiness program. This included leveraging existing data sets and tools to develop intricate models of the aviation sustainment process. In addition, Ms. Miller was responsible for assessing Global Posture portfolio, and developing resourcing options prioritized by strategic alignment and operational relevance. Within CAPE, she also served as the Deputy Director of Joint Data Support Division. In this role she managed teams of analyst developing force structure and force employment data. She led the establishment of archived historic deployment data, which continues to be used to support program evaluation.
Prior to her Civil Service Directorship positions, she worked in the private sector providing support to CAPE, the United States Air Force and the Department of Labor. Ms. Miller also has spent time in the non-profit sector, working for Special Olympics Florida and the Better Housing League of Greater Cincinnati. In each organization she effectively secured funding from a variety of foundations and local, state, and federal agencies.
She graduated from Florida State University with a Master of Arts in International Affairs and a Bachelor’s of Science from Wright State University in International Studies.
Vice President, Defense Programs
Nathan Forbes is the Vice President of Defense Programs at Boom Supersonic where he leads business development strategy and military engagement for national security applications of Boom’s supersonic aircraft and Symphony engine.
Prior to his current position, Nathan served in several commercial sales and government business development leadership roles for IBM and General Electric, supporting public-private partnerships and enabling the development of defense, energy and aerospace technologies.
Nathan was commissioned through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps and served as an Air Force intelligence officer with a variety of leadership assignments in Air Combat Command, Air Mobility Command, US Air Forces in Europe, US Central Command, US Special Operations Command and Air Force Life Cycle and Management Center. He holds a B.A. in International Relations from Michigan State University and a M.A. in National Security and Middle Eastern Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School. He resides in Albany, NY and is the father of two.
Director, Energetics Futures, NSWC IHD
Dr. John Wilkinson serves as the Director of Energetics Futures at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head Division (NSWC IHD). In this role, he facilitates greater external awareness of energetics and their associated impact on weapon systems’ safety, performance, and lethality.
Dr. Wilkinson began his scientific career in 2003 at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, in the Chemistry Division, where he studied photoluminescence spectroscopy in organic light-emitting devices. After transitioning to NSWC IHD in 2005, Dr. Wilkinson investigated mechanical properties and performance of reactive materials using novel diagnostics.Dr. Wilkinson then continued his efforts in energetics spectroscopy, applying this expertise toward the manufacturing, detection, and render-safe of explosives and explosives precursors. Between 2011 and 2014, Dr. Wilkinson deployed to Afghanistan on three occasions, leading training sessions for members of the Intelligence and EOD communities to better perform their roles in counterterrorism missions.
From 2016-2018, Dr. Wilkinson served as the Dynamics and Diagnostics Branch Manager within the Research, Development, Test & Evaluation (RDT&E) Department. He then transitioned to the role of Science and Technology (S&T) Business Development Lead in the Customer Advocate Office from 2018 through 2022. In this position, Dr. Wilkinson led the command strategy for S&T growth and transitions, oversaw congressionally directed S&T funding, and was responsible for an engagement strategy within the Naval Warfare Improvement Program (WIP) to influence energetic materials solutions across all warfighting domains. Dr. Wilkinson was also one of three leads under the Naval Energetics Executive Committee (EXCOMM), chartered by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (DASN) RDT&E. His responsibility was to develop a plan to reconstitute and sustain the energetics organic knowledge base.
As Director of Energetics Futures, Dr. Wilkinson leads an internal Integrated Product Team (IPT) to foster increased collaboration and engagement of IHD expertise with the goal of developing state of the art energetics capabilities. He is also responsible for executing an energetic materials and systems influence campaign, to include engagement of key leaders. Dr. Wilkinson’s efforts as the Director of Energetics Futures aim to ensure greater energetics alignment between Naval and DoD stakeholders, and work towards delivering improved energetics solutions to meet the needs of the fleet.
Dr. Wilkinson received his Bachelor of Science in Physics from Guilford College, Greensboro, NC and his Ph. D. in Physics from Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC. He was awarded the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award (2016), two Navy Dr. Delores M. EtterTop Scientist and Engineer of the Year awards (2010, 2012), and numerous Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) and NSWC-level awards for his scientific contributions towards reactive material research and novel energetics detection techniques.
Dr. Erik Hadland
Semiconductor Industry Association
Director of Technology Policy
Erik Hadland is the Director of Technology Policy at the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), where he is responsible for the association’s research, development, and technology activities as well as its education and workforce development efforts. In this role, he works with the White House, Federal agencies, and Congress to inform policymakers about the needs and functions of the diverse segments of the semiconductor industry.
Prior to SIA, Erik was a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy, where he served as Advisor to the Director of the Office of Science—the Nation’s largest supporter of fundamental physical science research and stewarding office of 10 of the Department’s National Laboratories. In this capacity, Erik project managed briefings to the Congress on critical and emergent technologies, advised on matters of place-based innovation and technology transfer, and co-facilitated the Department’s Microelectronics Working Group. Prior to the DOE, Erik was a Senior Logic Technology Development Engineer at Intel, piloting first-of-a-kind annealing modules and processing conditions for Intel’s next generation logic products.
Erik earned his PhD in Solid State Chemistry from the University of Oregon, where he studied novel synthesis schemes for metastable 2D semiconductor compounds.
Professor Chris Miller is an expert on international politics, economics, and technology. He is the author, of Chip War: The Fight for the World’s Most Critical Technology, a book that explains how computer chips have made the modern world—and how the U.S. and China are struggling for control over this fundamental technology. A handful of companies control the manufacturing of all the world’s semiconductors, giving them a chokehold over the computing power on which everything from the biggest data centers to the tiniest Internet-of-Things devices depend. The future of computing, the book argues, will be determined by who controls the ability to produce the world’s most advanced chips. Chip War won Financial Times' Best Business Book of the Year award and was described by The New York Times as a “a nonfiction thriller.”
Miller serves as associate professor of international history at The Fletcher School at Tufts University and co-director of the school's Russia and Eurasia Program. He also serves as visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he researches and writes on trends in international politics. He is also a Director at Greenmantle, a New York and London-based macroeconomic and geopolitical consulting firm that advises some of the world’s largest hedge funds, venture capital firms, asset managers, and corporations.
Professor Miller’s previous books explored major trends in politics and economics that shaped the contemporary world. His book Putinomics: Power and Money in Resurgent Russia explores the origins of Vladimir Putin’s rule over Russia and the economic impact Putin has had. Miller’s book We Shall Be Masters examines major shifts in geopolitics in Europe and Asia over the past three centuries, exploring the rise and fall of prior empires and how this legacy shapes Russia and China today. Miller’s first book, The Struggle to Save the Soviet Economy examined the collapse of the Soviet Union and global demise of socialism.
Professor Miller frequently writes for newspapers and magazines such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and many others. He has published academic articles in leading journals of international politics and economics.
He has previously served as Associate Director of the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy at Yale, a lecturer at the New Economic School in Moscow, a visiting researcher at the Carnegie Moscow Center, a research associate at the Brookings Institution, and as a fellow at the German Marshall Fund's Transatlantic Academy. He received his Ph.D. and M.A. from Yale University and his B.A. in history from Harvard University.