Paul Benda is the Senior Vice President, Risk and Cybersecurity Policy at the American Bankers Association. Mr. Benda utilizes his background as the former Director of the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA) where he was the head of Research and Development (R&D) for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and as a Program Manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to support clients in expanding their work with the Federal Government’s R&D enterprise and to help them position technologies for transition in the Government’s Homeland Security to commercial markets. He has helped clients develop strategic approaches for commercial and government opportunities as well as tactical assistance with proposals that has enabled clients to increase their capture efficiency and revenue generation. Mr. Benda also leads the SAFETY Act practice at GSIS. He has successfully helped clients gain approval of SAFETY Act applications by leveraging his security and R&D experience as the former DHS decision authority on SAFETY Act applications. During his tenure at DHS, he approved nearly half of all current SAFETY Act awards, including those for the New York Yankees, Willis Tower and New York Stock Exchange. His experience also includes serving as the Acting Deputy Under Secretary and Chief of Staff of S&T, as well positions in the Department of Defense where he worked at the Pentagon Force Protection Agency and oversaw the design, implementation, testing, and commissioning of all security systems at the Pentagon Reservation. Mr. Benda started his career as an Active Duty U.S. Air Force officer at the Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome, NY and transitioned from military life to the private sector as a consultant for Booz Allen for five years before returning to government service.
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