David Aguilar previously served as Acting Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). As Acting Commissioner, he oversaw our nation’s largest federal law enforcement agency, a workforce of over 60,000 agents, officers, and other personnel and a budget of more than 12 Billion dollars. Prior to leading CBP, Mr. Aguilar was appointed by President George W. Bush as the National Chief of the United States Border Patrol. Mr. Aguilar served as Chief of the Tucson Sector and in various leadership positions within the U.S. Border Patrol during his 35-year Federal law enforcement career.
Paul Benda is a Principal and the Chief Technology Officer of GSIS where he supports clients with integrating new technologies and using risk-based approaches to achieve effective security solutions that are cost-efficient and minimize the impact on operations. He currently co-leads the Security Assessment and Business Continuity practice at GSIS, a service line that has helped clients optimize internal procedures and practices dealing with executive protection, campus and travel security, employee workplace safety, and operational resiliency to mitigate risks in a cost-effective manner that are consistent with institutional best practices. 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.
Dr. Tom Cellucci has been a senior executive in both the private and public sectors for over 36 years. He served as the US Government’s first-ever Chief Commercialization Officer after selling his fourth high technology firm, working for both President George W. Bush and President Obama. Tom is a turn-around artist on Wall Street and serves on many global Boards. He also currently assists President Trump’s team when asked. Tom has authored or co-authored 25 scholarly books and over 211 high-tech business articles. Cellucci earned a PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania (1984), an MBA from Rutgers University (1991) and a BS in Chemistry from Fordham University (1980). He is on 21 Boards and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Virginia International University near Washington, D.C., as well as Chairman of Eurasian Technological University in Almaty, Kazakhstan. He holds two endowed Chairs at prestigious universities in Kazakhstan, as well as taught at Harvard Business School, Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania. He and his wife Julie spent their free time with their large amount of children and grandchildren.
Dr. Paul Christo
Dr. Paul Christo is one of the world's leading pain specialists and author of Aches and Gains, A Comprehensive Guide to Overcoming Your Pain. He’s an Associate Professor in the Division of Pain Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He served as Director of the Multidisciplinary Pain Fellowship Program for 8 years, and the Blaustein Pain Treatment Center for 5 years at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He hosts an award-winning, nationally syndicated SIRIUS XM radio talk show on overcoming pain called, Aches and Gains®.
Dr. Daniel Gerstein joined RAND in December 2014. Previously, he served in Department of Homeland Security as Under Secretary (Acting) and Deputy Under Secretary in the Science & Technology Directorate. He is also an Adjunct Professor at American University. Dr. Gerstein has extensive experience in security and defense, having served as a senior government civilian, in uniform, and in industry. In the U.S. Army, Dr. Gerstein served on four continents participating in combat, peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance, counterterrorism and homeland security. In industry, he was Vice President at L-3 Communications. Prior to joining DHS, he served as a political appointee in Office of the Secretary of Defense (Policy) as Principal Director for Countering WMD. He has extensive experience in international negotiations including serving on the Holbrooke Delegation that negotiated the peace settlement in Bosnia. Dr. Gerstein has been awarded numerous military, civilian and foreign awards, including Department of State’s Distinguished Service Award and U.S. Army Soldiers Medal for heroism. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on several corporate boards and advisory positions. Dr. Gerstein has published numerous books and articles on national security, cyber security and biological warfare.
Lori Gordon specializes in homeland security, cybersecurity, and infrastructure protection at HWC. She also serves as director of the Women in Homeland Security’s (WHS) STEM program and as an adviser to several NIST and ISO working groups and to curriculum advisory boards for IT & cybersecurity and law, government & public safety. Ms. Gordon holds a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Brian Harrell, CPP, is the President and Chief Security Officer for The Cutlass Security Group, a security advisory firm that provides critical infrastructure owners with consultation on physical and cybersecurity protections. He is the former Operations Director of the Electricity ISAC and Director of Critical Infrastructure Protection Programs at the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) where he was charged with helping protect North America's electric grid from physical and cyber-attack. Brian has spent time during his career in the US Marine Corps, US Department of Homeland Security, and various private sector agencies with the goal of protecting the United States from security threats. Harrell is also a Senior Fellow at The George Washington University Center for Cyber & Homeland Security (CCHS) where he provides insight and analysis on homeland security, counterterrorism, and cybersecurity issues.
Kevin Learned is a Partner with the law firm of McMahon, Welch and Learned, PLLC. Kevin has nearly twenty years of experience as a corporate and M&A attorney and has extensive experience working with emerging growth companies, particularly information technology and other professional service providers in both the commercial and federal spaces. Kevin’s practice focuses on advising clients on general corporate and securities matters, including company formation and governance, buy-sell agreements, operating and stockholder agreements, mergers and acquisitions, private offerings of debt and equity securities (including friends and family, angel, venture capital and private equity investments), corporate divorces and other reorganizations, joint ventures, small business certifications (including 8(a), SDVO, WOSB, HUB Zone and MBE/DBE certifications), executive employment and equity matters, deferred compensation plans, franchise agreements, trademarks, and other commercial contracts and agreements.
Amy McDougal is the Founder and President of CLEAResources, LLC. Most recently, Amy served as General Counsel and Vice President of Compliance and Ethics Services at Watermark, LLC. Previously, Amy was a Special Assistant United States Attorney and an Air Force Judge Advocate, attaining the rank of Major, before beginning her civilian career as in-house employment law and compliance counsel to a large and diverse government contractor. Amy has a passion for helping organizations do right by their shareholders, employees, clients, customers and communities, and by doing so, mitigates the business risks associated with ethical and compliance failures.
Amy has federal criminal and civil litigation experience, as well as extensive experience advising executive management on personnel and compliance and ethics matters.
She then earned her Doctor of Jurisprudence from Vanderbilt University School of Law. She holds a law license in Virginia, the District of Columbia and the state of Tennessee. Ms. McDougal is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. She is also certified by the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics as a Compliance and Ethics Professional (CCEP).
Dr. Kimberly Mehlman-Orozco
Dr. Kimberly Mehlman-Orozco holds a Ph.D. in Criminology, Law and Society from George Mason University, with an expertise in human trafficking. She currently serves as a human trafficking expert witness for criminal cases and is the author of “Hidden in Plain Sight: America's Slaves of the New Millennium." Dr. Mehlman-Orozco’s writing can be found in The Washington Post, Forbes, The Crime Report, The Houston Chronicle, and The Baltimore Sun, among other media.
Linda is a veteran of the intelligence community having served at the National Security Agency, the President's Intelligence Advisory Board at the White House, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Her areas of expertise include weapons of mass destruction, intelligence analysis, arms control, program management and building partnerships. She has also worked in several non-profit organizations serving the national security community and recently, she was a Senior Vice President in a cyber security start-up that specialized in biometrics and access rights management.
Randall (Randy) Murch is a Research Lead and Professor of Practice at Virginia Tech – National Capital Region, where he has been since December 2004. Prior to that, he was a Research Staff Member, Institute for Defense Analyses for two years, where he conducted studies and analyses for the U.S. national security community. He was a Special Agent and Senior Executive, Federal Bureau of Investigation, from January 1980 to November 2002. While at the FBI, he served in three field offices, several assignments in the FBI (Forensic) Laboratory, several assignments in the FBI’s technical surveillance program and was detailed to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. He was responsible for many investigations, new technology development programs, conducting and supporting many technical investigations and operations, and managing complex mission-oriented programs and technical organizations, and had extensive collaborative engagements with other U.S. Government Agencies and friendly foreign governments. While he was SES, he initiated and oversaw the creation of the U.S. and first-ever Weapons of Mass Destruction forensic investigative program and has remained active in the biological component since his retirement. At Virginia Tech, Murch focuses on research, development, capability transition as well as strategic program development in advanced forensic science, biosecurity, cyberbiosecurity, biosurveillance, biological threat reduction and integrated capacity building at the interfaces of science and technology, operations, intelligence and investigations, policy and law. He has been loaned for IPA assignments to the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense as a senior advisor since he has been at Virginia Tech. For over 15 years, he has served on senior advisory groups for the U.S. national security community and on boards and committees for the U.S. National Academies. He has published in a variety of journals, published invited book chapters, has made numerous invited presentation throughout the U.S. and internationally, has testified in U.S. courts of law as an expert witness approximately 110 times and before the U.S. Congress on several occasions. He holds a BS from the University of Puget Sound, an MS from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa and a PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign, all in the Life Sciences.
Eileen Parise brings nearly 30 years of experience in government and corporate relations to bear. She is an expert in orchestrating complex operations and international business transactions. Eileen excels at mitigating risks and complex business challenges and negotiating among diverse groups with an astute understanding of business to business solutions in various fields, including Federal Government, Aerospace, Defense and Homeland Security practices.
Following her career as a senior executive in various positions across the National, International and Homeland Security sectors, she founded The Hawkeye Group International, LLC. Previously, Eileen served as Vice President of the Federal Sector at Erickson Aviation and developed a new Government Services Operation in Washington, D.C., supporting U.S. military and U.S. Government agencies at home and abroad. Prior to her work at Erickson Aviation, Eileen was Vice President for Federal and Commercial markets at Rapiscan Systems, and started the Homeland Security Division at FLIR Systems. As such, she expanded business development and increasing market share, while supporting components within the National Security and Homeland Security Communities and Department of Transportation.
Eileen also worked in affiliation with the Pentagon for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the J-3, Deputy Directorate for Information Operations. As a political appointee, she served as the Deputy White House Liaison to the Department of Defense, White House Liaison to the Department of Commerce and the first Director of the Trade Advocacy Center at the International Trade Administration.
Johana "Jody" Reed
Johana "Jody" Reed is a Counsel with the law firm of McMahon, Welch and Learned, PLLC. Jody has over twenty years of experience as an attorney with over fifteen years of combined experience as a Business Finance Manager, a Contracts Manager at several defense contractors, and as a contracts management support person for the FAA under a contract. Jody's practice focuses on advising domestic and international clients on all aspects of government contracting law, including prime contracts, subcontracts and other related agreements, drafting requests for equitable adjustments and claims; drafting Contractor Performance Assessment Report System responses; reviewing, drafting, evaluating and revising ethics compliance programs; evaluation and submission of Mandatory Disclosures, Cost Accounting Standards and accounting systems/cost principles, contract and solicitation review and risk assessment, protection of intellectual property rights related to government contracts, Organizational Conflicts of Interests issues and mitigation plans, Freedom of Information Act requests and defenses, export controls compliance and training programs, and cyber security issues. She is experienced and skilled in negotiating both international and domestic contracts including subcontracts, teaming agreements, intellectual property licenses, agent agreements, and proprietary information agreements for numerous million- and billion-dollar programs.
Christopher Ryan is a Homeland Security Strategic Analyst currently employed by Joint Research and Development, Inc. (JRAD), a government contractor supporting the Department of Defense (DoD) and DHS and specializing in Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense (CBRND). He previously served as a Program and Policy Analyst in Maryland's Governor's Office of Homeland Security, and worked with the University of Maryland's Center for Health and Homeland Security to provide technical assistance to federal, state, local, and private sector partners on complex coordinated attack preparedness, critical infrastructure protection, capabilities assessment, strategic planning, and grant management. His other written works appear in The Washington Post and DomPrep Journal. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Towson University and a master’s degree in history and public policy from The George Washington University.
Dr. Hector Santiago entered civilian government service after serving as a linguist and signals intelligence professional in the US Army for almost nine years. Starting his post-military career in 2006, Dr. Santiago has since worked throughout the intelligence community for over eleven years as an intelligence professional with a specialty in cyber threat analysis and telecommunications infrastructure. He has deployed to Baghdad, Iraq in support of multinational military operations, and has directly worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the US Commerce Department on cyber threat and supply risk issues. Dr. Santiago was the creator of the Department of Homeland Security’s non-forensic attribution methodology (NFAM) used for identifying anonymous threat actors in the cyber domain, and was a key contributor to founding the database DHS leverages for tracking and identifying cyber threats to the US Federal Government.
He was awarded a doctor of science degree (in Cybersecurity) from Capitol Technology University, and has master’s degrees from Liberty University (in Business Administration), Capitol Technology University (in Telecommunications and Information Systems Management), and the National Intelligence University (in Strategic Intelligence). He was awarded a bachelor’s degree of fine arts (in Illustration) from Syracuse University. Dr. Santiago is a two-time graduate of the Defense Language Institute (DLI) in Monterey, California, where he studied Russian and then Chinese, and has been a member of MENSA for over nine years.
Dr. Santiago was born and raised in the Bronx, New York City.
Kalyna White is the STEM Ambassador to the Board of Directors for Women in Homeland Security. She is the founder of LABUkraine, a non-profit organization that builds computer labs for orphans in Ukraine. Since 2011 she has worked with Women in Homeland Security to encourage middle and high school student to pursue STEM careers by organizing and supporting field trips to STEM missions throughout the homeland security enterprise.