As Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from 2005 to 2009, Michael Chertoff led the country in blocking would-be terrorists from crossing our borders or implementing their plans if they were already in the country. He also transformed FEMA into an effective organization following Hurricane Katrina. His greatest successes have earned few headlines – because the important news is what didn’t happen. At Chertoff Group, Mr. Chertoff provides high-level strategic counsel to corporate and government leaders on a broad range of security issues, from risk identification and prevention to preparedness, response and recovery. “Risk management has become the CEO’s concern,” he says. “We help our clients develop comprehensive strategies to manage risk without building barriers that get in the way of carrying on their business.”
Before heading up the Department of Homeland Security, Mr. Chertoff served as a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Earlier, during more than a decade as a federal prosecutor, he investigated and prosecuted cases of political corruption, organized crime, corporate fraud and terrorism – including the investigation of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Mr. Chertoff is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College (1975) and Harvard Law School (1978). From 1979-1980 he served as a clerk to Supreme Court Justice William Brennan, Jr. In addition to his role at Chertoff Group, Mr. Chertoff is also senior of counsel at Covington & Burling LLP, and a member of the firm’s White Collar Defense and Investigations practice group.
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.
W. Ralph Basham
A Command Group Founding Partner, W. Ralph Basham is one of the most recognized and respected leaders in the law enforcement and homeland security communities today. Over the course of his 38-year career in the federal government, Mr. Basham led four of the eight operational components of what is now the U.S. Department of Homeland Security—serving as Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Director of the U.S. Secret Service, Director of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, and Chief of Staff at the Transportation Security Administration. He served in these leadership positions as a Senior Executive Presidential appointee in the Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama administrations. Mr. Basham was recently honored by the Border Patrol Foundation, receiving the Founder’s Medal for Lifetime Achievement.
Mark Sullivan was formerly a Principal at GSIS. Prior to co-founding GSIS, Mr. Sullivan was a federal law enforcement agent for nearly 35 years. Mr. Sullivan concluded his federal service as the Director of the United States Secret Service (USSS), beginning as an entry level field agent and ultimately serving in a variety of leadership roles in the organization for nearly 30 years. As an effective and strategic chief executive, Mr. Sullivan led high impact initiatives in criminal investigations and protective operations, strategic planning, threat assessment and risk management, human capital management, technology deployment, IT modernization and budget development and execution. At GSIS, Mr. Sullivan works with clients on a variety of domestic and international security issues including financial and intellectual property investigations, business due diligence, major event planning, security vulnerability assessments for sports venues, buildings and critical infrastructure, risk management consultation, and security training and executive protection. Mr. Sullivan also chaired a panel of security experts, convened by the US Department of State, which was charged with identifying best security practices when operating in high threat areas. Mr. Sullivan currently serves on the Board of Directors for Uber, LiveSafe and Evolv Technology. Mr. Sullivan is a graduate of St. Anselm College, Manchester, NH. He is a graduate of the Senior Executive Fellows program at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Kip Hawley was administrator of the Transportation Security Administration from 2005 to 2009. He is the author of "Permanent Emergency: Inside the TSA and the Fight for the Future of American Security." After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, then-Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta tapped Hawley to lead "Go-Teams" of government and private sector experts who tackled the task of quickly establishing a new federal agency - the TSA. Prior to his role as administrator, Hawley was Executive Vice President of Arzoon, a supply-chain software company and served on the Air Traffic Services Subcommittee of the Federal Aviation Administration. He was also CEO of Skyway, a supply-chain services company and Vice President at Union Pacific Railroad. Hawley served on the National Commission on Intermodal Transportation (in 1992) and was Deputy Assistant and Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan. Additionally, he was Deputy Assistant Secretary and Executive Director of Governmental Affairs for the Department of Transportation. Since heading the TSA his two biggest projects were the 3-1-1, which allows passengers to bring limited amount of liquids aboard in aircraft, and the PASS program, which rates the abilities of Transportation Officers.
Caryn A. Wagner
Former Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis at the Department of Homeland Security. Caryn Wagner is currently a consultant and speaker on national and homeland security intelligence issues and an adjunct faculty member at the National Intelligence University. Ms. Wagner served as an instructor in Intelligence Community management for The Intelligence and Security Academy, LLC from October 2008 to October 2009. She retired from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) on October 1, 2008, where she served as Budget Director and cyber security coordinator. Prior to that, Ms. Wagner served in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) as an Assistant Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Management and the first Chief Financial Officer for the National Intelligence Program (NIP). She accepted this position after serving as the Executive Director for Intelligence Community Affairs from April 2004 until May 2005. In that capacity, she was responsible for the Community Management Staff, which provided strategic planning, policy formulation, resource planning, program assessment and budget oversight for the Intelligence Community.
The Honorable Richard Serino is currently a “Distinguished Visiting Fellow” at Harvard University, National Preparedness Leadership Initiative. Mr. Serino was appointed by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate as the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s 8th Deputy Administrator in October 2009 and served until 2014. Prior to his appointment as Deputy Administrator, he served as Chief of Boston EMS and Assistant Director of the Boston Public Health Commission. As Chief of Boston EMS, Mr. Serino served as Incident Commander for over 35 mass casualty incidents and for all of Boston’s major planned events. During his time at FEMA, he oversaw 60 disasters from flooding in the Midwest, tornado devastation in Missouri, tsunami destruction, and numerous hurricanes. Mr. Serino was on scene at the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013 as the highest-ranking official of DHS. Under Mr. Serino’s leadership, FEMA has started the following initiatives such as FEMA Corps, FEMA Stat, the FEMA Think Tank, a detailed budgetary process, and a Disaster Workforce and Workplace Transformation.
Prior to joining Cyxtera as President of Newly Formed Federal Division, Touhill was appointed by President Barack Obama as the nation’s first ever Federal Chief Information Security Officer in 2016, where he was responsible for ensuring that the proper set of digital security policies, strategies and practices were adopted across all government agencies. Brigadier General Gregory J. Touhill is a retired U.S. Air Force officer and combat veteran who served in several commands around the world including U.S. Transportation, Central, and Strategic Commands, and led the creation of the Air Force’s cyberspace operations training programs.
Bruce Hoffman has been studying terrorism and insurgency for over four decades. He is a tenured professor in Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service and until recently was director of its Center for Security Studies and Security Studies Program. Hoffman is also visiting Professor of Terrorism Studies at St Andrews University, Scotland. He previously held the Corporate Chair in Counterterrorism and Counterinsurgency at the RAND Corporation, where he was also director of RAND’s Washington Office and vice president for external affairs. Hoffman was appointed by the U.S. Congress as a commissioner on the 9/11 Review Commission and has been Scholar-in-Residence for Counterterrorism at the Central Intelligence Agency; adviser on counterterrorism to the Coalition Provisional Authority, Baghdad, Iraq; and, an adviser on counterinsurgency to Multi-National Forces-Iraq Headquarters, Baghdad, Iraq. In November 1994, the Director of Central Intelligence awarded him the United States Intelligence Community Seal Medallion, the highest level of commendation given to a non-government employee, which recognizes sustained superior performance of high value that distinctly benefits the interests and national security of the United States. Hoffman’s most recent books include The Evolution of the Global Terrorist Threat (2014); Anonymous Soldiers (2015), which was awarded the Washington Institute for Near East Studies’ Gold Medal for the best book on Middle Eastern politics, history and society published in 2015 and also named The Jewish Book of the Year for 2015 by the Jewish National Book Council; and, Inside Terrorism (3rd edition, 2017). Hoffman is currently a visiting senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a senior fellow at the U.S. Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center.