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.
Elaine Duke served as the Acting Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Prior to her appointment, Deputy Secretary Duke was the principal of Elaine Duke & Associates, LLC, where she provided acquisition and business consulting services to large and small businesses.
An accomplished leader and a civil servant, Deputy Secretary Duke served in the federal government for nearly three decades, including as DHS’s Senate-confirmed Under Secretary for Management, where she was responsible for the Department’s management functions and corresponding $47 billion budget. Prior to her appointment, she served both as the Department’s Deputy Under Secretary for Management and Chief Procurement Officer. She also served as Deputy Assistant Administrator for Acquisition at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), delivering an acquisition program that met the post 9/11 legislative mandate to federalize passenger and baggage screening at U.S. airports. Prior to her service at DHS, Deputy Secretary Duke held various positions with the U.S. Department of Defense. Deputy Secretary Duke received her B.S. in Business Management from New Hampshire College, now Southern New Hampshire University, and her M.B.A. from Chaminade University of Honolulu.
On active duty, he served aboard USCGC Glacier, homeported in Long Beach, California, as an ice-qualified Deck Watch Officer and CIC Officer during cruises to the Arctic and Antarctica. Next he served as Commanding Officer, USCGC Cape Henlopen, a search and rescue patrol boat in Petersburg, Alaska, and then completed his active duty at Vessel Traffic Service, New Orleans.
In the reserves, Acton has developed broad operational, logistic, interagency and joint military expertise as the commanding officer of six reserve units: including a vessel augmentation unit, a search and rescue unit, Port Security Unit 308 in Gulfport, Mississippi; and CG Reserve Unit SOUTHCOM in Miami, Florida. He also served at Marine Safety Office Tampa, Florida.
Acton was recalled to active duty for nearly three years subsequent to the 9/11 terrorist attacks to serve, initially, as a CG Liaison Officer at U.S. Joint Forces Command and then as the CG Liaison Officer for the stand-up of U.S. Northern Command. As the Fifth CG District Chief of Staff, he provided oversight for the largest reserve mobilization since World War II, in support of Operations Noble Eagle and Iraqi Freedom. He finished his active duty on Secretary Ridge‘s operations integration staff at the Department of Homeland Security.
During the Fall 2005 he was recalled as the senior CG Liaison Officer in support of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita operations along the Gulf Coast. In 2006, he was recalled as the Deputy Director of Operations (DJ3) at U.S. Northern Command in Colorado Springs. His final billet was Deputy Commander, Mobilization and Reserve Affairs, for the Coast Guard Atlantic Area in Portsmouth, Virginia. Acton is currently serving as the Director of both the DHS Presidential Transition Team and the Coast Guard Presidential Transition Team.
John Acton is a Former Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard. His active duty for training assignments have included overseas evolutions in Turkey, Portugal, Germany and Korea; as well as coursework at the Naval War College, the National Defense University, the Army War College and Harvard University‘s Kennedy School.
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.
Mark H. Allen
Master Chief Mark H. Allen performed his duties as the fifth Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Reserve from May 2010 through May 2014. As such, he served as the senior reserve enlisted advisor to the Commandant. Master Chief Allen advised him on workforce policies especially those effecting Reservists. He also partnered with the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard to advocate for military benefits and entitlements, and served as the senior reserve enlisted mentor. Master Chief Allen devoted much time traveling throughout the Coast Guard observing training and communicating with Coast Guardsmen and their families.
A native of Beltsville, MD, Master Chief Allen holds Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Project Management degrees from Drexel University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a minor in Public Relations from Frostburg State University. He also is pursuing a PhD in Project Management degree at Drexel University.
Mr. Charles R. Armstrong was the Assistant Commissioner (AC) and Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the Office of Information and Technology (OIT), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). As the AC and CIO, Mr. Armstrong was responsible for managing and integrating all of CBP’s information technology (IT) solutions in alignment with overarching Department of Homeland Security (DHS) IT strategies.
Mr. Armstrong’s responsibilities included application development, maintaining an efficient IT infrastructure that enables enforcement technology services and support, tactical communications, laboratory services, and modernization initiatives for improving the service delivery in support of CBP’s core business processes. Mr. Armstrong led OIT as the AC since June 2008. He oversaw and executed a budget of nearly 1.3 billion dollars and a workforce of about 6000 Federal employees and contractors throughout the world.
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.
Dr. Reginald Brothers
Dr. Reginald Brothers was formerly Under Secretary for Science & Technology, Department of Homeland Security and currently serves as executive vice president and Chief Technology Officer of Peraton. He leads a new organization responsible for strategic planning, technology solutions, business development, and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) for the company. Most recently, Brothers was a principal with The Chertoff Group, a premier global advisory firm focused on security and risk management. Prior to that role, he served as Under Secretary for Science and Technology, Department of Homeland Security, where he was responsible for a science and technology portfolio that included basic and applied research, development, demonstration, testing and evaluation with the purpose of helping DHS operational elements and the nation’s first responders achieve their mission objectives.
From 2011 to 2014, he served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research, Department of Defense, where he was responsible for policy and oversight of the Department’s science and technology programs and laboratories. Earlier in his career, Brothers held senior technology leadership roles in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Communications and Networking business area at BAE Systems.
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.
Thomas D Homan was appointed by President Trump on January 30, 2017 as the Acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). He remained the Acting Director until his retirement on June 30, 2018. From 2013 to his Presidential Appointment, Mr. Homan served as the Executive Associate Director of ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).
Mr. Homan is a 33-year veteran of law enforcement and has nearly 34 years of immigration enforcement experience. He has served as a police officer in New York; a U.S. Border Patrol Agent; a Special Agent with the former U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service; as well as Supervisory Special Agent and Deputy Assistant Director for Investigations. In 1999, Mr. Homan became the Assistant District Director for Investigations (ADDI) in San Antonio, Texas, and three years later transferred to the ADDI position in Dallas, Texas.
Mr. Homan holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and has received numerous awards and special recognitions for his 34 plus years as a federal law enforcement officer and leader. He received the Distinguished Presidential Rank Award in 2015 for his exemplary leadership and extensive accomplishments in the area of immigration enforcement. He also received the Distinguished Service Medal in June 2018 in recognition of exceptionally distinguished and transformational service to strengthen Homeland Security for the United States.
Most recently, Mr. Karoly served as TSA’s Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Requirements and Capabilities Analysis from December 2016 to March 2018. As the Acting Assistant Administrator, Karoly was a key management official responsible for assessing, analyzing, and identifying capabilities needed to meet TSA mission requirements. Karoly oversaw the Agency’s system risk analysis and modeling capabilities whose goal was to analyze and define operational baseline performance and determine capability gaps for TSA mission areas. Karoly was also responsible for identifying emerging technologies and capabilities to address the entire aviation security eco-system.
Mr. Karoly also served as the TSA’s Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Security Capabilities where he oversaw the implementation and development, test and evaluation, acquisition, deployment and maintenance of all TSA security technologies and systems across multiple modes of transportation. Mr. Karoly directly supported TSA's mission by providing security capabilities to the field and enhanced the effectiveness and efficiency of our nation's transportation systems through the qualification and deployment of security capabilities that drive the global standard for security.
Prior to joining TSA, Mr. Karoly gained extensive experience in leading defense and security enterprises and delivering robust solutions and critical systems to other DHS components including the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and various DoD components to include the Joint Services, the US Navy, and the US Air Force.
Mr. Karoly has over 30 years of experience as a technology integration leader and systems engineer with over twenty years in a leadership capacity. He is a skillful and talented senior executive with a demonstrated record of leading change, leading people, cultivating strategic partnerships, accomplishing results, and solving complex issues at the agency level. He is an innovative thinker and leader with achievement in strategic and operational change management, cutting-edge program development, strategic human capital and finance management, and executive level customer service. He is a certified DoD and DHS Level 3 Program Manager and DoD and DHS Level 3 Systems Engineer. He is an honor graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy and received his Master’s degree in Systems Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. Mr. Karoly is also a graduate from the Harvard College National Preparedness Leadership Initiative.
Greg Marshall is the former Chief Security Officer for the Department of Homeland Security. Leading an organization comprised of more than 250 federal employees, he was responsible for the development, implementation, and oversight of all DHS security policies, programs, and standards. He led physical security efforts at DHS headquarters, serving as the principal representative for all security-related matters, advising the Secretary and Under Secretary for Management on issues affecting the DHS workforce, its facilities and property, equipment and other material resources. Mr. Marshall also held oversight responsibilities for the administration of personnel security, special security (SCI), special access programs, insider threat, and protection of classified information programs at DHS. He currently serves as Deputy Director of the Maryland Department of Public Safety & Correctional Services, working on issues associated with corruption, employee discipline, health and hiring.
Luke McCormack is the former Chief Information Officer for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security where he oversaw DHS’ continuing efforts to implement information technology (IT) enhancements and strengthen IT security. He has extensive IT and leadership experience, previously serving at the Department of Justice as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Information Resources Management/Chief Information Officer. From 2005 to 2012, he served as CIO for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and from 1999 to 2005, he served Customs and Border Protection, moving from Director of Systems Engineering, to Director of Architecture and Engineering, to Acting Director of Infrastructure Services Division.
Peter V. Neffenger, an HSToday editorial board member, was the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration from July 2015 till his statutorily required resignation on January 20, 2017 upon Donald Trump becoming President. Previously to leading TSA, Neffenger was a Vice Admiral in the United States Coast Guard, serving as Vice Commandant of the United States Coast Guard since May 20, 2014. He previously had served as Deputy Commandant for Operations, Deputy National Incident Commander for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Director of Coast Guard Strategic Management and Doctrine, Commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District, Commander of Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles – Long Beach, Captain of the Port and Federal Maritime Security Coordinator, Budget Officer of the Coast Guard, and Coast Guard Liaison Officer to the Territory of American Samoa. On April 28, 2015, he was nominated by President Barack Obama to be the administrator of the Transportation Security Administration.
MCPOCG Vince Patton
Patton served as the eighth Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard from May 1998 to October 2002. As the service's top senior enlisted leader and ombudsman, he was the principal advisor to the Commandant of the Coast Guard, his directorates, and the Secretaries of Transportation and Defense, with primary focus on quality of life issues, career development, work environment and personnel matters affecting over 40,000 active duty, reserve enlisted, and civilian personnel servicewide. He routinely addressed these specific issues before appropriate United States Senateand House committees in the United States Congress, as well as with the Commander-in-Chief, along with his senior enlisted counterparts of the other four military services.
His numerous military awards include the Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal, two Meritorious Service Medals, three Coast Guard Commendation Medals, three Coast Guard Achievement Medals, the Commandant's Letter of Commendation Ribbon, eight Meritorious Team awards and nine Coast Guard Good Conduct awards. He also earned the Cutterman Insignia (sea duty recognition) and is one of a few Coast Guardsmen to have earned the coveted "Parachutist Wings" specialty badge during his assignment with Joint Task Force 160.
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.
Sandra L. Stosz
Vice Admiral Sandra L. Stosz retired from the U.S. Coast Guard in May of 2018. Stosz previously assumed the duties of Deputy Commandant for Mission Support Deputy Commandant for Mission Support, Vice Admiral Stosz lead the 17,000-person organization that delivers the systems and people that enable the U.S. Coast Guard to efficiently and effectively perform its operational missions.
Vice Admiral Stosz graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Government. She was awarded a Master of Business Administration degree from Northwestern University’s J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management in 1994. In 2000, she completed an executive fellowship in national security through the MIT Seminar XXI program, and she earned a Master of National Security Strategy from the National War College in 2004. In 2009, she attended the Navy’s Executive Business Course at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler business school.
Vice Admiral Stosz’s personal awards include the Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal, three Legion of Merit Medals, four Meritorious Service Medals, two Coast Guard Commendation Medals, and two Coast Guard Achievement Medals.
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.
Francis X. Taylor
Francis X. Taylor is former Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). From 2014-2017, Taylor oversaw and carried out the mission of the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, equipping the Homeland Security Enterprise with the timely intelligence and information required to keep the homeland safe, secure, and resilient. Before his DHS appointment, Taylor served as Vice President and Chief Security Officer for the General Electric Company (GE) and was responsible for GE's security operations and emergency management processes. Taylor also had a distinguished career in public and military service, including serving as Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security and as the US Ambassador at-Large and Coordinator for Counterterrorism for the Department of State from 2001-2002. During his 31-year military career, Taylor achieved the rank of Brigadier General and oversaw counterintelligence and security operations for the US Air Force.
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.
Antonio Villafana most recently served as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the DHS Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) Office. Prior to this role, Mr. Villafana served as Deputy Executive Director, for the Enterprise Business Management Office (EBMO) within the DHS Office of the Chief Information Officer.
Mr. Villafana provided executive leadership support to the DHS CIO. He also served as Chief Enterprise Architect for the DHS Intelligence Enterprise at the Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A). Mr. Villafana’s IT Leadership and strategic thinking was instrumental in the establishment of the Southwest Border (SWB) Border Intelligence Fusion Section (BIFS).
Before joining I&A, Antonio served at the Federal Emergency Management Agency as an IT Delivery Manager for a $1 billion Enterprise Application Development contract.
Mr. Villafana served 10 years with the U.S. Army as a Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical (NBC) specialist and participated in Operation Uphold Democracy (Haiti), Operation Restore Hope (Somalia), and Hurricane Andrew Relief. Antonio graduated from Jacksonville State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science.
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.