Day 1 Speakers
GEN Paul M. Nakasone
General Paul M. Nakasone concurrently serves as the Commander of the United States Cyber Command, Director of the National Security Agency, and Chief of the Central Security Service. He previously commanded the U.S. Army Cyber Command and has held command and staff positions across all levels of the Army, with assignments in the U.S., the Republic of Korea, Iraq, and Afghanistan. General Nakasone has earned master’s degrees from the University of Southern California, the National Defense Intelligence College, and the Army War College.
LTG Dennis Crall
Lieutenant General Dennis Crall currently serves as the Director for Command, Control, Communications, and Computers / Cyber and Chief Information Officer, Joint Staff J6. A native of South Carolina, he graduated from the University of South Carolina and was commissioned in 1987. Brigadier General Crall is a career Aviation Command and Control Officer who has commanded at the Squadron and Group levels. Joint assignments include: Deputy Principal Cyber Advisor / Senior Military Advisor for Cyber Policy; Chief, Joint Cyberspace Center, US Central Command (CENTCOM); Executive Officer to the Deputy Commander, CENTCOM; and more.
Rear Admiral Michael Studeman, USN
Rear Admiral Michael Studeman is a distinguished graduate of the Naval Postgraduate School, an honors graduate in Mandarin Chinese from the Defense Language Institute, and a distinguished graduate of the National War College. At sea, Studeman served as air intelligence officer for the VA-35 Black Panthers on USS Saratoga (CV-60) during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Studeman is currently director for intelligence, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Senator Mark Warner (D-VA)
Mark Warner is a businessman and politician serving as the senior United States Senator from Virginia. He serves on the Senate Finance, Banking, Budget, and Rules Committees as well as the Select Committee on Intelligence, where he is the Chairman. During his time in the Senate, Senator Warner has established himself as a bipartisan leader who has worked with Republicans and Democrats alike to cut red tape, increase government performance and accountability, and promote private sector innovation and job creation.
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)
Marco Rubio is a politician serving as the senior United States Senator from Florida. Senator Rubio is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, where he has advocated modernizing and reforming the federal government’s programs to help small businesses thrive in the 21st-century economy. As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issue, Senator Rubio continues to fight for human rights and to uphold democracy around the globe.
Florida Lieutenant Governor Jeannette Nuñez
Jeannette Nuñez has served as the lieutenant governor of Florida since 2018. She previously served as a State Representative of the Florida House of Representatives from 2010 to 2018 and was named Speaker Pro Tempore from 2016 to 2018. Over the years, Lieutenant Governor Nuñez has demonstrated her ongoing commitment to the South Florida community through her active involvement in various local organizations and professional groups. She has been involved with the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Miami, WHEN, and Women in Government.
LTG Terry Wolff, USA, Ret.
LTG (Ret) Tery Wolff has been the Director of the National Defense University Near East South Asia (NESA) Center for Strategic Studies since June 2014. He retired from the U.S. Army in February 2014 after completing over 34 years of service. During his tenure as the Director of NESA he also served 39 months (Nov 15-Feb 19) as the Deputy Special Presidential Envoy (DSPE) for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. LTG (Ret) Wolff’s final military assignment was as the Director of Strategic Plans and Policy, J-5 for the Joint Staff from September 2011 until December 2013.
Dr. Eric Eisenberg
Eric M. Eisenberg is professor of communication and since 2007 has served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of South Florida. As Dean of the largest college at USF—with nearly 600 faculty, 18,000 students and a budget of nearly $100 million—Eisenberg has sharpened the focus of faculty work through the creation of three interdisciplinary schools, 22 departments, and 10 interdisciplinary research centers. Even in the most difficult of economic times, he has been successful in recruiting world-class faculty talent. In addition, he has played a major role in the university's strategic efforts to measurably improve student success through transformed pedagogy.
HON Mike McConnell, VADM, USN, Ret.
Vice Admiral Mike McConnell is the former Director of the National Security Agency and a former vice admiral in the United States Navy. His career has spanned more than 50 years focused on international development and foreign intelligence issues, including 29 years as a U.S. Navy intelligence officer. He currently serves as the Senior Executive Advisor at Booz Allen Hamilton and the Executive Director at Cyber Florida, where he focuses on improving cyber education, outreach, and research throughout the state of Florida.
PANEL: the cyber threat
Michael E. O'Hanlon
Michael O'Hanlon is a senior fellow and director of research in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution, where he specializes in U.S. defense strategy, the use of military force, and American national security policy. He co-directs the Center for Security, Strategy, and Technology; the Defense Industrial Base working group; and the Africa Security Initiative within the Foreign Policy program, as well serving as an adjunct professor at Columbia and Georgetown universities.
Fred Kaplan is an author and journalist. He is the national-security columnist for Slate Magazine, where covers international relations and foreign war policies in his weekly “War Stories” columns. Some of his recent publications include his books Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War and The Bomb: Presidents, Generals, and the Secret History of Nuclear War.
HON Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers is the former Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and now serves as the Chairman of 5G Action Now. In Congress, Chairman Rogers worked with two presidents, foreign leaders, intelligence professionals, and more and oversaw the Intelligence Community’s $70 billion budget. Before being elected to the represent Michigan in the House of Representatives, he was an FBI special agent and member of the U.S. Army. Today, he hosts the CNN Original Series Declassified, regularly appears on various TV and radio shows, and frequently contributes to major print outlets.
HON Leslie Ireland
HON Leslie Ireland is the former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Intelligence and Analysis. She joined the Treasury in 2010 after 25 years at CIA where she specialized in Iran, the Middle East, and WMD. Ireland retired in November 2016 after more than 31 years in the Intelligence Community. At the Treasury, Ireland was responsible for leading the analysis of key financial vulnerabilities of foreign threats to U.S. national security, e.g., Iran’s nuclear program, North Korean finance networks, foreign cyber threats to the U.S. financial sector, and foreign investment in the United States. She currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Citigroup and the Stimson Center, as well as holding the position of Chairman, Financial Threats Council for the Intelligence and National Security Alliance.
Panel: Our Response Options
Jerry Bessette is the Senior Vice President at Booz Allen Hamilton and leads the company’s Cyber Incident Response Program. Based in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Jerry addresses the full incident lifecycle, including pre-incident preparation, incident response, and post-incident remediation. Jerry retired from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) after a 24-year career as a special agent and executive manager. In his last assignment, he served as chief of the technical operations section for the FBI cyber division, where he managed the national cyber incident response team and developed threat-agnostic tools to counter cyber adversaries.
Thomas C. Wingfield
Thomas C. Wingfield served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Cyber Policy from November 2019 to January 2021, where he supported the Secretary of Defense and other senior Department of Defense leaders by formulating, recommending, integrating, and implementing policies and strategies to improve DoD’s ability to operate in cyberspace. Prior, Mr. Wingfield was the Acting Chancellor and Dean of Faculty and Academic Programs at the College of Information and Cyberspace at the National Defense University in Washington, DC.
Dr. Isaiah Wilson
Dr. Isaiah (Ike) Wilson III (Colonel, U.S. Army, retired) is the President of the Joint Special Operations University who has earned a reputation as a versatile and innovative soldier-scholar. A decorated combat veteran with multiple combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and extensive operational experience across the greater middle east, Dr. Wilson is a nationally and internationally recognized leading advocate for change in how America understands and deals with matters of security affairs.
Jan Tighe, VADM, USN, Ret.
Vice Admiral Jan Tighe is the former Director of Naval Intelligence with over 20 years of senior executive experience in cybersecurity and information technology. Some of her many career highlights include her roles as the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare, Commander of the Tenth Fleet/U.S. Fleet Cyber Command, and Director of the Decision Superiority Division of the Chief of Naval Operations’ Staff. Tighe currently serves on the board of directors for Goldman Sachs, a leading global financial institution.
PANEL track 1: The Great Cyber Talent Competition
Dr. Ron Sanders
Dr. Ronald Sanders is a highly decorated public servant with over 37 years of federal service and a national reputation as a thought-leader in government reorganization and public management. Dr. Sanders was appointed by the President to serve as Chair of the Federal Salary Council and, among his many roles, has served as the Associate Director of National Intelligence, Chief Human Resources Officer of the Internal Revenue Service, and Vice President and Fellow at Booz Allen Hamilton. He currently serves as the Staff Director at Cyber Florida.
Dr. Eman El-Sheikh
Dr. Eman El-Sheikh is Associate Vice President of the Center for Cybersecurity at the University of West Florida as well as a professor of computer science at UWF. Dr. El-Sheikh has extensive expertise in cybersecurity education, research, and workforce development, and she has received several awards related to cybersecurity education and diversity. Among her achievements, she was recognized among the 2020 Women Leaders in Cybersecurity by Security Magazine. Dr. El-Sheikh leads several national regional initiatives, including the National Cybersecurity Workforce Development program, and co-founded the Florida Women in Cybersecurity Affiliate.
Angela Bailey has dedicated more than 39 years to public service, with 33 of those years in human resources. Ms. Bailey was appointed as the Department of Homeland Security’s Chief Human Capital Officer (CHCO) in January 2016, where she was responsible for the Department’s human capital program, including human resources policy, programs for strategic workforce planning, and more. Ms. Bailey also serves on the United States Coast Guard Academy Board of Trustees and served as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) from November 2013 to January 2016.
John Taflan has served as the Deputy Director for Support at the United States Department of Defense (DoD) since December 2019. Prior to this, he served as the Chief of Installations and Logistics and Chief Human Capital Officer at the DoD and was a Staff Officer of the United States Africa Command. Taflan is a graduate of the Naval War College, United States Military Academy at West Point, and Central Michigan University.
Rodney Petersen is the director of the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the U.S. Department of Commerce. He previously served as the Managing Director of the EDUCAUSE Washington Office and a Senior Government Relations Officer and founded and directed the EDUCAUSE Cybersecurity Initiative.
PANEL TRACK 2: Global Perspectives
Terry Thompson is an Adjunct Instructor in Cybersecurity at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland. He teaches graduate courses in Global Cybersecurity, Cyber Policy, and Cybersecurity Risk Management. Terry transitioned to teaching after a 45-year professional career, including 30 years in the U.S. government (mostly with the National Security Agency) and 15 years at Booz Allen Hamilton, where he served as Vice President from 2011 to 2014.
Dr. Golfo Alexopoulos
Dr. Golfo Alexopoulos is a Professor and Director of the Institute on Russia at the University of South Florida. Her current research work examines the threads the connect twentieth-century Soviet and twenty-first-century Russian authoritarianism, especially in the disinformation space, and her recent publications include the book Illness and Inhumanity in Stalin’s Gulag (published by Yale University in 2017.) Her specialty areas include disinformation and security, political violence and human rights, Russia and the Soviet Union, and more.
Benham Ben Taleblu
Benham Ben Taleblu is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) where he focuses on Iranian security and political issues. Prior to his time at FDD, Benham worked on non-proliferation issues at an arms control think-tank in Washington. Leveraging his subject-matter expertise and native Farsi skills, Behnam has closely tracked a wide range of Iran-related topics including nuclear non-proliferation, the foreign and security policy of the Islamic Republic, ballistic missiles, and more.
Dr. Barnett S. Koven
Dr. Barnett S. Koven is the Training Director, Near-peer Competition Lead Researcher, and Counterterrorism Lead Researcher at the University of Maryland’s (UMD) National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START). He is also the Founder and CEO of BSK Consulting, L.L.C., a boutique consultancy specializing in practitioner education and mixed-methods (quantitative and qualitative) research in support of national security practitioners and policy-makers.
Devin Ellis is a senior faculty specialist in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University of Maryland and the Director of the ICONS Project – a simulation research and training program affiliated with the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START). Ellis’ work focuses on helping organizations use simulation to study and plan for complex problems, train employees, and rehearse for crises.