Defense IT Summit

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Defense IT Summit

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Arlington, VA

We’re bringing together federal and industry leaders at the Defense IT Summit to discuss how IT modernization programs are restructuring the defense landscape.

Hear senior leadership’s priorities and get a jump start on the shifting needs around artificial intelligence, CJADC2, data innovation, and workforce development. Join us for the insights on tomorrow’s blueprint for the future of national security. 

Date
February 9, 2024
Time
8:00 AM - 1:30 PM
Where
Hilton Arlington National Landing | 2399 Richmond Hwy, Arlington, VA 22202

 
About

Agenda

 
8:00 - 8:50 am
Breakfast, Networking and Headshot Station
8:50 - 8:55 am
Opening Remarks
8:55 - 9:15 am
Fireside Chat: Cloud Enables the Defense Mission

The Defense Department mandated that all DOD organizations procure their cloud capabilities using the recent Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability (JWCC) contract vehicle managed by DISA’s J9 Hosting and Compute. As DISA undergoes its own cloud and data-center modernization journey, its Director of Hosting and Compute discusses the department’s challenges and priorities ahead of this quickly changing landscape to support warfighter readiness and connectivity globally.

Sharon Woods
Sharon Woods
Director, J9 Hosting and Compute, DISA
9:20 - 9:55 am
Panel: Software Development Advancements

With more attention and resources put into software factories, the Defense Department is prioritizing keeping up with the fast pace of technology development in new ways. Hear how federal leaders are using DevSecOps and Agile development processes to modernize IT systems and infrastructure that are supporting new defense weapons systems and programs.

Charlie Bahk
Charlie Bahk
Software Factory Director, Marine Corps
Rob Vietmeyer
Rob Vietmeyer
Chief Software Officer, DOD
Dave Lago
Dave Lago
Product Manager, Vulcan, DISA Hosting and Compute Center
9:55 - 10:10 am
Networking Break
10:10 - 10:45 am
Panel: Cloud Security

The Defense Department’s major cloud contract vehicle, JWCC, is ushering in a new age of cloud modernization. Cloud leaders are touting its benefits in the partnerships it is creating in the intelligence community to bring cloud in at all levels — leading also to more efficient approaches in cybersecurity. This panel will discuss how the services are strategizing this new opportunity to bring security at the forefront of cloud migration.

Don Yeske
Don Yeske
Director, National Security Cyber Division, DHS
Jay Bonci
Jay Bonci
CTO, Department of the Air Force
Edmond Kuqo
Edmond Kuqo
DevSecOps Lead Engineer, Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic
10:50 - 11:25 am
Panel: CJADC2 and Multi-Domain Operations

As the military services work more toward multi-domain operations, DOD is seeking to connect its multitude of networks and data points to ensure seamless command and control on the battlefield. Hear about the tech developments the services are working on toward these concepts and what they mean for the ongoing pursuit to connect all domains across air, land, sea, cyber and space.

Shery Thomas
Shery Thomas
Cyber Technology Officer, U.S. Marine Forces Cyberspace Command
11:30 am - 12:05 pm
Lightning Rounds: What’s Next in the AI and Machine Learning Wave

Language models and artificial intelligence tools have potential to transform how technology teams work. Learn about how these leaders view new technologies that will transform defense operations and how they see these breakthroughs impacting the future of national security.

Jaime Fitzgibbon
Jaime Fitzgibbon
AI/ML Program Manager, Defense Innovation Unit
Alexis Bonnell
Alexis Bonnell
CIO, Air Force Research Laboratory
no photo available
Dr. William Streilein
CTO, CDAO, DOD
12:05 - 12:55 pm
Lunch & Keynote Fireside Chat
 
Leslie Beavers
Leslie Beavers
Principal Deputy CIO, DOD
1:00 - 1:25 pm
Flywheel Awards Presentation

We'll present the Flywheel Awards to recognize leaders and their work in federal government.

The flywheel — a critical component in a machine to increase its momentum — is also a critical symbol representing our goal to keep federal IT decision-makers informed on technology's impact on government. This momentum is what fuels the constant need for transformers to innovate around the defense systems, infrastructure and tools that are keeping our nation safe. We're excited to honor the below finalists.

Winners will be announced on Feb. 9 at the Summit.

Cyber Defender

Finalists:

  • Stephane Bouatene, Chief, Enterprise Capabilities Division, NGA
  • Anthony Giljum, Director, Engineering and Technology Transformation, DHA
  • David McKeown, Senior Information Security Officer, and Deputy CIO for Cybersecurity, DOD

Emerging Tech Innovator

Finalists:

  • Lisa Costa, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, Space Force
  • Jennifer Hay, Director, Defense Digital Service
  • David Sanchez, Technical Director, Air Force

Digital Transformer

Finalists:

  • Rebecca Clarke, Digital Transformation Specialist, NSWC Corona
  • Venice Goodwine, CIO, Air Force
  • Jimmy Jones, STITCHES Warfighter Application Team Lead, SAF/AQL

Data Advocate

Finalists:

  • Doug Bush, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology
  • David Markowitz, CDO, Army
  • Eileen Vidrine, Chief Data & AI Officer, Air Force

Rising Star

Finalists:

  • Maj. Ronisha Carter, Data and Artificial Intelligence Strategist, Air Force
  • Nicole Thompson, Digital Services Expert, Defense Digital Service

NextGen Champion

Finalists:

  • Heather Heben, COSMOS Project Manager, NIWC Pacific
  • Cheryl Ingstad, Deputy Director, Digital Platforms and Developer Ecosystem, DIU
  • Sharothi Pikar, Deputy CDAO for Acquisitions, DOD
1:25 - 1:30 pm
Closing Remarks

Featuring

 

Lt. Col. Charlie Bahk is the inaugural Director of the U.S. Marine Corps Software Factory (MCSWF), a pilot effort to create a world-class Marine-led software development capability. Charlie also serves as the Deputy Commandant for Information, Headquarters U.S. Marine Corps (USMC). In these capacities, he enables USMC modernization efforts by leveraging emerging technologies to support commanders at the speed of operations, increasing lethality and readiness. Previously, Charlie served as the Occupational Field Manager for Communications, the second-largest community in the Marine Corps. He is a combat veteran with multiple overseas deployments and received a Bronze Star for wartime service. A native of San Antonio, Texas, Charlie received a Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering Systems degree from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

Software Factory Director, Marine Corps

Ms. Leslie A. Beavers is a career member of the Senior Executive Service and the DoD Principal Deputy CIO. In this capacity, she will assist the CIO in advising the Secretary of Defense on Information Management / Information Technology (IT) and Information Assurance, as well as non-intelligence space systems; critical satellite communications, navigation, and timing programs; spectrum; and telecommunications matters. Ms. Beavers will also lead engagement with the Defense Agencies and Field Activities CIOs and drive strategic resource planning across the IT and cybersecurity domains.

Prior to joining the CIO, Ms. Beavers served as the Director of Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Enterprise Capabilities (ISREC). In this capacity she led OUSD(I&S)’s Defense Intelligence Digital Transformation Campaign Plan, known as Project Herald.Ms. Beavers began her DoD career as an Intelligence Officer in the United States Air Force, where she continues to serve as a Reserve Brigadier General with the Joint Staff J2. Her assignments included:  16th Air Force, San Antonio, TX; Pacific Air Forces, Hickam, HI; Distributed Common Ground System 2, Beale AFB, CA; and 4th Air Force, March ARB, CA.She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the U.S. Air Force Academy and a MBA in Finance with Honors from South University. Ms. Beavers is a certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, a Distinguished Graduate of the Air Force’s Signals Intelligence program, and the recipient of numerous DoD and professional awards including the Defense Superior Service and Legion of Merit.

 

Principal Deputy CIO, DOD

Mr. Jason Bonci is the Department of the Air Force Chief Technology Officer at Office of the Chief Information Officer. His responsibilities are to drive the adoption, resilience, and strategic technical vision of the Enterprise IT portfolio.

Prior to his current position, he was the Senior Director of Public Sector Engineering at Akamai Technologies in Cambridge, Massachusetts. There he led a team of 60 engineering, operations, and consulting professionals in designing and operating Akamai’s public sector portfolio. This included being the technology provider behind the Department of Defense’s Global Content Delivery Service program that powered delivery, security, and optimizations for over 2,000 capabilities. Under his architectural guidance, this service became part of the technical underpinning of the DoD’s internet access delivery system, the Air Force enterprise cloud program (CloudOne) and the Army’s identity and credential access management system. Mr. Bonci also designed and fielded the Shepherd protective domain name service program in conjunction with Defense Digital Service which helped protect Defense Industrial Base companies and national critical infrastructure. Over this 14 year tenure, he had numerous roles in the public sector, including engineering management and as an individual contributor in systems engineering and web applications.

Prior to Akamai, Mr. Bonci was involved in the Open Source community as an engineer at VA Linux and as a contributor to the Debian Linux Distribution. Having worked as an independent security researcher, he is a contributor to the DoD Vulnerability Disclosure Program. He is also an Eagle Scout.

CTO, Department of the Air Force

Alexis Bonnell is the Chief Information Officer and Director of the Digital Capabilities Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory, the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. She is responsible to develop and execute the AFRL Information Technology strategy, leading the strategic development of highly advanced next generation technologies and platforms for AFRL. Her focus includes catalyzing the discovery, development, and integration of warfighting technologies for air, space, and cyberspace forces via digital capabilities, IT infrastructure and technological innovation across the lab’s operations and culture. 
 
She was one of the first employees of the Internet Trade Association, contributing to the early development and growth of the digital landscape. She has served in challenging environments, including warzones with the United Nations to support over $1B of critical DOD operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and many other operational theaters. She has contributed to dual-use technology and innovation culture across the DOD Innovation community including: AFWERX, AFRL, Kessel Run, NavalX, Marine Innovation Unit, Army Futures Command, DIU, Army Software Factory, DARPA and more. Prior to her current position, she was the Emerging Technology Evangelist at Google, driving the use of emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, cyber security/zero trust, API First, Big Data, Cloud Computing, and others to drive efficiency and innovation within government organizations, including tackling digital transformation in defense, healthcare, education, COVID response, natural disasters, supply chain, system/process modernization, hybrid workforce and more.
 
Bonnell co-founded the Global Development Lab, the premier innovation lab of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), leveraging Global Allied Nation partnerships in Science, Technology, and Innovation, reviewing over 25,000 game changing innovations and technologies, funding 1,200 of them. She served as USAID’s Chief Innovation Officer, receiving the first 10/10 for innovation in the Results For America Rankings. She was named in the Fed 100 in 2020. She also assisted with major platform and technology transitions, drove hybrid work adoption, countering malign nation initiatives and global cyber security programming. 

CIO, Air Force Research Laboratory

Ms. Fitzgibbon serves as a Program Manager for the Defense Innovation Unit's (DIU) Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) portfolio. She runs AI-centered prototypes of commercially proven solutions with the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Intelligence Community (IC) mission users to accelerate emerging technology adoption for operational needs. Ms. Fitzgibbon also serves as DIU's Liaison Officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).

Prior to joining DIU, Ms. Fitzgibbon's experience spanned leadership roles across senior product management, program management, and customer success as well as technology scouting across Silicon Valley, DC and Europe. She has coached start-ups on product-market fit, go-to-market strategy, pricing models and product scaling within the US (commercial and government deployments). In addition to Ms. Fitzgibbon's private sector experience, she served as a Deputy Director within the Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) at the Department of State, African policy lead within the United States Senate and a High School French Teacher. She holds both a Master’s of Public Policy and a Bachelor of Arts in French Education.

AI/ML Program Manager, Defense Innovation Unit

Edmond Kuqo specializes in large scale enterprise systems, mobile solutions, data analytics, enterprise resource planning and software application development and delivery. Edmond focused on open source technologies and many newly emerged open source tools with emphasis on CI/CD automation, RMF cATO, Zero Trust Architecture, DevSecOps, Agile & AI/ML. He is a hands-on practical leader with experience in developing and delivering enterprise systems for on-prem and cloud deployments with emphasis on cybersecurity and Cyber Ready.

DevSecOps Lead Engineer, Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic

Dave Lago is the Product Manager for Vulcan, an offering from the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Hosting and Compute Center (HaCC), which provides DevSecOps and agile tools to support automation and software modernization initiatives.
Prior to this role, Mr. Lago created and launched the DoD Cloud Infrastructure as Code (IaC), cloud templates that help mission owners deploy cloud infrastructure by leveraging pre-configured, pre-authorized baselines, significantly reducing the time and resources typically required for cloud deployments. As Product Manager for DoD Cloud IaC, Mr. Lago helped more than 25 DoD organizations rapidly adopt commercial cloud.

Formerly, Mr. Lago served as a civilian in the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) leading cloud and DevOps initiatives. Mr. Lago
 also has thirteen years of experience as a contractor for Booz Allen Hamilton, BAE, and other consulting firms supporting various defense customers on mission system deployments, cybersecurity, IT strategy, and enterprise architecture.

Mr. Lago holds a Master of Science degree from Johns Hopkins University in Systems Engineering and a Bachelor of Arts from James Madison University with a major in Computer Information Systems.

Product Manager, Vulcan, DISA Hosting and Compute Center

Dr. William W. Streilein is the Chief Technology Officer for the Chief Digital and AI Office of the DoD, providing strategic awareness, direction and leadership for enterprise scale data, analytical and AI capabilities.

Prior to his current role, Bill worked at MIT Lincoln Laboratory where he served as principal staff in the Biotechnology and Human Systems Division. He supported efforts across the division focusing on concept, strategy, and program development in bioengineering, bioinformatics, and biodefense and leveraged his technical and leadership experience to emphasize the application of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to solve national biosecurity, health, and human performance challenges. Bill was also the leader of the Cyber Analytics and Decisions Group, where his research interests focused on cyber security, passive network and traffic analysis, streaming analytics, and computer vision. Prior to MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Streilein spent nine years working as a software engineer within the private sector.

He serves as a chair of the Artificial Intelligence for Cyber Security (AICS) and Robust Artificial Intelligence Systems Assurance (RAISA) academic workshops and is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and an active member of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI). Bill is a recognized leader in areas such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, cyber security, and statistical analysis.

Dr. Streilein holds a BA degree in mathematics from Austin College, an MM degree in electronic and computer music from the University of Miami, and a PhD degree in cognitive and neural systems from Boston University. He is a senior member of the IEEE. He has been at Lincoln Laboratory since 1998.

CTO, CDAO, DOD

As the Cyber Technology Officer, Mr. Thomas advises the Commander on all aspects of intelligence, cyber and related technologies, working with intelligence, cyber and science and technology organizations to generate and ensure the integrity of capabilities, concepts, policies, operational programs, studies and training that support and enable Marine Corps maneuver in the cyberspace. He works to enable cyber and intelligence focused compute and store, collaboration, access control and identity management, data encryption and governance. He leads defensive cyber operations for the hybrid cloud environment and champions setting the conditions to adopt and implement principles of zero trust. He supports leading the USMC risk management framework modernization efforts and creates opportunities for emerging technology needed for connected and denied disrupted and intermittent environments.  He leads enabling cyber and intelligence for compute and store, collaboration, access control and identity management, data encryption and governance creating use of processes, tools, techniques and protocols for proactive network resiliency and command and control with data driven decision making. Mr. Thomas demonstrates his passion for talent management through partnerships with industry, academia, institutions, and federal agencies.  

Prior to Mr. Thomas’ assignment at MARFORCYBER, he served as the Chief Acquisition and Financial Officer for Network Cross Functional Team, Army Futures Command. He was responsible for the focused integration of network, command, control, communications, and intelligence to enable mission command across the Army’s tactical network through transport agnostic, data centric, modern security architecture and Cyber Electro-Magnetic Dominance. Mr. Thomas had oversight of a diverse team responsible for resource management, portfolio integration, market research, contracting, logistics and sustainment for the coordination and direction of the development of long-term acquisition strategies.   

Previously, he has served as Chief Engineer and Chief of Technical Management at Project Manager Distributed Common Ground Systems – Army, Fielding and Training. He developed long-term strategies for technology research, investment, integration, and fielding of the Army’s cornerstone intelligence system for sensor tasking, Processing, Exploitation and Dissemination (PED) at all echelons.  

Mr. Thomas began his career as a Department of Defense civilian with the Communications Electronics Research, Development, and Engineering Center (CERDEC) where he led research projects on Network Robustness and developed Cyber Offensive Operations techniques. He is a member of the Army Acquisition Corps and subsequently held acquisition positions including information assurance engineer, lead systems engineer and Assistant Program Manager within the Army and including a joint duty assignment at the International Programs Office. He has also served as a Strategic Initiative Officer at the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army, Acquisition Logistics and Technology.    

Cyber Technology Officer, U.S. Marine Forces Cyberspace Command

Mr. Rob Vietmeyer is the Department of Defense Chief Software Officer for the Deputy Chief Information Officer for Information Enterprise (DCIO(IE)). In this position, he is the principal advisor to the DoD CIO for the implementation and evolution of the Department’s Software Modernization Strategy. Mr. Vietmeyer will drive strategy implementation, establishing the foundation to deliver resilient software at speed and scale advocating for the latest software development approaches, cloud services, and process transformation. Through collaboration with other DoD Components, government, industry, and academia partners, he is responsible for advancing the Department’s adoption of DevSecOps practices, agile software development, and cloud native modernization.

Chief Software Officer, DOD

Ms. Sharon Woods is a member of the Senior Executive Service and currently serves as the Director for the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) J-9 Hosting and Compute (HaC). In this role, Ms. Woods is focused on making the HaC the warfighter’s provider of choice for hosting and compute.Prior to this role, Ms. Woods served as Executive Director for the Cloud Computing Program Office, where she led the team responsible for deploying Commercial Virtual Remote, a collaboration tool designed to support remote work during the COVID 19 national emergency. To date, CVR is the largest Microsoft 365 tenant deployment in the world. Ms. Woods also served as the General Counsel for the Defense Digital Service where she provided legal counsel and bureaucracy hacking expertise for a team of federal government technologists working on high impact challenges at the Pentagon. Ms. Woods has also worked as an attorney for the U.S. Department of the Navy, specializing in information technology acquisitions.Ms. Woods holds a law degree from the Washington College of Law, American University and a bachelor's degree from Johns Hopkins University. She has received numerous awards from the Defense and Acquisition communities in recognition of her leadership and accomplishments including: the Federal 100 award (August 2021), the Pinnacle Award for Cloud Government Executive of the Year (November 2020), Secretary of Defense Coin (January 2017), the Department of the Navy SPAWAR Exemplary Achievement Award (November 2015), and the Meritorious Civilian Service Award (December 2013).

Director, J9 Hosting and Compute, DISA
Don Yeske
Don Yeske
Director, National Security Cyber Division, DHS

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