2024 Speakers

Sheetal Patel

Keynote Speaker: General Timothy Haugh

Commander, U.S Cyber Command; Director, National Security Agency/Chief, Central Security Service

General Timothy D. Haugh is 4th Commander, U.S. Cyber Command and 19th Director, National Security Agency/Chief, Central Security Service at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland.

A native of Hughesville, Pennsylvania, General Haugh earned his commission in 1991 as a distinguished graduate of the ROTC program at Lehigh University.

General Haugh has commanded at the squadron, group, wing, numbered air force, and joint levels. He’s served on staffs at major command, agency and combatant command headquarters. His notable tours include Deputy Commander of Joint Task Force Ares, Commander of Cyber National Mission Force, Commander of Sixteenth Air Force, and Deputy Commander of U.S. Cyber Command.

In addition to earning his Bachelor of Arts in Russian Studies from Lehigh University, General Haugh holds Master of Science degrees from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, the Naval Postgraduate School, and Southern Methodist University.

General Haugh and his spouse, Mrs. Sherie Haugh, have been married for more than 31 years, and have one son, one daughter, and one daughter in law. 

General Paul Nakasone

Keynote Speaker: Director Christopher Wray

Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

Christopher Wray became the eighth Director of the FBI on August 2, 2017.

Mr. Wray was born in New York City. He graduated from Yale University in 1989 and earned his law degree from Yale Law School in 1992. He then clerked for Judge J. Michael Luttig of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. In 1993, he began working in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia.

Mr. Wray began his Department of Justice career in 1997 as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, where he prosecuted cases ranging from public corruption to gun trafficking and financial fraud. In 2001, he joined the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, where he served as associate deputy attorney general and then principal associate deputy attorney general, with oversight responsibilities spanning the full Department.

In 2003, Mr. Wray was nominated by President George W. Bush to serve as assistant attorney general for the Criminal Division. In addition to overseeing criminal matters, Mr. Wray played a key role in the evolving national security mission of the Department. He also served on the President’s Corporate Fraud Task Force and supervised the Enron Task Force and other major national and international fraud investigations. At the conclusion of his tenure, Mr. Wray was awarded the Edmund J. Randolph Award, the Department of Justice’s highest award for leadership and public service.

After leaving the Department of Justice in 2005, Mr. Wray returned to private practice at the law firm King & Spalding, where he chaired the Special Matters and Government Investigations Practice Group.

Anne Milgram

Keynote Speaker: Administrator Anne Milgram

Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

Anne Milgram was sworn in as DEA Administrator on June 28, 2021, after being confirmed by the United States Senate by unanimous consent on June 24, 2021. As Administrator, she leads an agency of nearly 10,000 public servants who work in DEA’s 334 offices across the globe. 

Prior to assuming her duties at the DEA, Milgram served as New Jersey’s Attorney General from 2007 to 2010. In that role, Milgram was New Jersey’s chief law enforcement officer, led the 9,000-person Department of Law & Public Safety, and had oversight responsibility for state and county prosecutors and more than 30,000 local law enforcement officers. During her tenure as Attorney General, Milgram also oversaw, and significantly transformed, the Camden Police Department, leading it to today being viewed as a model for effective, data-driven policing. Most recently, she served as a Professor of Practice and Distinguished Scholar in Residence at New York University School of Law where she developed programs on using data, analytics, and technology in law enforcement.

Milgram began her legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. She then served as a federal prosecutor in the United States Department of Justice, where she was the Special Litigation Counsel for the prosecution of human trafficking crimes. Milgram was awarded the Department of Justice Commendation for Outstanding Service and the Department of Justice Director’s Award for her work.

After graduating summa cum laude from Rutgers University, Milgram received a master’s degree from the University of Cambridge and a law degree from New York University School of Law. After law school, she clerked for the Honorable Anne E. Thompson of the District Court for the District of New Jersey.  

Sheetal Patel

Keynote Speaker: Assistant Director Sheetal Patel

Assistant Director, Transnational and Technology Mission Center, CIA

Sheetal T. Patel was named the Assistant Director of the CIA for the Transnational and Technology Mission Center in January 2022.  Prior to that position, Sheetal T. Patel was the Assistant Director of the CIA for Counterintelligence in 2019.  Ms. Patel served as Deputy Chief of Station and Chief of Analysis in South Asia.

Ms. Patel has previously served in a variety of leadership roles in the Agency, including Deputy Assistant Director of the Counterintelligence Mission Center (CIMC) and CIMC Chief of Analysis.  Ms. Patel was an Executive Assistant to two CIA directors and served as the National Security Council's Director for Afghanistan from 2003-2004.

Ms. Patel holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in history and security policy from Boston University and George Washington University, respectively, and served as a Naval Reserve Intelligence Officer.  She is the recipient of the Presidential Rank Award and the CIA Director’s Award.

Sheetal Patel

Keynote Speaker: Deputy Under Secretary Mario Diaz

Deputy Under Secretary of the Army

Mr. Mario A. Diaz was appointed as the 21st Deputy Under Secretary of the U.S. Army on October 10, 2021. As the Deputy Under Secretary of the Army, he is the principal civilian senior advisor to the Secretary of the Army and Under Secretary of the Army. In his role, Mr. Diaz has management oversight of civilian senior leader assignments, the Army Test & Evaluation Executive, and other areas of policy and strategy as identified by Army senior leadership.

Mr. Diaz served as an Infantry officer for 30 years in the US Army, including combat command of both an Infantry Stryker Battalion in Iraq and an Infantry Brigade Combat Team in Afghanistan. Formative strategic assignments included Military Assistant to the Secretary of the Army and Senior Military Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. Mr. Diaz culminated his military career as the Assistant Division Commander-Support for the 25th Infantry Division and then the Chief of Staff for I Corps.

Post military career, Mr. Diaz served as a Senior Mentor and Highly Qualified Expert with the US Army Mission Command Training Program. Mr. Diaz advised commanders and staff at the Army Corps, Division, and Brigade levels during exercises and provided expert knowledge in integrating war fighting capabilities and programs. Additionally, Mr. Diaz has served as a Special Assistant for Outreach & Mentorship to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower & Reserve Affairs. In this capacity, he was responsible for developing, leading, and managing plans and programs designed to ensure that the U.S. Army prioritizes talent acquisition commensurate with the American population. Mr. Diaz is a graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point, the School of Advance Military Studies at Fort Leavenworth, and the National War College in Washington D.C. Mr. Diaz also has received a Master of Arts in History. He is married to Shawn Diaz, and they have three adult daughters – Marissa, Shaylin, and Olivia.

General Paul Nakasone

Summit Moderator: Niloofar Razi Howe

Distinguished Visiting Professor, Vanderbilt University, Senior Operating Partner, Energy Impact Partners

Niloofar Razi Howe has been an investor, executive and entrepreneur in the technology industry for the past 25 years, with a focus on Cybersecurity for the past 15. Ms. Howe is a Senior Operating Partner at Energy Impact Partners, a VC fund investing in companies shaping the energy landscape of the future. She serves on the Board of Directors of Morgan Stanley Private Bank, NA and Morgan Stanley Bank, NA (Risk Committee, Operations and Technology Committee), Pondurance (as Executive Chair), Tenable (NASDAQ: TENB, Comp Committee), Composecure (NASDAQ: CMPO, Audit Committee), Recorded Future, Swimlane and on the Board of Advisors of Dragos, Enveil, RangeForce, Noetic Cyber, and Picnic Threat.  She is a life member at the Council on Foreign Relations and a Senior Fellow, International Security Program at New America, a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank.  Her non-profit work includes serving as Board Chair of IREX, an international development and education organization working in over 120 countries focused on promoting social justice and lasting change, and as a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art. Ms. Howe serves on a number of US government advisory boards including on the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency’s Advisory Council.  

Previously, Ms. Howe served as Chief Strategy Officer and SVP of Strategy and Operations at RSA, a global cybersecurity company where she led corporate strategy, corporate development and planning, business development, global program management, business operations, security operations and Federal business development. Prior to RSA, Ms. Howe served as the Chief Strategy Officer of Endgame, Inc., a leading enterprise software security company, where she was responsible for driving market and product strategy, as well as leading marketing, product management, corporate development and planning. Prior to her operating roles, Ms. Howe spent twelve years leading deal teams in private equity and venture capital; first as a Principal at Zone Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm in Los Angeles, and then as Managing Director at Paladin Capital Group, a Washington DC based private equity fund focused on investing in next generation security companies. Ms. Howe started her professional career as a lawyer with O’Melveny & Myers and as a consultant with McKinsey & Co. 

Ms. Howe’s previous board roles include serving on the Board Directors of Initiate Systems (acquired by IBM), Courion Corporation (acquired by K1 Investment), Command Information (acquired by Salient), Safeview (acquired by L-3), Neven Vision (acquired by Google), Global Rights, an international human rights organization, as Chair, Sibley Memorial Hospital (a member of Johns Hopkins Medicine), as chair of its Investment Committee, and Sibley Memorial Hospital Foundation, as Vice Chair.  Ms. Howe graduated with honors from Columbia College and holds a JD cum laude from Harvard Law School. 

Ms. Howe speaks regularly on national security, cybersecurity, technology, innovation, corporate governance and corporate culture. She also created a TEDx talk entitled “The Gift of Exile” about the long-term opportunities that can arise from the most difficult challenges encountered in childhood for both the individuals who suffer the adversity and the communities that can accept and integrate such individuals. She is a regular judge at innovation competitions including the RSA Conference Innovation Sandbox Competition, the RSA Conference Launchpad Competition, and SINET16 Innovation Competition. 

GIllian Tett

Summit Moderator: Gillian Tett

Provost, King’s College, Cambridge,
Columnist and Editorial Board Member, Financial Times

Gillian serves as Provost of King’s College, Cambridge University in the UK, while also writing a weekly op-ed column for the Financial Times on global finance and business. She is a member of the FT editorial board.

Before her role at Cambridge, she chaired the FT editorial board, US, and during the last decade has written two weekly columns, covering a range of economic, financial, political and social issues. She also co-founded FT Moral Money, a thrice weekly newsletter that tracks the ESG revolution in business.

Tett was the FT’s US managing editor from 2013 to 2019. She has also served as FT’s financial editor, capital markets editor, acting editor of the Lex column, Tokyo bureau chief, economics reporter and a reporter in Russia and Brussels.

Tett is the author of Anthro-Vision, A New Way to See Life and Business published in 2021, which won the Porchlight best business book award and the Columbia Business School Eccles prize. She is also the author of The Silo Effect (2015); Fool’s Gold (2009), a New York Times best seller and Saving the Sun (2003).

Tett has been named Columnist of the Year (2014), Journalist of the Year (2009), Business Journalist of the Year (2008) in British Press awards and won three American SABEW awards. She has a PhD in social anthropology from Cambridge University based on field work in the former Soviet Union. She was awarded the American Anthropological Association President’s 2021 medal and the 2009 British Academy President medal for her work in social sciences and has received honorary degrees from the University of Exeter, the University of Miami, St Andrew’s, London University (Goldsmiths), Carnegie Mellon, Baruch and an honorary doctorate from Lancaster University in the UK. She is a CFA fellow in the UK.

Daniel Diermeier

Session Chair: Douglas Adams

Vice Dean of Engineering, Associate Provost, Daniel F. Flowers Professor of Engineering, Distinguished Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Vanderbilt University

Dr. Adams is the Daniel F. Flowers Professor and Distinguished Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Vanderbilt University. As Executive Director of Vanderbilt’s efforts in national defense and global security, he supports interdisciplinary research and educational partnerships and programs between Vanderbilt’s scholars and military Service Members and National Security Professionals all across the country.  

His research team has advanced the state-of-the-art in intelligent sensors and systems to ensure the safety and performance of aircraft and spacecraft, ground vehicles, missiles and munitions, and other military and commercial systems.  He has received over a dozen research awards including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, a Technical Achievement Award from the U.S. Army Stryker Combat Brigade, Commander’s Award from the U.S. Navy Air Warfare Center, and was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advanced of Science, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and Society for Experimental Mechanics.

He has won awards for classroom and online teaching and was elected to The Purdue Book of Great Teachers for his contributions in teaching while he was a professor at Purdue University.  He founded Vanderbilt’s Laboratory for Systems Integrity and Reliability, a 20,000 sq. ft. facility that is uniquely equipped for export controlled research to evaluate how engineered systems perform in realistic experiments at a full scale. Dr. Adams has published several hundred articles and book chapters on topics ranging from composite aerospace structures to operationally responsive satellites. He has led over a hundred federal and industry-sponsored research programs, advised 120 graduate and undergraduate research assistants, and has been awarded 10 patents.

Daniel Diermeier

Panelist: Morgan Adamski

Director, Cybersecurity Collaboration Center, NSA

Ms. Morgan Adamski is the Director of NSA’s Cybersecurity Collaboration Center, responsible for working with interagency, industry, and international partners to deliver intel-driven cybersecurity at scale. In this role, she has revitalized the way NSA collaborates with the private sector to harden billions of endpoints against nation-state cyber threats. 

Daniel Diermeier

Panelist: Erin Calipari

Director, Vanderbilt Center for Addiction Research; Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University

Dr. Calipari is the Director of the Vanderbilt Center for Addiction Research and an Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacology at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Calipari has been studying the neuroscience of addiction since 2009 when she began her graduate career. She has worked with leaders in the field to develop a research program that is focused on solving this crisis. Her lab has made seminal discoveries on how drug use changes the brain at the systems and molecular level to give rise to addiction. Over her career, she has published over 90 peer-reviewed research articles and reviews on these topics. In her role as director of the Vanderbilt Center for Addiction Research, she is leading a large group of faculty, students, and staff as they work together to understand the brain and the factors that confer risk to addiction. The center conducts research that is at the frontier of systems neuroscience, molecular biology, pharmacology, and drug development. Through graduate and postdoctoral training, the environment in the addiction center has not only impacted the local community but has trained the next generation of scientists to go out across the world to make discoveries on their own. Finally, through targeted outreach, the center has made an impact in the local and national community through educating the public on the science of addiction. 

Laurie Cutting

Panelist: Gordon Chang

American Journalist, Lawyer, Political Commentator, and Writer

Gordon G. Chang is the author of The Great U.S.-China Tech War and Losing South Korea, booklets released by Encounter Books. His previous books are Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes On the World and The Coming Collapse of China, both from Random House. 

Mr. Chang lived and worked in China and Hong Kong for almost two decades, most recently in Shanghai, as Counsel to the American law firm Paul Weiss, and earlier in Hong Kong as Partner in the international law firm Baker & McKenzie. 

His writings on China and Korea have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The National Interest, The American Conservative, Commentary, National Review, Barron's, the Daily Caller, and The Daily Beast. He is a columnist at Newsweek and writes regularly for The Hill. Chang has appeared on CNN, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, Newsmax TV, CNBC, MSNBC, PBS, the BBC, and Bloomberg Television. He is a regular co-host and guest on CBS Eye on the World with John Batchelor. 

He served two terms as a trustee of Cornell University. 

Laurie Cutting

Panelist: Laurie Cutting

Patricia and Rodes Hart Professor of Special Education; Professor of Psychology, Radiology, and Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University; Associate Director, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center 

Laurie E. Cutting, Ph.D., is the Patricia and Rodes Hart Professor of Special Education, Psychology and Human Development, Radiology, Pediatrics, and Electrical and Computer Engineering at Vanderbilt University, and was the recipient of the 2017-2018 Joe B. Wyatt Distinguished Vanderbilt University Professorship. She is also an Associate Provost in the Office of the Vice Provost for Research and Innovation, Associate Director of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, a member of the Vanderbilt Brain Institute, and training faculty for Vanderbilt’s Neuroscience Ph.D. program. Her work focuses on brain-behavior relations in children and adolescents, with a particular emphasis on academic and cognitive development. Currently, she is the principal investigator of several NIH- and other federally funded research projects examining the neural underpinnings of cognitive development, academic achievement, and learning. 

Laurie Cutting

Panelist: Jim Desmond

Chief Security Officer, Asurion 

Jim Desmond is a seasoned cybersecurity professional with over two decades of extensive experience in the fields of cyber security, business continuity, risk management, and physical security. Currently serving as the Chief Security Officer (CSO) at Asurion, a leading global tech care company, Jim has demonstrated a remarkable track record in safeguarding organizations across various industries. 

With a diverse background that spans finance, fintech, technology consulting, transportation, and technology, Jim brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his role. His strategic approach to cybersecurity and risk management has consistently proven instrumental in ensuring the resilience and security of the organizations (and their clients and partners) he has served. 

Jim holds multiple degrees, including a strong educational foundation in cyber security and organizational leadership. His commitment to professional excellence is further underscored by prestigious certifications, including Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) and Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). 

Originally hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, Jim remains deeply connected to his roots and has a genuine passion for all things Ohio State and the Cleveland Browns. This affinity reflects not only his personal interests but also his dedication to building strong connections within the communities he engages with. Jim Desmond continues to be a driving force in the cybersecurity landscape, leveraging his expertise to navigate the complex challenges of the digital era. 

Laurie Cutting

Panelist: Rushi Doshi

Senior Fellow, China and Indo-Pacific Studies, Council on Foreign Relations and Assistant Professor of Security Studies, Georgetown University 

Rush Doshi is Senior Fellow for China and Indo-Pacific Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations where he directs CFR's new cross-cutting initiative on China strategy.  He is also an incoming Assistant Professor of Security Studies in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Studies. Doshi was the Deputy Senior Director for China and Taiwan Affairs on President Biden’s National Security Council, where he served three years from 2021-2024 and helped manage the NSC’s first-ever China directorate. At the NSC, Doshi advised the President and National Security Adviser on all aspects of China and Taiwan policy and staffed over a dozen of their meetings with PRC counterparts. He also drafted the Administration’s China strategy, formulated U.S. policy on cross-Strait issues, and coordinated the negotiations that launched AUKUS.  

Prior to his government service, Doshi worked as a fellow at the Brookings Institution and Yale Law School’s China Center. His first book, The Long Game: China’s Grand Strategy to Displace American Order (Oxford University Press, 2021), won the Mershon Center’s Edgar S. Furniss book award, was a finalist for the Arthur Ross Book Award and the Lionel Gelber Prize, and was named a Financial Times “best book” of 2021. He has testified before Congress, and his work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, International Organization, Asia Policy, and the Washington Quarterly, among other outlets.  

Previously, Doshi served as coordinator of the Asia policy working group for the Biden 2020 presidential campaign. He was previously a non-resident senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, special adviser to the CEO of the Asia Group, and a Wilson Center China Fellow. Doshi received his PhD from Harvard University and his bachelor’s degree in public policy from Princeton University with a minor in East Asian Studies. He was also a Fulbright fellow in China and is proficient in Mandarin. 

Mary Gallagher

Panelist: Dave Frederick

Assistant Deputy Director for China, National Security Agency

Mr. David E. Frederick, Jr. serves as the National Security Agency’s first Assistant Deputy Director for China.  In this position, he sets and directs Agency-wide mission strategy for addressing the People’s Republic of China, prioritizes mission investments, and postures NSA to achieve greater near- and long-term mission outcomes. 

Most recently, Mr. Frederick served as the Executive Director, United States Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM). In that position he assisted the Commander in leading the cyber mission force with a portfolio focused on strategic management initiatives, including innovation and academic partnerships. His intelligence career started in the United States Army as a signals intelligence (SIGINT) analyst and Korean linguist, before joining the NSA as a language analyst. Mr. Frederick has held a wide array of managerial, strategic planning, and technical positions, with multiple overseas assignments.  Among his key positions, Mr. Frederick led the Strategic Counter Cyber Operations Office, and represented NSA at the National Security Council on cyber policy matters. He co-led the design and establishment of NSA's Cybersecurity Directorate as the Deputy Chief. 

Mr. Frederick is a two-time recipient of Presidential Rank Awards (Meritorious Executive); earned the National Intelligence Superior Service Medal as well as the NSA/CSS Meritorious Civilian Service Award; won Joint and Army military awards; and was honored by a key foreign partner with a National Security Service Medal. 

Mr. Frederick completed the Defense Language Institute Korean Basic Course before graduating from the University of Maryland University College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History (Honors)/Minor in Asian Studies. He received his Master's degree in Business Administration (Finance) from Colorado State University. He attended the George Washington University Defense Policy Seminar and Harvard Kennedy School Senior Executives in National & International Security programs. 

Mary Gallagher

Panelist: Raymond Friedman

Brownlee O. Currey Professor of Management, Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University

Raymond A. Friedman is the Brownlee O. Currey Professor of Management at the Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University.  He received his Ph.D. from University of Chicago and his B.A. from Yale University.  Prior to Owen, he was an assistant professor at Harvard Business School and was a faculty member of Harvard's Program on Negotiation. 

Professor Friedman’s research has included negotiation, dispute resolution, the management of diversity, and cross-cultural differences between Chinese and American managers.  In the early part of his career, Professor Friedman focused on labor negotiations, with a special focus on mutual gains bargaining.  Professor Friedman then shifted his attention to race and gender in organizations, looking at how race affects perceptions of justice, and the impact of minority employee network groups in companies.   More recently, he has studied Chinese-American differences in approach to dispute resolution (including negotiation, arbitration, and conflict management).  His work has been published in many journals, including Administrative Science Quarterly, Journal of Applied Psychology, Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and Harvard Business Review.  His book, Front Stage, Backstage: The Dramatic Structure of Labor Negotiations, was published by MIT Press.

Professor Friedman has served as president of the International Association for Conflict Management, as President of the International Association for Chinese Management Research, and as chair of the Conflict Management Division of the Academy of Management.  He served as Associate Dean for Faculty at the Owen School from 2010 to 2013.  

Professor Friedman has taught Organizational Behavior, Negotiation, Labor and Employee Relations, Doing Business in China, and Leading Teams and Organizations, and has received the Deans Award for Teaching Excellence at Owen.              

Mary Gallagher

Panelist: Mary Gallagher

Professor of Democracy, Democratization, and Human Rights, University of Michigan, Director, International Institute

Mary E. Gallagher is the Amy and Alan Lowenstein Professor of Democracy, Democratization, and Human Rights Professor at the University of Michigan where she is also the director of the International Institute. She was the director of the Kenneth G. Lieberthal and Richard H. Rogel Center for Chinese Studies from 2008-2020. Dr. Gallagher’s most recent book is Authoritarian Legality in China: Law, Workers and the State, published by Cambridge University Press in 2017. She is also the author or editor of several other books, including Contagious Capitalism:  Globalization and the Politics of Labor in China (Princeton 2005). Dr. Gallagher was a foreign student in China in the fall of 1989 at Nanjing University at the Duke-in-China Program. She taught at Foreign Affairs College in Beijing from 1996-1997 as a member of the Princeton-in-Asia program. In 2023-25, Dr. Gallagher is a Fulbright Global Scholar on a new research project that examines attitudes toward China in the United States, Germany, Japan, and South Korea. In addition to her academic research, Dr. Gallagher has consulted with governments, international organizations, and corporations on China’s domestic politics, censorship and propaganda system, labor and workplace conditions, and academic collaboration with China. She received her Ph.D. in politics in 2001 from Princeton University and her B.A. from Smith College in 1991.

Daniel Diermeier

Panelist: Andres Gannon

Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Vanderbilt University

Andres Gannon is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University and a Faculty Affiliate at the Data Science Institute. His research broadly focuses on the political origins of military power, what capabilities states arm themselves with and why, and how that affects states' conduct in international affairs. He has previously held fellowships at the Council on Foreign Relations, Harvard Kennedy School, NATO Defence College, and Notre Dame International Security Center. His academic work has been published in the Journal of Conflict Resolution, International Studies Quarterly, International Interactions, and the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics and his commentary has appeared in The New York Times, BBC, France 24, and The Japan Times. He earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego in 2021.

General Paul Nakasone

Speaker: Brett Goldstein

Special Advisor to the Chancellor, Vanderbilt University

Brett Goldstein is a disruptive innovator known for breaking bureaucratic silos across industries from the Department of Defense to Silicon Valley. He has provided counsel to Cabinet Secretaries and C-suite executives in a variety of content areas, including national security, finance, artificial intelligence, and data analytics. He is also an advisor to several early and mid-stage start-ups. Throughout his career, Goldstein has served in a range of mission-driven leadership roles across government, the private sector, and academia. He is deeply committed to improving government through data and technology.

Goldstein began his technology career at OpenTable, where he helped grow the company from an early-stage startup to a multinational corporation. Following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, he joined the Chicago Police Department where he earned the rank of Commander. He became a leader in Chicago’s municipal government, serving as the first municipal Chief Data Officer in the nation, and later assuming the position of the city’s Chief Information Officer. In these roles, Goldstein was critical in leading successful efforts to use data and technology to improve the lives of Chicago-area residents. To accomplish this, he established one of the premier analytics programs in the country, accelerating Chicago’s growth as a global hub of innovation and technology.

Most recently, he served as the Director of the Defense Digital Service where he ran a team tasked with solving critical technical and national security issues facing the Department of Defense, reporting directly to the Secretary of Defense. He also served as Special Advisor to the United States Department of the Navy where he provided technical expertise on special projects, including overhauling the Navy’s personnel and manpower systems and infrastructure, developing data analytics and machine learning with Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), and using commercial technology and algorithms to improve force protection for service members in Afghanistan as part of NATO’s Resolute Support Mission.

Goldstein also co-founded and served as Managing Partner of Ekistic Ventures, a venture capital fund dedicated to cultivating a portfolio of technology start-ups that bring new solutions to critical urban problems. Prior to his work at Ekistic, he served as the Chief Technology Officer of GCM Grosvenor, a global investment and advisory firm.

Academically, he has served as a Senior Fellow and Special Advisor for Urban Science at the University of Chicago, and as a Senior Advisor to the Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts. He also held a fellow appointment at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He is currently a Special Advisor to the Chancellor at Vanderbilt University.

Goldstein holds a master's degree in Computer Science from the University of Chicago and a master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Suffolk University. He earned his bachelor's degree in Government from Connecticut College. He has received numerous recognitions and awards, and is a sought-after speaker in national and international forums. He lives in Wisconsin with his wife, three children, two dogs, and a fledgling hive of honey bees.

Daniel Diermeier

Panelist: Jamil Jaffer

Founder and Executive Director, National Security Institute, Assistant Professor of Law, George Mason University

Jamil currently serves as Founder and Executive Director of the National Security Institute and as an Assistant Professor of Law as well as Director of both the National Security Law & Policy Program and the Cybersecurity, Intelligence & National Security LL.M. at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University, where he teaches classes on counterterrorism, intelligence, surveillance, cybersecurity, and other national security matters, as well as a summer course in Padua, Italy with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil M. Gorsuch. Jamil is also affiliated with Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation and previously served as a Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution from 2016 – 2019.

Daniel Diermeier

Panelist: Matt Hartman

Deputy Executive Assistant Director, Cybersecurity, CISA 

Matt Hartman serves as the Deputy Executive Assistant Director for Cybersecurity at the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). 

Previously, Mr. Hartman served as the Acting Executive Assistant Director for Cybersecurity at CISA. Prior to this senior leadership position, he was an Associate Director who led CISA’s cybersecurity services portfolio, including Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) and the Quality Service Management Office (QSMO). In this role, Mr. Hartman also oversaw CISA’s effort to drive adoption of national-level cybersecurity strategy, policy, standards, directives, and requirements across stakeholder groups. 

Mr. Hartman has served in various additional capacities, including the Director of Federal Network Resilience, Cybersecurity Counselor to the Secretary of Homeland Security, Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Cybersecurity and Communications, Director of Strategy Coordination and Management, and Acting CDM Program Manager. 

Daniel Diermeier

Panelist: Colin Kahl

Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and Professor, by courtesy, of Political Science 

Colin Kahl is the Steven C. Házy Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, an interdisciplinary research hub in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. He is also a professor of political science (by courtesy) at Stanford. 

From April 2021-July 2023, he served as the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy at the U.S. Department of Defense. In that role, Dr. Kahl was the principal adviser to the Secretary of Defense for all matters related to national security and defense policy. He oversaw the writing of the 2022 National Defense Strategy, which focused the Pentagon’s efforts on the “pacing challenge” posed by the People’s Republic of China, and he led the Department’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and numerous other international crises. He also led several other major defense diplomacy initiatives, including: an unprecedented strengthening of the NATO alliance; the negotiation of the AUKUS agreement with Australia and the United Kingdom; historic defense force posture enhancements in Australia, Japan, and the Philippines; and deepening defense and strategic ties with India. In June 2023, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III awarded Dr. Kahl the Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Medal, the highest civilian award presented by the Secretary of Defense. 

During the Obama Administration, Dr. Kahl served as Deputy Assistant to President Obama and National Security Advisor to the Vice President Biden from October 2014 to January 2017. He also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East from February 2009 to December 2011, for which he received the Outstanding Public Service Medal in July 2011. 

Dr. Kahl is the author (along with Thomas Wright) of Aftershocks: Pandemic Politics and the End of the Old International Order (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2021). 

Dr. Kahl previously taught at Georgetown University and the University of Minnesota. He received his B.A. in political science from the University of Michigan (1993) and his Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University (2000). 


Hannes Hanso

Panelist: Hannes Hanso

Ambassador of Estonia

Since September 2022 – Ambassador to People’s Republic of China, Ambassador to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Ambassador-Designate to the Kingdom of Thailand (resident in Beijing);
2019 -2022 Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service;
2019 – Member of the European Parliament;
2016-2019 - Chairman of the National Defence Committee, XIII Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia);
2015-2016 – Minister of Defence of the Republic of Estonia;
2015 - Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, XIII Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia);
2013-2015 – Mayor of Kuressaare City;
2011-2013 – Researcher, International Centre for Defence Studies;
2009-2011 – Representation of the European Union in China and Mongolia;
2007-2009 – Adviser to the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Estonia;
2005-2007 – Adviser, International Co-operation Department of the Ministry of Defence;
2002-2004 – Freelance Great Britain correspondent at Radio Free Europe;
1998-2005 – Commentator of Middle East and Asian politics at Estonian Public

London University, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) 2005, MSc (Asian
London University, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) 2004, BA (Politics and
Development Studies);
Ealing Tertiary College 1999, certificate of transport management;
Sichuan Union University 1996–1998, Chinese language course;
Studies in University of Tartu 1989 (special needs education), 1993 (law).

Daniel Diermeier

Panelist: Moe Khaleel

Associate Laboratory Director, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Dr. Moe Khaleel, the Associate Laboratory Director for National Security Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), guides the research and development of science-based solutions to counter critical threats to public safety, national defense, energy infrastructure and the economy. Leveraging the broad science foundation at ORNL, he oversees the work of multi-disciplinary research teams with signature capabilities in nuclear and uranium science, high-performance computing, geographic information science, cyber security science and advanced manufacturing. 

Most recently, Dr. Khaleel served as ORNL's Deputy for Projects and interim Deputy for Science and Technology. In this role, he developed and executed the laboratory's science strategy; led the development of and championed ORNL's diversity, equity, and inclusion plan; and executed a strategy to focus the laboratory's partnerships on portfolios of strategic importance and increased technology commercialization. For example, Dr. Khaleel formulated the framework for the University of Tennessee Oak Ridge Innovation Institute (UT-ORII), a partnership aligning the infrastructure and expertise of UT and ORNL, and served as the co-principal investigator on the successful DOE grant to seed UT-ORII. 

Dr. Khaleel previously served as Associate Laboratory Director for ORNL's Energy & Environmental Sciences Directorate, leading the growth and establishment of several strategic research programs, including the Center for Bioenergy Innovation, the National Alliance for Water Innovation, and the Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute. He was also instrumental in the creation of several unique facilities, including the Carbon Fiber Technology Facility; Grid Research, Integration, and Deployment Center; Advanced Plant Phenotyping Laboratory; and an expanded Manufacturing Demonstration Facility. 

Before joining ORNL in 2015 to manage the Laboratory's Office of Institutional and Strategic Planning and its Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy program, Dr. Khaleel was executive director of the Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute, where he led the establishment and execution of programs in renewable energy, water conservation and atmospheric sciences. 

Earlier, during a 20-year career at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Dr. Khaleel held several technical and senior managerial positions, including leadership of the Design and Manufacturing Technical Network, the Advanced Manufacturing Product Line, the Computational Mechanics and Material Behavior Group, and PNNL's Hydrogen, Transportation, and Industrial programs. He directed PNNL's Computational Sciencesand Mathematics Division from 2003 to 2013 and was co-founder of the Northwest Institute for Advanced Computing at the University of Washington. 

Dr. Khaleel received his doctorate in structural mechanics from Washington State University and an MBA from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington. He is an adjunct professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology; a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, and American Association for the Advancement of Science; and a member of the Washington State Academy of Science. 


Daniel Diermeier

Panelist: William Kimbell

Chief of Operations and Assistant Administrator, Operations, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) 

William F. Kimbell was appointed in July 2023 as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Chief of Operations and Assistant Administrator for the Operations Division. As Chief of Operations he commands DEA’s global drug enforcement efforts in 241 domestic offices in 23 divisions throughout the United States and 93 foreign offices in 69 countries, as well as DEA’s Special Operations Division. In this role, Mr. Kimbell also serves as the principal advisor to the DEA Administrator and Principle Deputy Administrator on all matters pertaining to the daily worldwide operations of DEA.  

Previously, he served as the Deputy Chief of Domestic Operations. In this capacity, he was responsible for management, oversight of enforcement and DEA programmatic operations supporting DEA’s domestic offices and served as a principal advisor to the Chief of Operations on operational and enforcement matters involving DEA's Domestic Divisions. Prior to his promotion to the Senior Executive Service, he was one of the first Assistant Special Agents in Charge for DEA’s Counter Threat Teams where he led innovations in leveraging data and technology to strategically target entire criminal networks.  

For over 29 years, Mr. Kimbell has served as a law enforcement professional in various capacities. He started his career in drug law enforcement in 1998, while serving as a Task Force Officer assigned to the DEA Orlando District Office until he was selected to become a DEA Special Agent in 2002. During his DEA career, Mr. Kimbell has served in a variety of diverse assignments and leadership positions within the agency, including field assignments in the Midland, Texas Resident Office, and the Buenos Aires Country Office. He served in leadership positions as a Group Supervisor, Tucson, Arizona District Office, Resident Agent in Charge, Lubbock, Texas Resident Office; and at DEA Headquarters as an Inspector in the Office of Professional Responsibility, and Section Chief of the Special Agent Services Section; and as the Assistant Special Agent in Charge in the Houston Division. 

Mr. Kimbell earned a Master of Science in Criminal Justice and Administrative Leadership from the University of Oklahoma and a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Columbia College. Prior to beginning his career with DEA, he served in the United States Navy as a Military Police Officer. He joined the Maitland, Florida Police Department in May of 1996.  

Mr. Kimbell is honored and privileged to lead and work alongside DEA’s most dedicated law enforcement professionals serving the citizens of the United States. 

Daniel Diermeier

Panelist: Robyn Klein

Director of Cyber Policy, Office of the Secretary of Defense, U.S. Department of Defense

Dr. Robyn Klein is Director of Cyber Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.  In this role, she leads the development and implementation of U.S. and Department of Defense (DoD) strategy and guidance to address foreign malicious cyber threats, enable military campaigning and contingency planning in cyberspace, and improve national cybersecurity.  This involves shaping forward-thinking approaches to critical issues at the crossroads of geopolitics, technology, and national security, including focused on emerging threats, regional conflict, cyberspace operations, data security, artificial intelligence, and securing U.S. elections from foreign interference.

Previously, Dr. Klein served as the National Security Council’s Director of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Terrorism Threats.  In that position, she led the development of U.S. strategy and policy to address nuclear, chemical, biological, and radiological threats in the physical and digital domains, and successfully coordinated the U.S. response to several high-profile national security concerns in Syria, Iraq, and Libya.  Prior to that, Dr. Klein served in senior policy advisor positions in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, guiding U.S. and DoD efforts on WMD crisis response, counterterrorism, counterproliferation, and strategic arms control.  From 2004 to 2011, Dr. Klein served as an all-source counterterrorism analyst in Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s International Assessments (“Z”) Program where she led numerous groundbreaking studies on emerging and advanced technology threats.  She was a television commercial producer, magazine editor, and entrepreneur before her government roles.

Dr. Klein earned a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley.  She holds an M.A. in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.A. in International Policy Studies from the Monterey Institute of International Studies.  She also earned a B.A. in Politics and graduated magna cum laude from Brandeis University.

Kamal Saggi

Panelist: Major General Lorna Mahlock

Commander, Cyber National Mission Force

Major General Lorna Mahlock assumed her current duties as Commander, Cyber National Mission Force in January 2024.

Prior to her current assignment, she served as the National Security Agency’s (NSA) Cybersecurity Directorate, Deputy Director for Combat Support, as the Assistant Deputy Commandant for Information, Director, Command, Control Communications and Computers (C4), and as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the Marine Corps.

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, she immigrated to Brooklyn, New York and enlisted in the Marine Corps. She was selected for the Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Education Program, graduated from Marquette University and was commissioned in December 1991.

MajGen Mahlock is a certified Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Tower Local Controller and Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Instructor. She has commanded and led at various levels globally and in combat including: Air Traffic Control Detachment Commander; 1st Stinger Battery; Marine Corps Instructional Management School; G3 Future Operations 1st Marine Aircraft Wing; Operation SOUTHERN OVERWATCH and IRAQI FREEDOM 01; IRAQI FREEDOM 02; Marine Air Command and Control Systems Experimental; Commanding Officer – IRAQI FREEDOM 08; Headquarters European Command; Marine Corps Office of Legislative Affairs; Deputy Director of Operations, Plans Policy and Operations, (PP&O) Headquarters United States Marine Corps.

She holds Master’s degrees from the University of Oklahoma at Norman, the Naval War College, the U.S. Army War College, and a Master’s Certificate in Information Operations from the Naval Post Graduate School. She is also a graduate of the United Kingdom Defense College Higher Command and Staff, with Executive Certificates from MIT and Harvard.

Major General Mahlock’s personal awards include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and Good Conduct Medal.

MajGen Mahlock and her husband are the proud parents of three children.

Daniel Diermeier

Panelist: Lieutenant General Charlie "Tuna" Moore (Ret.)

Distinguished Visiting Professor, Vanderbilt University; Former Deputy Commander, U.S. Cyber Command

Retired Lt. Gen. Charles L. Moore Jr. was the Deputy Commander, U.S. Cyber Command, Fort George G. Meade, Maryland from 2020 until 2022. USCYBERCOM directs, synchronizes and coordinates cyberspace planning and operations to defend and advance national interests in collaboration with domestic and international partners.

Lt. Gen. Moore was commissioned in 1989 after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy. He has served as an F-16 fighter pilot, instructor pilot, weapons officer, forward air controller and instructor at the U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons School, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. His command experience includes the 555th Fighter Squadron, Aviano Air Base, Italy; 332nd Expeditionary Operations Group, Balad Air Base, Iraq; 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw AFB, South Carolina and the 57th Wing at Nellis AFB, Nevada. Prior to this position, Lt. Gen. Moore served as the Director of Operations, U.S. Cyber Command.

Lt. Gen. Moore is a command pilot with more than 3,000 hours in the F-16 and more than 640 hours of combat time.

Michael Nordwall

Panelist: Michael Nordwall

Assistant Director, Criminal Investigative Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

Michael D. Nordwall reported as the Assistant Director of the Criminal Investigative Division for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in December 2023.

Mr. Nordwall recently served as the Special Agent in Charge of the Pittsburgh Division from March 2021 through November 2023.

In January 2002, Mr. Nordwall entered on duty and upon graduation from the FBI Academy, he was assigned to the Phoenix Division where he worked counterterrorism, violent crime/Indian Country, and organized crime matters. He was a member of the Phoenix Division's SWAT team and served as an FBI EMT.

In 2009, Mr. Nordwall was selected as a Supervisory Special Agent (SSA) in the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Operations Unit where he managed FBI investigations and responses regarding WMD threats within the United States and internationally. In 2011, he was selected as an SSA in the Tampa Division. Mr. Nordwall oversaw Panama Express (PANEX), an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Strike Force. PANEX led the interagency effort countering transnational criminal organizations involved in illicit trafficking on the high seas. In this role, he collaborated closely with federal law enforcement partners to include the United States Coast Guard, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Homeland Security Investigations, as well as the Department of Defense's Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATF-South).

 In 2014, Mr. Nordwall was selected as an Associate Director within the Department of Justice's OCDETF Executive Office, serving as the primary representative for all federal law enforcement. As Associate Director, he worked with partner agency leadership to develop and implement DOJ's strategy to combat transnational organized crime. Mr. Nordwall oversaw the Attorney General's Consolidated Priority Organization Target (CPOT) program, focusing the U.S. Government's efforts on disrupting and dismantling the most significant criminal organizations.

In 2016, Mr. Nordwall returned to Florida to oversee the Tampa Division's Joint Terrorism Task Force and in June 2018 he reported to the Denver Division and served as the Assistant Special Agent in Charge over the Criminal Branch and all Colorado Resident Agencies.

In 2019, Mr. Nordwall reported to FBI Headquarters as Section Chief of the Transnational Organized Crime Global Section (TOCGS), Criminal Investigative Division and FBI Headquarters. He oversaw the management of investigations and intelligence collection against transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) emanating from the Eastern and Western Hemispheres.

Mr. Nordwall received a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Auburn University and worked within the petro-chemical industry prior to joining the FBI.

Laurie Cutting

Panelist: Morgan Ortagus

Founder, POLARIS National Security, former Spokesperson, United States Department of State

Morgan D. Ortagus has two decades of experience in global affairs, diplomacy, defense, and international finance. She is founder of POLARIS National Security and the host of “The Morgan Ortagus Show” on Sirius XM, a weekly Sunday show dedicated to American foreign policy and national security. She is also an active U.S. Navy Reserve Officer and venture capital investor. From 2019 to 2021, she served at the Department of State as the Spokesperson for the United States of America.

Morgan founded POLARIS to educate congressional candidates and the public about the need for strong national security policies that keep Americans safe. In 2023, Morgan hosted national security events in New Hampshire where she interviewed presidential candidates: Mike Pence, Nikki Haley, and Doug Burgum. Prior to the 2022 midterm elections, she led a five-state tour, hosting national security panels with local leaders, U.S. senators and congressmen, former cabinet secretaries, and intelligence officials.

Morgan founded POLARIS to educate congressional candidates and the public about the need for strong national security policies that keep Americans safe. In 2023, Morgan hosted national security events in New Hampshire where she interviewed presidential candidates: Mike Pence, Nikki Haley, and Doug Burgum. Prior to the 2022 midterm elections, she led a five-state tour, hosting national security panels with local leaders, U.S. senators and congressmen, former cabinet secretaries, and intelligence officials.

At the State Department, she worked closely with the White House on the historic Abraham Accords that brought the first ever peace deals between Israel and UAE, Bahrain, and Sudan. Traveling with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to more than 50 nations, she coordinated messaging campaigns and responses to sensitive and high-profile foreign policy actions, from hostage negotiations to the U.S. campaign against Huawei’s 5G expansion in the West. She led U.S. government efforts to pushback against sophisticated Chinese, Russian, and Iranian malign influence campaigns, and was instrumental in the United States’ determination of the Chinese government’s genocide against the Uyghurs.

Morgan began her government service as a public affairs officer at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), where in 2007 she spent several months in Baghdad, Iraq. During the Obama Administration, she was an intelligence analyst at the U.S. Treasury in the Office of Intelligence and Analysis and from 2010-2011, was the deputy U.S. Treasury Attaché in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Morgan was the principal liaison from the U.S. Treasury to the financial sector in the Kingdom. Morgan also served as a national security contributor for Fox News, and she continues to appear regularly to provide analysis for top shows like: Special Report, Fox News Sunday, and Outnumbered.

Morgan serves in advisory roles for a range of organizations that align with her passions –including on the Advisory Council of the Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue University, on the Advisory Board of the Vandenberg Coalition, as a senior advisor to Concordia, as a member of the Nixon Seminar on Conservative Realism and National Security at The Richard Nixon Foundation, as the secretary of the 21st Century Policy Institute, and as a board member of Aerial Recovery Group and the Bastion Institute. Morgan graduated with a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Florida Southern College, and she earned a dual Master of Arts in Government/Master of Business Administration from the Johns Hopkins University in 2013. Morgan and her husband, Jonathan, live with their daughter, Adina, in Nashville, Tennessee.

Daniel Diermeier

Panelist: Thompson Paine

Head of Product & Business Operations, Anthropic PBC
Thompson Paine leads product management, strategy, and business operations for Anthropic PBC, a frontier AI research lab with safety research and deployment at scale as its core mission. He is also a member of the Adjunct Faculty at Vanderbilt Law School, lecturing on law and emerging technologies in U.S.-China competition. Paine has spent the last decade and more scaling tech companies in AI, financial technology, and education software. Previously, Paine served in the Political Section of the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, reporting on CCP leadership politics, human rights, and other topics related to China’s domestic and foreign policies. He has co-authored papers on navigating U.S.-China tech competition, and has written and consulted on these topics for political campaigns. Paine earned a J.D. and M.B.A. from Stanford University, where he was the law school’s first exchange student at Peking University Law School in Beijing. He has a B.A. in Political Science and Asian Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Paine is a Life Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is proficient in Mandarin Chinese.
Daniel Diermeier

Panelist: Matt Pottinger

Principal, Garnaut Global LLC, Distinguished Visiting Fellow Hoover Institute

Matt Pottinger is a Principal at Garnaut Global LLC, a leading open-source research firm that focuses on China and serves asset managers and corporate clients. He is also a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution and Chairman of the China Program at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. 

Matt served as U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor from 2019 to 2021.  In that role, Matt coordinated the full spectrum of national security policy.  Before that he served as the NSC's Senior Director for Asia, where he led the administration’s work on the Indo-Pacific region, and in particular its shift on China policy.

Before his White House service, Matt spent the late 1990s and early 2000s in China as a reporter for Reuters and The Wall Street Journal.  He then fought in Iraq and Afghanistan as a U.S. Marine during three combat deployments between 2007 and 2010.  Following active duty, Matt ran Asia research at Davidson Kempner Capital Management, a multi-strategy investment fund in New York.

Kamal Saggi

Panelist: Kamal Saggi

Chair, Department of Economics; Frances and John Downing Family Chair and Professor of Economics, Vanderbilt University

Dr. Kamal Saggi is Chair of the Department of Economics and the inaugural holder of the Frances & John Downing Family Chair at Vanderbilt University. He also holds courtesy appointments as Professor of Law in the Vanderbilt Law School and Professor of Management in the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt. During his tenure at Vanderbilt, Dr. Saggi has served in a variety of major leadership roles including Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs, Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Science, Dean of Social Sciences, and Director of the Graduate Program in Economic Development.

Prior to joining Vanderbilt, Dr. Saggi held visiting appointments at Stanford University, the University of New South Wales, and the World Bank. From 2007-10, he was the Dedman Distinguished Collegiate Professor of Economics at Southern Methodist University, where he also served as Chair and Director of Graduate Studies of the Department of Economics. Dr. Saggi obtained his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and his BA in Economics from Ohio Wesleyan University.

Much of Dr. Saggi’s research focuses on two major themes in the fields of international trade and economic development: (i) the inter-relationships between the protection of intellectual property rights, foreign direct investment, and technology transfer in the world economy and the (ii) economic underpinnings of the global trading system. Dr. Saggi has published over seventy-five articles, and his work has appeared in leading economics journals such as the American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, Economic Journal, European Economic Review, International Economic Review, Journal of Development Economics, Journal of International Business Studies, and the Journal of International Economics. He has served as an Associate Editor of the Journal of International Economics and on the Editorial Council of the Journal of International Business Studies.

Over his research career, Dr. Saggi has given over a hundred invited presentations at leading institutions and major conferences through-out the world. He has been an invited visiting scholar at the European University Institute, Hitotsubashi University, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, McGill University, National University of Singapore, Princeton University, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, Stanford University, the University of New South Wales, the University of Sydney, the World Bank, the World Intellectual Property Organization, and the World Trade Organization.  

Outside academia, Dr. Saggi has acquired extensive consulting experience in the areas of international trade and development. He has been an adviser & consultant for the Andean Development Corporation, Commonwealth Secretariat, Copenhagen Consensus, International Finance Corporation, International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, SciDev.Net, Sidley Austin LLC, the World Intellectual Property Organization, and multiple divisions of the World Bank.

Peter Singer

Panelist: Peter Singer

Senior Fellow, New America and Managing Partner, Useful Fiction

Peter Warren Singer is Strategist at New America, a Professor of Practice at Arizona State University, and Founder & Managing Partner at Useful Fiction LLC, a company specializing in strategic narrative.

New York Times Bestselling author, described in the Wall Street Journal as “the premier futurist in the national-security environment” and “all-around smart guy” in the Washington Post, he has been named by the Smithsonian as one of the nation’s 100 leading innovators, by Defense News as one of the 100 most influential people in defense issues, by Foreign Policy to their Top 100 Global Thinkers List, and as an official “Mad Scientist” for the U.S. Army’s Training and Doctrine Command. No author, living or dead, has more books on the professional US military reading lists. His non-fiction books include Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military IndustryChildren at WarWired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st CenturyCybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know and most recently LikeWar, which explores how social media has changed war and politics. It was named an Amazon and Foreign Affairs book of the year and reviewed by Booklist as “LikeWar should be required reading for everyone living in a democracy and all who aspire to.” He is also the co-author of a new type of novel, using the format of a technothriller to communicate nonfiction research. Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War was both a top summer read and led to briefings everywhere from the White House to the Pentagon. His latest is Burn-In: A Novel of the Real Robotic Revolution. It has been described by the creator of Lost and Watchmen as “A visionary new form of storytelling—a rollercoaster ride of science fiction blended with science fact,” and by the head of Army Cyber Command as “I loved Burn-In so much that I’ve already read it twice.”

Margaret Stromecki

Panelist: Margaret Stromecki

Principal Systems Engineer and Lead, Counter-PRC Cell, MITRE

Margaret Stromecki leads the Counter-PRC Cell in MITRE’s National Security sector. As Lead, Ms. Stromecki manages internal projects related to the challenges posed by the strategic competition with the PRC, serves as a focal point for MNS on issues related to the PRC, and conducts outreach to sponsors working in the PRC mission space. Drawing on her range of experience across the Intelligence Community, Ms. Stromecki works in the Intelligence Center and supports many of the IC agencies.

Ms. Stromecki has been at MITRE for three years following a career at CIA, where she was a senior executive in the Directorate of Analysis. She began her career as an expert on Russia and moved into a range of leadership positions on counterterrorism, South Asia, and the Middle East. At MITRE, she has concentrated on the PRC, as well as applying artificial intelligence to intelligence analysis.

Ms. Stromecki has a BA in Government and Soviet Studies from Cornell University, and an MA in International Affairs from Columbia University. She is a former member of the Senior Intelligence Service and a recipient of the Career Intelligence Medal.