Ambassador Maura A. Harty
Board Chair, Board of Trustees
Ambassador Maura Harty is a Senior Advisor in the Leadership and Management School at the George P. Shultz National Foreign Affairs Training Center, U.S. Department of State. She is the immediate past President and CEO of the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children, a not-for-profit organization working worldwide to advance child protection and safeguard children from sexual abuse, exploitation and abduction. Through research-based advocacy, training, technical assistance and a collaborative approach to addressing these issues, ICMEC empowers and equips global partners – in government, academia, law enforcement, private industry and the medical and NGO communities – to make the world a safer place for children.
Ambassador Harty previously served 27 years as a Foreign Service officer with the U.S. Department of State. As Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs, Ambassador Harty led the bureau charged with protecting American citizens abroad, issuing passports to U.S. citizens and providing visa services to foreign nationals. She directed widespread change in policy and procedure in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, and placed a strong emphasis on national security while facilitating legitimate travel to the United States by foreign visitors.
An expert in crisis management and issues affecting the welfare of American citizens abroad, Ambassador Harty created the Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues (OCI) to address the challenges of intercountry adoption and international parental child abduction. Since its inception, OCI has helped secure the return of hundreds of abducted American citizen children and has facilitated countless intercountry adoptions.
Ambassador Harty also served as Special Assistant to Secretary of State George P. Shultz, Executive Assistant to Secretary Warren Christopher, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Paraguay and Executive Secretary of the Department of State under Secretary Colin Powell. She is the recipient of the Presidential Distinguished Service award, the Presidential Meritorious Service award (twice), and the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Honor award.
Upon retiring from the Foreign Service, Ambassador Harty joined ICMEC as Senior Policy Director and Director of The Koons Family Institute on International Law & Policy. She subsequently served as President and CEO of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Mid-Atlantic.
Ambassador Harty is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of CNA, a non-profit research and analysis organization devoted to independent and objective analysis of public issues and serves on the Board of Directors of the Senior Living Foundation of the Foreign Service.
Lieutenant General Robert R. Blackman, Jr., USMC (Ret.)
Lieutenant General Blackman was commissioned into the Marine Corps from Cornell University in 1970. Key assignments over 37 years of active service include command of 3d Battalion, 8th Marines; G-3 Operations Officer for MARCENT (Forward) during Desert Shield and Desert Storm; Executive Officer to the Commander, U.S. Central Command; Commander, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit; Military Assistant to the Secretary of the Navy; President of the Marine Corps University; Commanding General, 2d Marine Division; Director, Resources and Assessment, U.S. Central Command; Chief of Staff of the Coalition Forces Land Component Command during Operation Iraqi Freedom; Commanding General, III Marine Expeditionary Force: and Commander, Marine Corps Forces Command.
After leaving active service, Lieutenant General Blackman served with the Marine Corps’ Marine Air-Ground Task Force Training Program and Joint Warfighting Center advising and mentoring operational commanders and staffs. He joined the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation as President and CEO in March 2011.
Vice Admiral William R. Burke, USN (Ret.)
Vice Admiral William Burke is the Chief Maritime Officer for the Carnival Corporation & plc. He joined Carnival Corporation in December 2013. Burke graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering and completed his MBA at Marymount University and a Master of Science in National Security Strategy at the National War College. He is a graduate of MIT Seminar 21 Program in International Politics.
He served on five submarines including command of USS Toledo and commanded Submarine Squadron Two. His Washington, D.C. assignments included tours in Navy Office of Legislative Affairs, JCS directorate for Combating Terrorism, Navy Warfighting Assessments Branch and as Executive Assistant to the Vice Chief of Naval Operations. His flag assignments included Command of Logistics Group Western Pacific in Singapore, Director of the Assessment Division (N81), and Director of the Navy Quadrennial Defense Review (N00X). He served as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Fleet Readiness and Logistics (N4) and his final assignment was as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfare Systems (N9).
Admiral Mark Ferguson, USN (Ret.)
Admiral Mark Ferguson retired in June 2016 as Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa and Commander, NATO Joint Force Command, Naples, Italy after 38 years of naval service.
A nuclear-trained surface warfare officer, he has served in both the Atlantic and Paciﬁc Fleets in cruisers, destroyers, and aircraft carriers. His ﬂag officer assignments include service as the 37th Vice Chief of Naval Operations, Chief of Naval Personnel, and Chief of Legislative Affairs.
Ferguson is an independent aerospace and defense consultant. He is a senior advisor at McKinsey & Company, as well as a senior mentor for NATO. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a B.S. in systems engineering, and obtained his M.S. in computer science at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey California. He completed a national security fellowship at the Harvard Kennedy School, and is a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College.
In 2015, he received the Ellis Island Award for his introduction of innovative personnel policies for the Navy, and was named a distinguished graduate of the Naval Postgraduate School. He presently serves on the Board of Directors of VSE Corporation, a diversified services and supply chain company based in Alexandria, VA.
Professor Odest Chadwicke Jenkins, Ph.D.
Odest Chadwicke Jenkins is a professor of computer science and engineering and associate director of the Robotics Institute at the University of Michigan. From 2004 to 2015, he served on the computer science faculty of Brown University. His research addresses problems in interactive robotics and human-robot interaction, primarily focused on mobile manipulation, robot perception and robot learning from demonstration. His research often intersects topics in computer vision, machine learning and computer animation. He has been recognized as a Sloan Research Fellow and has received numerous awards, including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers and Young Investigator awards from the Office of Naval Research, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the National Science Foundation.
Prof. Jenkins is currently editor-in-chief of the journal ACM Transactions on Human-Robot Interaction. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Senior Member of the Association for Computing Machinery and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He is an alumnus of the Defense Science Study Group, where he was a member from 2018 to 2019.
Prof. Jenkins earned his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Mathematics at Alma College in 1996, his Master of Science in Computer Science at Georgia Tech in 1998 and a Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Southern California in 2003.
Vice Admiral David C. Johnson, USN (Ret.)
Vice Admiral David Johnson is the Vice President of Strategy for the Integrated Mission Systems Segment. In this position, he oversees the front end of the Segment business – Strategy, Business Development, Systems Engineering, and Programs. He is responsible for building the Segment’s Strategic Growth Plan, aligning the effort across the four Sectors within IMS and finding synergies with the four Segments in L3Harris. He provides the direction and alignment of pursuits with programs and aligns the use of IRaD to support the strategy across the Segment.
Dave Johnson completed a distinguished 36-year career in the U.S. Navy. He most recently served as the Principal Military Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, where he had responsibility for all Navy and Marine Corps programs and development for maritime, ground, aviation, space and C4I systems. Prior assignments included PEO Submarines, Deputy Commander Naval Sea Systems Command for Undersea Technology, Commander Naval Undersea Warfare Center, major program manager for Virginia Class Submarines, and various assignments in ship design, construction, maintenance, modernization and technology development.
Dave graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering. He also holds a naval engineering degree and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has received various personal and campaign awards, including the Distinguished Service Medal with one gold star.
Dr. Katherine A.W. McGrady
Dr. Katherine McGrady is President and Chief Executive Officer, CNA, which operates the Institute for Public Research and the Center for Naval Analyses, a federally-funded research and development center (FFRDC) that pioneered the field of operations analysis in support of the U.S. Navy during World War II.
Dr. McGrady began her career with CNA as an analyst in 1988. As the field representative to the Commander of Marine Forces Central Command and Commander, I Marine Expeditionary Force, she served in the Persian Gulf during the first Iraq war (Desert Shield and Desert Storm). Dr. McGrady received the Department of Navy’s Superior Public Service Award for her contributions during Desert Shield/Desert Storm. She also deployed as part of the Unified Task Force to Mogadishu, Somalia.
Subsequent assignments led to her selection as Vice President and Director, Integrated Systems and Operations (ISO) Division, where she led a team focused on issues at the interface between the Navy and Marine Corps, including analysis of expeditionary systems, logistics, operations and tactics, and training for expeditionary operations. Simultaneously, she directed CNA’s Marine Corps Program, where she developed the annual research program and was the primary interface between CNA and the senior Marine Corps leadership.
From 2004 through 2009 Dr. McGrady held a variety of positions at CNA: In 2004, she became CNA’s Senior Vice President for Research; in 2006, she was promoted to Executive Vice President; in June 2009, she was appointed CNA’s first Chief Operating Officer. In that role, she was responsible for the execution of CNA’s strategy and business processes, assuring consistency of policy and approach across the organization, and maintaining an environment of accountability and high research performance.
Dr. McGrady earned her Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Macromolecular Science and Engineering (Polymer Chemistry) at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, and a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Smith College, Northampton, MA.
Vice Admiral Peter V. Neffenger, USCG (Ret.)
Vice Admiral Peter Neffenger was appointed in 2015 by President Obama to lead the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), a position he held until January 2017. Prior to this he enjoyed a distinguished 34-year career in the U.S. Coast Guard, where he served as the 29th Vice Commandant, the head of Coast Guard global operations, and most notably as the Deputy National Incident Commander for the 2010 BP Gulf oil spill, the largest and most complex in U.S. history. He is a recognized expert in leadership and crisis management. When he took the helm of the TSA, the agency’s challenges were substantial and numerous. His subsequent transformation of the organization led to his being named one of the 25 most influential business travel executives of 2016 by Business Travel News.
He is Chairman of the U.S. Board of Directors for Smartmatic, Corporation, the world's largest election security technology company; serves on numerous advisory boards; is a member of the Baldwin Wallace University Board of Trustees; holds an MPA from Harvard University; an MA in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College; an MA in Business Management from Central Michigan University, and a BA from Baldwin Wallace University. He is a two-time recipient of the Department of Homeland Security's Distinguished Service Medal and is a Distinguished Fellow at the Atlantic Council, a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Northeastern University’s Global Resilience Institute, and an Instructor in Harvard University’s National Preparedness Leadership Initiative, a joint venture of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Harvard Kennedy School.
He is the Managing Principal of Neffenger Consulting, LLC, an independent consulting business.
Ambassador Wanda Nesbitt
Ambassador Nesbitt retired from the Department of State in December 2019 with the rank of Career Minister following 38 years of service. She was also Senior Vice President of the National Defense University from November 2013 to July 2016. Her last State Department assignment was Dean of the School of Language Studies, where she oversaw the delivery of training in 60 languages to over 2,000 foreign affairs professionals annually. She continues to contribute in her retirement, evaluating applicants for the State Department’s National Security Language Initiative for Youth program.
Amb. Nesbitt served as U.S. ambassador to three countries: Namibia, Côte d'Ivoire and Madagascar. She was widely recognized during her foreign service career for her commitment to fairness, promoting democratic principles and good governance. At the National Defense University, Amb. Nesbitt inspired the creation of a talent management system to replace an antiquated model. The new system was enthusiastically adopted. As the leadership liaison for the employee affinity group Executive Women at State, she was a mentor and role model for dozens of aspiring women.
Amb. Nesbitt holds a bachelor’s degree in French and International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in National Security Strategy from the National War College. She is the recipient of several awards, including three Presidential Awards for Meritorious Service and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joint Distinguished Civilian Service Award.
Vice Admiral Adam M. Robinson, USN (Ret.)
Vice Admiral Robinson serves as Director, VA Maryland Health Care System in Baltimore, MD. Previously, he served as the Chief of Staff at the Veterans Administration Medical Center. In addition to serving as a modern, state of the art clinical facility for our country’s veterans, it is also a vibrant teaching and research facility affiliated with the University of Maryland Medical School.Vice Admiral Robinson served as the 36th Navy Surgeon General and Chief of the Navy’s Bureau of Medicine and Surgery from September 2007 to November 2011, when he retired from active duty after 34 years of service.
A 1976 graduate of the Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis. Robinson served in numerous challenging medical assignments at sea to include tours aboard USS Midway (CV 41), USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67), USS Coral Sea (CV 43). Robinson served as the Principal Director, Clinical and Program Policy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs in September 2000, where he also served as the acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Clinical and Program Policy. He served in many leadership positions at overseas naval medical facilities from Puerto Rico to Japan and held senior leadership positions in the largest military medical centers in the United States including serving as Commander of the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda. A leader with vast experience in humanitarian missions, he served as he commanded a detachment of the fleet hospital in Haiti during Joint Task Force Haiti (Operation New Horizon/Uphold Democracy) and led the Navy’s medical response to Haiti during Operation Unified Response in 2010.
The author of numerous presentations and publications, Robinson holds fellowships in the American College of Surgeons and the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgery. He is a member of the Le Societe Internationale de Chirurgie, the Society of Black Academic Surgeons, and the National Business School Scholastic Society, Beta Gamma Sigma, and holds certification as a certified physician executive from the American College of Physician Executives.
Robinson’s personal decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal (two awards), Legion of Merit (two awards), Defense Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Navy Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, and various service and campaign awards.
The Honorable Laurie O. Robinson
Laurie Robinson, the Clarence J. Robinson Professor of Criminology, Law & Society at George Mason University, has been involved in national criminal justice policy for more than three decades. In 2014-15, she co-chaired the White House Task Force on 21st Century Policing to address the need for stronger relationships between law enforcement and communities and has twice served as a Senate-confirmed, Presidentially-appointed Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs (OJP), the Department’s research, statistics and grants agency. Her three years of service in the Obama Administration, coupled with seven years in the same post in the Clinton Administration, make her the longest serving head of the agency in its 50 years. Robinson’s recent tenure heading the $2.5 billion agency was marked by a focus on science and evidence-based programming. She established a Science Advisory Board for the agency and launched a “what works” clearinghouse, and secured from Congress a 2% set-aside across OJP’s appropriation to support research.
Between her stints in the Justice Department, she launched and directed the University of Pennsylvania’s Master of Science Program in Criminology and served as a Distinguished Senior Scholar in Penn’s Center of Criminology. During her first tenure at DOJ in the 1990s, she headed a substantial expansion of the federal government’s engagement with states and localities on community-based crime control—and supported new initiatives on innovation in addressing crime. The agency’s annual budget grew from $800 million in 1993 to over $4 billion in 2000. She oversaw the largest increase in federal spending on crime-related research in the nation’s history and spearheaded major federal initiatives on violence against women, drug treatment courts, and law enforcement technology.
Prior to joining the federal government, she served for 14 years as director of the American Bar Association’s Section of Criminal Justice. She has frequently testified before Congress and has served on numerous national boards, including those of the Vera Institute of Justice, the National Police Foundation, and the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Law and Justice.
The Honorable Sarah Sewall, Ph.D.
Sarah Sewall is a national security scholar and practitioner, currently a Distinguished Scholar and Professor at Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC. As Under Secretary of State from 2014-2017, she was the senior U.S. official responsible for counterterrorism, refugees, fighting international crime, promoting human rights, and preventing conflict. Dr. Sewall taught at Harvard for a decade, where she directed the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy and worked closely with the U.S. military to advance civilian protection in war. She also was Minerva Chair at the US Naval War College.
During the Clinton Administration, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Assistance. She had previously served for six years as senior foreign policy advisor to US Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell. She is a Senior Fellow with In-Q-Tel and has been a member of the US Defense Policy Board and the boards of the Center for Naval Analysis, Mission Essential Personnel, and Oxfam America.
The author of books on airpower and civilian casualties, genocide prevention, civil-military relations, and the international criminal court, Dr. Sewall graduated from Harvard College and received her doctorate from Oxford University.
Roderick K. von Lipsey
Rod is a Managing Director at UBS Financial Services, Inc., where he is the founder of the Private Wealth Management practice in Washington, DC. Rod has held key field leadership positions at UBS and was formerly a Vice President at Goldman, Sachs & Co.
His career in finance began after serving 20 years on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps. A "Top Gun" alumni, Marine fighter pilot, and decorated combat veteran, Rod also served, during his military career, as Director, National Security Council; Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow; White House Fellow and Special Assistant for Foreign and Security Policy to the Chief of Staff to the President; and Senior Aide to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Rod holds numerous securities industry registrations and serves as trustee and advisor for several domestic and international not-for-profit organizations. In 2011, Rod was selected by the National Association of Board Certified Advisory Practices (NABCAP) as one of the Washington, DC region's "Top Advisors" for excellence in serving the needs of the investing public. He has been recognized by Barron's as one of America's Top 1000 Financial Advisors and ranked among the top 10 advisors in Washington, DC.
Ms. Leigh Warner
Leigh Warner is a senior adviser and counsellor on strategy, innovation, risk, and change in complex systems. She is a former private sector CEO, Fortune 100 strategist, institutional investor, and Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Special Projects. Ms. Warner has worked with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Department of State, Department of Homeland Security and other U.S. Government elements on strategy development, operating concept evolution, emerging technologies, capability innovation, and business system design for national security. Since 2006 she has served as an appointed member of numerous Federal Government task forces, working groups and Congressionally-mandated studies, including Defense Science Board and Defense Business Board departmental-level reviews of science, technology and management systems. For the Secretary of Homeland Security, she was a member of an expert panel that reviewed homeland security from the citizens’ perspective. For the launch of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, she advised on start-up strategy and business system development.
Ms. Warner was CEO and Managing Partner of a private institutional investment management firm investing in small and medium-sized companies on behalf of pension plans, municipalities, universities and foundations. She was President of a management consultancy providing strategic advisory services to telecommunications and investment management clients. She was also President of an open innovation consortium of Fortune 100 corporations where she led identification of opportunities and risks created by emerging technologies and evolving global trends. Ms. Warner has designed, advised and implemented first-of-kind innovations for multi-agency and public-private enterprises. Several of these strategic initiatives have received the Nation’s highest awards for design excellence, including the Presidential Design Award and White House Millennium Legacy Award.
She is a Trustee of CNA Corporation, a National Association of Corporate Directors Governance Fellow, and a non-resident expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Earlier she was a board member of the Eisenhower Institute and served on advisory boards at the Council for Excellence in Government and the Chicago Council for Global Affairs. Ms. Warner holds two degrees from Cornell University, a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts with Distinction in All Subjects. She was awarded the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service.