Our Leadership

Katherine A.W. McGrady, Ph.D.

President and Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Katherine A. 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 (cum laude) from Smith College, Northampton, MA.

Return to CNA Leadership

Kim Deal, Ph.D.

Chief Research Officer

Dr. Kim Deal, is CNA's chief research officer.

Dr. Deal, who began her career at CNA as a research analyst in 1998, has directed and supported a variety of projects covering concepts, operations, organizational structure, and logistics analysis for the Navy and Marine Corps. She was the field representative to Commander, Marine Corps Materiel Command (now Marine Corps Logistics Command) from 2000-2002 and became a research team leader (RTL) in CNA's Operations Evaluation Group in 2006.

In 2010 Dr. Deal was named RTL of the Marine Corps Field Team and Marine Corps Program (MCP) Research Director. As an RTL, Deal provided oversight to all CNA analysts at Marine Corps commands including: I Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF), II MEF, III MEF, Marine Forces Pacific, Marine Forces Command, U.S. Marine Forces Special Operations Command, Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron ONE, Marine Corps Information Operations Center, and Marine Forces Cyber Command. In her capacity as MCP Research Director, she led some of CNA's most important, highly visible studies for the senior leadership of the Marine Corps. From August 2015 to April 2016, she was vice president and director of CNA’s Marine Corps Program. Dr. Deal has also served as a scientific analyst to both the Deputy Commandant for Installations and Logistics and the Deputy Commandant for Combat Development and Integration.

Dr. Deal earned a B.A., with honors, in Chemistry at Albion College, Albion, MI in 1989 and earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI in 1993. From 1993-1997 she was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Washington University School of Medicine and, from 1997-1998, was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Institutes of Health.

Return to CNA Leadership

Donald G. DeBuck

Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Treasurer

Donald G. DeBuck is CNA's executive vice president, chief financial officer, and treasurer. As CFO, DeBuck is responsible for all financial and contractual operations of CNA. He manages the strategic planning, implementation, and management of CNA's accounting; budgeting; financial planning, reporting, systems development, and operations; treasury functions; and contract administration and procurement. He also oversees the annual consolidated budget, monthly forecasting, and analysis.

DeBuck has more than 20 years of experience as a senior finance executive and was formerly corporate vice president and Controller at Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), a global IT services Fortune 200 company. He has operated in a complex global operating environment with a full range of global commercial clients, as well as the U.S. Government.

DeBuck earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia and his Master of Business Administration from George Washington University.

Return to CNA Leadership

Mark E. Rosen

Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Board Secretary

Mark E. Rosen, an international and national security lawyer, is senior vice president, general counsel, and board secretary at CNA. In addition to his duties in the areas of government contracts, licensing, insurance export controls, and privacy/human subjects research compliance, Rosen has authored numerous international and operational law studies in such areas as maritime disputes, law of the sea, law of armed conflict, international agreements, and arms control.

Rosen holds an adjunct faculty appointment from the George Washington University School of Law where he teaches courses on homeland security law and biodefense matters. Prior to CNA, he served as the associate general counsel for the Science and Technology Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and was the department's regulatory compliance officer for all DHS-sponsored research. He also worked in the Small Business Administration's Office of International Trade, serving as the point person for all trade-policy matters and negotiating market-access agreements with various foreign governments. Rosen is a retired Navy Captain (JAGC) and served in various international law positions in the Pentagon including the ocean policy legal advisor to the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Plans, Policy, and Operations; political military planner, Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate (J-5), Joint Staff; and head of the International Programs Branch, Navy International Law Division, Washington, DC.

Rosen holds A.B. and J.D. degrees from the University of Georgia and an LLM from the University of Virginia. He is a member of the State Bars of Georgia and Virginia (Corporate Counsel Designation) and various federal courts.

Return to CNA Leadership

Elisa Soto

Vice President of Human Resources

Elisa Soto brings over 25 years of human resources experience to the CNA management team. As Vice President of Human Resources, she is responsible for implementing and enhancing the strategic vision and direction in all areas of human resources including organizational planning and change management, learning and development, diversity and inclusion, talent management, and compensation and benefits, as well as delivering clear and transparent HR communications.

Prior to joining CNA, Soto was the Talent Director for OGSystems, a defense contractor in geospatial intelligence, where she was responsible for developing human resources strategy and solutions covering compensation, benefits, wellness, diversity and inclusion, employee engagement, learning and development, and mergers and acquisitions. As a result of her passion and ability to initiate change and trusting relationships across the organization, OGSystems was named to The Washington Post’s Top Workplaces several years in a row. Soto also held leadership positions in support of NASA for more than a decade. Her high-energy approach and personal philosophy of "People First" has helped her to influence business-critical issues across all functions of HR.

Soto holds several professional human resources certifications through the Society of Human Resource Management and WorldatWork.

Return to CNA Leadership

Carey C. Carter, CISSP

Director of Corporate Security

Dr. Carey Carter has performed in national security leadership roles both in the U.S. Marine Corps and at CNA. As Director of Corporate Security, he is responsible for both operational security — including clearances, classified material handling, security training and the protection of CNA facilities — and IT security for classified and unclassified networks. Previously, he led CNA's cybersecurity team.

By the end of nearly a decade in the Marine Corps, he was the Base Security Forces Team Leader at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He also graduated from the Army Ranger Leadership Course.

In more than thirty years at CNA, Dr. Carter has worked in information technology, security and management roles. He is a member of the FFRDC/UARC Insider Threat Working Group and the Defense Industrial Base and Cybersecurity Best Practice Working Group. Dr. Carter also has been a guest lecturer on cybersecurity topics including the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification. His dissertation research was an analysis of intentional and unintentional insider threats.

Return to CNA Leadership

Andrew Mara

Andrew S. Mara, Ph.D.

Executive Vice President, Center for Naval Analyses

Dr. Andrew S. Mara is Executive Vice President of the Center for Naval Analyses, the Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) that provides research and analysis for the Department of the Navy.

Dr. Mara joined CNA in March 2021 as vice president and director of the Systems, Tactics, and Force Development Division. Prior to joining CNA, he spent the previous decade in the Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE) office within the Office of the Secretary of Defense, most recently serving as deputy director of the Capability Enablers Deputate. During his time at CAPE, Dr. Mara led several notable “firsts” at the Department of Defense, including its first ever space force structure assessment, which directly informed billions of dollars in investments. He also oversaw multiple Analysis of Alternatives spanning topics ranging from missile defense to nuclear command and control systems. These studies set the analytic foundations for several multi-billion dollar major defense acquisition programs.

Prior to joining the leadership team at CAPE, Dr. Mara served as a Senior Operations Research Analyst and was an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the Center for Technology and National Security Policy of the National Defense University.

Throughout his federal career, Dr. Mara received multiple awards and honors recognizing his technical and management skills, including a Presidential Rank Award, the Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Award, and Office of the Secretary of Defense Exceptional Civilian Service Award. Prior to that, he was an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the Center for Technology and National Security Policy at the National Defense University

Dr. Mara holds a doctorate in molecular, cellular and developmental biology from Yale University and a dual bachelor’s degree in molecular biology and economics from the University of California, San Diego.

Return to CNA Leadership

David M. Finkelstein, Ph.D.

Vice President and Director, China and Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Division

Dr. David M. Finkelstein, is vice president and director of CNA's China and Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Division. A long-time student of Chinese and Asian affairs, he is widely published. His 1993 historical monograph, From Abandonment to Salvation: Washington's Taiwan Dilemma, 1949-50 (GMU Press), was hailed in Presidential Studies Quarterly as "blazing a new trail" and as certain to "take an important place in the literature of U.S.-China relations in the mid-20th Century." He is also co-editor of China's Leadership in the 21st Century: The Rise of the Fourth Generation (M.E. Sharpe, 2002); Chinese Warfighting: The PLA Experience Since 1949 (M.E. Sharpe, 2003); China's Revolution in Doctrinal Affairs: Recent Trends in the Operational Art of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (CNA, 2005); and Civil-Military Relations in Today's China: Swimming in a New Sea (M.E. Sharpe, 2006).

A retired U.S. Army officer, Dr. Finkelstein held command and staff positions at the platoon, company, battalion, and major Army command levels. He held significant China-related positions at the Pentagon as an advisor to the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He also served on the faculty at the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he taught Chinese history.

Dr. Finkelstein holds a Ph.D. in Chinese history from Princeton University, and he is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, the U.S. Army Command & General Staff College, and the Army War College. He has also studied Mandarin Chinese in Tianjin, China at Nankai University.

Return to CNA Leadership

Thomas K. Neuberger

Acting Vice President, Operational Warfighting Division
Deputy Director, Operations Evaluation Group (OEG)

Thomas Neuberger is the acting vice president of CNA’s Operational Warfighting Division and deputy director of CNA’s Field Program (OEG.) He joined CNA in 1983 and has served as an analyst, field representative and in several management roles focused on CNA’s Field Program and operational support to the Navy.

Neuberger served as a research team leader responsible for field representatives assigned to deploying Carrier Strike Groups (CSGs), Fleet Forces Command, numbered Fleet commands, joint commands and other organizations focused on operational test and evaluation, special operations, undersea warfare, strike warfare, airborne electronic attack, and navy concept development and experimentation. Prior to assuming his management responsibilities, he held positions as CNA’s field representative to USPACOM, USCENTCOM, and USJFCOM where he worked on special projects directly for senior leadership as a member of the Commanders Action Group (CAG) and deployed multiple times for Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Prior to his COCOM assignments, he served in field positions supporting the OSD Joint Theater Missile Defense Attack Operations Joint Test Force, Tactical Training Group Pacific and deployed with COMCRUDESGRU ONE and the USS New Jersey Battleship Battlegroup to the Western Pacific. Earlier in his career at CNA HQ, Neuberger focused on C2, modeling and simulation, over-the-horizon targeting, anti-air and anti-surface warfare analytical issues.

Neuberger earned an M.S.E and B.A. in Mathematical Sciences from the Johns Hopkins University and completed all requirements (ABD) for a D.Sc. in Operations Research from the George Washington University. He also studied at the Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government in the Program for Senior Executives in National and International Security.

Return to CNA Leadership

Jeffery M. Peterson

Vice President and Director, Resources and Force Readiness Division

Jeffery Peterson is vice president and director of CNA’s Resources and Force Readiness division. Peterson joined CNA in 2012 and worked as a member of the Marine Corps Manpower team in the Resource Analysis division until he took over leadership of the Fleet and Operational Manpower team in 2016. In the 2018 realignment of the Center for Naval Analyses, Peterson was redesignated as the research director of the Navy Manning, Education, and Training program within the Resources and Force Readiness division.

Over the course of his career at CNA, Peterson has made a series of exceptional analytical contributions to CNA's support of the Department of the Navy. He worked with Marine Corps to analyze policy options that would allow their highest quality enlisted first-term and career-force Marines to reenlist earlier and for longer periods. He also supported the Marine Corps Embassy Security Group in their expansion effort following the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Peterson is a retired Marine Corps colonel with 30 years of active duty service. He served in staff, commanding officer and chief of staff positions throughout the Marine Corps manpower, recruiting and recruit-training enterprises.

Peterson holds a Master of Strategic Studies degree from the United States Army War College, an M.S. in Management from the Naval Postgraduate School — where he received the Faculty Award for Academic Excellence — and a B.S. in Business and Economics from the University of Wisconsin–Platteville.

Return to CNA Leadership

Jason E. Thomas, Ph.D.

Vice President and Director, Operational Warfighting Division
Director, Operations Evaluation Group

Dr. Jason Thomas, is the vice president and director of CNA’s Operational Warfighting Division, and the director of CNA’s Operations Evaluation Group. He has wide-ranging experience in systems analysis and operations research, working on such issues as preparedness assessments, warfighting requirements, operational evaluations, formal IT development, and intelligence fusion.

His most recent work at CNA was as field representative to USAF A2 Field Support Office (FSO) where he developed recommendations to improve U.S. intelligence ability to perform predictive battlespace awareness and assess supporting ISR technologies. In other work over his 14-year career at CNA, Dr. Thomas has conducted research and analysis for the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency; the University of Michigan’s Brehm Center for Type 1 Diabetes; Naval Air Systems Command; Naval Special Warfare Command; Office of the Chief of Naval Operations; Commander Carrier Strike Group Seven; and the Federal Aviation Administration. He has also authored numerous reports for Congress, including legislatively mandated queries and Questions for the Record (QFRs) in response to congressional testimony.

Dr. Thomas earned a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Akron, Akron, OH, and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from UCLA, Los Angeles, CA. He also studied at the John F. Kennedy School of Government "Program for Senior Executives in National and International Security," Executive Education, National and International Security, Harvard, Boston, MA, 2006. In 2005 he received the U.S. Navy Meritorious Public Service Award, and in 2011 received CNA’s Phil E. DePoy Award for Analytical Excellence.

Return to CNA Leadership

Eric V. Thompson, Ph.D.

Vice President and Director, Strategy, Policy, Plans and Programs Division

Dr. Eric V. Thompson, is vice president and director of CNA’s Strategy, Policy, Plans, and Programs Division. As a Middle East political and military affairs specialist, he has traveled extensively in North Africa, the Persian Gulf, and the Levant, working closely with U.S. and regional military and civilian leadership. His most recent work has addressed counterterrorism operations, security cooperation activities, military-to-military relations with Egypt, interoperability with Turkish and Algerian maritime forces, and coalition building for military operations in the CENTCOM region.

Dr. Thompson's research and analysis extends beyond the Middle East. He has led studies addressing interoperability with NATO navies, global force structure requirements, the implications of the deployment of theater ballistic missile defense systems, the use of distance learning technology in preparing for coalition operations, the effectiveness of Partnership for Peace programs, and future security cooperation priorities for the U.S. military.

Dr. Thompson is also an adjunct professor at Catholic University of America, where he teaches graduate classes on terrorism and other national security issues. Prior to joining CNA, he was an adjunct professor of international relations and history at the Virginia Military Institute, where he taught courses in Middle East history, international relations and American government, and served as the director of the Model Arab League program.

Return to CNA Leadership

Jonathan D. Geithner

Vice President and Director, Marine Corps Program

Jonathan D. Geithner is vice president and director of CNA’s Marine Corps Program which works collaboratively with senior Marine Corps leaders — at CNA headquarters and, through CNA's Field Program, at commands worldwide — to develop research programs that address such issues as operations, manpower and training, logistics, programs and resources, aviation, and naval integration.

Geithner began his career at CNA in 1991 as a staff member in CNA’s Support Planning and Management Division. He then served as an associate research analyst and deputy project director in the Policy, Strategy, and Forces Division. He also served as a research analyst for CNA’s Naval Operations and Support Team. Prior to being named vice president, Geithner was a research team leader responsible for developing a program of research focused on key naval integration-related challenges facing operating force commanders.

During his 25-year career at CNA, Geithner has served in the field five times, as a field representative to: Commander, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF); Commander, Marine Forces Pacific and Commander, Marine Forces Central Command (deploying with the Commander, Marine Forces Central Command to Bahrain during Operation Iraqi Freedom); Commander, Marine Forces Reserve; Commander, Multinational Forces West (MNF-W), Anbar Province, Iraq; and Commander, Third Marine Expeditionary Force, Okinawa, Japan (deploying in support of several humanitarian and crisis response operations).

Geithner holds a B.A. in History from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and an M.A. in International Economics and Public Policy from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Washington, DC.

Return to CNA Leadership

Tim Kao

Tim Kao

Vice President and Director, Data Science Division

Tim Kao has been with CNA since 2015, most recently as research program director for the Data Science Predictive Analytics Program. During his time at CNA, Kao has implemented innovative approaches to research, including machine learning, agile project management scrums and human-centered design. He has also advanced CNA’s work in cloud computing environments, interactive data visualizations, and data science for both client and corporate requirements. As a data scientist, he worked on a range of issues for the Marine Corps and led CNA’s Performance to Plan (P2P) effort for the Navy Undersea and Surface Warfare Enterprises.

Before coming to CNA, Kao served as an officer in the Marine Corps. His service included leadership roles in special operations, space command, jungle warfare and operations research. He is a combat veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, with deployments in 2003 and 2007. He also deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2012.

Kao holds an M.S. in Operations Research from the Naval Postgraduate School and an MBA from the University of Colorado.

Return to CNA Leadership

Timothy L. Beres

Executive Vice President, Institute for Public Research

Timothy Beres is executive vice president of CNA's Institute for Public Research (IPR). IPR provides high-level research and analysis services to federal, state, and local government agencies, and non-commercial clients working in domestic issue areas such as education, energy, water and climate, air traffic management, and safety and security.

As a former member of the Senior Executive Service, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Beres was responsible for managing a $3 billion state and local preparedness assistance program that included grants and Technical Assistance. In this position he developed and implemented the first risk-based preparedness grant program—the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI), established the first interoperable communications and terrorism prevention (focused on state and local intelligence fusion) technical assistance programs, established the first Transit Security Grant Program and changed the Port Security Grant Program into a risk-based security initiative.

Beres also worked in various senior management positions in the U.S. Department of Justice, and was a revenue officer for the State of North Carolina Department of Revenue.

He holds a bachelor's degree in History from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg, Virginia.

Return to CNA Leadership

Joseph B. Butcher

Vice President, Business Development

Joseph Butcher, CNA’s vice president of business development, has extensive experience in the Federal Government business development life cycle, including defining business strategies and capture and proposal strategy, planning, and implementation.

Prior to joining CNA, Butcher was senior capture manager at Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Services in Herndon, VA. There he led teams of business development professionals and account leads in implementing comprehensive capture strategies for top civil market IT opportunities across organizations such as the U.S. Departments of Education and Transportation, the Federal Aviation Administration, the General Services Administration, the Federal Reserve, the U.S. Postal Service, and the Internal Revenue Service.

Before Hewlett-Packard, Butcher worked for Booz Allen Hamilton in McLean, VA, for more than 16 years — starting as a policy analyst, then serving as a program manager, then as a business development lead and, finally, as a senior capture manager. Butcher began his career in Pittsburgh, PA, where from 1988-1994 he was executive business manager for a local television station.

Butcher holds a B.A. and an M.A. in Telecommunications Studies from Penn State University.

Return to CNA Leadership

David J. Kaufman

Vice President and Director, Safety and Security

David J. Kaufman returns to CNA as vice president and director of CNA Safety and Security (SAS) after serving in SAS as a director from 2008-2009. As vice president, Kaufman is responsible for overall executive management for the development and execution of all work in SAS, including the areas of public safety, homeland security, emergency management, and public health.

From 2009 to 2015, Kaufman served as the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Associate Administrator for Policy, Program Analysis, and International Affairs. At FEMA, he provided leadership, analysis, coordination, and decision-making support to the FEMA Administrator on a wide range of agency policies, strategy, plans, programs, and key initiatives. In particular, he led the framing of FEMA's current strategic direction; developed the agency's Whole Community Approach to Emergency Management and its supporting doctrine; established the FEMAStat performance management framework; and launched the Strategic Foresight Initiative, exploring the impacts of global trends on disaster management.

Kaufman is a former faculty member at the Naval Postgraduate School, Center for Homeland Defense and Security, and has formerly served in several senior positions in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and in FEMA.

Kaufman earned a Master of Public Policy degree from the Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is also a graduate of the Executive Leaders Program at the Naval Postgraduate School, Center for Homeland Defense and Security.

Return to CNA Leadership

Halleh Seyson

Halleh Seyson

Vice President and Director, Enterprise Systems Data Analysis

Halleh Seyson brings 25 years of experience in delivering enterprise solutions nationwide and globally to CNA, where she serves as the vice president and director of Enterprise Systems Data Analysis (ESDA). As vice president of ESDA, Seyson leads a division that for 30 years has helped government clients make decisions at pace with the speed and scale of their mission. She ensures that ESDA continues to deliver advanced, integrated enterprise systems by combining extensive experience in system architecture and design with innovative program management techniques.

Seyson has a proven track record in the federal government arena, including work with the Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs and Health and Human Services, as well as the U.S. Postal Service and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Before joining CNA, she served in leadership roles in government contracting companies, including as vice president at GDIT; group vice president at Social & Scientific Systems, a public health research organization; and executive vice president and chief operating officer at CATHEXIS.

Seyson earned an M.S. in Information Systems and a B.S. in Computer Science from George Mason University. She also has a graduate certificate in Information Engineering from George Mason, as well as certifications in PMP, ITIL Foundation and ScrumMaster.

Return to CNA Leadership