On Thursday the Potomac Officers Club hosted its 7th Annual Intel Summit, a virtual seminar featuring notable government and private sector leaders and executives who gathered to explore the intelligence community’s obstacles, opportunities and future initiatives including AI/ML, data utility and foreign adversary threats.
Following DIA Director Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier’s opening keynote address, Ryan Young, acting executive assistant director of the FBI, and the National Reconnaissance Office’s advanced systems and technology office director, Dr. Susan Durham took the virtual stage to deliver the afternoon’s keynote addresses, in which each speaker leveraged their unique intelligence expertise to provide insight into the current state of the IC.
Booz Allen Hamilton’s director of threat mitigation and intelligence, Jennifer Boone introduced keynote speaker Ryan Young, who began his address by emphasizing the importance of the FBI’s key relationships with state and local agencies as well as private sector companies as the bureau works to stay ahead of emerging threats.
“As we continue to see these complex challenges in the landscape and the threat fluidity, partnerships become ever important for us,” Young shared.
While Young recognized the challenges posed by the continuous and rapid emergence of advanced technologies, he also applauded the landmark improvements made by the FBI in recent years.
Young noted, “We were really good at looking backwards, but we needed to be able to build that capability to connect the dots and be able to disrupt these incidents before they happen. That was really the key innovation in the bureau over the last 20 years.”
Additionally, Young commented on the importance of balancing rapid technological and organizational progress with sustainable growth through gradual steps to achieve greater synchronicity across the bureau’s missions. “As we continue to grow, innovation is through iterations; as you are doing and building towards the right thing, you identify where you have potentially created gaps.”
After a brief break, Elastic’s regional Vice President of intelligence Ken Melero introduced the second afternoon keynote speaker, Dr. Susan Durham, whose address focused on tackling issues like “strategic senility,” talent development and space superiority in the push to maintain the nation’s technological edge.
“When I think about our country and the strategic strengths we have now, the ability to affect politics, economics and technology, we’re a powerhouse, and we need to stay that way,” asserted Dr. Durham.
In response to the growing democratization of space, Dr. Durham shared that her work within the NRO focuses on building and maintaining a strong, technologically robust space capability, which is a necessary component of combating the space sector’s talent dispersement across government, commercial and international communities.
Durham said in order to bolster space capabilities, we must focus “research, operational, ground and acquisition efforts to create a seamlessly integrated, resilient, self-optimizing architecture, not just a collection of satellites, that will respond as needed.”
Her keynote address also included a call to action across intelligence community agencies that reflects the urgency of innovation: “We don’t have an option to make a change. We have to change to avoid strategic senility and to stay relevant.”
If you missed Ryan Young’s and Dr. Susan Durham’s timely and informative keynote addresses detailing the current threats, technological innovations and acquisition strategies within the intelligence community today, visit PotomacOfficersClub.com to view the 7th Annual Intel Summit on-demand now.
Join Potomac Officers Club for its October 27th event, Winning With the Network: Securing Data in Motion to the Tactical Edge Forum which will focus on how public-private sector partnerships are leveraging advanced technology such as 5G, edge connectivity and AI to build more secure and robust networks for DoD and commercial customers.
BG Jeth Ray from the Army Futures Command, Maj. Gen. Michael Smith of the U.S. Air Force and Booz Allen Hamilton’s Khalid Syed will foster insightful discussions on how the nation can combat electronic warfare and cyber attacks by improving federal agency network capabilities.