Defense Digital Acquisition and Modernization Forum
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Defense Digital Acquisition and Modernization Forum

December 1st, 2020 12:30pm EST   ON24

In the beginning of the year, the Department of Defense (DoD) issued its Software Acquisition Pathway to establish direction, responsibilities and procedures for software procurement under National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2020. 

The department has also restricted acquisition processes and procedures of all programs containing IT to a separate, functional acquisition policy that adheres to the Adaptive Acquisition Framework. 

During GovConWire’s Defense Digital Acquisition and Modernization Forum, notable federal and industry leaders will discuss the DoD’s Software Acquisition Strategy, Defense Acquisition Workforce Development and the future of data and IT modernization across federal agencies.

Join us for the Defense Digital Acquisition and Modernization Forum, Hon. Kevin Fahey, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, will serve as the keynote speaker during the forum. This event will address online education reform and cybersecurity threats and performance, as well as how the industry can progress the latest initiatives in federal acquisition and modernization. 

  • William Cohen
    William Cohen - Panelist
    Chief Technology Officer, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (ASA(ALT)), U.S. Army

    Dr. William (Bill) Cohen serves as the Chief Technology Officer and senior technology advisor to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (ASA(ALT)). He is responsible for devising and overseeing execution of strategies that enhance the quality, operational effectiveness, and capability of developing, current, emerging and future technologies. Dr. Cohen develops technology solutions that strategically integrate within the ASA(ALT)’s mission to advance Army capabilities. He advises on all aspects of emerging technologies, from applied research and technology development programs to prototyping and operational deployment. He works across Army components in concept and prototype development, transitioning science, and delivery of critical technologies. Previously, Dr. Cohen was a Principal Engineer at science and technology consulting firm Exponent, Inc., where he addressed capability gaps for deployed warfighters, drove iterative product design, and performed technology assessments. His work directly led to prototyping, testing, and fielding of capability gap solutions. He spent three years embedded with the U.S. Army Rapid Equipping Force (REF) in Iraq, leading teams in Iraq and Afghanistan in harnessing current and emerging technologies to deliver solutions that improved soldier safety, enhanced capabilities, and mitigated risk. After returning from Iraq, Dr. Cohen led Exponent’s expeditionary engineering efforts, designed mobile prototyping laboratories for REF, and provided reactive engineering support to teams overseas. Much of his engineering efforts focused on high-priority soldier safety issues. He was chief proponent of the design, field-testing, training, repair, and continuous fielding of MARCbot robots—used for remote inspection of potential IEDs during warfighter patrols. He also led the development of the Rapid Deployment Integrated Surveillance System (RDISS) to provide perimeter security for Joint Security Stations and Combat Outposts throughout Iraq and Afghanistan. Dr. Cohen earned a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and a M.S. in Engineering Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California-San Diego. His academic appointments include Assistant Professor of Business Management at Massey University in New Zealand, and Lecturer in the Industrial Engineering Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Cohen worked as a volunteer ambulance officer in New Zealand and is a longtime volunteer ski patroller at Mount Snow, Vermont.

  • Kevin Fahey
    Kevin Fahey - Keynote
    Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, U.S. Department of Defense (DOD)

    HON Fahey currently serves as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition (ASD(A)). In this position, he advises the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment (USD(A&S)), the Deputy Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Defense on matters relating to the Department of Defense Acquisition System, acquisition program management, and the development of strategic, space, intelligence, tactical warfare, command and control, and business systems. Before assuming his position as ASD(A), Mr. Fahey was employed with Cypress International, Inc. in Alexandria, Virginia as Vice President, Combat Vehicles and Armaments following a 34-year civil service career culminating with his retirement on December 1, 2015 from the Senior Executive Service. Mr. Fahey was selected for the Senior Executive Service in February 2000. Effective June 1, 2014, Mr. Fahey assumed the duties as the Executive Director, System of Systems Engineering and Integration Directorate, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology). Mr. Fahey previously served as the Program Executive Officer for Combat Support and Combat Service Support, Program Executive Officer Ground Combat Systems at Warren, MI, as well as the Deputy Program Executive Officer Ammunition, Senior Technical Executive for Close Combat Armament Systems, Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, at Picatinny Arsenal, NJ. Mr. Fahey also served as the Deputy Project Manager, Crusader and the Chief of the Systems Engineering and International Division for the Crusader Program, the Future Armored Resupply Vehicle (FARV) Program Development Project Officer and Chief of Systems Engineering, the U.S. delegate to the international 155mm Joint Ballistic Working Group and the M119 Development Project Officer. Mr. Fahey, a native of Massachusetts, entered civil service in 1981 following graduation from the University of Massachusetts with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Engineering/Operations Research. Upon graduation from college, Mr. Fahey attended the Quality and Reliability intern program at the DARCOM Intern Training Center, Red River Army Depot, Texarkana, Texas. Mr. Fahey has been the recipient of multiple awards and honors to include the Presidential Distinguished Rank Award, Exceptional Civilian Service Award (2nd award), Meritorious Civilian Service Award, and Superior Civilian Service Award. He has been inducted into the Honorable Order of Saint Barbara, Ancient Order of Saint Christopher, Honorable Order of Samuel Sharpe, Honorable Order of Saint Maurice, Honorable Order of Saint George, Distinguished Order of Saint Martin, and Bronze Order of the Fleury Medal. He currently resides in Alexandria, Virginia with his wife, Judy. He has two sons, Keegan and Mackenzie, and a grandson, Declan.

  • Lauren Knausenberger
    Lauren Knausenberger - Fireside Chat and Q&A
    Deputy Chief Information Officer, U.S. Air Force

    Lauren Barrett Knausenberger is the Deputy ChiefInformation Officer, Washington, D.C. Ms.Knausenberger leads two directorates and supports20,000 cyber operations and support personnel acrossthe globe with a portfolio valued at $17 billion. Sheprovides oversight of the Air Force’s InformationTechnology portfolio including the InformationTechnology investment strategy from networks tocloud computing, Enterprise policies, informationresources management, IT innovation initiatives,information assurance, and related matters for theDepartment of the Air Force. As Deputy ChiefInformation Officer (DCIO), Ms. Knausenbergerdelivers cyber security, and enforces Freedom ofInformation Act and Privacy Act laws. She integratesAir Force warfighting and mission supportcapabilities by networking and securing air, space,and terrestrial assets. Ms. Knausenberger also leadscareer management initiatives for 10,000 IT/Cybercivilian personnel across all human resources facetsfrom recruiting to professional development.In 2017, Ms. Knausenberger joined the U.S. Air Force to drive innovation across the Department of Defense(DoD), speed adoption of emerging technologies, and create stronger partnerships between DoD, start-ups, andthe venture community as the Chief Transformation Officer and Director of Cyberspace Innovation under theDeputy Chief Information Officer. Prior to joining the Air Force, she was the founder and President of AccellintInc., a consulting firm and Venture Partner with NextGen Angels, specializing in solving problems of nationalsecurity importance, and investing in commercial technologies that could be applied to a government mission.Ms. Knausenberger often jokes that she joined the Air Force “by accident.” Her work with Accellint andNextGen led to a serendipitous meeting with an Air Force Captain and General, where her bar napkin sketchturned into a powerful framework and the series of conversations that followed opened her eyes to a problemset that was too enticing to turn away. As DCIO she continues to go after hard problems, calculates riskdifferently, and ensures we keep a constant pulse on the voice of the Airmen.Prior to her time as an entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Ms. Knausenberger held positions of increasingresponsibility at American Management Systems (acquired by CACI) and CACI, beginning as a systems analystand designer, then as a go-to project manager for program turnarounds, a program manager for large IT andfinance programs, and finally as a division manager overseeing much of the company’s Intelligence Communityportfolio. During this time Ms. Knausenberger had the pleasure of serving the mission of the CIA directly aswell as leading and mentoring cross-functional teams and organizations supporting national security missions.Ms. Knausenberger earned a Bachelor of Science degree in decision and information sciences from Universityof Maryland and a Master of Business Administration from University of Pennsylvania Wharton School ofBusiness.

  • Frank Konieczny
    Frank Konieczny - Panelist
    Chief Technology Officer, U.S. Air Force

    Frank Konieczny, a Senior Level Executive, is the Air Force Chief Technology Officer, Office of Deputy Chief Information Officer, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia. He has primary responsibility to advance the Information Technology landscape of the Air Force. His current focus areas include developing the future technical target baseline, mobility enterprise solutions, data management, Identity, Credential and Access Management access/claims management, mesh networks, artificial intelligence/quantum capabilities, cyber and technology innovation pathfinders and advancing the Joint Information Environment. Mr. Konieczny has completed advanced degrees in computer science engineering and administrative science, and in 1987 he completed all coursework for a doctorate in computer science. He has extensive experience as a systems analyst and chief programmer, working with a variety of firms including Teledyne Brown Engineering, SAIC and General Research Corporation. He has supported the programming and analytical analysis for a wide spectrum of government projects including ballistic missile defense, network design, missile test analysis, radar systems analysis and simulation, and operations research and statistical analysis. Mr. Konieczny would go on to serve as a project manager, business unit manager, Chief Scientist and Chief Technology Officer. He has managed more than 20 significant government sector programs involving multiple large and small business subcontractors and academic institutions in areas of Army and Navy manpower, logistics, force structure, undersea warfare, real time statistical analysis, biometric authentication, enterprise architecture, work flow management and simulation and modeling. Prior to his current assignment, Mr. Konieczny was employed for 10 years with AT&T Government Solutions professional services business unit. He served as the CIO, CTO and Executive Director for Operations where he managed internal research and development efforts; multi-location infrastructure management and upgrade; process improvement and standardization; support organization coordination; and development of technical solutions for a wide spectrum of projects within the government sector. EDUCATION 1970 Bachelor of Science, Computer Science Engineering, University of Illinois, Chicago 1971 Master of Science, Computer Science Engineering, University of Illinois, Chicago 1977 Master’s, Administrative Science, University of Alabama, Huntsville 1987 ABD, Doctor of Science, Computer Science, George Washington University, Washington, D.C. CAREER CHRONOLOGY 1. 1971 - 1974, Systems Analyst, Teledyne Brown Engineering, Huntsville, Ala. 2. 1974 - 1977, Systems Analyst, Science Applications, Inc., Huntsville, Ala. 3. 1977 - 1979, Chief Programmer and Systems Analyst, Science Applications, Inc., Huntsville, Ala., and McLean, Va. 4. 1979 - 1990, Systems Analyst, General Research Corporation, McLean, Va. 5. 1990 - 1993, Director, Systems Support Division/Group, General Research Corporation, McLean, Va. 6. 1993 - 1997, Vice President and Chief Scientist, General Research Corporation International, Vienna, Va. 7. 1997 - 1998, Vice President and Chief Scientist, GRCI, Vienna, Va. 8. 1998 - 2000, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, GRCI, Vienna, Va. 9. 2000 - 2006, CTO, AT&T Government Solutions, Inc., Vienna, Va. 10. 2006 - 2010, CTO, Chief Information Officer/Executive Director, AT&T Government Solutions, Inc., Vienna, Va. 11. 2010 - present, CTO, Office of Deputy CIO, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va. MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS AT&T Circle of Excellence Award AT&T Gold Club Award for Outstanding Performance AT&T Service Excellence Award AT&T Federal Achievers Club OTHER ACHIEVEMENTS 2015 Fedscoop 50 Award for Federal Leadership 2017 Fedscoop 50 Award for Federal Leadership 2018 Fedscoop 50 Award for Federal Leadership PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS AND ASSOCIATIONS Association for Computer Machinery Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers American Society for Quality CERTIFICATIONS Project Management Professional Certificate CMMI Auditor ISO 9000 Internal Auditor Certificate in Data Processing

  • Jane Rathbun
    Jane Rathbun - Panelist
    CTO, U.S. Navy

    Ms. Rathbun currently serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Information Warfare (IWAR) and Enterprise Services on the staff of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition. She is also dual-hatted as the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) on the staff of the Department of the Navy Chief Information Officer. As DASN IWAR and Enterprise Services, she supports a portfolio of programs and projects that deliver the systems for information-centric capabilities, services, processes, and security, including Command and Control, Communications, Networks, Cloud, Cyber, Intelligence, Meteorology and Oceanography, Spectrum, Position Navigation and Timing, Productivity, Logistics, Personal, Acquisition, Financial, and many other enterprise services. As CTO she is focused on driving efforts to define the “should be” network and services architecture that supports the majority of the DON’s operational needs, leveraging modern principles and technologies. Prior to selection as DASN, Ms. Rathbun served as the Deputy Director for Defense Business Systems in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for C3, Cyber, and Business Systems (DASD C3CB) within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment. She was responsible for shaping the acquisitions of the Department’s major Defense Business Systems and Enterprise IT Infrastructure Services investments, a portfolio valued at over $15B, impacting the readiness of every soldier, sailor, airman and marine, their dependents and military retirees. In addition, she led multiple process improvement efforts focused on modernizing and optimizing the acquisition of business and IT services, software acquisition methods and tools, cloud based technologies, and the management and governance of enterprise-wide capabilities. Ms. Rathbun has had a diverse career in the government. Her assignments include: the Commission on Roles and Missions of the Armed Forces; the Office of the Secretary of Defense Program Analysis and Evaluation as an operations research analyst for readiness and PPBS reform; HQ NASA where she served as a change lead on the SAP enterprise resource planning solution implementation and the Acting Director of Resources, NASA Comptroller; Chief of Staff for the Deputy Secretary of Defense directed initiative, Institutional Reform and Governance Roadmap, where she guided a cross-department team through development of management reforms including implementation of a Capability Portfolio Management process; AT&L as Special Assistant to the Director of Portfolio Systems Acquisition for Program Management Empowerment and Accountability implementing Weapon System Acquisition Reform Act initiatives; Acting Division Chief for the Strategic Capabilities Office in the J1/8 Resources Directorate, United States Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany, leading analysis of assessment of command operations, and alignment and advocacy of resources to the Command Strategy; and Chief of Staff to the DASD C3CB, facilitating the coordination and synchronization of cross-DASD efforts, requirements, and resources, identifying opportunities for process and management improvements focused on optimizing the delivery of program support and advocacy. Ms. Rathbun received a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from John Carroll University and a Master in Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. She has earned top civilian service awards for her various efforts and contributions. Ms. Rathbun is Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) certified – Program Management, Level III.

  • David D. Thompson
    David D. Thompson - Keynote
    Vice Chief of Space Operations, United States Space Force, U.S. Air Force

    Gen. David D. Thompson is the Vice Chief of Space Operations, United States Space Force. As Vice Chief he is responsible for assisting the Chief of Space Operations in organizing, training and equipping space forces in the United States and overseas, integrating space policy and guidance, and coordinating space-related activities for the U.S. Space Force and Department of the Air Force. The U.S. Space Force organizes, trains, equips and maintains mission-ready space forces that provide missile warning, space domain awareness, positioning, navigation and timing, communications and space electronic warfare for North American Aerospace Defense Command, U.S. Strategic Command, U.S. Space Command and other combatant commands. Gen. Thompson was commissioned in 1985 as a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. He is a career space officer with assignments in operations, acquisition, research and development and academia. Gen. Thompson has commanded operational space units at the squadron, group, and wing levels; he is also an Olmsted Scholar, graduate of the Senior Acquisition Course and Level III-Certified Program Manager. Prior to his assignment as Vice Chief of Space Operations, Gen. Thompson was the Vice Commander, U.S. Space Force. EDUCATION 1985 Bachelor of Science, Astronautical Engineering, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo. 1989 Master of Science, Aeronautics and Astronautics, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind. 1990 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. 1993 Olmsted Scholar, Johannes Kepler University, Linz, Austria 1998 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala. 2000 Advanced Program Managers Course, Defense Systems Management College, Fort Belvoir, Va. 2001 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala. 2005 Master of Science, National Security Industrial Policy, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C. 2005 Senior Acquisition Course, National Defense University, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C. ASSIGNMENTS 1. July 1985–May 1988, Experimental Rocket Propulsion Engineer and Chief, Motor/ Component Operations Section, Air Force Rocket Propulsion Laboratory, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. 2. June 1988–July 1989, Graduate Student, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind. 3. August 1989-October 1992, Instructor of Astronautics, Assistant Professor and Executive Officer, Department of Astronautics, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo. 4. October 1992–May 1993, Student, Defense Language Institute, Presidio of Monterey, Calif. 5. June 1993–July 1995, Olmsted Scholar, Johannes Kepler University, Linz, Austria 6. August 1995–July 1997, Program Manager, Advanced MILSATCOM Program, MILSATCOM Joint Program Office, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles AFB, Calif. 7. August 1997–June 1998, Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala. 8. July 1998–August 2000, Spacelift Requirements Officer and Chief, Spacelift Vehicle Requirements Branch, Headquarters Air Force Space Command, Peterson AFB, Colorado Springs, Colo. 9. September 2000–April 2002, Deputy Director, Commander's Action Group, Headquarters Air Force Space Command, Peterson AFB, Colo. 10. June 2002–July 2004, Operations Officer and Commander, 2nd Space Launch Squadron, Vandenberg AFB, Calif. 11. August 2004–June 2005, Student, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C. 12. June 2005–July 2007, Commander, 45th Operations Group, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. 13. July 2007–May 2009, Commander, Aerospace Data Facility - Colorado, Buckley AFB, Colo. 14. June 2009–June 2010, Director of Space Forces, U.S. Air Forces Central Command, Southwest Asia 15. July 2010–May 2011, Vice Commander, U.S. Air Force Warfare Center, Nellis AFB, Nev. 16. May 2011–March 2012, Director of Air, Space and Cyberspace Operations, Air Force Space Command, Peterson AFB, Colo. 17. March 2012–January 2014, Deputy Director of Global Operations, U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt AFB, Neb. 18. January 2014–June 2015, Director of Plans and Policy, U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt AFB, Neb. 19. July 2015–July 2017, Vice Commander, Air Force Space Command, Peterson AFB, Colo. 20. July 2017–April 2018, Special Assistant to the Commander, Air Force Space Command, Peterson AFB, Colo. 21. April 2018–December 2019, Vice Commander, Air Force Space Command, Washington, D.C. 22. December 2019–September 2020, Vice Commander, U.S. Space Force, Washington, D.C. 23. October 2020–present, Vice Chief of Space Operations, U.S. Space Force, Washington, D.C. SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS 1. July 2007–May 2009, Commander, Aerospace Data Facility - Colorado, Buckley Air Force Base, Colo., as a colonel 2. March 2012–January 2014, Deputy Director of Global Operations (DJ3), U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt AFB, Neb., as a brigadier general and major general 3. January 2014–June 2015, Director of Plans and Policy (J5), U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt AFB, Neb., as a major general

  • 12:30pm - 12:35pm EST

    Welcome and Opening remarks

  • 12:35pm - 1:10pm EST

    Keynote Speaker: Hon Kevin Fahey

  • 1:10pm - 1:35pm EST

    Fireside Chat and Q&A with Lauren Knausenberger, Deputy CIO, U.S. Air Force

  • 1:35pm - 2:30pm EST

    Panel Discussion

  • 2:30pm - 3:05pm EST

    Closing Keynote: Gen. David D. Thompson

  • 3:05pm - 3:10pm EST

    Closing Comments

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