James “Hondo” Geurts, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Research, Development & Acquisition
Mr. James F. Geurts is Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development & Acquisition (ASN (RD&A)). As the Navy’s acquisition executive, Mr. Geurts has oversight of an annual budget in excess of $100 billion and is responsible for equipping and supporting the finest Sailors and Marines in the world with the best platforms, systems and technology as they operate around the globe in defense of the Nation.
Mr. Geurts previously served as the Acquisition Executive, U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), at MacDill Air Force Base (AFB), Florida, where he was responsible for all special operations forces acquisition, technology and logistics. In this position his innovative leadership and technological ingenuity provided rapid and affordable acquisition that positively impacted the USSOCOM acquisition work force and the special operations forces capability on the battlefield. These contributions were recognized by both private and public institutions during his tenure to include earning the Presidential Rank Award, USSOCOM Medal, William Perry Award and Federal Times Vanguard Award for Executive of the Year.
Prior to Senior Executive Service, Mr. Geurts began his career as an Air Force officer where he served as an acquisition program manager with engineering and program management leadership positions in numerous weapon systems including intercontinental ballistic missiles, surveillance platforms, tactical fighter aircraft, advanced avionics systems, stealth cruise missiles, training systems and manned and unmanned special operations aircraft.
James Faist, Director of Defense Research and Engineering for Advanced Capabilities, OSD
Mr. James “Jim” A. Faist is the Director of Defense Research and Engineering for Advanced Capabilities, reporting directly to the Under Secretary of Defense Research and Engineering within the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Jim directs an organization whose mission is to recognize, explore, and accelerate the development and integration of new technology to maintain U.S. technological superiority. He is responsible for establishing a Department of Defense joint mission engineering capability, oversight of developmental testing and test facilities as well as demonstration and validation of technology prototype and rapid fielding activities. Jim serves as the mission area advisor for warfighter portfolios in hypersonics, space, autonomy, and networked command, control, and communication architectures. He also provides independent technical risk assessments of major acquisition programs.
Jim has an extensive career in industry and government in national defense, including progressive responsibilities and experience in military operations, advanced technologies, system development, engineering leadership, and program management. He is a recognized expert in advanced sensors, weapons, and electronic warfare for space, air, and ground capabilities.
Faist was a chief engineer for the Northrop Grumman and Harris Corporations. He held senior executive positions at Schafer Corporation, Trident Systems Incorporated, and System Planning Corporation. Prior to his work in the industry, he served in the United States Air Force as a Weapons Systems Officer and an Electronic Warfare Officer in the F-4D/E Phantom II fighter aircraft.
Mike Madsen, Director of Strategic Engagement, Defense Innovation Unit (DIU)
Before joining the Defense Innovation Unit as the Deputy Director and Strategic Engagement Director, Mike was the Executive Director for the Section 809 Congressional Advisory Panel on Streamlining Acquisition. The Panel provided the intellectual underpinnings for acquisition reform language in defense authorization statutes. Prior to this, Mike served for 22 years in the U.S. Air Force where he led at the group and squadron levels and is a decorated combat pilot. Mike retired from the Air Force while he was the Senior Air Force Advisor to the Director, Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE) in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Prior to CAPE, Mike served as Division Chief in Legislative Liaison in the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, directly advising the Secretary of the Air Force and Chief of Staff of the Air Force on issues before the congressional defense committees. He holds a degree in Meteorology from the University of Nebraska and Master’s degrees from Troy University, the Naval Postgraduate School, and the National War College.
Richard Dunn, Founder, Strategic Institute for Innovation in Government Contracting
Referred to as “the godfather of OTs” as a result of his pioneering work as DARPA’s first General Counsel. Mr. Dunn provides advice and engages in research and analysis related to the deployment and implementation of technology in the military and civil sectors through partnering and other innovative means.
As General Counsel of DARPA, he organized the office and provided a full range of legal services for the nation’s foremost national security research and development agency. Mr. Dunn pioneered innovative techniques to support science and technology projects by championing the enactment of legislation that authorized DARPA to enter into cooperative relationships with commercial companies or “partnerships” of companies and other organizations. Other pioneering efforts involved obtaining authority to conduct prototype projects outside the normal contracting statutes, Other Transactions Authority. Additionally, he championed and obtained authority to award incentive prizes to spur technology developments. All these authorities are in use and have served as models for the DoD and other agencies. Prior he served in several positions at NASA including Counsel to the Space Commercialization Task Force and Deputy Associate General Counsel, and began his career as an Air Force JAG. For his full bio on this website click HERE.
Kelly Stratton-Feix, Director, Acquisition Agility, USSOCOM
Ms. Stratton-Feix, Director of Acquisition Agility, provides USSOCOM Program Management and Oversight of SOFWERX, the innovation platform chartered to close the gap between operators facing SOF’s toughest challenges and “non-traditional” sources of new, novel solutions. SOFWERX is USSOCOM’s partnership with DefenseWERX, located in an open-access, off-base facility with a 40,000+ network of agencies, academia, futurists, citizen scientists and industry experts. Activities ranging from technology scouting and collaboration, rapid prototyping, prize challenges and others, connecting USSOCOM with innovators to explore real-time and emerging SOF challenges to evolve and field relevant solutions. Active engagement with AT&L PEOs and Directorates ensures these solutions are “fast-tracked” and fielded at the earliest opportunities.
Arun Seraphin, Professional Staff Member, US Senate Committee on Armed Services
Dr. Seraphin is a Congressional Professional Staff Member with oversight responsibilities for Department of Defense acquisition and procurement policy; science, technology, and innovation; test and evaluation; STEM and acquisition personnel policy; and information technology programs and policy. Previously, Dr. Seraphin served as a deputy director of National Security and International Affairs division at the White House Office of Science a Technology Policy, assisting in supervising senior policy advisors and support staff in developing policies, programs, technical analyses, and support to the President’s Science Advisor and other senior leaders. He also led initiatives in defense laboratory revitalization, Small Business Innovation Research program policy development.
Gwyneth Woolwine, Professional Staff Member, US Senate Committee on Armed Services
Gwyneth Woolwine is a Professional Staff Member on the Senate Armed Services committee. Her portfolio and focus areas are Acquisition & Contracting, including policy, major defense acquisition programs, and alternative acquisition pathways; Information Technology, Management, and Industrial Base. Prior she was a team lead at the General Accountability Office as a Senior Analyst-in-Charge, conducting high-risk evaluations of U.S. national security programs and management functions, and defense capability acquisition. Accomplishments comprised more than 40 reports, testimonies, briefings and other products. Previous she was a Project Manager at Charles Schwab.
Tim Greeff, CEO & Founder, National Security Technology Accelerator (NSTXL)
Tim leads the overall strategy and directs the day-to-day operations of NSTXL. He has led NSTXL from original concept through incorporation to present-day scale. Tim brings over 20 years of experience building and managing non-profit technology consortia. NSTXL is the third national organization he has helped to launch and build, each of which focuses on scaling and commercializing innovative technology through policy and public-private partnerships. Tim has spent his entire professional career operating at the intersection of business, policy and politics, including directing recording-breaking campaigns, convening and managing numerous coalitions, and leading successful policy efforts at the national, state and local levels. Tim holds a Master of Public Policy from the Sanford Institute at Duke University and a Bachelors Degree in Government from the University of Texas, Austin.
Mark “Puck” Mykleby, Colonel, USMC (ret.)
Mark Mykleby is the Co-Founder of Long Haul Capital Group, LLC; a company dedicated to creating sustainable, walkable, and healthy communities. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1987 and served as a Marine fighter pilot through 2006. From June 2007 until July 2009, he developed strategy at US Special Operations Command. From July 2009 until April 2011, he served as a special strategic assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Mark retired from the Marine Corps in August 2011. From August 2011 to September 2014, Mark was a senior fellow at the New America Foundation in Washington, DC and from September 2014 until February 2017 he was Co-Director of the Strategic Innovation Lab at Case Western Reserve University. While at Case Western, he, along with Joel Makower and Patrick Doherty, co-authored “The New Grand Strategy”, which was released in June 2016.
John A. Kenney, Capt. USAF, Contracting/Agreements Officer, USSOCOM
Captain John A. Kenney is the Agreements Officer for United States Special Operations Command, Joint Acquisition Task Force (JATF). He is responsible for providing pathways to acquire novel technology in pursuit of advancing the mission capabilities of SOCOM’s Hyper Enabled Operator (HEO). Capt Kenney plans outreach events through SOCOM’s Partnership Intermediary platform, SOFWERX, to competitively select companies for their proposed technologies, and negotiates specific terms and conditions under non-FAR authorities such as 10 USC 2371, 2371b, and 2373. Parts of his responsibilities include training his acquisition partners on using these authorities and developing the Government & Industry teaming framework to craft OTAs. As SOCOM expands its use of nonconventional acquisition, Captain Kenney and his team strive to work through the technical challenges associated with employing these authorities in order to enhance the acquisition capabilities of the organization.
Secretary of the Navy, Richard Spencer is unable to participate as he has assumed the role of acting Secretary of Defense.