Agenda for 13 April 2021

The 2021 Phoenix Challenge Conference: Agenda and Overview

13 April 2021, 0900-1500 EDT

Keynote Speaker: Former USD (I) and ASD SO/LIC Dr. Michael Vickers 

Online & Unclassified

The University of Maryland’s Applied Research Lab for Intelligence and Security (ARLIS) and the Information Professionals Association (IPA) have organized an UNCLASSIFIED online conference on 13 April 2021 to serve as a scene-setting event for the US Central Command Worldwide IO Conference on 14-15 April 2021. As described below, the conference will feature a keynote and panels to be streamed to a wider registered audience and include a multitude of small breakout sessions for the smaller senior group of active participants.  The small breakout sessions will not be streamed but will be private groups where senior-level leaders can discuss the challenges they face with regard to OIE and come up with collaborative action plans to move forward, aided by the information and action plans of their fellow leaders. ARLIS and the IPA will capture outcomes and agreed actions and initiatives from the participants in a conference report to be shared with all.

Conference Format

The event will be limited to 150 interactive participants on an invite-only basis but will allow for much broader passive participation via streaming of conference content.  Invitees for the interactive element will be primarily government personnel at the O6-O8, GS15, & SES pay grades from critical organizations in DoD, the IC, and partner agencies. The event will accommodate up to 800 additional passive participants via streaming.  Organizers will work with key OSD and Joint Staff offices to select invitees.

The conference will run approximately 6 hours (including breaks) and include opening and closing plenary sessions, 3 parallel morning tracks of 90 minutes, and 1 plenary track for all participants.  Each panel will involve 3-5 speakers offering their thoughts for 50-60 minutes with 30 minutes for Q&A.  After the conference, the collaboration will continue on Teams where actual working groups can be formed according to need, with a follow-on meeting at a later date for those who wish to continue the development and progression of action items.

Panel speakers are, at a minimum, requested to be available online from 15 minutes prior to their panel start until at least the conclusion of panel Q&A (~2 hours).  Speakers are welcome to participate for the entire day if desired.

The draft agenda (subject to change) is as follows:

TimeAgenda TopicNotes
0900-0915Convene & Organizational Remarks: Joe Kelly  
IPA Welcome: IPA President, Kevin Gates
ARLIS Welcome: Executive Director, Bill Regli 
UMD Welcome: President Darryll Pines
0915-1015Keynote Address w/Q&A:  Former USD (I) and ASD SO/LIC Dr. Michael Vickers
1015-1030Break – Panel speakers connect to their tracks at 1015
1030-1215Track 1
Information Effects in Strategic Competition – Managing Peer Competition and Current Operations in a Hyperconnected  World

Detailed discussion on coordination of current initiatives to ID and counteract China, Russia & Iran; coordinate GLOBAL USG efforts at messaging 
Confirmed Speakers: 
Moderator:  Mr. Todd Veazie, Joint Staff, SMA
Maj. Gen. Alexus Grynkewich
Ms. Milancy Harris, DASD SOCT
Mr. Daniel Kimmage, Dept. of State/GEC
Mr. Gordon Crovitz, Co-CEO, NewGuard
Ms. Ellen Nakashima
Washington Post
Mr. Damon Stevens
Nat’l Counter-Terrorism Center
Track 2
Risk Based Models for Acquisition Security and Insider Threats in the Modern Information Environment

Detailed discussion of coordinating disparate initiatives to manage national security risks in the industrial base to include supply chain security, insider risk, and foreign investment risk.  

Confirmed Speakers: 
Opening Commentary: Navy CIO (invited).
RADM (Ret.) Steve 
Parode, Past Navy N2/N6, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Dominance
Moderator:  Mr. Pete Reddy, ED, NIWC Atlantic
Mr. Mike Martin, DTSA
Mr. Hank Thomas
Strategic Cyber Ventures
Mr. Jeff Farrah, GC, National Venture 
Capital Association

Track 3
Commercial Technology Trends and Effects on OIE – New Tools and New Risks

Detailed discussion of the way current commercial technology for both content and networks provides opportunities and risks for USG operations.  

Confirmed Speakers: 
Moderator:  Mr. Bob Pearson, Next Practice Group
Ms. Patricia Watts, Dept. of State/GEC Director, Tech
Engagement Team
Mr. John Rogers, CEO, RL Leaders
Mr. David Wertheimer, Technologist/ Entrepreneur/ Producer
Mr. Adam Beaugh,
Zignal Labs
Dr. Bill Chappell, CTO Azure, Microsoft
~ 50-60-minute panel

~ 30-minute Q&A

~ 15-20-minute close-out
1215-1245Break for lunch – Rooms will remain open
1245-1315Reports from Tracks 1-3 (30 minutes)
Plenary Track: Creating an Interconnected Platform for Testing, Evaluation, Simulation, Training, Exercise, and Mission Rehearsal to support OIE 

Each of the first three panels addresses issues that will require extensive modeling, simulation, training, exercises, and support infrastructure.  Whether trying to design and model large-scale messaging campaigns, assessing the threats and risks to supply chains from personnel or other failure modes, or assessing the impact of new technologies, the USG will require a multifaceted modeling, simulation, test, and training infrastructure built in collaboration among industry, academia, and key government users.  This panel is designed to highlight the key system components that each group will require, identify existing assets and capabilities that can be incorporated into the system, and discuss areas of common requirements. 

Confirmed Speakers: 
Moderator:  Mr. Austin Branch, UMD ARLIS
Ms. Karen Saunders, U.S. Army PEO STRI
MG (Ret.) John Davis, Palo Alto Networks
COL Ed Croot, USA, Chief of Staff, 1st Special Forces Command
Mr. George Economou, Akamai
Dr. Amy Friedlander, NSF (appearing in a personal capacity)
~ 50-60-minute panel

~ 30-minute Q&A
1445-1500Closing Session 
Presentation of the Order of Hermes Award by the IPA
Awardee and Presenter To Be Announced
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