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Virtual Panel: Combatting Disinformation in a Competitive Information Environment

October 29, 2020 @ 12:00 pm

IPA and AFCEA (ALAMO) present a Virtual Panel from 1200-1330 EST (1100-1230 CST) on 29 Oct 2020:

Combatting Disinformation in a Competitive Information Environment

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Across the National and Defense enterprise, agencies and organizations are reprioritizing and reorganizing to more effectively compete in a competitive and complex global information environment. The Nation is being increasingly impacted by cutting-edge technology and sophisticated influence activities to shape perceptions, decisions and behavior.

This landmark event, co-hosted by Alamo AFCEA and the Information Professionals Association (IPA), will spotlight the current pivot toward a convergence approach to improve our competitive advantage across the strategic and operational environments, most specifically in the cyber-enabled information space. Panel discussion will be framed by the recently released Defense Science Board study regarding global competition in the information environment, followed by Service level organizational and capability development efforts, and concluding with new initiatives to support USG and DOD priorities in cognitive security.

Don’t miss this robust dialogue around ongoing initiatives and recent developments, including the announcement of a USD(I)-sponsored effort to establish a Cognitive Security Proving Ground, re-establishment of the Phoenix Challenge information operations conference series, and discussion of the newly-established Principal Information Operations Advisor to the Secretary of Defense.

Panel Moderator

F. Austin Branch
Executive Director, Information Strategy and Programs, COLSA Corporation

Austin Branch joined the COLSA Corporation in July, 2015 after serving almost 30 years in Federal service as an Army Officer and Senior Civilian. He was commissioned as an Infantry Officer in 1986 from The Citadel, Charleston S.C. and went on to serve in multiple Command and Staff positions in conflict and in peace becoming the Army’s first Information Operations Officer. Austin pioneered military operations in the information environment in key leadership positions in the Army and Joint Organizations across the globe.

Upon retirement from the Army, Austin joined the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence as the Deputy Director and Chief of Operations for the Defense Policy Analysis Office, and in 2008 was selected as a Defense Intelligence Senior Executive as Senior Advisor for Defense Information Operations. In 2010, Austin was selected by the Secretary of Defense to lead the Information Operations and Military Information Support Defense Enterprise as the first Senior Director for this mission area in the Office of Policy and Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict. In 2013, Austin was again tapped to establish and lead a new organization at the National Counter Terrorism Center to address Domestic Counter Terrorism, Counter Violent Extremism, and Counter Terrorism Cyber Strategy and Policy in support of the National Security Council.

Austin is also one of the founder’s and President of the newly formed Non-profit, Information Professionals Association (IPA). IPA is a professional organization established to serve the interests of the broader Information community worldwide and for issues related to Cognitive Security. Austin and his wife, Carol live in Bluffton SC and have three children. They have two sons serving as active duty Army Officers and a daughter at Elon University, NC.


Ms. Lynne M. Patrick
Ms. Lynne M. Patrick is the Technical Director Sixteenth Air Force Joint Base San Antonio- Lackland Texas. Ms. Patrick is responsible to the commander for the Air Force’s Component Numbered Air Force providing Air Force Component and Combatant Commanders with technology and innovative capabilities to ready IW/AFCyber forces to plan and conduct cyberspace operations. Sixteenth Air Force personnel build, extend, operate, secure and defend the Air Force portion of the Department of Defense global network. Joint Force Headquarters-Cyber personnel perform operational planning as part of coordinated efforts to support Air Force Component and Combatant Commanders and, upon the approval of the President and/or the Secretary of Defense, the execution of offensive cyberspace operations. As the Technical Director, Ms. Patrick assists the commander and vice commander identifying relevant and key emerging technologies to better adapt IW/Cyberspace operations, and inform partners on effective technologies the community needs to pursue in an ever-changing and dynamic environment.

Dr. Brian M. Pierce, PhD
Dr. Pierce is a Visiting Research Scientist at the Applied Research Laboratory for Intelligence and Security (ARLIS) at the University of Maryland at College Park. ARLIS is a University-Affiliated Research Center of the Department of Defense supporting the Intelligence Community.

Pierce is also a mediaX Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Stanford University for 2019-2020, and serves on the advisory board for sparks & honey, a “cultural intelligence” firm based in New York City that works with Fortune 100 companies, startups and others to help them visualize disruption scenarios and zone in on opportunities.

Prior to joining ARLIS, Pierce served on the leadership team of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), as Deputy Director and then Director of the Information Innovation Office (I2O) over 2014-2019. During his tenure at DARPA, Pierce contributed to the development and implementation of the strategy for I2O driving advances in artificial intelligence, data analytics and cyber. Additional DARPA experience includes serving as the Deputy Director (2005-2010) of the Strategic Technology Office (STO) with programs in space, cyber, strategic and tactical networks, counter-underground facilities, defense against weapons of mass destruction, small unit operations, maritime operations, and global ISR. Pierce also has held leadership roles in the aerospace and defense industry, which included Technical Director for Advanced Concepts and Technology at Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems (2012-2014), and Executive Director for the Electronics Division at Rockwell Scientific Company (now Teledyne Scientific) (2002-2005).

Pierce has published 40 technical articles, and produced 28 U.S. Patents. Dr. Pierce holds a PhD and MS in Chemistry from the University of California at Riverside, and a BS in Chemistry and Mathematics (Summa Cum Laude) from the University of California at Riverside.

LTG (RET.) Ed Cardon
A retired three-star general who served for over 36 years in the United States Army, Lieutenant General Ed Cardon’s service to our nation spans nearly four decades where he honed his profession both domestically and internationally including work in Germany, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iraq, and the Republic of Korea. Most recently, he led the task force that helped create Army Futures Command, which is responsible for modernizing the Army. The foundation of this work enabled the reorganization of the Army’s command structure and created the Army’s first new major Command since 1973.

General Cardon has extensive experience establishing, leading, and transforming organizations. He has created an entirely new brigade to a strength of more than 4,000 Soldiers and deployed to Iraq. While commanding one of the Army’s premier Infantry Division’s located in the Republic of Korea, he led the merger of disparate multi-national organizations with distinct and contrasting missions into a single, unified organization. He both transformed and scaled Army Cyber Command into a world-class cyber force, while simultaneously standing up new cyber organizations to meet the demands of this contested domain.

He continues to speak about national security around the world with an eye towards cutting-edge concepts and technologies vital to continued defense related readiness and ability to prevail across the changing character and nature of war.

Robert F. “Bus” Bussian
Robert “Bus” Bussian is the Director for Cyber and Strategic Enabling in the Concepts, Development and Management Office under the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force, Arlington, Va. SAF/CDM develops and implements initiatives and activities for the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence as well as the Secretary of the Air Force. In this role, Mr. Bussian is the principal adviser to the Director, CDM, for assessing technical and operational risks, identifying optimized strategies, and determining operational efficacy to meet cyberspace, information and applied technology requirements for intelligence activities and operations.

Mr. Bussian entered the Air Force in 1985 as a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. During his military career, he served in a variety of operational and intelligence assignments, at both unit and staff levels. He has more than 4,000 hours in the B-52G/H to include assignments as an Air Force Weapons School instructor and operational squadron commander, leading expeditionary units for combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

While on active duty, he held a variety of joint assignments in Defense Agencies, Combatant Commands, the Joint Staff and Office of the Secretary of Defense. Upon retirement, Mr. Bussian joined the civil service with the Office of Naval Intelligence under a joint duty assignment to the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. He rejoined the Air Force when appointed as a Defense Intelligence Senior Leader in 2012.

Joe Kelly
Mr. Kelly, University of Maryland Applied Research Lab for Intelligence and Security (UMD ARLIS) is a versatile business leader and strategist with 30 years of experience educating senior leaders in the public and private sectors on intelligence, risk, and their intersection with information and communications technologies. He is a recognized expert on the intersection of technology, policy and strategy – with deep expertise in the changing cyber security landscape.

As President of Pointweaver, LLC, Mr. Kelly works as a consultant advising multi-billion dollar commercial clients on cybersecurity, operational and geopolitical business risk, and government foreign investment reviews and mitigation plans. During 20 years in government as both a federal employee and a contractor, he advised executive leaders in government and industry on the strategic implications of emerging technology, cyberspace operations, global influence, and international governance regimes. He served as the Acting CIO and Senior Technical Advisor for the US Government’s Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, focused on how emerging technologies challenge current assumptions about policy, law and economics. Within the Department of Defense (DoD), he served as Deputy Director for Cyber Capabilities, Chief of Cyber Intelligence and as the Head of the Information Operations (IO) Policy and Plans in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. At DoD, he was intimately involved with the establishment of US Cyber Command, the development of DoD and national policies on cyberspace, coordination of cyberspace policy and research with allies, and assessment of the threats posed by foreign investment in technology. Over the span of about two decades, Mr. Kelly provided support to DoD, the National Intelligence Council, the Navy, the Air Force, and the Army on the future of technology evolution. He holds an MA in International Relations and Economics from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a BA in Government from Georgetown University.


October 29, 2020
12:00 pm





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