2017 Defense Communities National Summit | June 19-21, 2017 | Washington DC | REGISTER NOW

Speaker Biographies


• Sanford D. Bishop, Jr • Lt. Gen. Gwen Bingham • Timothy Bridges • Howie Chandler • Paul Cramer • John Conger

Matthew P. Dubois • Mackenzie Eaglen • Todd Harrison • Richard Hartley • Frank Kendall

Jennifer Miller • Patrick O’Brien • Michael E. O’Hanlon • Christopher Preble • Randall Robinson • Dutch Ruppersberger

Maj. Gen. Derek Rydholm • Evelyn Sanguinetti • P.W. Singer • Adam Smith • Thomas Spoehr  • Jack Surash

Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr

Representative  for the Second District of Georgia 

Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. is serving his thirteenth term in the U.S. House of Representatives. Bishop was first elected to Congress in 1992 after serving in the Georgia House of Representatives from 1977 to 1990 and in the Georgia Senate from 1991-1992.

Bishop holds a number of leadership positions. He was a Senior Democratic Whip in the 112th and 113th Congresses. He earlier served as Chairman of a Democratic House Task Force on Homeland Security and the Working Group on Defense of Physical Infrastructure and Natural Resources.

Congressman Bishop has held leadership positions at the community, state and national levels, including serving as Georgia’s representative on the Southern Growth Policies Board and on the Governor’s Advisory Council on Drug Abuse. For the last several years, he has been named by Georgia Trend magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential Georgians.

Return to top

Lieutenant General Gwen Bingham

Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management

LTG Gwen Bingham is the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management. She assumed these duties on June 30, 2016.

LTG Bingham graduated with a General Business degree and as an Army ROTC Distinguished Military Graduate from the University of Alabama in 1981. She was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Quartermaster Corps. She holds Masters Degrees from Central Michigan University and the National Defense University.

Her military schooling includes the Quartermaster Officer Basic and Advanced Courses; Combined Arms and Services Staff School; Army Command and General Staff College; the Army Inspector General Course; Industrial College of the Armed Forces and the CAPSTONE General and Flag Officer Course.

LTG Bingham has served in a myriad of staff and leadership positions throughout her career from Platoon Leader to Two-Star Commanding General. She has deployed in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, and has served in assignments both in CONUS and overseas. LTG Bingham served as the 51st Quartermaster General of the United States Army and Commandant of the U.S. Army Quartermaster School, Fort Lee, Virginia; Commanding General, U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, and Commanding General, Tank-automotive and Armaments Life Cycle Management Command, Warren, Michigan.

LTG Bingham is the recipient of numerous military awards including the Distinguished Service Medal (with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster); Defense Superior Service Medal; Legion of Merit (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters); Defense Meritorious Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster); Meritorious Service Medal (with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters); Joint Service Commendation Medal; Army Commendation Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster); Army Achievement Medal and numerous campaign and service medals.

Return to top

Timothy Bridges

Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Headquarters Air Force

Timothy K. Bridges, a member of the Senior Executive Service, is the Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Engineering and Force Protection, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. Mr. Bridges is responsible to the Chief of Staff for leadership, management and integration of Air Force civil engineering, force protection, logistics readiness, supply, transportation, and aircraft and missile maintenance. He is also responsible for setting policy and preparing budget estimates that reflect enhancements to productivity, combat readiness and quality of life for Air Force people.

Mr. Bridges commissioned in 1979 as a distinguished graduate of the Air Force ROTC program at the Virginia Military Institute, earning a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He has served in various roles at the base level, to include design, planning, contract management, operations and RED HORSE. Mr. Bridges’ most recent assignment was as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations. He has also served twice as a base civil engineer squadron commander, and served as an installation commander. He also served as an Air Force ROTC assistant professor and held various staff positions at the major command and Air Force levels in the readiness, environmental and resources arenas. Mr. Bridges retired from active duty in the rank of colonel in July 2006 and entered the Senior Executive Service.

Return to top

General (retired) Howie Chandler

Former Vice Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force

General Chandler retired from the Air Force in March 2011 after completing more than 36 years on active duty. His last assignment was in the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., as Vice Chief of Staff, United States Air Force, where he was responsible for formulating Air Force policy and guidance for over 680,000 Airmen including organizing, training and equipping Air Force personnel for worldwide operations. He led Air Force budgeting and resourcing decisions as Chair of the Air Force Council.

General Chandler’s assignments as a general officer covered 14 years and included Commander, Pacific Air Forces; duty as Air Force Director of Operations in the Pentagon; Commander, Alaskan Command and 11 AF; Director of Operations at the beginning of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom at Air Combat Command; an additional Pentagon assignment as Director of Operational Plans; Chief of Staff, Allied Air Forces Southern Europe in NATO during the air war over Serbia; and Commander, 56 Fighter Wing, the USAF’s largest fighter wing at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona.

He served multiple overseas assignments where he worked closely with air forces of other nations in the Middle East, Europe and the Pacific. As Commander of Pacific Air Forces, he was responsible for approximately 45,000 Air Force members and their families principally in Hawaii, Alaska, Guam, Japan and the Republic of Korea. He directed operations at nine major bases with approximately 350 aircraft operating primarily from the West Coast of the United States to India.

After beginning his flying career as an instructor pilot in the T‐38, General Chandler flew all models of the F‐15 Eagle with one assignment flying the F‐16 Fighting Falcon. He has flown approximately 3,900 hours and commanded two fighter wings, a support group and a fighter squadron. He also completed staff assignments in the Pentagon, at Pacific Command, Pacific Air Forces, and the Military Training Mission, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Return to top

John Conger

Senior Adviser (Non-resident), International Security Program, CSIS

John Conger is a senior adviser to the CSIS International Security Program. Mr. Conger previously served in the Department of Defense (DoD) as principal deputy under secretary (comptroller), a Senate-confirmed position with responsibility for all budgetary and financial matters in DoD, including the development, defense, and execution of the department’s annual budget and overseeing the department’s efforts to achieve audit readiness. He previously performed the duties of the assistant secretary of defense (energy, installations, and environment) and was acting deputy under secretary of defense (installations and environment), overseeing base realignment and closure; management of more than 500 installations, 500,000 buildings, and 28 million acres; DoD’s climate change efforts; operational and facility energy policy; and environmental compliance, conservation, and clean-up programs. Prior to his appointment in DoD, Mr. Conger served in several staff positions in the U.S. House of Representatives. He holds a B.S. and an M.S. in aeronautics and astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.A. in science, technology, and public policy from the George Washington University.

Return to top

Paul Cramer

Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations, Housing & Partnerships)
Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations, Energy & Environment)

Mr. Cramer brings a wealth of experience to the Senior Executive Service, having served in numerous positions of increasing responsibility within the Army. For the last three years, he has been responsible for Construction, Housing and Base Operation issues at the Army Secretariat level and served as Acting DASA (IH&P) for nearly two years.

His previous positions include: Director of Public Works, Ft. Irwin, CA; Director of Public Works, Ft. Polk, LA; Chief of Public Works, Installation Management Command, Korea-Region; and Deputy Garrison Commander, US Army Garrison, Yongsan, Korea.

Mr. Cramer is a licensed Professional Engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia. He obtained his Masters Degree in Engineering Management from the University of Missouri-Rolla, and his Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from South Dakota State University.

Return to top

Matthew P. Dubois

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Reserve Integration)

Mr. Dubois is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Integration in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Manpower & Reserve Affairs. In this role, he serves as the principal advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs (ASD (M&RA)) in support of the ASD’s Title 10 role of providing overall supervision of the manpower and reserve affairs for the Department of Defense (DoD). He is responsible for both the seamless integration of reserve affairs across DoD and strategic engagement on all Reserve Component matters.

This includes liaising with the Reserve Forces Policy Board, the Reserve Component Chiefs, and the Council of Governors as well as exercising primary responsibility for unique Reserve Component programs to include the DoD STARBASE program, National Guard Youth Challenge, international Reserve Component programs, Innovative Readiness Training, and Reserve Component Family and Employer Programs and Policy.

He was previously the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Materiel and Facilities responsible for developing and exercising policy guidance and overall supervision of National Guard and Reserve materiel, maintenance, equipment, sustainability, facilities, energy, and military construction requirements for the Defense Department’s seven Reserve components.

Mr. Dubois retired from the Navy in 2011. He held many leadership, command, and staff positions. He is most proud to have served alongside the brave men and women of the armed forces who have always answered the nation’s call to duty with honor.

Mr. Dubois is the recipient of many awards and decorations including the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, as well as other personal and unit ribbons.

Gaining early joint duty credit, Mr. Dubois was born an Army brat in Paris, France. He attended Phillips Exeter Academy, Siena College, and Troy State University.

Return to top

Mackenzie Eaglen

Resident Fellow at the Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies

Mackenzie Eaglen is a resident fellow in the Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, where she works on defense strategy, defense budgets, and military readiness.

Eaglen has worked on defense issues in the House of Representatives and Senate and at the Pentagon in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and on the Joint Staff. In 2014, Eaglen served as a staff member of the congressionally mandated National Defense Panel, a bipartisan, blue-ribbon commission established to assess US defense interests and strategic objectives. This followed Eaglen’s previous work as a staff member for the 2010 congressionally mandated bipartisan Quadrennial Defense Review Independent Panel, also established to assess the Pentagon’s major defense strategy. Eaglen is included in Defense News “100 most influential people in US Defense” both years the publication compiled a list. A prolific writer on defense-related issues, she has also testified before Congress.

Eaglen has an M.A. from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and a B.A. from Mercer University.

Return to top

Todd Harrison

Director, Defense Budget Analysis, Director, Aerospace Security Project and Senior Fellow, International Security Program, CSIS

Todd Harrison is the director of the Aerospace Security Project and the director of Defense Budget Analysis at CSIS. As a senior fellow in the International Security Program, he leads the Center’s efforts to provide in-depth, nonpartisan research and analysis of space security, air power, and defense funding issues. He has authored publications on trends in the overall defense budget, military space systems, civil space exploration, defense acquisitions, military compensation, military readiness, nuclear forces, and the cost of overseas military operations.

Mr. Harrison frequently contributes to print and broadcast media and has appeared on CNN, CNBC, NPR, Al Jazeera English, C-SPAN, PBS, and Fox News. He teaches classes on military space systems and the defense budget at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a class on the defense budget at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. He is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing, and a member of the Defense News Advisory Board.

Mr. Harrison joined CSIS from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, where he was a senior fellow for defense budget studies. He previously worked at Booz Allen Hamilton where he consulted for the Air Force on satellite communications systems and supported a variety of other clients evaluating the performance of acquisition programs. Prior to Booz Allen, he worked for a small startup (AeroAstro Inc.) developing advanced space technologies and as a management consultant at Diamond Cluster International. Mr. Harrison served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force Reserves. He is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with both a B.S. and an M.S. in aeronautics and astronautics.

Return to top

Richard Hartley

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment and Energy

Richard K. Hartley is the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment and Energy.  He is responsible for the formulation, review, and execution of plans, policies, programs and budgets to meet Air Force installations, energy, environment, safety and occupational health objectives.

Mr. Hartley began his career in 1985 as a cost analyst and industrial engineer in the Naval Air Systems Command.  In 1992, he moved to the Air Force where he served in a variety of positions at the Air Force Cost Analysis Agency and Directorate of Cost Analysis, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Cost and Economics.  In 1997, he joined the Central Intelligence Agency as an employee of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), where he entered the Senior Intelligence Service in 2000.  As the Director of the NRO Cost Group, Mr. Hartley founded the now longstanding government and industry cost integrated process improvement team and is credited with establishing and implementing groundbreaking metrics to report and improve cost estimating performance.  In 2003, he came to the Pentagon as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Cost and Economics, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Financial Management and Comptroller.

Return to top

Frank Kendall

Former Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics

Senate Confirmed in May 2012, Mr. Frank Kendall currently serves as the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (AT&L).  In this capacity, he is responsible to the Secretary of Defense for all matters pertaining to acquisition; research and engineering; developmental testing; contract administration; logistics and materiel readiness; installations and environment; operational energy; chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons; the acquisition workforce; and the defense industrial base.  He is the leader of the Department of Defense’s efforts to increase the Department’s buying power and improve the performance of the defense acquisition enterprise.  Prior to this appointment, from March 2010 – May 2012 he served as the Principal Deputy Under Secretary and also as the Acting Under Secretary.

Mr. Kendall has over 40 years of experience in engineering, management, defense acquisition, and national security affairs in private industry, government, and the military.  He has been a consultant to defense industry firms, non-profit research organizations, and the Department of Defense in the areas of strategic planning, engineering management, and technology assessment.  Mr. Kendall was Vice President of Engineering for Raytheon Company, where he was responsible for management direction to the engineering functions throughout the company and for internal research and development.  Before assuming his current position, Mr. Kendall was a Managing Partner at Renaissance Strategic Advisors, a Virginia-based aerospace and defense sector consulting firm.

Within government, Mr. Kendall held the position of Director of Tactical Warfare Programs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the position of Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Strategic Defense Systems.  Mr. Kendall is a former member of the Army Science Board and the Defense Intelligence Agency Science and Technology Advisory Board and he has been a consultant to the Defense Science Board and a Senior Advisor to the Center for Strategic and International Studies.  Mr. Kendall also spent ten years on active duty with the Army serving in Germany, teaching Engineering at West Point, and holding research and development positions.

Return to top

Jennifer Miller

Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations

Jennifer L. Miller, a member of the Senior Executive Service, is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Headquarters Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C. Ms. Miller is responsible for the management, policy and oversight of Air Force installation programs. These include base closures and realignments, installations strategy, the Air Force Environmental Impact Analysis Process, strategic basing, compatible and joint land use, public/private partnerships, Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration program, encroachment management, housing privatization, utilities privatization, and real property transactions.

Prior to assuming her current position, Ms. Miller served as the Deputy General Counsel, Installation, Energy and Environment Division, Office of the Air Force General Counsel, Washington, D.C. She was responsible for providing legal advice to the Secretary of the Air Force, Assistant Secretaries, General Counsel, and offices of the Secretariat and Air Staff. Ms. Miller led the largest division in the General Counsel’s office responsible for real estate, housing privatization, enhanced use leasing, base realignment and closure, basing, land use, military construction, energy, environmental planning, regulatory compliance, cleanup, restoration, and environmental safety and occupational health.

Prior to becoming a member of the Senior Executive Service, Ms. Miller spent several years supporting the Air Force’s real property and housing privatization programs. Before that, she was a real estate attorney at a Seattle law firm. She is also an Army Reserve Judge Advocate and spent 2013 through 2014 deployed with a special operations joint task force.

Return to top

Patrick O’Brien

Director, Office of Economic Adjustment

As Director of the Office of Economic Adjustment, Mr. O’Brien leads a talented team of project managers in assisting local economic adjustment efforts on behalf of the Department of Defense. Additionally, he manages the Defense Economic Adjustment Program to assist communities to respond to Defense base closures, realignments, contractor reductions, and base expansions.

Prior to joining OEA, Mr. O’Brien negotiated public-private development packages of various sizes under the Urban Development Action Grant Program, reviewed labor policies, sized federal loan participations, assisted distressed communities in evaluating proposed housing and economic projects, and crafted Executive legislative initiatives for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development where he started his Federal career as a Presidential Management Intern. Over this span, he also spent time on the Hill, working on community and economic development-related issues. Preceding his tenure with the Federal government, Mr. O’Brien was an Assistant Business Developer for the City of Duluth, MN, where he assisted with the reuse of a closed air base; prepared marketing, finance, and business survey packages to assist local development efforts; supported the conversion of a former steel plant; and co-drafted the State’s first enterprise zone bill. He also served as a citizen representative to the Duluth Joint Airport Zoning Board.

Mr. O’Brien has authored technical publications, including the OEA Community Guide to Base Reuse and other resources for communities, and led different BRAC implementation policy reviews. He has demonstrated experience with all aspects of the economic adjustment process and has worked a range of issues, including: public-private initiatives; fiscal impact analyses, federal real property disposal; local organization and business plan development; redevelopment planning and finance; and, economic cost-benefit analyses.

Return to top


Michael E. O’Hanlon

Senior Fellow & Director of Research, Brookings

Michael O’Hanlon is a senior fellow in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution, where he specializes in U.S. defense strategy, the use of military force, and American national security policy. He co-directs the Center on 21st Century Security and Intelligence there with retired General John Allen. O’Hanlon is also director of research for the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. He is an adjunct professor at Columbia, Princeton, and Syracuse universities and University of Denver. He is also a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies. O’Hanlon was a member of the external advisory board at the Central Intelligence Agency from 2011 to 2012. He is a commentator and consultant on Alhurra TV.

O’Hanlon’s latest books are “The Future of Land Warfare” (Brookings, 2015); “Healing the Wounded Giant” (Brookings); and “Strategic Reassurance and Resolve: U.S.-China Relations in the 21st Century” (the latter with Jim Steinberg, published by Princeton University Press, 2014). Previously, he wrote “Bending History: Barack Obama’s Foreign Policy” (with Martin Indyk and Kenneth Lieberthal, Brookings, March 2012); “The Wounded Giant: America’s Armed Forces in an Age of Austerity” (Penguin Press, 2011); “A Skeptic’s Case for Nuclear Disarmament” (Brookings, 2010); “Toughing It Out in Afghanistan” (with Hassina Sherjan, Brookings, 2010); and “The Science of War” (Princeton University Press, 2009). He continues to co-author Brookings’s Afghanistan Index.

O’Hanlon’s other recent books include “A War Like No Other,” about the U.S.-China relationship and the Taiwan issue, with Richard Bush; a multi-author volume, “Protecting the Homeland 2006/2007” (Brookings, 2006); “Defense Strategy for the Post-Saddam Era” (Brookings, 2005); “The Future of Arms Control” (Brookings, 2005), co-authored with Michael Levi; “Neither Star Wars nor Sanctuary: Constraining the Military Uses of Space” (Brookings, 2004); and “Crisis on the Korean Peninsula” (McGraw-Hill) with Mike Mochizuki in 2003.

O’Hanlon has written several hundred op-eds in newspapers including The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Times, The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Japan Times, USA Today, and Pakistan’s Dawn paper. O’Hanlon has appeared on television or spoken on the radio more than 3,000 times since September 11, 2001.

O’Hanlon was an analyst at the Congressional Budget Office from 1989 to 1994. He also worked previously at the Institute for Defense Analyses. His doctorate from Princeton is in public and international affairs; his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, also from Princeton, are in the physical sciences. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Congo/Kinshasa (the former Zaire) from 1982 to 1984, where he taught college and high school physics in French.

Return to top

Christopher Preble

Vice President for Defense and Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute 

Christopher Preble is the vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute. He is the author of The Power Problem: How American Military Dominance Makes Us Less Safe, Less Prosperous, and Less Free (Cornell University Press, 2009) and John F. Kennedy and the Missile Gap (Northern Illinois University Press, 2004). He coedited, with John Mueller, A Dangerous World? Threat Perception and U.S. National Security (Cato Institute, 2014); and, with Jim Harper and Benjamin Friedman, Terrorizing Ourselves: Why U.S. Counterterrorism Policy Is Failing and How to Fix It (Cato Institute, 2010).

Preble has also published articles in major publications, including the New York Times, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, the Financial Times, National Review, The National Interest, andForeign Policy, and is a frequent guest on television and radio.

In addition to his work at Cato, Preble teaches the U.S. foreign policy elective at the University of California, Washington Center. Before joining Cato in February 2003, he taught history at St. Cloud State University and Temple University. Preble was a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy, and served aboard the USS Ticonderoga (CG-47) from 1990 to 1993.

Preble holds a PhD in history from Temple University.

Return to top

Randall Robinson

Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and the Environment

Mr. J. Randall Robinson is the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment (PDASA IE&E), assuming duties as of June 1, 2012. He provides strategic guidance, supervision, and oversight of policies, plans, and programs under IE&E’s purview. This includes Resource Management, Business Transformation, Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Strategic Planning of IE&E’s $16B annual program. He also serves as the Project Executive Officer (PEO) for the National Museum of the U.S. Army (NMUSA), overseeing all aspects of the NMUSA Development and Operation Plans. On 20 January, 2017, Mr. Robinson was designated the Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment.

Mr. Robinson has held a variety of leadership and management positions throughout his career to include: Director, Installation Management Command, Central Region; Region Director, IMCOM, West Region, Fort Sam Houston, Region Director, IMCOM, Northwest Region; Chief of Staff, Southeast Region, Installation Management Agency; Chief, Installation Management Support Division, U.S. Army Forces Command, Fort McPherson, Georgia; Fort Hood Deputy Garrison Commander, Fort Hood, Texas; XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg Garrison Plans and Operations Officer, Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Command Program Analyst/Executive Officer, Army Materiel Command-Saudi Arabia; Administrative Officer and Command Program Analyst/Executive Officer for the Program Manager, Saudi Arabian National Guard Modernization Program; and Budget Analyst, Belvoir Research, Development, and Engineering Center, Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

Mr. Robinson’s awards include the 2007 Presidential Meritorious Rank Award, Department of the Army’s Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service Award, Secretary of the Army’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Equal Employment Opportunity, Meritorious Civilian Service Award (3), Superior Civilian Service Award (2), Desert Shield/Desert Storm Civilian Achievement Medal, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Service Medal.

A native of Virginia, Mr. Robinson earned Bachelor of Science Degrees in Economics and Business Management from Carson-Newman College and a Master’s of Public Administration from Shippensburg University. He is a graduate of the Army Management Staff College and the Army War College.

Return to top

Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger

Representative for the Second District of Maryland 

Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger is serving his eighth term in the United States House of Representatives.

Congressman Ruppersberger currently serves on the powerful House Appropriations Committee, including the Defense, the State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs and the Homelande Security subcommittees. The Appropriations Committee is responsible for allocating hundreds of billions of federal dollars each year.

The assignment comes after a committee-record 12 years serving on the House Intelligence Committee, including four as Ranking Member. Congressman Ruppersberger was the first Democratic freshman ever appointed to the committee, which oversees the collection and analysis of intelligence from around the world to ensure our national security and prevent potential crisis situations — especially terrorist activity. He traveled to more than 50 countries including Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, China and Venezuela during his time on the committee.

Congressman Ruppersberger has served in public office for more than 30 years. He was elected to the Baltimore County Council in 1985 and again in 1989, chosen twice as council chairman. He was elected Baltimore County Executive in 1994 and 1998, and, under his leadership, the county was named one of the nation’s four best-managed counties by Governing Magazine. The county achieved three AAA bond ratings and staggering job growth during his administration.

Return to top

Maj. Gen. Derek Rydholm

Director of Plans, Programs and Requirements, Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command

Maj. Gen. Derek P. Rydholm is the Director of Plans, Programs and Requirements, Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC), Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. He is responsible for planning and programming more than $5 billion annually for a force of more than 80,000 personnel and 2,500 of the command’s organizations. He leads the development of strategic and contingency plans, major equipment requirements and doctrine reviews. Additionally, he leads AFRC’s total-force Integration efforts supporting nine major commands and all seven core function leads (CFLs).

General Rydholm is a 1983 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a 1988 graduate of the U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School. Upon graduation from the Naval Academy, he completed pilot training at Beeville, Texas, before being sent to fleet replacement training in the F-14 Tomcat at Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia. After flying F-14s operationally for three years, General Rydholm then flew F-16s as an exchange pilot at Homestead Air Reserve Base, Florida. While there he completed his commitment to the Navy and continued to fly the F-16 as an Air Reserve Technician in the 482nd Fighter Wing. Prior to his current assignment, General Rydholm was Director, Air, Space and Information Operations, Air Force Reserve Command, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia.

Return to top

Evelyn Sanguinetti

Lieutenant Governor of Illinois

Evelyn is proud to serve the residents of the State of Illinois as their 47th Lieutenant Governor. She is a wife, working mother of three and an attorney by trade. She was formerly an adjunct professor of law and a Wheaton City Councilwoman.

Evelyn was born to teenage parents in Hialeah, a neighborhood outside of Miami, FL.  Her mother was a Cuban refugee and her father, an Ecuadorian immigrant.  Evelyn recalls moving frequently as a child because her parents were unable to afford rent.  While they were of little means, her parents were determined to give Evelyn every opportunity to succeed.

Growing up, Evelyn developed a love for the arts.  She learned how to play the piano at a local community center and was accepted into The New World School of the Arts in Miami, FL. Evelyn not only became an accomplished pianist, she cultivated a love for learning.  This educational opportunity allowed her to pursue a college education at Florida International University.

Following graduation, Evelyn moved to Chicago to attend The John Marshall Law School where she developed an understanding and passion for the law and for Illinois.  Evelyn soon joined Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan’s office as an Assistant Attorney General where she fought to protect the people of the State of Illinois.

In 2010, Evelyn suffered an accident while walking on Wheaton city property.  Subsequent medical examinations revealed that she has Multiple Sclerosis.  Evelyn vowed to never let her MS stop her.  She proceeded to run for, and win, an election to the Wheaton City Council on a platform of delivering efficient, streamlined government.

As Lt. Governor of Illinois, Evelyn is committed to fighting for all Illinois residents. She will apply the same passion to her new role that has propelled her throughout her life, from humble beginnings in Hialeah, FL to becoming Illinois’ first Latina Lieutenant Governor.

Return to top

P.W. Singer

Strategist, New America; editor, Popular Science magazine

Peter Warren Singer is Strategist and Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation, the author of multiple award-winning books, and a contributing editor at Popular Science. He has been named by the Smithsonian Institution-National Portrait Gallery as one of the 100 “leading innovators in the nation,” by Defense News as one of the 100 most influential people in defense issues, by Onalytica social media data analysis as one of the ten most influential voices in the world on cybersecurity and 25th most influential in the field of robotics, and by Foreign Policy to their Top 100 Global Thinkers List, of the people whose ideas most influenced the world that year.

Described in the Wall Street Journal as “the premier futurist in the national-security environment,” Dr. Singer is considered one of the world’s leading experts on changes in 21st century warfare, with more books on the military professional reading lists than any other author, living or dead. He has consulted for the US Military, Defense Intelligence Agency, and FBI, as well as advised a range of entertainment programs, including for Warner Brothers, Dreamworks, Universal, HBO, Discovery, History Channel, and the video game series Call of Duty, the best-selling entertainment project in history. He served as coordinator of the Obama-08 campaign’s defense policy task force and was named by the President to the US Military’s Transformation Advisory Group. He has provided commentary on security issues for nearly every major TV and radio outlet, including ABC, Al Jazeera, BBC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NPR, and the NBC Today Show. In addition to his work on conflict issues, Singer served as a member of the State Department’s Advisory Committee on International Communications and Information Policy and as an advisor to IDS. In the entertainment sector, he has received awards/support from the Tribeca Film Institute, Sloan Filmmakers Fund, Film Independent, and FAST Track at the L.A. Film Festival.

His first book Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry pioneered the study of the new industry of private companies providing military services for hire, an issue that soon became important with the use and abuse of these companies in Iraq. It was named best book of the year by the American Political Science Association, among the top five international affairs books of the year by the Gelber Prize, and a “top ten summer read” by Businessweek. Singer advised the Defense Department, CIA, and the European Union on the issue and helped bring to light the role of private contractors in the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal and the Halliburton controversies in Iraq.

Return to top

Congressman Adam Smith

Representative for the Ninth District of Washington

Adam attended the University Of Washington School Of Law, and earned his law degree in 1990. He later worked in both private and public practice, first as a lawyer at Cromwell, Mendoza and Belur in 1992, and then as a prosecutor for the City of Seattle from 1993-1995. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1996 for Washington’s Ninth District.

Now in his 11th term, Adam serves as Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, where he is a strong advocate for our military personnel and their families. Adam is also committed to providing our military personnel with the best equipment available to carry out their current and future missions while ensuring that the Pentagon spends taxpayer dollars in the most efficient and effective manner. This includes carefully examining our current policies and working to eliminate fraud, waste and abuse.

Having served on the on the House Armed Services Committee since 1997, Adam formerly chaired the subcommittee on Air and Land Forces (ALF), which has jurisdiction over all Army and nearly all Air Force acquisition programs. Prior to serving as Chair of ALF, Adam chaired the Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities subcommittee, which oversees the United States Special Operations Forces and counter-terrorism policy, among other critical areas. Adam has also previously served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Return to top

Thomas Spoehr

Director, Center for National Defense, The Heritage Foundation

Thomas W. Spoehr conducts and supervises research on national defense matters such as budgets, acquisition, strategy, and policy as director of the Center for National Defense at The Heritage Foundation. Before joining the Washington think tank in 2016, Spoehr served America for more than 36 years in the Army, where he attained the rank of lieutenant general before retiring.

In senior leadership positions at the Pentagon, Spoehr was responsible for charting the Army’s financial plans, developing strategies to modernize equipment, and achieving business efficiencies and reform. His early service included operational assignments to ensure Army and joint forces were proficient in countering weapons of mass destruction — whether chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear.  As one of the Army’s foremost uniformed experts in this area, Spoehr served as commandant of its Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, where he was responsible for policy, training, and strategy. His other assignments included command at the company, battalion, and brigade levels.

In the wake of the 2015 incident in which Defense Department laboratories shipped live anthrax spores, the secretary of the Army tapped Spoehr to lead a task force that resulted in approval of corrective actions to prevent future occurrences.

Spoehr has published articles in various journals, including Parameters and Military Review, on methods to make the military more efficient and effective. He is a widely requested speaker on these topics, and has testified before Congress on Army modernization strategies and acquisition.

His operational experiences include service with combat units including the 82nd Airborne Division and the 1st Armored Division. He participated in Operation Urgent Fury, the 1983 invasion of Grenada. In 2011, Spoehr served as deputy commanding general of U.S. Forces Iraq during Operation New Dawn, overseeing the safe withdrawal of all American forces and equipment from Iraq ahead of schedule.

Return to top

Jack Surash

Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Energy & Sustainability)
Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations, Energy & Environment)

Mr. J. E. “Jack” Surash became the Acting DASA (E&S) in September 2016. In this position he is responsible for overall program direction, establishment of policies, development and refinement of strategies, and oversight for implementation of all programs and initiatives related to Energy Security and Sustainability within the Army. As the Army’s Senior Energy Executive, Mr. Surash coordinates and integrates both installation (traditional as well as expeditionary) and operational energy programs and strategies.

He comes to the Pentagon from duties as the Senior Project Management Advisor at the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (EM). Prior to that, he was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Acquisition and Project Management. In that position, he led efforts for EM’s $6 billion per year portfolio, served as EM’s Head of Contracting Activity, oversaw procurement planning, contract management, and provided project management support. A native of Charlotte, North Carolina and raised in Rochester, New York, Jack has served the nation in key positions around the world.

Return to top

2015 Sponsors