CEO & Founder, Sagely
Adam Furtado is the CEO and Founder of Sagely, a learning and development technology startup that aims to guide people in their personal and professional growth. Adam is also a startup advisor and speaker. Adam has spent his career in and around government on a quest to make “good enough for government” no longer cynical. Before founding Sagely, Adam served as Chief Product Officer and was part of the founding team at Kessel Run, the Department of Defense’s most successful digital transformation initiative. Prior to his time as a civil servant, Adam served eight years in the U.S. Air Force.
Deputy Director, VA Lighthouse Developer Experience, US Department of Veterans Affairs
Andrew Fichter is the Deputy Director of the Lighthouse Developer Experience (LDX) Program at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Andrew has extensive experience working on and leading digital transformation initiatives across multiple industry sectors. He is passionate about using technology to improve lives, and finds VA’s mission to be a perfect match for this passion. Andrew is proud to be part of the LDX program at VA, particularly helping VA build easy to use, more secure software faster.
Unicorn Engineer, Defense Unicorns
Andrew (Greene) is a Software Engineer and co-founder of Defense Unicorns. As a Defense Contractor, he has worked on myriad Missions across defense. To include being a founding member of Platform One and Space CAMP. Andrew and Defense Unicorns want to make the software delivery lifecycle for Defense both FAST and SECURE by default. We are not successful until the warfighter has access to every capability they could need and the ability to update it within hours.
Acquisition Policy Director and Tradewinds Execution Lead for the Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office (CDAO)
Bonnie Evangelista is leading efforts to design and build a rapid acquisition environment aimed to accelerate the pace of digital, analytics, and artificial intelligence delivery to the Department of Defense. In her previous role, she served as the Deputy Product Lead for Applied Cyber Technologies within Army Program Manager Defensive Cyber Operations (PM DCO), leading efforts to provide the infrastructure and environments necessary for defensive cyber innovation and integration in the Army.
Bonnie is an experienced acquisition and purchasing professional with expertise gained while supporting Federal Civilian and Department of Defense agencies for 15 years. She is fluent in Federal Government program management, acquisition life cycle, and cradle to grave contracting but is known as master strategist for rapid acquisition, prototyping, and other transaction authority projects. She has dedicated most of her career to simplifying complex acquisition and contracting processes and transforming conventional procurement models and mind sets.
Founder & CEO, Rise8
Bryon Kroger is Founder and CEO of Rise8. Before that, he spent seven years as a targeteer using terrible software, which led him to cross-train to acquisitions and spend his first year building a transformation at AFLCMC, ultimately becoming one of three co-founders of Kessel Run. Bryon served as Kessel Run COO for two years, leading acquisitions, development, and operations for the enterprise-scale software lab that defined DoD DevSecOps. Frustrated by the path the DoD was taking to scale the team’s success across the rest of the enterprise, he separated and decided to tackle the problem as a digital services provider. Bryon launched Rise8 in 2019 to help change agents overcome bureaucracy and transform the way they build and deploy software to create national security outcomes in prod.
Deputy Chief Information Officer, Product Engineering Service, US Department of Veterans Affairs
Ms. Carrie A Lee is the Deputy Chief Information Officer, Product Engineering Service, at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Product Engineering builds products that deliver unparalleled value to Veterans and those who care for them by leveraging emerging technology, methodologies, and trends, including Software as a Service (SaaS), Low-Code Application Platforms (LCAP), Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), Data Management and Analytic Platforms, and Veteran Facing digital services. Under Ms. Lee’s leadership, Product Engineering combines the best aspects of focused, process-driven IT organizations with the leading practices of innovative development organizations to deliver products with a clear value proposition and the ability to meet customer needs, do it reliably, and do it in less time than any other organization.
Ms. Lee joined the VA in Jan 2019 as part of the Office of Information Security (OIS). In this role, she established VA’s cloud security and FedRAMP authorization program. Her team developed cloud security authorization policies, procedures, and guidelines in alignment with FedRAMP requirements. In addition, she developed VA’s Trusted Internet Connection (TIC) 3.0 program and led the development of VA’s first TIC 3.0 use cases which facilitated the ability for VA users to connect directly to Microsoft365 to support remote work capabilities during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to her appointment with the VA, Ms. Lee worked in various cybersecurity roles in the private sector.
Director, VA Lighthouse, US Department of Veterans Affairs
Dave Mazik is the Director of the Lighthouse Developer Experience (LDX) Program at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Leveraging his extensive experience leading large development teams and the digital transformation in flight at VA, the LDX program is transforming the developer experience whether it be for 3rd-party application developers looking to connect to VA data and services through high-quality, modern APIs or VA developers quickly finding necessary information to do their daily work and quickly build, secure, and deploy modern, high-quality K8 applications via software factories in with continuous-ATO. While challenging at times, Dave loves seeing the team enable great end-user experiences for our Veterans by enabling development in government to be better, faster, and safer.
Author & Technical Leader
David is a technical leader who enjoys writing and speaking about the leading edge of technology. Starting as a Software Engineer in leading telecom companies (including Three, Nokia and Ericsson), David moved to Liberty Mutual in 2007 and continued to drive technology change and cloud adoption. As a practicing Architect with G-P, he continues to empower and enable peers on Serverless First, Well-Architected, Engineering Excellence all to enable digital, AI, improved time to value and high-performing teams. His book, The Value Flywheel Effect - Power the Future and Accelerate Your Organization to the Modern Cloud, was published by IT Revolution in the fall of 2022 and continues to inspire modernization journeys. He is based in Belfast, writes on The Serverless Edge, is the lead organizer for ServerlessDays Belfast, is a member of the Wardley Mapping community and on X/Threads at @davidand393 and @david-anderson-belfast on LinkedIn.
Author & Principal Flow Advisor
A huge fan of using visual cues to inspire change, Dominica DeGrandis, author of Making Work Visible - Exposing Time Theft to Optimize Work & Flow, and Principal Flow Advisor at Planview, helps organizations make work visible to improve workflow. Obsessed with flow metrics & influencing change, Dominica advises customers on flow metrics, value stream management and how to affect change.
Software Director - AFWERX Autonomy Prime, US Air Force
MSgt Donald Gansberger is Software Director at AFWERX Autonomy Prime, Arlington, VA. In this capacity, his role is to oversee the software development, risk
management framework, continuous delivery and deployment pipelines including technical guidance, program management, and operational integration with
warfighters for all Autonomy efforts for the Air Force’s innovation arm.
MSgt Gansberger was born in Hollister, California. He enlisted in the Air Force in September 2001 in San Jose, California. During his career he has completed four
combat tours in Afghanistan, and has completed a diverse number of assignments, including leading the fires operations cell at the 14th Air Support Operations
Squadron (ASOS), Pope AFB, North Carolina for three years as the Chief Instructor and Chief of Standards and Evaluation. Additionally, throughout his career he has
executed CAS operations for 3rd Special Forces Group, 74th Long Range Reconnaissance and Surveillance (Ranger) detachment, 173rd Airborne Brigade and 82nd
Airborne Division and members of other governmental agencies as a Military Freefall qualified Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC). Prior to his current position,
MSgt Gansberger was the operations chief for US NORTHCOM’s counter-narcotics operations in Southern Texas. Prior to US NORTHCOM, MSgt Gansberger was the first Warfighter-in-Residence at Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx) where he combined his operational JTAC knowledge, acquisitions and requirements experience,
and his civilian background as a software developer and network engineer in the Silicon Valley to work on advanced process, contractual and engineering innovation for Air Force Special Warfare.
Deputy Director, DoD Platform One
Mr. Duong Hang is currently the Deputy Director, Platform One where he oversees a $120M program to deliver a DoD DevSecOps Reference Design-compliant components and a managed service platform with a continuous Authority to Operate for 3,500 software development teams and 33,000 daily users across 400,000 devices.
Before Platform One, Mr. Hang’s was the Technical Director for U.S. Navy PMW 160 (Tactical Networks) program management office where he oversaw the future of a $1B ACAT IA program including the Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services, Automated Digital Networks System, and Agile Core Services.
Previously, Mr. Hang was the U.S. Navy Director for Data Center and Applications Optimization (DCAO) under the Program Executive Office (PEO) for Enterprise Information Systems (now PEO Digital). In this role, he oversaw the transition and sustainment of applications and systems into secure, cost-effective hosting locations.
Before DCAO, Mr. Hang was Chief, Projects Branch, Policy, Programs, & Projects Division, CIO/G6, United States Army Europe (USAREUR). Mr. Hang’s team supported 29,000 users with a $60M portfolio throughout Europe by executing and enforcing Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Information Management services, policies, standards, architectures, programs, plans, and budget.
Prior to USAREUR, Mr. Hang was the Defense Intelligence Agency’s (DIA) C4ISR planner and project manager supporting United States Central Command (CENTCOM) and DIA employees deployed in Iraq, Qatar, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. He delivered top secret/SCI Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications Systems to support CENTCOM, DIA, the National Security Agency, the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, Army G2, the Air Force, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the
Central Intelligence Agency. Later, Mr. Hang became an exercise IT planner supporting CENTCOM’s major global exercises and commander’s conferences.
Mr. Hang is a retiring Air Force Reserve cyberspace operations officer with over 20 years of experience (eight on active duty) supporting air and space operations at the base to combatant command staff levels. He currently supports Air Education and Training Command as an individual mobilization augmentee.
Mr. Hang holds a Bachelor of Arts in Cognitive Science with an emphasis in computational modeling from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master of Science in Government Information Leadership with an emphasis in Enterprise Architecture from the National Defense University. Mr. Hang also completed the Joint and Combined Warfighting School and the Joint Cyber Operational Planner’s Course with concentration in military decision-making process at the operational level in the cyberspace domain. He is a certified Project Management Professional, Information Technology Infrastructure Library Expert, certified Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act Program Management Level 3, and an Acquisition Corps member.
Managing Partner, formula.monks
Felicia Schwartz is a Managing Partner for Formula.Monks - a management and technical consulting organization. With extensive experience in technology consulting and digital transformation, Felicia is well equipped to help Government and Commercial clients achieve their goals and execute their strategies.
As a seasoned professional, Felicia has a proven track record of empowering teams and driving successful outcomes. When asked about her approach, Felicia said, “I like to put together great teams and then act as the conductor. This enables the people on the team to feel like they have a stake in our customer’s success. We partner with our customers to make sure our focus is on their objectives and defining the right metrics for success. The free exchange of ideas, methods and technology helps us drive more successful and repeatable business outcomes while creating an enthusiastic work culture”.
In addition to playing a pivotal role in supporting clients' business goals and strategies. She is also a thought leader within the industry, staying current on emerging trends and sharing her insights with clients and colleagues.
Prior to joining Formula.Monks, Felicia served as Global Director of Application Solutions at VMware's Tanzu Labs(Formerly Pivotal) and led teams in the development and support of large scale systems in highly regulated environments.
Author & Innovation Leader
Janice Fraser is the author of Farther, Faster, and Far Less Drama: How to Reduce Stress and Make Extraordinary Progress Wherever You Lead. Janice is an ambitious and empathetic leader, enthusiastic public speaker, and advisor to innovation executives and startup founders. A Silicon Valley veteran, she’s built a storied career as a product leader, founder, facilitator, and confidant for entrepreneurs and enterprise executives alike. But her impact extends beyond the Valley with innovation and transformation projects at NASA, the Obama White House, Procter and Gamble, and many other companies in the Fortune 500. As an investor, she is particularly committed to championing and extending access to the brilliant entrepreneurs who are typically underrepresented in the world of venture-backed startups.
Author, Advisor & Leader at Tanzu Labs
As well as being an author, Jason leads a team at VMware of more than sixty product managers and designers who work with the Department of Defense and other government clients to build mission-critical software. He can say “thank you” in more than twenty languages, holds a fifth-degree black belt in Choy Lay Fut Kung Fu, and has published more than 1,600 chocolate reviews on Twitter and Instagram.
Sr. Product Designer, Skylight
Jennifer Herzberg is a Senior Product Designer at Skylight, a digital consultancy using design and technology to help agencies deliver better public services. Jennifer has led design and research efforts at early- and mid-stage startups for over nine years. Before Skylight, Jennifer was a Senior Product Designer at a women's healthcare company, where she spearheaded design projects across various platforms, working closely with cross-functional teams including product, engineering, brand, care, and operations. Her contributions extended the reach of Tia's product ecosystem, reflecting her collaborative and leadership abilities.
Jennifer's experience also includes collaborations with technology startups in education, real estate, and hospitality industries across the San Diego and San Francisco Bay areas. Her design capabilities span web, iOS, Android, Mac Desktop, and AppleTV, and she has creatively handled brand and marketing design for various mediums.
Embracing Don Norman's philosophy, "Knowing how people will use something is essential," Jennifer continues to forge paths in human-centered design. Her dedication to understanding user needs and delivering outstanding design solutions makes her a sought-after speaker and thought leader.
Site Reliability Engineer, Co-Author, Lecturer at UC Berkeley
Jez Humble co-authored Accelerate, The DevOps Handbook, Lean Enterprise, and Continuous Delivery. He has spent his more than 20-year career in software code, infrastructure, and product development across companies of varying sizes on three continents. He also worked as a member of the federal government’s 18F Team, part of the Obama Tech Surge, and co-founded startup DevOps Research and Assessment LLC, which Google acquired in 2018.
Co-Founder & CEO, Darkhive
John Goodson is the Co-Founder and CEO at Darkhive, a defense technology company focused on developing US-made low-cost autonomous drones. Prior to starting Darkhive in 2021, he served in a variety of product development and strategic contracting roles in the US defense industry focused primarily on tactical end-user software application development. John enlisted in the US Navy in 2006 and worked as a Combat Technician supporting the West Coast SEAL Teams during four tours of duty in Afghanistan, leaving the Navy in 2016 at the rank of Chief Petty Officer. He holds an undergraduate degree in Public Administration from the University of Texas at Dallas and an MS in Military Strategic Studies from Henley Putnam University. John is the recipient of the 2021 AFCEA 40 Under 40 Award and the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat Valor "V" Designator.
President, Agile Acquisitions, LLC
Jonathan Mostowski is the President of Agile Acquisitions, LLC, a company specializing in providing comprehensive Subject Matter Expertise for Federal acquisitions to both Government and Industry. With a deep understanding of the complexities of the acquisition landscape, Jonathan offers invaluable guidance to organizations seeking to navigate the intricate world of government contracts.
Co-Founder & Author
Corporate Rebels co-founder Joost Minnaar left his corporate job in Barcelona, where he lived after completing his Master’s in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at the University of Barcelona. He travels the world researching progressive organisations, blogs about the discoveries he makes and advises on workplace issues. Joost is a Doctoral Candidate at the Amsterdam Business Research Institute (VU University, Amsterdam).
Director of Strategic Initiatives, Google Public Sector
Josh Marcuse is the Director of Strategic Initiatives for Google Public Sector. He also serves on the Advisory Board of CapitalG, Alphabet's independent growth fund. He joined Google in 2020 and has led teams in public sector strategy & innovation and business development, for the U.S. and internationally. Previously, Josh served as executive director of the Defense Innovation Board, a government group of distinguished leaders focused on bringing technological and cultural innovations of Silicon Valley to the Department of Defense (DoD). Josh served as the innovation advisor to the DoD CTO and also held roles in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) for Policy, Personnel & Readiness, and the Chief Management Officer. Prior to DoD, Josh worked at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, Booz Allen Hamilton, and the Council on Foreign Relations. Josh is the founder or co-founder of three non-profits: Globally, Young Professionals in Foreign Policy, and the Federal Innovator Network at the Partnership for Public Service; and he serves on the executive board of Silicon Valley Defense Group. He is an advisor or board member to Schmidt Futures,Tech Talent Project, the Special Competitive Studies Project, and the DayOne Project.
Founding Partner, Elara Nova
Kim Crider is a Founding Partner of Elara Nova. She brings more than 35 years of experience managing multibillion-dollar global operations and technology programs in space, aerospace, cybersecurity, IT, data, and AI to the core team. A recently retired U.S. Air Force (USAF) Major General, Crider was the first Chief Technology and Innovation Officer for the newly established U. S. Space Force (USSF) where she oversaw a $2.5B Space Science & Technology portfolio and directed a $750M digital services and cybersecurity portfolio to advance the $15B global military space enterprise for 16,000 personnel. Prior to that, Crider was the Air Force Chief Data Officer, a first in the DoD, where she led the implementation of a $100M enterprise data management portfolio to assure availability of operational and business data to over 850,000 military, civilian and contract users across the Department of the Air Force’s $126B enterprise, and established a strategy for enterprise data management that has seminally influenced other DoD level data strategies and initiatives. Crider regularly advises US Political Appointees, Service Secretaries, Military Service Chiefs, and Civil Agency leaders, as well as international military, civilian and industry leaders, on the strategic use of technology to achieve competitive advantage. She has extensive international experience having served in Europe, Australia, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, and has been a seminal leader in global space, air and cyberspace operations, coalition and NATO command, control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and international information sharing. She built and led two multimillion-dollar specialty consulting firms focused on IT/data strategy, cybersecurity, and digital services in the education, architecture & engineering, financial services and health technology sectors. A senior engineer at the MITRE Corporation for over 15 years, Crider led the engineering for global enterprise networks, cybersecurity, and advanced surveillance radar systems across the DoD and Homeland Security. Crider earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Duke University, an M.B.A. from Western New England University, and a Graduate certificate degree in Organizational Behavior from Harvard University. She graduated with distinction from the USAF Air Command and Staff College and the National Defense University Industrial College of the Armed Forces and has been an executive fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the University of Tennessee.
Acquisition & Innovation Leader
Kristina Botelho is currently revolutionizing acquisition practices in the development and operation of a RapidX Innovation Contracting cell at Hanscom Air Force Base. In addition, she supports AFWERX Spark in managing the Defense Ventures Fellowship contract, provides acquisition training to AFWERX Spark cells around the globe, and provides dedicated contracting support to future strategic leaders’ acquisition training. Notably, she was among the founders of Kessel Run, powering the way for the first DOD software factory with agile contracting.
As the head of AI at Formula.Monks, an AI-driven consultancy, Kwasi harnesses the power of generative AI, GPT, and other foundational models to craft tailored solutions for clients. With a journey spanning 15 years across diverse sectors like FS, Consulting, Government, and Tech Startups, Kwasi has refined an expertise in data science, statistical analysis, and optimization. Beyond the jargon, Kwasi is adept in NLP and CV with Pytorch, a deep learning enthusiast, and proudly an AWS Certified Machine Learning Specialist. More than just the tech, Kwasi takes pride in a hands-on approach with clients. It's not just about making machines smarter; it's about understanding the heart of business challenges and turning them into opportunities with AI. Every project that Kwasi undertakes has a clear goal - ensuring clients are ahead of the curve, powered by the best of AI. Outside of algorithms and code, Kwasi is a fervent advocate for Diversity & Inclusion. During his tenure at the FCA, he was honored to serve as vice-chair for Spectrum, emphasizing the importance of Race and Ethnicity inclusion.
Sr. Advisor, US Office of Personnel Management & Co-Founder, Govern For America
Kyleigh Russ is a Senior Advisor to the Deputy Director of OPM on an appointment under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act. She advises OPM leadership on recruiting, hiring, and general personnel operations, with a special focus on technical, AI, and early career talent. Kyleigh runs the Tech to Gov Working Group, a group that brings together HR, hiring managers, tech leadership, and anyone who is excited to ring more tech, cyber, AI, and data talent into government. This group tackles both short term and systemic challenges in Federal hiring – like skills-based hiring reformation – and ventures to inspire this in-demand talent to join government for tours of service or for their careers. Kyleigh is on leave from her home organization of Govern for America, a company that she co-founded and is currently a board member of. Govern for America imagines a world where our most dynamic young leaders see government as an avenue for meaningful change, and our government reflects the values and diversity of our nation. GFA is making this vision a reality through their Govern for America Fellowship where diverse, recent graduates are placed in government to work on strategic priorities and innovative projects and bring their skills to bear on the most pressing challenges facing our communities. The GFA Fellowship layers 2 years of training, mentoring, and coaching on top of Fellows’ placements to inspire and empower these next generation leaders to dismantle systemic inequities, build more inclusive public systems, and create a more effective government. As co-founder and former COO, Kyleigh cocreated the vision and strategy for the founding and growth of the organization, led the Fellow recruiting and selection process, managed the internal operations and team, and ran the nonprofit’s strategic and government partnerships development. Prior to co-founding GFA, Kyleigh taught at a charter school in Boston where she saw firsthand how policy decisions and government programs can impact underrepresented communities without a voice at the table. She decided to launch GFA to help change the hiring system from one built on connections and networking to one where the most exceptional, skilled candidates from all backgrounds and communities have a chance for a seat at the decision making table. Kyleigh holds an AB in Government from Harvard University and an MPA from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.
EVP, Global Public Sector, Second Front Systems
Lathan Turner is the Executive Vice President of Global Public Sector at Second Front Systems, overseeing the management of the US and international government-focused business unit. With an exceptional career spanning over 22 years, Lathan brings a wealth of leadership experience in both military and business domains, from spearheading the research, development, and acquisition of advanced reconnaissance systems within the U.S. Air National Guard and the National Reconnaissance Office, to driving cloud adoption and strategic sales execution at Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Chief Innovation Officer, SAIC
Lauren Knausenberger is the current Chief Innovation Officer at SAIC and former Chief Information Officer at the Department of the Air Force, comprised of the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force. During her time at the Department of the Air Force, Ms. Knausenberger led two directorates and supported 20,000 cyber operations and support personnel around the globe with a portfolio valued at $17 billion. She provided oversight of the Air Force’s Information Technology portfolio including the Information Technology investment strategy from networks to cloud computing, Enterprise policies, information resources management, IT innovation initiatives, information assurance, and related matters for the Department of the Air Force. Previously, Ms. Knausenberger held positions of increasing responsibility at American Management Systems and CACI, beginning as a systems analyst and designer, then as a go-to project manager for program turnarounds, a program manager for large IT and finance programs, and finally as a division manager overseeing much of the company’s Intelligence Community portfolio. During this time, Ms. Knausenberger had the pleasure of serving the mission of the CIA directly as well 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 University of Maryland and a Master of Business Administration from University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business.
Director of Governance, Risk, and Compliance, Aquia
Lloyd Evans is an Air Force Veteran and cybersecurity professional with experience in the federal ecosystem spanning the Air Force, U.S. Navy, Kessel Run, and the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Currently the Director of Governance, Risk, and Compliance at Aquia, Lloyd has spent the last decade studying leadership and implementing the skills he has learned to find immense success, from direct contributor roles to tech lead to director.
Principal, Decisive Point
Lori-Ann is a Principal at Decisive Point working with portfolio companies to develop and execute effective government contracting strategies that transition successful prototypes into production at scale. Previously, Lori-Ann worked for 11-years as a Government Contracting Officer for the Air Force’s major weapons systems where she spearheaded groundbreaking adoption of innovative acquisition efforts. Among them includes being on the original team at Kessel Run, one of the Air Force's most successful software factories to date, which brought commercial best-practices in agile software development into the Air Force. Lori-Ann received her BS in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her MS in Accounting from Southern New Hampshire University. Lori-Ann is a member of the Board of Directors for the Boston Chapter of the National Contract Management Association (NCMA).
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Information Security & Chief Information Security Officer, US Department of Veterans Affairs
Lynette Sherrill is an accomplished Information Technology management professional with over 18 years of experience working for both federal and municipal governments to operate and defend their vital networks and information by providing excellence in information technology operations and customer service. Previously, Ms. Sherrill was responsible for the Enterprise Service Desk, where she had responsibility for managing the Tier 0 and Tier 1 IT services that support the Department of Veterans Affairs. Her team managed over 4 million incidents and requests for information technology services each year. Ms. Sherrill has also served the Department of Veterans Affairs as the Deputy Director for the Field Security Service Health Information Security Division. She was responsible for establishing, maintaining, and providing oversight for VA’s Medical Device Protection Program – a comprehensive security program that encompasses pre-procurement assessments, medical device isolation architecture, communication, training, and security validation. Ms. Sherrill was recognized as an industry leader in 2015 when she was awarded the NextGov Bold Award in Government innovations. Ms. Sherrill has held network security management, information and technology management, and security specialist positions with the VA Network Security and Operations Center – Computer Network Defense Division, VA IT Office of Oversight and Compliance, VA Austin Automation Center, City of Austin Government, and Department of the Army.
Mission Manager, Defense Unicorns
Marc has a diverse career, from building DevOps consultation practices to developing Customer Success organizations at hyper-growth startups. He is now privileged to drive successful engagements with mission heroes as a Mission Manager at Defense Unicorns, a modern defense company transforming how the U.S. defense apparatus buys, builds, delivers, and sustains mission software and AI capabilities.
Co-Author & Former VA CTO
Marina Nitze, co-author of the new book Hack Your Bureaucracy, is currently a partner at Layer Aleph, a crisis response firm that specializes in restoring complex software systems to service. Marina is also a fellow at New America's New Practice Lab, where she works on improving America's foster care system through the Resource Family Working Group and Child Welfare Playbook. Marina was most recently the Chief Technology Officer of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs under President Obama, after serving as a Senior Advisor on technology in the Obama White House and as the first Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the U.S. Department of Education. She serves on the advisory boards of Foster America, Smartsheet, and Think of Us; created TaskTackler, the personal productivity app for Type-A personalities; and previously authored the book Business Efficiency for Dummies. She lives in Seattle, WA.
Principal Acquisition Leader
Matt MacGregor is currently a Principal Acquisition SME at MITRE’s Center for Acquisition and Management Sciences. He spent 21 years as a military and civil service program manager, including as the F-35 Deputy Program Manager. His last five years in government before joining MITRE were at the Pentagon where he served as a Division Chief in multiple headquarters acquisition roles
Matt Nelson is a seasoned software leader known for his expertise in organizational leadership, technology transformation, and cybersecurity. With a career spanning both the public and private sectors, he has consistently delivered outstanding results and innovation. In his role as BESPIN's Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Matt champions the Air Force's Mobile Software Factory. As CTO, his mission is to harmonize people, processes, and technology, to achieve continuous delivery while advancing mobile adoption throughout the DoD. Throughout his career, Matt held pivotal roles, including Chief Operating Officer at Rise8 and during his active duty military he was the Chief Business Officer at Kessel Run. Finally, Matt is a Lt Col in the Air Force Reserves where helps the Business Enterprise Directorate achieve outcomes through effective DevSecOps implementation.
Air Force Service Lead, Defense Innovation Unit
Max is a leader of digital transformation in the US Government, currently in the position of US Air Force Service Lead for Defense Innovation Unit. Having worked in, founded, collaborated with and supported a multitude of software factories and other innovation cells within government, Max speaks from experience on the challenging but rewarding work that it takes to drive rapid modernization within thick bureaucracies. From technical architecture to evolving policy to managing stakeholder interests, he consistently seeks to find convergent solutions to the divergent problems plaguing the innovation community within government. Max is a keynote speaker, workshop facilitator, journal co-author and active duty air force officer. He lives in Boston, MA.
Founder & CEO, Dcode
Meagan Metzger is the visionary Founder and CEO of Dcode, a company at the forefront of
empowering the federal government to leverage technology to enhance our government's
competitive edge on the global stage. In addition to her role at Dcode, Meagan is a founder and
General Partner at Dcode Capital, a venture capital firm investing in growth-stage emerging tech
companies alongside other top-tier venture firms, such as GV, NEA, and Social Capital.
Her influence extends beyond Dcode, as she serves on the Board of Directors for the Defense
Entrepreneurs Forum (DEF), is a founder and a Board member for the Alliance for Commercial
Technology in Government, and previously served on the Federal Advisory Board for Wickr,
which was acquired by AWS. Meagan boasts several awards, including the Washington
Business Journal 40 under 40, the FCW Federal 100 award, and the Top 50 Women in
As COO at Effia, Meagan helped more than double the company’s growth and drove the
company’s visions of rapid prototyping of commercial capabilities in transformative government
missions. As Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) at P3, she propelled the company’s growth to secure
Washington Technology's Fast 50 recognition, as one of the fastest-growing companies in the
D.C area for three consecutive years. There she also served as the primary leader for programs
that overhauled multi-billion government IT systems, driving critical innovation and saving
millions in taxpayer dollars. Meagan holds a degree in Applied Science and Technology and
Business from The George Washington University.
Operations Research Systems Analyst, United States Army
Melissa Sayers is currently serving as an Operations Research Systems Analyst (ORSA) in the United States Army at First Army, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois. She has also served in the Center for Army Analysis and Army Materiel Command as an ORSA. She holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Melissa has nine years’ experience using data to solve business problems and communicate with operational leaders. She builds data engineering pipelines, teaches data literacy, and leverages optimization and prediction to enable decisions. Her recent experience focuses on transportation tracking, efficient business operations, financial auditability, and recruiting challenge identification. She routinely codes in Python (Spark, pandas), R (tidyverse, RStudio), and SQL using tools like Foundry, DataBricks, Amazon Web Services ec2 instances, PowerBI, and Tableau. She manages technical teams and resources. She orchestrates technical solutions using data and translates operational impact to leaders.
Melissa holds a Master of Computer Science in Data Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign. She also holds a Bachelors in Physics Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering. She is a member of the Military Operations Research Society where she is a co-chair and co-founder of the Analytic Capability Development working group focused on manning, training, and equipping data focused professionals.
Prior to becoming a data professional, she served as a heavy wheel diesel mechanic and helicopter pilot. She is married to her supportive husband, David. Together, they have three wonderful daughters, Charlotte age two, Hannah age five, and Alexis age seven.
US Marine Corps (Ret.)
Michael served over 36 years in the Marine Corps, culminating his career as the Director of the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, and the senior executive for AI in the Department of Defense. He previously served at the National Security Agency, overseeing Computer Network Operations, and as the Director of Joint Staff Intelligence (JSJ2), working closely with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Groen is an experienced Marine commander and multi-tour combat veteran. He has earned Master’s Degrees in Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics. He is the author of, With the First Marine Division in Iraq, No Greater Friend, No Worse Enemy.
Sr. Director, VMware
Mik Freedman is a Senior Director at VMware, leading Tanzu Labs’ Americas Application Services business. He has over 15 years' experience in the software industry as an engineer, consultant, strategist and leader. Throughout his career Mik’s focus has been on partnering with customers to deliver great products across many industries.
Director of Engineering Growth, Clarity
Mike Lanciano is the Director of Engineering Growth at Clarity, a digital services firm in Columbia, MD. Mike has over a decade of experience adding value across multiple industries including finance, energy, education, government, and defense as well as multiple technical disciplines such as appdev, platform, and data engineering. He is passionate about digital transformation of the public sector and bringing strong developer culture into new organizations to help them deliver faster, safer, and more often.
Executive Director for Growth, Metronome
Since being in the Army and having stacks of deadlined systems under his responsibility, Mike has been passionate about finding a better way to ensure the right capabilities get to the mission users. While he doesn't have the formal coding background, his focus and passion is on ensuring that tech and mission needs are aligned, and calling out the forces that hinder success.
Developer Relations Engineer, Google Cloud
Nathen has built a career on helping teams realize their potential while aligning technology to business outcomes. Nathen has had the privilege of working with some of the best teams and open source communities, helping them apply the principles and practices of DevOps and SRE. He is part of the Google Cloud's DORA research team and a co-author of the 2021, 2022, and 2023 Accelerate State of DevOps Reports. Nathen was an editor for 97 Things Every Cloud Engineer Should Know, published by O'Reilly in 2020.
Federal Lead - AWS Marketplace, AWS
Accomplished executive with over 20 years leading high-profile initiatives applying technology to drive transformation and growth for critical missions. Currently championing digital acquisitions as the foundation for digital transformation, recognizing that streamlining procurement is fundamental to adopt new technologies. With two decades of experience implementing cutting-edge tech absent procurement reform, it's time to bridge the "valley of death" between proof-of-concept and production. Procurement transformation must underpin digital transformation.
Co-Author & Former US Deputy CTO
Nick Sinai is a venture capitalist, adjunct Harvard faculty, and a former senior White House official in the Obama Administration. As a Senior Advisor at Insight Partners, Nick serves on the board of Rebellion Defense, Hawkeye360, LeoLabs, and Shift5. He writes and teaches about technology in government, and serves as a commissioner on the Atlantic Council's Commission on Remaking the US Defense Innovation System. He’s been quoted in the Economist and the WSJ, and testified in front of Congress. Recently, Nick co-founded the U.S. Digital Corps, a new two-year federal fellowship for early-career technologists, launched in the summer of 2021.
Change Agent & Transformation Artist
Paul Gaffney is a change agent who has led profound transformations in technology, operations, and overall business results for several iconic American brands. He has served as Chief Technology Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Supply Chain Officer, and Chief Executive Officer, but his focus is always on a human-centered approach to identifying and solving problems, motivating team members to contribute to success in ways they previously thought impossible. Paul was inducted in the Chief Information Officer Hall of Fame by CIO magazine and is a 2009 Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute as well as a member of and moderator for the Aspen Global Leadership Network seminars program.
VP, Beacon Global Strategies
Pete Modigliani is a Vice President at Beacon Global Strategies. He is a leader in defense acquisition with over 25 years of experience transforming the Department of Defense and intelligence community enterprises. He has testified before Congress, published numerous papers and articles, and guest lectures at senior DoD acquisition courses on acquisition to enable greater speed, agility, and tech adoption. Prior to joining BGS, Mr. Modigliani worked at the MITRE Corporation serving as the Defense Acquisition Lead for the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment (USD(A&S)). He led many strategic initiatives to include the Adaptive Acquisition Framework, Middle Tier of Acquisition, and Software Acquisition pathways as well as portfolio management, requirements, and budget reforms. He advised major programs on their acquisition and contracting strategies to deftly navigate the program lifecycle with greater speed and success. Mr. Modigliani served on the Section 809 Panel, a Congressionally directed panel chartered to streamline and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Defense Acquisition Process. Prior to MITRE, he was an Assistant Vice President with Alion Science and Technology managing a team of senior acquisition professionals within the Air Force Acquisition Executive office. He advised Air Force program managers on their acquisition and budget strategies and Pentagon leaders on enterprise initiatives for the $6B information dominance portfolio. Mr. Modigliani began his career as an Air Force program manager with major aircraft and software systems. He partnered with industry executives to prototype a B2G portal to foster collaboration. He received a BS in industrial engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology and an MBA from Boston College.
Pim de Morree
Co-Founder & Author
Pim de Morree co-founded Corporate Rebels after saying goodbye to a frustrating corporate job. That was three years after finishing his studies in Industrial Engineering and Management Science and Innovation Management at the Eindhoven University of Technology. Besides travelling the world to research progressive organizations, he writes for the Corporate Rebels blog, advises companies, and gives keynote presentations to inspire organizations to radically change the way they work. Together with the rest of the Corporate Rebels team, he supports the growth of a global movement to make work more fun.
Product Manager, Rise8
At his core, Rob Monroe is a product-led enthusiast with 10 years of experience unlocking startup and large-scale enterprise innovation, for both Commercial and now Federal Government. While most product people are obsessed about company revenue and sales, Rob aspires to be a global leader who empowers organizations to achieve warp-speed delivery of meaningful outcomes that users love, by optimizing their path to production.
Whether it's mission-critical software or the platforms they are built on, Rob’s new passion is focused on achieving a future where fewer bad things happen due to bad software. In his mind, there is nothing better than bringing passionate technologists together to collaborate on solving the most underserved user of all time, the people within our own organizations.
Founder & CEO, Long Capture
Russell Long founded Long Capture in 2017 to assist commercial companies in making the transition to pursue federal funding by leveraging opportunities provided by the DoD. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and management from United States Airforce Academy, and a Masters in Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurial Studies from Oklahoma State University. Prior to founding Long Capture, Russell worked hands-on in the field for over 5 years active duty as a Contracting officer for the US Air Force. This experience allowed him to get a better context of the end-user aspect of transactions so that he could bring with him a better understanding of the needs in the DoD. This expertise is now well-served in the way that he assists clients in addressing identified needs in a proposed form that will be best received by decision makers. At Long Capture, Russell leads a unique team of SBIR and Phase III experts who stand out as leaders in the space and continue to contribute to the success of multiple companies in achieving sole-source authority to pursue greater federal funding. Since founding Long Capture Russell has helped over 410 tech startups win more than $276M in contract awards enabling these companies to deliver their leading-edge technology to the warfighter.
Siobhán Mc Feeney
Chief Technology Officer, Kohl's
Siobhán Mc Feeney, chief technology officer, is responsible for all technology, information, and digital platforms supporting Kohl’s omnichannel business. Mc Feeney joined Kohl’s in 2020 as senior vice president, technology and was promoted to executive vice president, technology in 2022 — leading Kohl’s application product teams, data science, product design, enterprise analytics, and product enablement. Since joining Kohl’s, Mc Feeney has championed and accelerated the company’s product-centric software development journey to better serve Kohl’s customers and fuel business growth. With over 25 years of information technology and finance experience, Mc Feeney has held a number of leadership positions. Prior to Kohl's, she led innovation and strategy at Pivotal Software, Inc. — where she focused on enabling large clients to develop new ways of working. Mc Feeney also spent a decade at AAA Northern California in various leadership roles, including chief financial officer, chief information officer, and interim chief executive officer. She began her career as an accountant working at Deloitte and KPMG Ireland.
VP of Sales, Second Front Systems
TJ Rowe is the VP of Sales at Second Front Systems. After completing his Engineering degree at the United States Military Academy West Point, TJ spent seven years as an Infantry Officer in the US Army before transitioning his success to the land of commercial real estate. TJ then returned to the world of defense, taking a position as the Director of Growth at Second Front and then transitioning to his current position.
CEO, Second Front Systems
Tyler Sweatt is the CEO of Second Front Systems (2F). He works with government and commercial customers to reduce barriers between commercial technology and defense and national security communities. His focus is on changing how global government agencies identify, engage, and vet commercial technology companies and how commercial technology companies deliver software to government users.
He is also a Technical Advisor at Pallas Advisors, and a partner at the non-profit Silicon Valley Defense Group.
Previously, Tyler served as the Head of National Security at CalypsoAI and founded and sold technology advisory firm Future Tense. He also led the emerging technology and security practice at Toffler Associates, working with US and international governments and corporations to build strategies for rapidly changing technology and security landscapes. A graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, Tyler is a former U.S. Army officer.
Chief of Autonomy Operations - AFWERX SPARK, US Air Force
Major Victor J. Lopez is the Chief of Autonomy Operations at AFWERX SPARK, Air Force Research Lab, Cambridge, MA. He was born in Corpus Christi, Texas. Major Lopez began his career at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in 2007, where he helped test the feasibility of incorporating satellite data into a new
weather forecasting system. In 2013 Lt Lopez graduated from the Air Force Academy and earned his commission in the Air Force with a Bachelor of Science in Astronautical Engineering and went on to attend undergraduate pilot training at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas. He transferred to Undergraduate Remote Pilot Training in 2014 and graduated as the top stick and distinguished graduate in August of 2015. After completing initial qualification training as the top academic graduate, Lt Lopez was assigned to the 732nd Operations Group, 17th Attack Squadron at Creech Air
Force Base, Nevada. At Creech, he served as a dual-qualified pilot, mission, and flight commander, leading up to ten combat lines in multiple multi-ship engagements and serving as a flight lead for various joint operations. His outreach work continued during this time, earning Lopez two National awards for engineering outreach in the local community. Lopez also completed his master’s degree in Systems Engineering at The Georgia Institute of Technology, specializing in the rapid development of military systems. After helping lead multiple operational tests of new technology at Creech for the MQ-9, Lopez was recruited by the Vice Chief of Staff in 2019 to stand up a new Artificial Intelligence Unit at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Here, Lopez helped down select over 240 project proposals to ten, to accelerate innovations in Artificial Intelligence with direct applications to fielded units across the Air Force. Today, Major Lopez is the robotics chief at AFWERX Spark, helping to leverage autonomy and machine learning advancements for robotic autonomous systems iteratively for the warfighter. He continues to fly operationally with the 103rd Attack Squadron, Horsham Air Guard Station in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, accruing nearly 2,000 hours over the past ten years, with over 1,500 of those in combat operations.
Growth, Defense Unicorns
Victoria is currently on the Growth Team at Defense Unicorns, a modern defense company transforming how the U.S. defense apparatus buys, builds, delivers, and sustains mission software and AI capabilities. In her role she supports the end to end customer journey. Prior to her current role, Victoria spent ten years Active Duty Air Force in various acquisition roles contracting for operational units and major weapon systems. She culminated her career at Platform One, driving the DoD DevSecOps Initiative within the Acquisition Community. Victoria received her B.S. in pre-law from the United States Air Force Academy and her M.S. in Project Management from Boston University.