Panel 2: Delivering Advantage to Enable Decision Makers

Combining the tradecraft, science, and humanity of the intelligence profession is only part of the puzzle; this work only has impact if it enables decision-makers to implement policy and take action. This panel gathers leaders and influencers to discuss what kinds of information they find most meaningful, how they determine they have enough information to make a decision, the role of oversight when assessing intelligence, and how to shape the workforce of the future.

  Dr. Ben Buchanan   Dr. Ben Buchanan is an Assistant Teaching Professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, where he conducts research on the intersection of cybersecurity and statecraft. His first book, The Cybersecurity Dilemma, was published by Oxford University Press in 2017. Previously, he has written journal articles and peer-reviewed papers on artificial intelligence, attributing cyber attacks, deterrence in cyber operations, cryptography, election cybersecurity, and the spread of malicious code between nations and non-state actors. He is also a regular contributor to War on the Rocks and Lawfare, and has published op-eds in the Washington Post and other outlets. Ben received his Ph.D. in War Studies from King’s College London, where he was a Marshall Scholar. He earned masters and undergraduate degrees from Georgetown University.

Dr. Ben Buchanan

Dr. Ben Buchanan is an Assistant Teaching Professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, where he conducts research on the intersection of cybersecurity and statecraft. His first book, The Cybersecurity Dilemma, was published by Oxford University Press in 2017. Previously, he has written journal articles and peer-reviewed papers on artificial intelligence, attributing cyber attacks, deterrence in cyber operations, cryptography, election cybersecurity, and the spread of malicious code between nations and non-state actors. He is also a regular contributor to War on the Rocks and Lawfare, and has published op-eds in the Washington Post and other outlets. Ben received his Ph.D. in War Studies from King’s College London, where he was a Marshall Scholar. He earned masters and undergraduate degrees from Georgetown University.

  Eric Fanning     Mr. Eric Fanning is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), the leading advocacy organization for the aerospace and defense industry with nearly 350 companies in its membership – ranging from multinational prime contractors to family owned businesses. As AIA’s leader, Mr. Fanning develops the association’s strategic priorities and works with member CEOs to advocate for policies and responsible budgets that keep our country strong, bolster our capacity to innovate and spur our economic growth.  Fanning joined AIA after serving as the 22nd Secretary of the Army where he provided leadership and oversight of our nation’s largest military service. He previously served as Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Defense, Acting Secretary of the Air Force and Under Secretary of the Air Force, and Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy/Deputy Chief Management Officer. He is the only person to have held senior appointments in all three military departments and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.  During his more than 25 years of distinguished government service, Mr. Fanning worked on the staff of the House Armed Services Committee, was Senior Vice President of Strategic Development for Business Executives for National Security, was Deputy Director of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, and was associate director of political affairs at the White House.  Fanning holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Dartmouth College. His awards include the Department of Defense’s Medal for Distinguished Public Service (twice awarded), the Department of the Army’s Decoration for Distinguished Civilian Service, the Department of the Navy’s Distinguished Public Service Award (twice awarded) and the Department of the Air Force’s Distinguished Public Service Award and Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service.

Eric Fanning

Mr. Eric Fanning is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), the leading advocacy organization for the aerospace and defense industry with nearly 350 companies in its membership – ranging from multinational prime contractors to family owned businesses. As AIA’s leader, Mr. Fanning develops the association’s strategic priorities and works with member CEOs to advocate for policies and responsible budgets that keep our country strong, bolster our capacity to innovate and spur our economic growth.

Fanning joined AIA after serving as the 22nd Secretary of the Army where he provided leadership and oversight of our nation’s largest military service. He previously served as Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Defense, Acting Secretary of the Air Force and Under Secretary of the Air Force, and Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy/Deputy Chief Management Officer. He is the only person to have held senior appointments in all three military departments and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

During his more than 25 years of distinguished government service, Mr. Fanning worked on the staff of the House Armed Services Committee, was Senior Vice President of Strategic Development for Business Executives for National Security, was Deputy Director of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, and was associate director of political affairs at the White House.

Fanning holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Dartmouth College. His awards include the Department of Defense’s Medal for Distinguished Public Service (twice awarded), the Department of the Army’s Decoration for Distinguished Civilian Service, the Department of the Navy’s Distinguished Public Service Award (twice awarded) and the Department of the Air Force’s Distinguished Public Service Award and Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service.

  Justin Poole   Mr. Justin Poole is the seventh Deputy Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). As deputy director of NGA, he assists the director in leading the agency and managing the day to day operations of NGA and the National System for Geospatial-Intelligence. He became the deputy director on Aug. 10, 2017, after more than 26 years of service with NGA and its predecessor organizations.  Mr. Poole previously served concurrently as NGA’s Content Portfolio Manager and the Director of Source, responsible for creating, collecting, and brokering authoritative geospatial intelligence content and services to support national security priorities.  Mr. Poole began his career as a cartographer and geospatial analyst with the Defense Mapping Agency, one of NGA’s predecessor organizations, in 1991. He held several tradecraft and system architecture developmental positions before moving into analytic and technical management positions.  Mr. Poole joined the Senior Executive Service in 2002 and has successively served as the Deputy Director for Mission Management, National Counterterrorism Center, his first Joint Duty Assignment (JDA); Deputy Program Manager for the NSG, NGA; Associate Deputy Director of Imagery Intelligence National Reconnaissance Office, his second JDA; and Director, Xperience Directorate, NGA.  Mr. Poole holds a B.S. degree in geography (cartography) from the University of Maryland and is a graduate of the Senior Managers Program at the Harvard Kennedy School. He is a recipient of numerous awards and citations including the Meritorious Presidential Rank award, Superior Civilian Service Medal and NGA’s Challenger Award.

Justin Poole

Mr. Justin Poole is the seventh Deputy Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). As deputy director of NGA, he assists the director in leading the agency and managing the day to day operations of NGA and the National System for Geospatial-Intelligence. He became the deputy director on Aug. 10, 2017, after more than 26 years of service with NGA and its predecessor organizations.

Mr. Poole previously served concurrently as NGA’s Content Portfolio Manager and the Director of Source, responsible for creating, collecting, and brokering authoritative geospatial intelligence content and services to support national security priorities.

Mr. Poole began his career as a cartographer and geospatial analyst with the Defense Mapping Agency, one of NGA’s predecessor organizations, in 1991. He held several tradecraft and system architecture developmental positions before moving into analytic and technical management positions.

Mr. Poole joined the Senior Executive Service in 2002 and has successively served as the Deputy Director for Mission Management, National Counterterrorism Center, his first Joint Duty Assignment (JDA); Deputy Program Manager for the NSG, NGA; Associate Deputy Director of Imagery Intelligence National Reconnaissance Office, his second JDA; and Director, Xperience Directorate, NGA.

Mr. Poole holds a B.S. degree in geography (cartography) from the University of Maryland and is a graduate of the Senior Managers Program at the Harvard Kennedy School. He is a recipient of numerous awards and citations including the Meritorious Presidential Rank award, Superior Civilian Service Medal and NGA’s Challenger Award.

 
  Ellen McCarthy   Ms. Ellen McCarthy is responsible for the overall direction of Noblis’s mission in the intelligence, national security, and law enforcement sectors of government and is driving our strategy and impacts in the areas of intelligence and advanced analytics. She brings an extensive background in the Intelligence Community (IC) including service as the Director of Plans and Programs of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA). As a member of NGA’s command leadership team, she provided oversight for the execution and development of strategic direction, policy, guidance and planning. She also guided the development and management of future capabilities and technologies supporting geospatial intelligence requirements and provided oversight to NGA Portfolio Managers to ensure agency-wide integration in support of strategic goals. Prior to this assignment, Ms. McCarthy was the NGA Chief Operating Officer who oversaw the daily business activities of the Agency and advised the Director on a wide variety of issues related to strategic planning, programming and budgeting, corporate governance, and partner engagement.  Before joining NGA, Ms. McCarthy served as the President of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA). As President, she led INSA in several initiatives that supported government policy and program development relating to cyber security, counter intelligence, acquisition, and homeland security intelligence. She currently serves on the INSA Board of Directors.  Prior to joining INSA in 2008, Ms. McCarthy was Director of the Human Capital Management Office (HCMO) and the Acting Director of Security within the Officer of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (OUSD(I)). As Director of HCMO, she was responsible for the development of policy, plans, programs and oversight of personnel, training, education and career development of civilian and military defense intelligence personnel with the Department of Defense. Amongst her significant accomplishments, she developed and deployed the Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System. She joined OUSD(I) in July 2004 where her primary focus was on the development of policy and strategy relating to intelligence reform which included resource management, acquisitions, collection authorities, and personnel.  Before joining the staff at the OUSD(I), Ms. McCarthy was the Director of Intelligence Operations, Strategy and Policy for the United States Coast Guard (USCG). In this capacity, she played a critical role in moving the USCG intelligence program into the IC, establishing Maritime Intelligence Fusion Centers, expanding USCG attaché presence worldwide, and establishing new intelligence and law enforcement collection capabilities.  She has worked extensively with the Navy at the strategic, operational and tactical levels having served as a Soviet submarine analyst at the Office of Naval Intelligence and at Atlantic Fleet where she supported the Navy’s undersea warfare community. Additionally, Ms. McCarthy provided direct support to joint forces as the Deputy Chief of Joint Analysis and Warfighter Support at the U.S. Atlantic Command focusing on counter drug and counter terrorism operations. Before her employment in the IC, she served as a technical research analyst at the Institute for Defense Analysis supporting the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization.  Ms. McCarthy is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and holds a master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Maryland.

Ellen McCarthy

Ms. Ellen McCarthy is responsible for the overall direction of Noblis’s mission in the intelligence, national security, and law enforcement sectors of government and is driving our strategy and impacts in the areas of intelligence and advanced analytics. She brings an extensive background in the Intelligence Community (IC) including service as the Director of Plans and Programs of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA). As a member of NGA’s command leadership team, she provided oversight for the execution and development of strategic direction, policy, guidance and planning. She also guided the development and management of future capabilities and technologies supporting geospatial intelligence requirements and provided oversight to NGA Portfolio Managers to ensure agency-wide integration in support of strategic goals. Prior to this assignment, Ms. McCarthy was the NGA Chief Operating Officer who oversaw the daily business activities of the Agency and advised the Director on a wide variety of issues related to strategic planning, programming and budgeting, corporate governance, and partner engagement.

Before joining NGA, Ms. McCarthy served as the President of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA). As President, she led INSA in several initiatives that supported government policy and program development relating to cyber security, counter intelligence, acquisition, and homeland security intelligence. She currently serves on the INSA Board of Directors.

Prior to joining INSA in 2008, Ms. McCarthy was Director of the Human Capital Management Office (HCMO) and the Acting Director of Security within the Officer of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (OUSD(I)). As Director of HCMO, she was responsible for the development of policy, plans, programs and oversight of personnel, training, education and career development of civilian and military defense intelligence personnel with the Department of Defense. Amongst her significant accomplishments, she developed and deployed the Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System. She joined OUSD(I) in July 2004 where her primary focus was on the development of policy and strategy relating to intelligence reform which included resource management, acquisitions, collection authorities, and personnel.

Before joining the staff at the OUSD(I), Ms. McCarthy was the Director of Intelligence Operations, Strategy and Policy for the United States Coast Guard (USCG). In this capacity, she played a critical role in moving the USCG intelligence program into the IC, establishing Maritime Intelligence Fusion Centers, expanding USCG attaché presence worldwide, and establishing new intelligence and law enforcement collection capabilities.

She has worked extensively with the Navy at the strategic, operational and tactical levels having served as a Soviet submarine analyst at the Office of Naval Intelligence and at Atlantic Fleet where she supported the Navy’s undersea warfare community. Additionally, Ms. McCarthy provided direct support to joint forces as the Deputy Chief of Joint Analysis and Warfighter Support at the U.S. Atlantic Command focusing on counter drug and counter terrorism operations. Before her employment in the IC, she served as a technical research analyst at the Institute for Defense Analysis supporting the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization.

Ms. McCarthy is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and holds a master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Maryland.

  Eric Schmitt (Moderator)   Mr. Eric Schmitt is a senior writer covering terrorism and national security for The New York Times. Since 2007, he has reported on terrorism issues, with assignments to Pakistan, Afghanistan, North Africa, Southeast Asia among others. He is the co-author, with The Times’s Thom Shanker, of Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America’s Secret Campaign Against al Qaeda, published in 2011.  He was first appointed as a Pentagon correspondent for The Times in May 1990. Mr. Schmitt served this position until February 1996, and then again from September 11, 2001, until 2006, covering issues of national security. Between 1996 and 2001, he worked as a domestic correspondent covering, among other subjects, Congress and immigration.  From 1983 until 1984, Mr. Schmitt was the clerk for James Reston, then the senior columnist. He joined The Times in 1983 where he has worked a number of assignments, including those in financial and business news, commercial aviation and the travel industry, and as a Long Island correspondent.  Some of Mr. Schmitt’s special projects at The Times include the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) investigation in Puerto Rico the spring of 1990, the Persian Gulf War in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait from January until March 1991, the war in Somalia in December 1992, and the conflict in Haiti in September 1994.  Before joining The Times, Mr. Schmitt was an education reporter at The Tri-City Herald in Kennewick, Wash., from September 1982 until September 1983.  Mr. Schmitt has shared three Pulitzer Prizes. In 1999, he was part of a team of New York Times reporters awarded the Pulitzer for coverage of the transfer of sensitive military technology to China. In 2009, he was a part of a team of New York Times reporters awarded the Pulitzer for coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan. And in 2017, he was part of a Pulitzer team that examined how Russia’s President Vladimir Putin projects power openly and covertly.  Mr. Schmitt was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on November 2, 1959, and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He received a B.A. in Political Science and third world development from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, in 1982. During that time, he also studied at El Instituto Internacional in Madrid for a year. He attended Harvard University’s Executive Program on National and International Security in 1991. Mr. Schmitt completed a Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University in the 2006-2007 academic year.

Eric Schmitt (Moderator)

Mr. Eric Schmitt is a senior writer covering terrorism and national security for The New York Times. Since 2007, he has reported on terrorism issues, with assignments to Pakistan, Afghanistan, North Africa, Southeast Asia among others. He is the co-author, with The Times’s Thom Shanker, of Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America’s Secret Campaign Against al Qaeda, published in 2011.

He was first appointed as a Pentagon correspondent for The Times in May 1990. Mr. Schmitt served this position until February 1996, and then again from September 11, 2001, until 2006, covering issues of national security. Between 1996 and 2001, he worked as a domestic correspondent covering, among other subjects, Congress and immigration.

From 1983 until 1984, Mr. Schmitt was the clerk for James Reston, then the senior columnist. He joined The Times in 1983 where he has worked a number of assignments, including those in financial and business news, commercial aviation and the travel industry, and as a Long Island correspondent.

Some of Mr. Schmitt’s special projects at The Times include the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) investigation in Puerto Rico the spring of 1990, the Persian Gulf War in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait from January until March 1991, the war in Somalia in December 1992, and the conflict in Haiti in September 1994.

Before joining The Times, Mr. Schmitt was an education reporter at The Tri-City Herald in Kennewick, Wash., from September 1982 until September 1983.

Mr. Schmitt has shared three Pulitzer Prizes. In 1999, he was part of a team of New York Times reporters awarded the Pulitzer for coverage of the transfer of sensitive military technology to China. In 2009, he was a part of a team of New York Times reporters awarded the Pulitzer for coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan. And in 2017, he was part of a Pulitzer team that examined how Russia’s President Vladimir Putin projects power openly and covertly.

Mr. Schmitt was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on November 2, 1959, and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He received a B.A. in Political Science and third world development from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, in 1982. During that time, he also studied at El Instituto Internacional in Madrid for a year. He attended Harvard University’s Executive Program on National and International Security in 1991. Mr. Schmitt completed a Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University in the 2006-2007 academic year.