Keynote Speakers

John-Francis Mergen, Chief Scientist of Telecommunications, Raytheon
John-Francis Mergen

JF Mergen is Raytheon- BBN Technologies Chief Scientist for Telecommunications and is a member of the Cyber Security Business Unit. He has been the PI or Technical Advisor on a number of DARPA programs and has an extensive background working with the IC over the past thirty years. During this period he has been awarded over twenty-five patents ranging from energy management, to aircraft control systems to space debris removal. Currently, his main research focus is protection of the electrical power grid. Prior to rejoining BBN, Mergen was the CTO for Verizon, FNS. He was responsible for the technical oversight on a number of networking and security integration efforts. This included wide area communications systems, data sharing environments and critical infrastructure migration from copper to fiber. During this time, he focused on the simplification of integrating new technology ease of migration to the new systems. All of the system addressed had a requirement for high security and extremely high uptime. In addition to the integration efforts, Mergen also lead a number of contract research initiative in the area of communications control and security. Prior to Verizon, Mergen held the CIO and VP of Global Engineering at Genuity, (a successor company to BBN) a Verizon company responsible for the Internet backbone services. In these positions, he was responsible for the operation of large-scale hosting and application operations. This included the development and operation of remote services offerings and the continual integration of customer applications into a larger shared infrastructure. He was also responsible for the construction and 24 hour operation of a fiber network extending to five continents. Mergen is an avid flyer and resides in Baltimore, MD.

Dr. Sandeep Neema, Program Manager, DARPA
Dandeep Neema

Dr. Sandeep Neema joined DARPA in July 2016. His research interests include cyber physical systems, model-based design methodologies, distributed real-time systems, and mobile software technologies.
Prior to joining DARPA, Dr. Neema was a research associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Vanderbilt University, and a senior research scientist at the Institute for Software Integrated Systems, also at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Neema participated in numerous DARPA initiatives through his career including the Transformative Apps, Adaptive Vehicle Make, and Model-based Integration of Embedded Systems programs.
Dr. Neema has authored and co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed conference, journal publications, and book chapters. Dr. Neema holds a doctorate in electrical engineering and computer science from Vanderbilt University, and a master’s in electrical engineering from Utah State University. He earned a bachelor of technology degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, India.

Stephen A. Flynn, Ph.D., Director, Global Resilience Institute, Northeastern University
Stephen Flynn

Dr. Stephen Flynn is Director of the Global Resilience Institute at Northeastern University where he leads a university-wide research enterprise to inform and advance societal resilience in the face of growing man-made and naturally-occurring turbulence. He is a Professor of Political Science with affiliated faculty appointments in the College of Engineering and the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs. Prof. Flynn is also Co-Director of the George J. Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security at Northeastern. He has previously served as President of the Center for National Policy and spent a decade as a senior fellow for National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. In 2008 he served as the lead homeland security policy adviser for the Presidential Transition Team for President Barack Obama. Dr. Flynn was an active duty commissioned officer in the U.S. Coast Guard for 20 years, including two tours as commanding officer at sea. He is the author of The Edge of Disaster: Rebuilding a Resilient Nation (Random House, 2007), and the national bestseller, America the Vulnerable (HarperCollins 2004). He holds research affiliations with the Wharton School’s Risk Management and Decision Processes Center, and the Earth Institute at Columbia University. In September 2014, he was appointed by Secretary of Homeland Security to serve a member of the Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Council (HSSTAC). He is also a member of the National Security Advisory Board for Argonne National Laboratory. He holds the M.A.L.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University and B.S. from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

Scott F. Breor, Director, Protective Security Coordination Division Office of Infrastructure Protection
Scott F Breor

Scott Breor currently serves as the Director for the Protective Security Coordination Division (PSCD) within the Office of Infrastructure Protection at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Mr. Breor is responsible for the day-to-day business and management of infrastructure security specialists known as Protective Security Advisors (PSAs) and the Office for Bombing Prevention. These programs provide communities with effective vulnerability and security gap analyses, training, support to Special Events, and improvised explosive device (IED) awareness and risk mitigation training. Prior to PSCD, Mr. Breor served as the Deputy Director for the Infrastructure Security Coordination Division (ISCD). ISCD was responsible for the execution of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standard (CFATS) that imposes comprehensive federal security regulations for high-risk chemical facilities. The CFATS program has made our Nation more secure by identifying and regulating high-risk chemical facilities to ensure they have security measures in place to reduce the risks associated with their possession of chemicals of interest. Mr. Breor has over thirty years of military and senior executive experience in the United States government. Prior to DHS, Mr. Breor was a Naval Aviator and had served as the Senior Policy Advisor for the Chief of Naval Operations on all Homeland Security matters. While assigned to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) he led a division that supported the CNO on key warfare and Homeland Security and Defense policy decisions, which included: interagency coordination, incident management, and Department of Homeland Security/Department of Defense integration. In addition, he directed and managed the Navy Joint Doctrine program. For his work for the CNO and his efforts following the tragic events of September 11, 2001 at the Pentagon, he was awarded the Legion of Merit. As a Naval Aviator he supported operations in Iceland, Greenland, Adriatic, Mediterranean, Azores, and South America. Mr. Breor was a Senior Executive Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He received a Masters of Arts in National Security Studies and in Homeland Security and Defense from the Naval Post Graduate School, and received a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Oklahoma. In addition, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Physics from The Citadel.

Daniel Aldrich, Director and Professor, Security and Resilience Program; Northeastern University
Daniel Aldrich

Daniel Aldrich is professor and director of the Security and Resilience Program at Northeastern University. He has published four books, more than forty peer reviewed articles, and written op-eds for The New York Times, CNN, Asahi Shinbun, along with appearing on popular media outlets such as CNBC, MSNBC, NPR, and HuffPost. He has a PhD in political science from Harvard, his research has been funded by the Fulbright Foundation, the Abe Foundation, and the National Science Foundation, and he has carried out more than five years of fieldwork in Japan, India, Africa, and the Gulf Coast.

Dr. Thomas P Seager, Associate Professor, School of Sustainable Engineering & The Built Environment; Arizona State University
Dr. Thomas P Seager

Dr. Thomas P Seager is an Associate Professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering & the Built Environment at Arizona State University in Tempe AZ. Dr. Seager leads research teams working at the boundaries of engineering and social science to understand innovation for resilient infrastructure systems, including the life-cycle environmental consequences of emerging energy technologies, novel approaches to teamwork and communication in socio-technical integrative settings, and engineering ethics education. Current research sponsors include the National Science Foundation, the US Army Corp of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency, and several industry partners. Dr. Seager is the Faculty Director of the Resource Innovation Solutions Network (RISN), a partnership of between ASU, City of Phoenix and other local municipalities for fostering circular, closed-loop economies. Additionally, Dr. Seager serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of two startup companies. The first is eXperiential Sustainability Ethics Training (XSETGames, LLC), which creates digital simulations for examining economic and ethical dimensions of wicked problems including pharmaceutical pricing, intergenerational equity, the Tragedy of the Commons. These simulations have been used by corporations, government agencies, and higher education clients, including dozens of Universities on three different continents. The second is Building Integrated Solar Thermal Electricity Generation (BISTEG-USA, LLC), which is developing full-scale working sculptures that create electricity from sunlight without using photovoltaics. Lastly, Dr. Seager founded the non-profit Sustainability Conoscente Network as a mechanism for sharing knowledge related to systems approaches to sustainable technologies. The Conoscente holds the International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technologies in May of every year (

Dr. Julie L Marble; Senior Human Factors Scientist; Human Autonomy Interaction, Trust, and Collaboration
Dr. Julie L Marble

Dr. Julie Marble earned her PhD in Human Factors/Cognitive Psychology from Purdue University. After graduating from Purdue University, she joined the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) first in the Human Factors group and then the Human and Robotic Systems group. At INL Dr. Marble led research on human-autonom interaction, focusing on developing a cognitive semantic workspace and collaborative behaviors based on operator information needs for autonomous unmanned ground systems. After leaving INL, she was CEO of Sentient Corporation, where she led research developing intelligent aids for operators.

Dr. Marble worked has been a Program Manager and Senior Scientist at the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, where she led the international and US studies on Human-Reliability Analysis methods. As a Program Officers for the Office of Naval Research, she established the Hybrid Human Systems and the Human Factors of Cyber Security programs. The Hybrid Human Systems program explored methods to enhance human-autonomy interaction and collaboration and system (including the human) performance, and apply models of human performance and human cognition to then develop tools and technology to improve system performance. The Human Factors of Cyber Security Program was initially conceived as an extension of her interest in human collaboration with autonomous systems. The program sought to explore factors impacting human performance, potential for error and human sources of cyber vulnerabilities. She was appointed to the NATO Collaborative Science Office, Science and Technology Office Human Factors and Medicine Research Task Group on Human Factors and Cyber Security in 2014, which she continues today. She joined JHUAPL in 2015 as a Senior Scientist where she leads research in human-autonomy interaction, focusing on trust and collaboration.

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