Technology and national security conference
Saturday, April 15, 2023
Technology and national security conference
Saturday, April 15, 2023
Saturday, April 15, 2023
Saturday, April 15, 2023
Thank you to our sponsors, speakers, organizers, volunteers, and attendees for a highly successful and thought-provoking 2023 conference. Information regarding next year's conference will be posted as it becomes available. The 2024 conference will take place on the Harvard Business School campus in April 2024. Please feel free to contact us with suggestions and improvements for next year's conference.
The HBS and MIT Technology and National Security Conference brings together practitioners and thinkers from the public and private sectors to discuss the challenges, opportunities, and emerging dynamics confronting the global defense establishment. The 2023 conference will focus on the technological developments and innovation gleaned from the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and their implications for a future China-Taiwan contingency.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has highlighted multiple strengths and weaknesses in U.S., allied, and partner defense industrial base’s ability to respond rapidly to the crisis and adapt current practices for future conflicts. The U.S. Intelligence Community accurately predicted and publicized President Vladimir Putin’s invasion playbook to limit his options. Ukraine has employed information warfare and unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to massively disrupt Russian operations. Allied weapons’ manufacturers have faced long production and delivery timelines as governments deplete domestic stockpiles to surge weapons to the conflict zone. These innovations and problems are just a few examples of the “lessons learned” for the national security establishment.
Beyond Russia and Ukraine, these insights are particularly relevant to U.S., allied, and partner defense and industrial policy as senior decision-makers respond to Chinese aggression against Taiwan. As the cross-strait balance of power tilts further in Beijing’s favor and the risk of conflict increases, the U.S., alongside allies and partners, must shape emerging technology today to deter Chinese designs on the island and avoid great power war in the near future.
Important Reminders: The conference will begin at 9AM on Saturday, April 15, with a fireside chat with General McConville and Christian Brose. Please arrive by 8:30AM for registration. Light breakfast and coffee will be served from 8AM until 9AM on the E52-7th floor. The dress code for the conference is business casual.
Formal conference programming concludes at 6PM, with a post-conference recepti
Parking - Hayward Garage (yellow triangle)
Event - Samberg Conference Center (blue star) - entrances marked by green triangles
Registration - Event registration is on the 7th floor of the Samberg Conference Center
Gen. James C. McConville assumed duties as the 40th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, Aug. 9, 2019, after most recently serving as the 36th Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army.
He is a native of Quincy, Massachusetts, and a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. He holds a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and was a National Security Fellow at Harvard University in 2002.
McConville’s command assignments include commanding general of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), where he also served as the commanding general of Combined Joint Task Force-101, Operation Enduring Freedom; deputy commanding general (Support) of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), where he also served as the deputy commanding general (Support) of Combined Joint Task Force-101, Operation Enduring Freedom, commander of 4th Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Operation Iraqi Freedom; commander of 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault); and commander of C Troop, 2nd Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division (Light).
His key staff assignments include the U.S. Army deputy chief of staff, G-1; chief of Legislative Liaison; executive officer to the vice chief of staff of the Army; G-3 for 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault); J5 strategic planner for U.S. Special Operations Command; S-3 for 25th Combat Aviation Brigade; S-3 for 5th Squadron, 9th Cavalry; and S-3 for Flight Concepts Division.
McConville is a senior Army aviator qualified in the AH-64D Longbow Apache, OH-58 Kiowa Warrior, AH-6, AH-1 Cobra and other aircraft. His awards and decorations include two Distinguished Service Medals, three Legions of Merit, three Bronze Star Medals, two Defense Meritorious Service Medals, three Meritorious Service Medals, two Air Medals, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, two Army Commendation Medals, four Army Achievement Medals, the Combat Action Badge, the Expert Infantryman’s Badge, the Master Army Aviator Badge, the Air Assault Badge, the Parachutist Badge, and the Army Staff Identification Badge.
Christian Brose is the Chief Strategy Officer of Anduril Industries, a venture-backed defense technology company. He is the author of The Kill Chain: Defending America in the Future of High-Tech Warfare and formerly Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. From 2014-2018, he was the staff director of the Senate Armed Services Committee. He led a team of professional staff who supported Chairman John McCain and other majority Committee members in overseeing the national defense budget, programs, and policies across the Departments of Defense and Energy, and supervised the confirmation of all senior civilian and military officials in both departments. He managed the production, negotiation, and final passage of four National Defense Authorization Acts (Fiscal Years 2016-2019), which established policy and authorized spending for all U.S. national defense activities. From 2009-14, he served as senior policy adviser to Senator John McCain, supporting his work on the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was Senator McCain’s principal advisor on all issues related to national security, foreign policy, intelligence, and trade. From 2008-09, he was senior editor of Foreign Policy. From 2005-08, he served as policy advisor and chief speechwriter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, working as a member of the Secretary’s policy planning staff. He began his career in government as a speechwriter for Secretary of State Colin Powell, from 2004-05. He graduated from Kenyon College and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He is a member of the Aspen Strategy Group.
Lt. Gen. Nina M. Armagno is the Director of Staff, Headquarters, U.S. Space Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia. In this role, she synchronizes policy, plans, positions, procedures, and cross functional issues for the U.S. Space Force headquarters staff.
Lt. Gen. Armagno earned her commission and graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in June 1988. She is a career space operator with over 34 years of operational experience. She is the first Lieutenant General commissioned in the United States Space Force, she is the only person to have commanded both launch wings in the United States Air Force, and prior to her current assignment, Lt. Gen. Armagno was the Director, Space Programs, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Acquisition. She directed the development and procurement of space programs for the Air Force and crafted program strategies for representing Air Force positions to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, the office of the Secretary of Defense, Congress, and the White House. She has also served as Director of Plans and Policy, U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. She was directly responsible to the USSTRATCOM Commander for the development and implementation of national security policy and guidance, military strategy, and space and nuclear weapons employment policy and concepts. In addition, she has held Command positions at multiple levels, including Squadron, Group, Wing, and Installation as well as staff assignments at Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Headquarters Air Force Space Command, Headquarters 14th Air Force and the 381st Training Group, and has served as an Air Force Legislative Fellow in the Office of Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher.
Dr. Radha Iyengar Plumb is currently serving as the Acting Deputy Director of Administration and Management. In this role she supports the Director and provides day to day oversight of a team charged with DOD enterprise-wide performance improvement, including key initiatives to reform and modernize business enterprise systems and processes. From February 2021 until October 2022, she served as the Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary of Defense. Prior to her appointment as Chief of Staff, she was the Director of Research and Insights for Trust & Safety at Google and had previously served as Global Head of Policy Analysis at Facebook. Before her Silicon Valley work, Dr. Plumb was a senior economist at the RAND Corporation where she focused on improving measurement and evaluation of readiness and security efforts across the Department of Defense. She also served as policy advisor and Chief of Staff to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict, and as a civilian in Afghanistan conducting measurement and assessment work to support the Counterinsurgency Advisory and Assistance Team for the Commander, ISAF. Dr. Plumb received her Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University.
Phil Budden is a Senior Lecturer at MIT's Management School, in Sloan's TIES (Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Strategic) Group, where he focuses on innovation ecosystems around the world, their key stakeholders, and especially, ‘corporate innovation’.
Phil co-teaches in the successful 'Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program' (REAP), an MIT global program for teams from around the globe interested in accelerating 'innovation-driven entrepreneurship'; in his related class, known as the 'Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration for Leaders' (REAL: 15.364); and on similar topics—especially ‘corporate innovation’—in a variety of executive degree and ExecEd settings.
Phil's approach combines academic, historical, and real-world perspectives on how different stakeholders—including entrepreneurs, universities, and 'risk capital' providers, alongside corporate enterprises and government policymakers—can all contribute to building successful innovation ecosystems. His background as a diplomat makes him well-suited to the 'global innovation' of REAP/REAL, the interplay among the stakeholders, and to the negotiations within the 'innovation ecosystems' (especially for Corporate and Government stakeholders).
Prior to MIT, Phil had served as a British diplomat (1993-2013), with his first decade focused on Britain's membership of the European Union (EU), involving its key economic, financial, and technology policies. After 9/11, his second decade as a British diplomat was spent in the US: first at the British Embassy in Washington (2002-2007), focused on transatlantic economic and business issues, including technology security, international science and innovation links, and trade policy; and later based in Boston (2007-2012) as Her Britannic Majesty's Consul General to New England.
Phil holds a BA and MA in history from Lincoln College, the University of Oxford; an MA in history and government from Cornell University; and a PhD (DPhil) in history and international political economy from the University of Oxford.
Dr. Jason Rathje currently serves as the Director of the Office of Strategic Capital in the U.S. Department of Defense. OSC’s mission is to attract and scale private capital in support of national security. OSC’s current focus is on the development and implementation of new financial tools to increase public-private investment in our Nation’s enabling and frontier technologies.
From 2019 to 2022, Dr. Rathje served as Director and Co-founder of AFVentures, the Department of the Air Force’s Commercial Investment Arm under AFWERX. In that role, he managed $1.8B of combined government funding and private capital for scaling early to mid-stage technology ventures to support Air Force operations.
Dr. Rathje holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Strategy and Policy from Stanford University, as well as a Bachelors of Science and a Masters of Science in Aerospace Engineering from MIT.
Chen, Yeong-Kang was the former Vice Minister for Policy of the Ministry of National Defense, ROC from 2015-2016, and was the Chief of the Navy (ROCN) from 2013-2015.
During his 40-year service in the Navy, he took several demanding flag positions for policy, Joint operations, and education including Chief of Navy, Vice Chief of General Staff (Executive), Chief Staff of Navy, President of the National Defense University, the 63 Task Force commander and years of different sea duties. As a naval officer, he is a graduate of the ROC Naval Academy, Command Staff College, and the U.S. Naval War College.
Within his career and experience, his expertise areas are maritime security, Taipei-Beijing-Washington relations, national security and defense policy, and Risk & Integration Assessment.
Chen has in the past lead a team in Lockheed Martin for ACS (advanced combat system) program for two years and served as defense attaché for the ROC to Washington DC for three years. After his retirement and more recently was the Director, Board of Directors of the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST). He currently sits on the advisory committee of Taiwan Center for Security Studies (TCSS) and advisory committee of Defense Technology Center, National Yang-Ming Chiao-Tung University in Taiwan, and advisor of Defense Advanced Research Technology (DART)Center, National Taiwan University.
Adm. Phil Davidson is the former 25th Commander of United States Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM), America’s oldest and largest military combatant command, based in Hawai’i. Prior to becoming CDRUSINDOPACOM on May 30, 2018, he served as the commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command/Naval Forces U.S. Northern Command. He previously served as the commander, U.S. 6th Fleet, and the commander, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO, while simultaneously serving as the deputy commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and U.S. Naval Forces Africa. He is a surface warfare officer who has deployed across the globe in frigates, destroyers, cruisers, and aircraft carriers. His earlier sea commands included Carrier Strike Group 8/Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, USS Gettysburg (CG 64), and USS Taylor (FFG 50). Ashore, Davidson has served in fleet, interagency, and joint tours as a flag officer; he was previously the director, Maritime Operations, U. S. Fleet Forces Command, the senior military advisor to the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (SRAP) at the State Department, and the deputy director for Strategy and Policy in the Joint Staff/J-5. A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Davidson is a 1982 graduate of the United States Naval Academy where he hearned a Bachelors of Science in Physics. He is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval War College and has a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies.
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