Cipher Summit 2024 Speakers

Bill Becker, Chief Technology Officer, Thales TCT

Bill Becker is Thales TCT’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Bill is responsible for the company’s technical vision and product strategy.  As CTO, Bill leads Thales TCT’s strategic initiatives associated with the development of innovative cybersecurity solutions to meet the needs of the company’s U.S. Federal Government customers. Bill also works directly with the company’s customers and technical partners to evaluate emerging technologies.

Bill has spent nearly 30 years developing technology in support of cybersecurity and government initiatives. He has been with Thales TCT (formally SafeNet Assured Technologies) since its creation in January 2015. Previously, he spent 18 years with SafeNet, Inc. most recently serving as a Technical Architect in the CTO’s office. In this role, he supported government-related business by focusing on transitioning traditional data security products to new virtual and cloud based architectures. Bill has also held positions at Northrop Grumman where he specialized in the development of fighter jet radar systems.

Heather Brooks, Senior Program Manager, XTec

Heather Brooks is a Senior Program Manager at XTec. Heather manages XTec’s PIV-I programs as well as the FedRAMP authorizations for the cloud-based solutions supporting them. Heather’s PIV-I responsibilities include overseeing the successful implementation and operation of PIV-I solutions for the US Courts, Dept. of Energy, Drug Enforcement Agency, National Science Foundation, US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, US Agency for Global Media, and several commercial Fiserv organizations requiring strong authentication to Dept. of Treasury and Dept. of Education systems. Heather also has overall responsibility for XTec’s FedRAMP authorizations. She coordinates XTec’s annual assessments and POA&M closure process to ensure those authorizations are maintained. Heather holds a B.A. in Communications from George Mason University.

Solomon Cates, Sr. Product Manager of Enterprise, Regulated, and Sovereign Key Management, Google

Solomon Cates’ journey in cybersecurity and technology spans over two decades, marked by a relentless pursuit of excellence and innovation. At Google, his role as Senior Product Manager underscores his commitment to driving transformative solutions in key management for enterprises navigating regulatory and sovereignty challenges. Prior to Google, Solomon’s leadership at Thales, Vormetric, Symantec, and Tripwire propelled these organizations to the forefront of cybersecurity innovation. His expertise is widely respected by industry peers and stakeholders alike, affirming his reputation as a trusted advisor and problem solver for entities grappling with the complexities of modern cybersecurity landscapes.

Dr. Jennifer Cowley, Human Factors/Cognitive Engineering, Chief Digital and AI Office

Dr. Jennifer Cowley earned her PhD in Human Factors Psychology at North Carolina State University. She specializes in the identification and measure of psycho-social factors (cognitive, conative and affective factors) that impact human performance. Dr. Cowley worked at the Army Research Laboratory studying the human vulnerabilities in cybersecurity network defense.  Currently, she works in the Chief Digital and AI office as a consultant and liaison to Components and Services for AI adoption.

Jim Dickens, Senior Product Manager for Authentication and High Speed Encryption, Thales TCT

Jim Dickens is Thales TCT’s Senior Product Manager for Authentication and High Speed Encryption. Jim is responsible for the management and technical direction for Thales TCT’s aforementioned products targeted to the U.S. Federal Government and Federal System Integrators. Jim serves as a customer champion and ensures that our customers’ needs are directly reflected in Thales TCT’s products.

Jim has dedicated his entire career to supporting U.S. Federal Government security systems. He has decades of experience coordinating requirements, design, development, testing, integration, customer qualification, formal certifications (Type-1, FIPS, Common Criteria, DODIN APL), documentation, support, fulfillment and operation of various Information Assurance (IA) products and programs.

He has been with Thales TCT (formally SafeNet Assured Technologies) since its creation in January 2015. Previously, he spent 13 years with SafeNet, Inc. Jim as also held positions with L3Harris and AlliedSignal-Honeywell.

Patrick Elder, Director of the Data and AI Center of Excellence, ECS

Patrick Elder is the Director of the Data and AI Center of Excellence at ECS, supporting both DoD and Federal Civilian programs. He has over 19 years of experience in federal consulting focusing on data management, analytics, and solution architecture. Patrick also hosts and produces the ECS StoryPoints podcast, showcasing interesting stories and lessons learned to help build community in our increasingly geographically distributed workplace

Julian Fay, CTO, Senetas

Julian Fay is CTO of Senetas Corporation Limited and co-founder of Senetas’s leading high-assurance encryption technology used to protect government, defence and commercial enterprise networks in more than forty countries.

Julian’s responsibilities include product development and working with technology partners, service providers, channel partners and major customers around the world to identify their current and emerging data security needs.

With more than 25 years’ IT&T experience and his key role in Senetas’s product planning and R&D, Julian has worked closely with many of the world’s most secure organizations

COL Evert R. Hawk II, Team Lead, Network Cross-Functional Team Army Futures Command

COL Hawk leads a technology portfolio focused on modernization, including Data Convergence, Data Science, Data Analytics, Data Security, Big Data Platforms (BDP), Cloud Computing & Cloud Technologies, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Common Operating Environment, Systems Integration, Application Development, Network Security, Joint Interoperability, Cyber, Automation, Systems Engineering, Communications/Communications Security, and Command Post innovations.

COL Hawk holds a Master of Science in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Finance from Saint Joseph’s University, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Finance from Pennsylvania State University. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and PMI – Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) from the Project Management Institute and a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (LSSBB).

COL Hawk has served in the US Army for over 34 years. He is a qualified Signal and Intelligence officer. He has served on multiple combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Brent Hansen, VP of Federal Sales, Optiv+Clearshark

Brent Hansen is the VP of Federal Sales Engineering at Optiv+Clearshark. He currently leads the direction and strategy for technical guidance to customers, partners, and cyber executives. Brent brings over 25 years of experience in security, data encryption, cloud native, Zero Trust, and API security strategies. Brent has previously held global positions at Cequence Security, D2iQ, and was Federal CTO at Thales Trust Cyber Technologies.

Alan Kessler, Board Member, Thales Defense & Security, Inc.

Mr. Kessler has decades of experience in the fields of data security, cloud computing and information networks.  He currently serves as a board member of Thales Defense and Security Inc.  Mr. Kessler also serves as a board member of SpyCloud and Noetic Cyber.  Most recently he was the CEO of Thales e-Security, a leading global provider of digital trust management and data protection solutions. Prior to that he was the CEO of Vormetric, a leading data security company acquired by Thales Group.  Mr. Kessler’s experience includes VP Worldwide Sales and Service at Hewlett Packard, President of TippingPoint Technologies, President of Palm Computing and SVP Global System Sales and Service, 3Com Corporation.  Mr. Kessler holds an MBA from the University of California Berkeley and a B.S. from San Jose State University.

Lloyd Mitchell, President, Thales TCT

Lloyd Mitchell is Thales Trusted Cyber Technologies’ (TCT) President. As President, Lloyd is focused on expanding Thales TCT’s portfolio of data security products, creating an innovative work environment, and establishing Thales TCT as a leader in the U.S. Federal market for providing high quality products and world class customer support.

Lloyd has been with Thales TCT since its inception in January 2015. Previously, Lloyd served as Thales TCT’s Vice President of Technology. In this position, Lloyd led Thales TCT’s engineering and innovation teams in developing and enhancing new and existing cyber security solutions for the U.S. Federal market.

Lloyd has spent over 20 years with SafeNet, Inc. (Thales TCT’s predecessor) most recently serving as a Chief Architect. During his tenure with the company, he has grown a deep practical experience in data and network security through building products that secure corporate and national interest.

Jose Morales, Senior Sales Engineer, Thales TCT

Jose Morales serves as a Senior Systems Engineer for Thales Trusted Cyber Technologies (TCT). He provides technical, integrated solutions that protect government organizations. Jose has over 25 years of experience working with classified government networks. He currently focuses on providing network encryption solutions that offer enhanced features including bandwidth, performance, reliability, cost efficiency, resiliency, redundancy, and security.

Jose came to Thales TCT after retiring from the U.S Army. His varied background includes Help Desk Supervisor for the Army Cyber Command, COMSEC inspector and auditor for 1ST Special Forces Group Airborne, Special Intelligence Communications Center (SPINTCOM) shift supervisor at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and instructor at the Army School of Information Technology (SIT)

Bill Newhouse, Cybersecurity Engineer & Project Lead, National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, NIST

Bill Newhouse is a cybersecurity Engineer at the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) in the Applied Cybersecurity Division in the Information Technology Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

His work pushes for the adoption of functional cybersecurity reference designs built from commercially available technologies in the NCCoE lab. These projects rely on establishing communities of interest with members from industry, academia, and government to gain insight and passion about the areas of cybersecurity risk that need to be addressed and result in publications known as practice guides. Mr. Newhouse has completed practices guides focused on the hospitality, retail, and Federal sectors.

In October 2020, he began a cybersecurity collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy to research and develop cybersecurity risk management tools for the storage, transportation, and handling
of energy resources within the ports of our maritime transportation system. His responsibilities also include identifying ways to include financial services sector use case scenarios in NCCoE projects/practice guides.
Mr. Newhouse held the position of deputy director for NIST’s National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) where he promoted the use of the NICE Framework in education, training, and workforce development activities that grow the number of people who are prepared to mitigate cybersecurity risk.
Mr. Newhouse began his Federal career over 35 years ago at NSA as a cooperative education student. During his 23 years at NSA, his work shifted from telecommunication systems to information assurance. His final five years at NSA were spent in the Office of the Secretary of Defense initially with the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering and then with the Office of the Chief Information Officer for Identity and Information Assurance focused on cybersecurity R&D oversight and technology discovery. For over a decade, he represented OSD and then NIST at Federal cybersecurity focused R&D working groups and contributed to three different Federal cybersecurity R&D Strategic Plans.

Bill Nystrom, Field Chief Technology Officer, Telos Corporation

Bill Nystrom is the Field Chief Technology Officer at Telos Corporation where he leads the integration and development of advanced, resilient, and secure communications solutions focused on federal and national defense applications. Charged with delivering next-generation technologies designed with embedded cybersecurity and automation, he is focused on pioneering a resilient data ecosystem that enhances operational agility through cost-effective and innovative solutions.

Bill has 25 years of technical leadership experience across industry and government organizations. He is a recognized expert in Defense Enterprise IT architecture, tactical communications packages, and C4ISR system integration where he has supported various national security systems including Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System, Global Command and Control System, Battlefield Information Collections and Exploitation System, and the Distributed Common Ground System.

Bill holds a M.S. degree in Telecommunications Management from Oklahoma State University as well as a B.S. in Information Systems from Wayland Baptist University. He is currently a PhD candidate in the Strategic Leadership program at Liberty University.

Nick Panos, Senior Cybersecurity Advisor, Google Cloud Office of the CISO

Nick supports Google Cloud’s Manufacturing and Industry clients worldwide throughout their cloud transformation journeys and focuses on cybersecurity, regulatory compliance, risk management, and privacy.

Before joining Google, Nick was a Director of Customer Success at a late stage AI/ML startup where he led digital transformations for customers in heavily regulated industries. Prior to that role, Nick served in the US Navy for 20+ years as an aviator, intelligence officer, and accredited diplomat in Berlin, Germany where cybersecurity was a major part of his portfolio. As a strategic advisor to the US Ambassador to Germany, Nick was directly involved in the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), establishment of Germany’s quantum computing hub, and development of national cybersecurity policies to counter threats from nation-state actors.

Cherilyn Pascoe, Director, NIST NCCoE

Cherilyn Pascoe is the Director of the NIST National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE). She provides strategic direction and technical leadership for the NCCoE, aligns the NCCoE’s work with the industry, government, and NIST priorities, and builds relationships with key stakeholders. Prior to her role as Director of the NCCoE she served as the Senior Technology Policy Advisor, advising NIST leadership on technology policy and strategy, including cybersecurity, privacy, and artificial intelligence. She also led the NIST Cybersecurity Framework program and was a team member of the NIST AI Risk Management Framework. Prior to joining NIST in 2021, she served more than a decade in staff leadership roles on the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Most recently, she served as Deputy Policy Director managing the Committee’s Space and Science Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over science, technology, standards, and civil space policy.

Evan Pelecky, Product Manager, Thales TCT

Evan Pelecky is Thales Trusted Cyber Technologies’ (TCT) Product Manager for Cryptographic Key Management. In this role, Evan is responsible for delivering innovative, trusted, and secure hardware security modules and cryptographic key management solutions for use in U.S. federal infrastructures.

Evan has been with Thales TCT (formally SafeNet Assured Technologies) since 2018, most recently filling the role of lead technical support engineer for hardware security modules. Additionally, he serves as an officer in a cyberspace operations group of the Maryland Air National Guard and is a member of the Maryland State Bar.

Gina Scinta, Deputy CTO, Thales TCT

Gina Scinta is Thales TCT’s Deputy Chief Technology Officer (CTO). In this role, Gina serves as the company’s technology evangelist. Her mission is to help Thales TCT’s U.S. Federal Government customers learn effective ways to solve their mission critical cyber security challenges. Gina also leads several strategic initiatives for the company such as the collaboration with NIST National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, ACT-IAC, and more.

Gina has over 30 years of experience in the technology community. Prior to joining Thales TCT, Gina served as a Senior Solutions Architect with Thales Digital Identity & Security. In this role, she focused on providing solutions for protecting data using world class encryption and key management for data at rest in data centers and cloud infrastructures.

Stephen Tuomey, Data Center Compute Executive, Dell Technologies

Steve Tuomey is an industry champion that began his career working in the bits, bytes and infrastructure of his customers. Steve became a customer advocate helping customers design efficient, powerful and secure IT environments. At Dell Technologies, Steve is the Channel Data Center Account Executive advocating for Dell’s customers and partners and working closely with both to continue to modernize your IT infrastructures, whether Private, Public, Multi-Cloud or Edge based.