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H.E. Anniken R. Krutnes

Norway's Ambassador to the United States, Royal Norwegian Embassy

Ambassador Anniken Krutnes serves as Norway’s Ambassador to the United States, a position she has held since March 2020. An expert in security policy, law of the sea and Arctic issues, Amb. Krutnes has served with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 1994. In her previous position with the Ministry, she served as Deputy Director General of the Department of Security Policy. Before that, she was Norway’s Ambassador for Arctic and Antarctic Affairs.


Vice Admiral Louise K. Dedichen

Norwegian Military Representative to NATO 

Dedichen came from the position as Commandant of the Norwegian Defence University College (NDUC). The NDUC is dedicated to higher education and research in the field of security and defence policy, military power and the conduct of war, leadership and military athletic skills. It is an academically independent institution that provides research and education at the master and bachelor levels to military professionals from all branches of the Norwegian Armed Forces, their partners and to eligible civilians. After starting her military career at the Royal Norwegian Naval Academy in 1983, she got her seagoing experience on board HNoMS Trondheim as paymaster. This was followed by duty in various positions in the Defence Logistic Organisation, the Defence staff and in the Ministry of Defence. Dedichen has served as spokesperson to CHOD and to two different Ministers of Defence.


Representative Adam Smith

Ranking Member House Armed Services Committee, United States Congress

Now in his 13th term, Smith serves as the Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, 

Having served on the on the House Armed Services Committee since 1997, Smith formerly chaired the subcommittee on Air and Land Forces (ALF), which has jurisdiction over all Army and nearly all Air Force acquisition programs. Prior to serving as Chair of ALF, Adam chaired the Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities subcommittee, which oversees the United States Special Operations Forces and counter-terrorism policy, among other critical areas. Adam has also previously served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.


Ms Nancy Ziuzin Schlegel 

Vice President, International Government Affairs, Lockheed Martin Corporation

As the Vice President of Lockheed Martin International Government Affairs, Nancy Ziuzin Schlegel leads the corporation’s diplomatic and senior executive customer engagements for the company’s growing international business portfolio. Nancy has over 30 years of experience as an industry leader in the international trade, global defense, and aerospace sectors, with expertise in political advocacy, exports, and trade policy. She joined Lockheed Martin in 1992 where she directed the Corporation’s lobbying efforts in support of the international priority and must-win programs on Capitol Hill and with the Administration.


Mr. James 'Hondo' Geurts

Distinguished Fellow, Business Executives for National Security

James “Hondo” Geurts currently serves as BENS Distinguished Fellow, after his retirement from performing the duties of the Under Secretary of the Navy – the Department’s number-two civilian. As Distinguished Fellow, Geurts provides strategic oversight for BENS’ work related to the nation’s future industrial base. Geurts previously served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development & Acquisition, overseeing an annual budget of over $100 billion and equipping and supporting Sailors and Marines as they operate around the globe in defense of the United States. He has over 30 years of extensive joint acquisition experience and served in all levels of acquisition leadership positions including Acquisition Executive, Program Executive Officer and Program Manager of Major Defense Acquisition Programs.


Major General Borys Kremenetskyi

Ukrainian Defense Attaché to U.S. 

Major General Borys Kremenetskyi has held various Air Force command, staff and administrative positions on Squadron, Regiment and Heavy Bomber Division levels, including Flight Engineer, Chief of Squadron Group, Senior Regiment Engineer and Chief Engineer of the Heavy Bomber Division. From the beginning of the Russian-Ukrainian war in 2014, he has been deployed twice as head of Ukrainian side of the Joint Ceasefire Coordination and Control Centre for Eastern Ukraine (JCCC). Since 2020 he has been appointed Defence Attaché to the US. 


Major General Odd-Harald Hagen

Norwegian Defense Attaché to U.S. 

Major-General Odd-Harald Hagen has held the position of Norwegian Defense Attaché since August 2021. He started his military career in the Norwegian Army in 1985. His service includes a variety of combat and construction engineer command and staff positions, chief operations at divisional level and staff positions in the Army staff and the Norwegian Defense Estates Agency. From November 2013 to January 2017, Major-General Hagen served as the Chairman of the NATO Army Armaments Group.

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Ms. Lisa Sanders

Director Science & Technology, USSOCOM SOF AT&L 

Ms. Lisa R. Sanders is the Director of Science and Technology for Special Operations Forces, Acquisition, Technology & Logistics (SOF AT&L), U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. She is responsible for all research and development funded activities. Ms. Sanders has over 30 years of civilian Federal service. In 2003, she assumed responsibility for the production and modification of the CV-22. During her time at NAVAIR, she managed one of the first Multi-Year Procurements, and executed the modification and delivery of CV-22 production and developmental test aircraft.


Mr. Torgeir Mørkved

Research Manager, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI)

Torgeir Mørkved is the research manager for Asymmetric Warfare at the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment (FFI). At FFI, he supports the special operating forces with long-term planning, technology development and innovation. In addition, he works to understand how technological developments will affect Norwegian military operations in the future. Mørkved spent 22 years in the Norwegian Armed Forces prior to his academic endeavors, with the majority of his career in special forces. His military education includes field artillery NCO-school, Norwegian Military Academy, language school and the joint operations course at the Norwegian Defence college. In addition to his military education, he has a Master of Management from the Norwegian Business School BI.


Mr. Mats Rjaanes

Norwegian Science & Technology Liaison to USSOCOM

Mats Rjaanes, on behalf of the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) and the Norwegian Special Operations Command (NORSOCOM), is the Norwegian Science and Technology Liaison to the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) SOF AT&L. He supports ongoing bilateral efforts at SOF capability and technology development. Mats also works as a scientist focusing on the future operating environment, emerging technology and the future role of SOF. Before joining FFI, Mats spent several years as a government civilian within the Norwegian defence sector in various positions. Mats is a political scientist and was recently accepted to the PhD program in War Studies at Kings College London. 

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Mr. Michael J. Vaccaro

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Policy

Mr. Vaccaro is the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Policy. In this role, Mr. Vaccaro leads and supports the Department of Defense’s efforts to develop and maintain the U.S. defense industrial base to ensure a secure supply of materials critical to national security.


Ms. Gro Jære

Director General, Norwegian Defense Materiel Agency

Ms. Gro Jære assumed the role of Directory General of the Norwegian Defense Materiel Agency on March 1st 2022. Having held multiple leadership positions in both the puplic and private sectore, Ms Jære has a proven ability to deliver results and organizational development within a diverse range of fields.

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Ms. Margaret E. Boatner

Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Strategy and Acquisition Reform

Ms. Margaret Boatner is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Strategy and Acquisition Reform (DASA(SAR)). In this role, she serves as the principal advisor to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology (ASA(ALT)) for the design and implementation of acquisition policy and related reform initiatives. Ms. Boatner is also responsible for leading analysis and implementation of legislation within the Army acquisition enterprise.


Mr. James Nixon

Blueye Robotics

Mr. James Nixon is the International Sales Manager for Blueye Robotics. Working with key stakeholders inside governments, militaries, academia, and private industry, he facilitates information sharing, product development, and implementation of unique underwater robotics solutions. He has prior experience in maritime operations, has a history of helping scale the adoption of autonomous robotics in the big-box retail environment, and has held various other positions in sales and business development. Mr. Nixon is an American citizen, but resides in Trondheim, Norway where Blueye Robotics is headquartered.

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Ms. Maren Cattonar


Ms. Maren Cattonar operates in the nexus between academia, industry, and government. She serves as a strategic advisor, ecosystem architect, and investor for BMNT, helping to solve strategic problems for the national security community. She is/has been a serial entrepreneur and executive for early-stage advanced technology companies in S/W and AI, edtech., healthcare, and manufacturing. Prior to joining BMNT, Ms. Cattonar was a venture capitalist, a director for several labs and centers at MIT, and was with Northrop Grumman working on engineering and program management for advanced programs, sector strategy, and M&A.


Mr. Keith Webster

resident, Defense & Aerospace Export Council, US Chamber of Commerce

Keith Webster, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Defense and Aerospace Council, the Chamber’s Federal Acquisition Council and Interim CEO of HENSOLDT Inc. USA.  At the Chamber, his work guides the focus of both councils to strengthen the U.S. defense and aerospace industries by influencing domestic and international policy on behalf of its members. Before joining the Chamber, Webster served the Department of Defense with distinction. He was director of International Cooperation from 2012 to 2017 and has years of expertise in foreign sales of military equipment and services, international agreements, and technology security foreign disclosure processes. He is also an acquisition certified official.


Mr. Morten Brandtzaeg

President and CEO of Nammo Group

Mr. Morten Brandtzaeg has been the president and CEO of the Nammo Group since August 2015. Nammo is an international aerospace and defense company headquartered in Norway. With more than 2 300 employees in 14 countries, they are among the world’s leading providers of specialty ammunition and rocket engines for both military and civilian customers. Mr. Brandtzaeg began his career in the Nammo Group as Chief Financial Officer in 2004, and was appointed to the position of Executive Vice President, Missile products Division in 2009.


Mr. James Tinsley

Vice President Business & Development, Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace Inc.

Mr. Jim Tinsley is the Vice President for Business Development & Strategy at Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace Inc. in the US, a business area within Kongsberg Gruppen ASA. In that role, he supports the development and execution of the overall US growth strategy and targeted initiatives within strike missiles, air defense, weapons stations/turrets, C4ISR, and maritime technologies. Prior to joining KONGSBERG, he spent 20 years as a management consultant serving the global aerospace and defense industry. In that role he worked with the full range of US prime contractors and a broad spectrum of offshore companies seeking US expansion.

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