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Ms. Tone Skogen

State Secretary, Norwegian Ministry of Defence

Ms. Tone Skogen has enjoyed a long career as a Norwegian public servant and assumed office as State Secretary in the Ministry of Defence in 2017. Ms. Skogen also served as State Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Trade and Industry. She held various positions within the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy between 1978 and 2015, amongst them acting Director General.


H.E Kåre R. Aas

Norway's Ambassador to the United States, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Ambassador Aas began his distinguished career with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1983. He left his position in Oslo as Political Director in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2013, to become the Norwegian Ambassador to the United States. From 2003 to 2008, Ambassador Aas served as Director General at the Department for Security Policy and the Arctic.


Rear Admiral Casey J. Moton

Program Executive Officer, Unmanned and Small Combatants, US Navy

Rear Adm. Casey Moton has led two major Defense Acquisition Programs.  From 2014 to 2016 he served as major program manager, LCS Mission Modules (PMS 420), leading development and testing of mission packages for surface warfare, mine countermeasures, and anti-submarine warfare.  From 2016 to 2019 he led as MPM of the DDG 51 Program. In 2019, he assumed command of Program Executive Office, Unmanned and Small Combatants (PEO USC).  At the Pentagon, he twice served in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Ships), including as chief of staff.


Lt. Gen. Eric T. Fick

Program Executive Officer for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office, US Air Force

Lt. Gen. Fick has held a variety of roles in the US Airforce, including Air Staff Branch Chief, Deputy Chief of the Air Force Senate Liaison Office and Director of Global Reach Programs, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition. The F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office is the Department of Defense’s agency responsible for developing, delivering and sustaining the F-35A/B/C, for the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, eight international partners and four current foreign military sales customers.

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Mr. Arnt-Helge Olsen

Vice President, Subsea Sales, Kongsberg Maritime

In 2001 Mr. Olsen joined Kongsberg Maritime as a Sales Manager for the Americas. Since then he has held several positions with Kongsberg Maritime from Sales manager positions and Vice President of Sensor & Robotics Sales. Arnt is currently working with Marine Robotics Sales in the Americas from the Houston  office. Mr. Olsen Served 3 years with the Royal Norwegian Army signal Core, mandatory service, civilian and UNIFIL assignment to Lebanon.

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Ms. Linda Thomson

President & CEO, Johnstown Area Regional Industries (JARI)

Since 2000, Linda Thomson has been president and CEO of JARI. In this role, she is responsible for strategic and tactical planning, fundraising, reporting to community leadership, public relations, and overall implementation of JARI programs. Before joining JARI, Thomson was executive director of the Clearfield County Industrial Development Authority for 12 years. She began her career in economic development as director of the Greater Connellsville Chamber of Commerce in 1983.


Ms. Samantha Clark

Special Counsel, Covington & Burling LLP

Samantha Clark practices in the firm’s Public Policy Practice Group as well as the CFIUS and Government Contracts groups. Ms. Clark provides advisory and advocacy support to clients facing policy, political, and regulatory challenges in the aerospace, defense, and national security sector.Before joining the firm, Ms. Clark served in a number of senior staff positions on the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, most recently as Deputy Staff Director and General Counsel. 

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Dr. Sunniva Tofte

Deputy Director General, Head of Innovation and R&D, Dept. of Defence Policy & Long Term Planning, Norwegian Ministry of Defence

Dr. Sunniva Tofte earned her Phd, International Relations from the University of Bath. She has served the Norwegian Ministry of Defence for more than 13-years, both as Deputy Director General, Specialist Director and Senior Adviser. Before joining the MOD she served as Head of Information for the European Commission Delegation to Norway and Iceland. As well as Senior Executive Officer at the Norwegian Atlantic Committee.

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Dr. Dan Kliman

Senior Fellow & Director, Asia-Pacific Security Program, Center for New American Security 

Dr. Kliman is an expert in Asia-Pacific strategy, with a particular focus on U.S. competition with China. Kliman is also an officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve. Before joining CNAS, Kliman worked in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, where he served as Senior Advisor for Asia Integration. He was the principal Asia expert for development and implementation of the Third Offset strategy, and executed multiple international engagements focused on defense innovation. He also advised DoD leadership on maritime security issues. Prior to his time at the DoD, Kliman worked at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

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Col. Sean O'Brien

USAF, Chair, National Security Industrial Base Department, The Eisenhower School, National Defense University

Colonel Sean B. O’Brien, USAF is Deputy Chair of the National Security Industrial Base Department, and teaches at the Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy at National Defense University. Prior to his current assignment, he had various assignments on the Joint Staff, to include Executive Assistant for the Director for Intelligence, and Chairman of the Battlespace Awareness Working Group.  He was also Commander of the 607th Air Intelligence Squadron and then the 6th Intelligence Squadron at Osan AB, Republic of Korea where he led intelligence support to the Air Operations Center, as well as U-2 and national imagery operations. 

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Dr. Sorin Lungu

Professor, National Security Industrial Base, The Eisenhower School, National Defense University

Dr. Sorin Lungu is a Professor in the Department of National Security and Industrial Base at the Eisenhower School of National Security and Resource Strategy at the National Defense University. From 2010-17 he was the faculty lead for the Aircraft Industry Study program. He served as the Chair of the Department of National Security and Industrial Base during 2017-2019. Before joining the National Defense University in 2006, he previously taught at the U.S. Air War College in the Department of Joint Military Operations. He earned his PhD in International Affairs from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

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Mr. Alex Gallo


Alex Gallo is a Principal with BMNT, a Silicon Valley start-up that conducts innovation work in national security and defense. He is also an advisor with Hacking for Defense, Inc. (H4Di). Mr Gallo is a Senior Associate with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Mr. Gallo served as a Professional Staff Member with the House Armed Services Committee, full committee policy staff, from 2012-2017. In this capacity, Mr. Gallo was responsible for authoring National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) legislation and conducting oversight of U.S. defense policy in the Middle East, Africa, and the Indo-Asia-Pacific regions. Additionally, he advised the Chairman of the HASC on these policy issues.From 2001-2009, Mr. Gallo served as an active duty and reserve officer in the U.S. Army.

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Mr. Steve Blank


Considered to be the father of modern entrepreneurship, Steve blank is a Silicon Valley based entrepreneur. Blank is recognized for developing the customer development method that launched the lean startup movement, a methodology which recognized that startups are not smaller versions of large companies but require their own set of processes and tools to be successful.  Blank writes and teaches about customer development and the lean startup method. He is an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at Stanford, lectures at the UC Berkeley, and is a senior fellow at Columbia University.

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Col.(ret) Pete Newell


A nationally recognized innovation expert, Mr. Newell is the CEO of BMNT, an innovation consultancy and early-stage technology incubator that helps solve some of the hardest real-world problems in national security, state, and local governments, and beyond.  Prior to joining BMNT, Pete served as the Director of the US Army’s Rapid Equipping Force (REF). Mr. Newell retired from the US Army as a Colonel in 2013 after 32 years of service.

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Ms. Gro Dyrnes

Americas Regional Director, Innovation Norway

Gro Dyrnes joined Innovation Norway San Francisco and Silicon Valley in August 2014. Her former position was SVP Corporate Staff and Support in Innovation Norway, based in Oslo. She has also had the role as regional director for Western Europe and the Nordics and It-director in the same company. Her first start-up experience was as a consultant for the Norwegian Trade Council in London, UK, and later as management for hire in a Norwegian tech company in the US. Dyrnes currently holds positions at the boards of Visitnorway and Nordic Innovation House.

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Dr. Kim Lynge Sørensen

CEO & Co-Founder, UBIQ Aerospace

Co-founder of UBIQ Aerospace and the main inventor of the D•ICE technology. Kim holds an MSc in Robotics from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and Stanford, and a Ph.D. in Aerospace Cybernetics from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). 

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Ms. Hanne Bjørk

Director of Innovation & Industrial Development, Norwegian Defense Research Establishment (FFI)

Ms. Bjørk holds a Master of Science degree in industrial mathematics from the Norwegian Institute of Technology (NTNU). Her areas of expertise are innovation and commercialization, strategy development and portfolio management, analysis, decision support and risk management in defence acquisition projects.Mrs. Bjørk joined FFI in 2001 and has held various positions at the Institute. She has 20 years of experience with R&D related to defence and energy. She was head of FFI’s Strategy and Planning Unit for three years and head of Statkraft’s R&D programs within renewable energy for five years. She returned to FFI in 2017 and has held her current position since 2018.


Rear Admiral Bjørge Aase

Deputy Director General, Norwegian Defense Materiel Agency​

Rear Admiral Bjørge Aase was appointed as Deputy Director General in the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency in 2017. Bjørge Aase came from the position as Commander Naval Systems, a position he held since August 2014, first as part of the Norwegian Defence Logistics Organisation and, then, in the same position after the establishment of the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency in 2016. Aase has also been Commander of the Norwegian Naval Education and Training and, furthermore, the Programme Director of the Competency Reform Programme in the Norwegian Ministry of Defence.

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Ms. Katie Arrington

Chief Information Security Officer, OUSD A&S, Department of Defense

Ms. Arrington is the Chief Information Security Officer, to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition. In this position, she serves as the central hub and integrator within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, to align acquisition cyber strategy. Ms. Arrington is responsible to ensure the incorporation of integrated security/cyber efforts within USD(A&S). Ms. Arrington is leading efforts that will help to ensure a robust Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM), establish Defense Industrial Base Security and Resilience, and establish a common standard in Cyber Security Standards. Before assuming her position in OUSD(A&S), Ms. Arrington had an extensive career as a legislator and senior cyber executive.