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Safeguarding the Future: Securing Emerging Technologies in the Public Sector


From Leadership Connect

In an era of rapid technological advancements, the public sector faces unprecedented challenges in ensuring the security and integrity of emerging technologies. From artificial intelligence and blockchain to Internet of Things (IoT) and quantum computing, these innovations promise to revolutionize public services, but they also bring forth an array of security risks and vulnerabilities.
This thought-provoking webinar panel brings together esteemed experts from diverse fields within the cybersecurity and technology domains. They will delve into the critical intersection of security and emerging technologies in the public sector.
Tune in to this dynamic webinar to gain valuable insights into the security landscape of emerging technologies in the public sector. Discover practical approaches to navigate the challenges and maximize the benefits of innovative advancements, while safeguarding sensitive information and upholding public trust. Our panelists’ collective expertise will empower participants to shape a secure and resilient future in the ever-changing technological landscape of the public sector.


Dr. Robert Irie

Director, Science and Technology Program Protection
U.S. Department of Defense

Dr. Robert E. Irie is the Director, Science and Technology (S&T) Program Protection in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E)). He serves as the DoD lead for maintaining technology advantage by synchronizing S&T and program protection initiatives across DoD and by mitigating technical vulnerabilities and exploitation. He also oversees program protection policy, software assurance, and anti-tamper practices. Dr. Irie’s accomplishments include leading the interagency assessment of the defense electronics industrial base in response to Presidential Executive Order 13806, and rapid fielding of emerging capabilities for Special Operations Command. He received an S.B. in Engineering Science from Harvard College, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

gordon bitko

Gordon Bitko

Senior Vice President, Policy
Information Technology Industry Council

Gordon Bitko is ITI’s Executive Vice President of Policy, leading the association’s public sector portfolio and serving as the chief policy strategist for the technology industry in the government and public sector market. Bitko joined ITI in 2019 from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), where he served in a variety of senior roles beginning in 2007. Most recently, he served as the FBI’s Chief Information Officer. In that role, he led a team of 250+ government employees and contractors including technologists; program managers; business, financial and contract analysts; and security specialists. Bitko oversaw key FBI innovation programs, including investing in emerging technologies, directed large Enterprise License Agreements with key technology vendors, and oversaw the FBI’s internal Cybersecurity program. He led the re-organization of FBI Information Technology personnel and resources to a more functional and service-oriented model.

Bitko served as FBI’s Chief of the Performance Management Unit (2009-2012) and Chief of Strategy and Performance Section (2012-2016). As Chief of the Strategy and Performance Section, he supervised teams of up to 80 employees and was responsible for all aspects of FBI strategy and operational program performance management. As Chief of the Performance Management Unit, he oversaw all of FBI enterprise business intelligence.

Bitko was with RAND Corporation from 2002-2007, as a policy analyst and doctoral fellow. He began his career with Motorola and two other private sector startups. He has a BS in Engineering from Princeton; MS in Mechanical Engineering from University of California, Berkeley; an MBA from Arizona State University; and a PhD from the Pardee RAND Graduate School. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with his wife and two sons.


Alan Thomas Appointed as Chief Solutions Officer

Alan B. Thomas Jr. 

Chief Solutions Officer
Leadership Connect

Alan is the Chief Solutions Officer at Leadership Connect.  He also serves as an Operating Advisor to Enlightenment Capital.  Prior to these roles, he was appointed and served as the Commissioner of the US General Services Administration’s Federal Acquisition Service from June 2017 until November 2019.  As Commissioner, Alan led 3,500 people responsible for delivering $65B in acquisition and technology solutions annually to enable efficiencies across the federal government.  He also served as a founding member on two Congressionally mandated boards, the Technology Modernization Fund and the Federal Acquisition Security Council.  

Alan started his federal career as a Presidential Management Fellow, serving on both the Army staff and in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology & Logistics, where he earned the Secretary of Defense Award for Excellence and the Vice President’s Hammer Award for innovation in public service.  Later in his career he returned to public service as a member of the Department of Defense’s Task Force for Business and Stability Operations in Iraq and on the staff of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence. 

In the private sector, Alan held several leadership roles including Chief Operating Officer at both IntelliBridge and Berico Technologies, Vice President with Data Networks Corporation, and as a business unit leader at Unison.  Earlier in his career he held delivery and account management roles with Booz Allen Hamilton and FreeMarkets. 

Alan holds a Master of Business Administration from Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School, a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Texas’s LBJ School, and a Bachelor of Arts from Grinnell College.  He maintains an active security clearance. 

Alan provides guest commentary to Federal Computer Week and the Federal News Network.

Event Details

  • Date: October 19, 2023
  • Time: 2:00 – 3:00 pm ET
  • Live Webinar

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