APEX 2023 to Feature Engaging Range of Talks, Presentations 

Returning to an almost completely in-person format for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the Center for Homeland Defense and Security’s annual Alumni Professional Exchange is scheduled for Feb. 21-23 at Herrmann Hall at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. 

APEX will kick off on Tuesday, Feb. 21, with a Welcome featuring CHDS Director Glen Woodbury and opening remarks from NPS President Admiral Ann Rondeau, USN (ret.), a workshop overview from CHDS Association President Debra Kirby, and a keynote address from FEMA Deputy Administrator Erik Hooks. 

Day 1 of the event will feature a series of plenary sessions including: 

  • American Patriotism Today: Impacts and Legacy of January 6, with OTH Solutions Executive Vice President Nabeela Barbari, former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steve Sund, and OSCO FEMA Field Director Dan O’Connor
  • Alumni Short Talk: Nuclear Threat and Strategic Competition, with Octant Associates Senior WMD Subject Matter Expert Robert Wagner
  • Alumni Short Talk: Microvisibility: New Ideas in Leadership, with CISA Deputy Director Nitin Natarajan

Day 2 highlights include the presentation of the CHDS Alumni Service and Christopher Bellavita Awards, and the following plenary sessions: 

  • The Great Simplification: What HS Leaders Need to Know About the Future of Energy, with Nate Hagens, Director, Institute for the Study of Energy and Our Future
  • Alumni Short Talk: Beyond Implementation: Operationalizing the National Strategy for Women, Peace, and Security (WPS), with Tiffani Phillips, DAFC, Security Cooperation Integration Deputy NORAD and USNORTHCOM, Gender Advisor
  • Open Artificial Intelligence: Emerging Technologies and Threats, with Rodrigo Nieto Gomez, NPS Faculty
  • Alumni Short Talk: Next Generation 911, with Karima Holmes, Director, Washington, D.C. 911 and 311
  • And a Networking Reception (hosted by the CHDS Association) for all alumni, guests, speakers, faculty, and staff

Day 3 will include a workshop summary and schedule overview with CHDS Association President Kirby, as well as a remembrance of those who have recently passed. Plenary sessions include: 

  • Strategic Foresight Framework for Government Leaders, with John Robb, Global Guerillas. 
  • Alumni Short Talk: Cyber Armageddon: Not Yet, with Elvis Chan, FBI Asst. Agent in Charge, San Francisco. 
  • Alumni Short Talk: New Ideas in Homeland Security Advancing Recruitment and Retention: It’s Everyone’s Job, with Mikaela Ellenwood, Mass Care Branch Director, National IMAT White, FEMA; and Scott Fenton, Region 9 Operations Branch Director, FEMA. 
  • And the CHDS Alumni Meeting with the CHDS Association Board and Alumni. 

INQUIRIES: Heather Hollingsworth Issvoran, Communications and Recruitment | hissvora@nps.edu, 831-402-4672 (PST)

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