Newest CHDS Founders Award Honoree Mike Walker to be Lauded at APEX 2023

For two decades, Mike Walker has been an integral part of the inception, growth, and continued success of the Center for Homeland Defense and Security.

At the upcoming Alumni Professional Exchange (APEX) Continuing Education Workshop set for Feb. 21-23, the CHDS senior consultant who played a key role in the Center’s establishment and has lectured at the Center since its inception more than 20 years ago will be presented with the CHDS Founders Award during the second day of the event.

The Founders Award was established to recognize those individuals who were instrumental to the inception and initial success of CHDS, and whose critically important efforts and contributions ensured both the existence of the Center and its strong standing as the nation’s leader in homeland security and defense education.

Walker said he considers the recognition to be “the greatest honor of my 50-plus career in national security.”

CHDS Director Glen Woodbury, who will present the award, said Walker “worked closely with all our founders, in particular Paul Stockton and Jim Morhard, to create the institutional as well as legislative foundations of the Center. His deep insights and longtime experience in working on [Capitol] Hill, at the Department of Defense, and the VA, as well as FEMA, were essential to helping create the Center and its foundational programs. Mike’s contributions didn’t end there as his wisdom and intellect brought innumerable contributions to the executive education programs both on the road and here in Monterey.”

Walker is a panelist on the CHDS Mobile Education Team, which provides educational seminars to our nation’s governors and mayors and their senior staff, and his current research focuses on all-hazards threats.

He served 32 years in federal government and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve in senior executive branch positions. He served as Acting Secretary of the Army for six months in 1998, and as Under Secretary of the Army, Army Acquisition Executive, and Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Logistics, and Environment.

Walker also served as Deputy Director of FEMA, and was Under Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs for Memorial Affairs before he retired from the federal government.

The Founders Award presentation is set for Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 8:30 a.m. at Herrmann Hall at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA.

APEX will kick off on Tuesday, Feb. 21, with a Welcome featuring 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 also 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 Award and the Christopher Bellavita Award, 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
  • 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
  •  CHDS Alumni Meeting with the CHDS Association Board and Alumni

INQUIRIES: Heather Hollingsworth Issvoran, Communications and Recruitment |, 831-402-4672 (PST)

Scroll to Top