The overarching question imparting urgency to this exploration is: Can U.S.-Russian contention in cyberspace cause the two nuclear superpowers to stumble into war? In considering this question we were constantly reminded of recent comments by a prominent U.S. arms control expert: At least as dangerous as the risk of an actual cyberattack, he observed, is cyber operations’ “blurring of the line between peace and war.” Or, as Nye wrote, “in the cyber realm, the difference between a weapon and a non-weapon may come down to a single line of code, or simply the intent of a computer program’s user.”
LTC JENNIFER WARREN
Jen is a Harvard National Security Fellow and an acquisitions officer who most recently served as a Materiel Leader at AFLCMC, Detachment 12 (Kessel Run), Boston, Massachusetts. Kessel Run is the Air Force’s premier agile software development organization for introducing commercial software development tools, methodologies, and culture into the Air Force. She led the modernization of the Air Operations Center enterprise and implementation of cutting-edge government acquisition practices for software.
Lt Col Warren received her commission in 2003 from the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program at Louisiana State University and began her acquisitions career at Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts. She held a variety of IT-focused program management positions in Air Force Materiel Command, served as a Program Element Monitor for Secure IT, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning at HAF/A2, and is a Level III Certified Program Manager. Additionally, Lt Col Warren is a French-speaking Foreign Area Officer with a regional focus in Sub-Saharan Africa. Her Foreign Area Officer assignments include Chief, Office of Security Cooperation at U.S. Embassy Nouakchott, Mauritania, and Commander, Military Personnel Exchange Program – Americas, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland.
Lieutenant Colonel Warren holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from Louisiana State University, a Master’s Degree in Multinational Commerce from Boston University, and a Master’s Degree in Security Studies/Sub-Saharan Africa from the Naval Postgraduate School.
COLONEL (RET.) BRIAN “BEACH” BEACHKOFSKI
Brian started his career in the Air Force Research Lab researching jet engines. During his 9-year stint there, he earned his PhD in probabilistic analysis. He moved to the Pentagon and built the Space, Cyber, and Communications systems budget. After a year off to get his MBA, he returned to the Pentagon to lead tech forecasting for the Assist Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. He then left the government and joined a non-profit called Third Sector Capital Partners, Inc as their data lead and CFO. In 2020, he was called back to Active Duty to be the Commander of Kessel Run in Boston. He’s now retired from the Air Force and is the CTO and founder of Rithmm, a team revolutionizing sports betting through personalized AI models.
In just 17 days in 2021, more than 124,000 people were airlifted out of Afghanistan in what became the largest non-combatant airlift in history. This effort involved more than 800 military and civilian personnel from dozens of nations. Underpinning this historic event was the Air Operation Center's choice to issue the Air Tasking Orders using Kessel Run's new software instead of the legacy software tools.
As Commander of Kessel Run, Colonel (retired) Brian "Beach" Beachkofski, PhD, navigated the programmatic, technical, and cultural barriers in the DoD, and against all odds, delivered software users love. This software enabled more airlift missions out of Afghanistan than would have been possible using the legacy tools.
Please join the Defense Project for a discussion on what it takes to deliver modern software in today's DoD.
National Security Fellow Lieutenant Colonel Jen Warren will moderate. Q&A to follow. Refreshments will be served.
Attendance: In-person attendance is limited to Harvard ID holders, RSVP is required. Room capacity is limited and seating will be on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Accessibility: Persons with disabilities who wish to request accommodations or who have questions about access, please contact Emily O'Toole (firstname.lastname@example.org) in advance of the session.