Speakers

Editorial Panelist

Jay Benforado

Chief Innovation Officer

EPA

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Editorial Panelist

Jay Benforado

Chief Innovation Officer

EPA

Jay Benforado is EPA’s Chief Innovation Officer within the Office of Research and Development. By encouraging exploration, testing innovative approaches, and convening groups around new ideas and emerging issues, Jay works with Agency staff to rethink how EPA uses science and technology to accomplish its mission. Current innovation priorities include using citizen science to empower communities, developing real-time environmental sensors for air and water pollution, applying social science research to environmental protection challenges, and initiating innovative competitions in which EPA scientists can propose high-risk/high-reward research projects. Jay co-chairs the Federal Community of Practice on Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing (FedCCS), which has over 60 participating agencies. His previous positions at EPA include Director of the National Center for Environmental Innovation and Deputy Associate Administrator for Policy, Economics, and Innovation in the Office of the EPA Administrator.

Editorial Panelist

Darby LaJoye

Acting Administrator

TSA

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Editorial Panelist

Darby LaJoye

Acting Administrator

TSA

Darby LaJoye currently serves as Senior Official Performing the Duties of Transportation Security Administration Administrator.

As Executive Assistant Administrator, LaJoye oversees a workforce of over 50,000 employees worldwide, and a budget of approximately $4 billion. Reporting through the Deputy Executive Assistant Administrator, four Assistant Administrators are responsible for Domestic Aviation Operations, International Operations, Surface Operations, and Operations Management to protect the nation’s transportation systems. LaJoye is responsible for mitigating the dynamic threat against global and domestic transportation systems by implementing an array of countermeasures, including the latest technology, passenger and cargo screening canines, explosives experts, and other specialized programs. LaJoye is responsible for checkpoint and baggage screening operations impacting millions of passengers at approximately 440 airports every day, oversight of more than 280 international airports conducting last points of departure operations to and from the United States, and a surface network that encompasses freight railroad, passenger rail, mass transit, maritime, and pipelines. LaJoye also oversees TSA’s global compliance mission, with key officials and Inspectors in offices around the world ensuring all modes of transportation, including aviation, mass transit, passenger and freight rail, highway and motor carrier, maritime, pipeline, and air cargo, are in compliance with domestic and international regulatory requirements.

 

Previously, LaJoye served as the Federal Security Director in Los Angeles where he managed the largest field staff, with nearly 3,000 employees, and sat on several executive boards from universities and law enforcement organizations. LaJoye also served as the Federal Security Director in New York and held other management positions within operations throughout his tenure. He joined TSA in 2002 and was instrumental in the federalization of airports throughout the Northeast and Midwest regions.

 

Before joining TSA, LaJoye served in the U.S. Army in various light infantry and airborne units. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Richmond, earning a degree in Human Resource Management. He attended the Harvard Business School for Executive Education and has a master’s degree in National Security Strategy from the National War College, as well as a master’s degree in Criminal Justice and Public Administration from Liberty University.

Editorial Panelist

Clay Marsh, MD

COVID Czar

State of West Virginia

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Editorial Panelist

Clay Marsh, MD

COVID Czar

State of West Virginia

A national leader in personalized medicine and in pulmonary and critical care medicine, Marsh has concentrated his efforts in determining how to help individuals stay healthy and how to create ecosystems to make this easy.

Marsh is a two-time graduate of West Virginia University, earning an undergraduate degree in biology in 1981 and a medical degree in 1985.

From 1985 to 2015 he was at The Ohio State University. He served a residency in internal medicine; a research fellowship in pulmonary and critical care, a chief residency in internal medicine; a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine; and an extension research fellowship in pulmonary and critical care. As a faculty member, he held a wide range of teaching, clinical, research, and administrative roles at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center, including as vice dean for research and, most recently, vice dean for innovation in the College of Medicine. In this position, he established OSU’s IDEA Studio in Healthcare and Design.

Marsh’s research has focused on defining the underlying mechanisms that determine health and disease. His research interests include the molecular regulation of longevity and epigenetic controls of aging. He holds more than 20 patents or patent disclosures. He has mentored more than 50 MD, MD/PhD and PhD doctoral students, post-doctoral researchers and junior faculty, and won a number of Ohio State teaching awards. He has been responsible for more than $20 million in National Institutes of Health funding as principal investigator, co-PI, co-investigator, and mentor, and has published more than 140 papers in peer-reviewed journals.

He serves on national scientific advisory committees for organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, the American Thoracic Society, the Sarnoff Cardiovascular Research Foundation, GlaxoSmithKline and Caris Life Sciences. He is a Fellow in the American College of Physicians and an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation.

In response to the challenges of the new coronavirus COVID-19, Marsh was appointed as “COVID-19 czar” by Gov. Jim Justice. In his role, Marsh coordinates the state’s response to the challenges of the new coronavirus, collaborating with federal, state and local agencies, health officials, researchers and other agencies helping with the effort. In addition, Marsh also advocates for the personal responsibilities of West Virginia’s citizens to help lower the spread of infection of COVID-19 across the state.

Editorial Panelist

Curtis Mejeur

Senior Advisor to the Director

Office of Personnel Management

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Editorial Panelist

Curtis Mejeur

Senior Advisor to the Director

Office of Personnel Management

Curtis Mejeur serves in the Biden-Harris Administration as Senior Advisor to the Director at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

He focuses on how to leverage tech to further OPM’s mission to recruit, retain, and honor the American workforce that is landing rovers on Mars, fighting a global pandemic, and building the country back better. This includes all aspects of service delivery from the start to finish of the employee lifecycle: recruiting (USAJobs), retaining (federal employee benefits systems), and honoring (retirement processing).

Prior to the Biden-Harris Administration, Curtis worked as the Chief Delivery Officer of a tech startup focused on serving government agencies. During his time there he managed a portfolio of multiple, high-profile projects and successfully scaled the company’s workforce tenfold from 30 to nearly 300 people.

Curtis possesses a history of successfully modernizing government services across the federal landscape. This is his second tour of duty at OPM after being brought in to help with some of the agency’s most complex challenges in the latter half of the Obama-Biden Administration. Previously, he worked in the Executive Office of the President within the Office of Management and Budget and as a consultant.

Editorial Panelist

Alfonso Pinan

Director of Financial Systems Services, Finance Department

City of Atlanta

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Editorial Panelist

Alfonso Pinan

Director of Financial Systems Services, Finance Department

City of Atlanta

Alfonso Pinan serves as Director of Financial Systems Services for the City of Atlanta Finance Department since May 2011. He is the Project Lead for Atlanta’s ATLcloud ERP and HCM implementation and manages the partner relationship with Deloitte and Oracle. With over thirty years of experience as an information technology professional, his background includes managing technical staff, project management, functional support services, network management, systems implementations, and business analysis and consulting. During his career, He led several multi-years, multi-million dollar efforts to implement, upgrade, and consolidate management information systems. Before joining the City of Atlanta, he served 5 years as Chief Technology Officer for a charter school district. Prior to that, he was IT manager, Vice President, for Marsh Inc.,  the world leader in risk and insurance services where he managed its Los Angeles technology department for 18 years. Alfonso is a California State University Los Angeles alumnus and a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) and Six Sigma Green Belt Certified.

Underwriter Speaker

Arnel Rivera

Strategic Advisor

Department of Transportation

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Underwriter Speaker

Arnel Rivera

Strategic Advisor

Department of Transportation

Arnel B. Rivera, Strategic Advisor, U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT), Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO), IT Shared Services (ITSS)

  • 30+ years in Information Technology Management, 15 years Director-level federal government service
  • Deputy CIO, Federal Railroad Administration (2011-2018)
  • On-Detail to DOT OCIO as Strategic Advisor (2018-present) responsible for leading the DOT Enterprise Cloud Services team in implementing the departmental multi-cloud strategy.  Led the team that stood up the DOT AWS cloud practice which currently supports the Department and ten modal operating administrations with over 55 discrete accounts across 24 programs.
Editorial Panelist

Alex Smith

Chief HR Officer

City of Memphis

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Editorial Panelist

Alex Smith

Chief HR Officer

City of Memphis

Alex Smith, 2021 Leadership Memphis Change Maker and Nominee for the HRO Today Magazine’s CHRO of the Year 2020 Award, is best known for positioning the City of Memphis as a model for city government for the 21st Century. 

Her colleagues refer to her as the “Chief Change Officer” because she’s a visionary who continues to elevate the City of Memphis’s culture to enable Mayor Strickland’s mission of “improving the quality of life for all Memphians, every day.”

As Chief Human Resources Officer, reporting directly to Mayor Jim Strickland, Alex is also known as the architect of the City’s updated talent management, training, labor relations, employee               engagement, wellness, compensation, benefits, diversity and safety initiatives.  

She has been featured in renowned publications including Forbes, American City and County   Magazine, Governing Magazine, and CNBC for transforming a government municipality to the 21st Century through cloud-based technology, and economic empowerment through workforce         sustainability.

Thanks to her proficiency in driving execution, in 2017 The City of Memphis became a trailblazer by offering a health insurance private exchange for retirees and being the first municipality to offer a student loan contribution program. Also, in 2018, the City was the largest national public sector    entity to move to HR cloud-based technology, Oracle HCM. She and her team received national recognition in Workforce Magazine in 2018 for this achievement.

Thanks to her skill at driving innovation, the City of Memphis became a trailblazer by offering a health insurance private exchange for retirees in 2017. That same year it also became the first    municipality to offer a student loan contribution program. In 2018, the City of Memphis became the largest national public sector entity to move to HR cloud-based technology, Oracle HCM. That achievement garnered Alex and her team national recognition in Workforce Magazine.

Alex regularly serves as a guest panelist and conference presenter for national and global             audiences. She has been a featured participant in Netflix series Real Talk: Blacks in HR;                   Government Performance Summit; Hacking HR; Hope Global Forum; Unleash Conference;             Workforce Spotlight Webinar, Aspen Institute, National League of Cities, , Oracle OpenWorld, and SXSW, and International Personnel Management Association.  She was also a keynote speaker for TN Society of Human Resource Management and Public Sector Network.

A firm believer in community service, Alex serves on the advisory council for 3SixtyInsights and the advisory board for Government Executive Media Group’s RouteFifty. She also serves on the board of directors for First8 Memphis, a non-profit committed to universal pre-k education in Memphis.

Before gaining her position as Chief HR Officer for the City of Memphis, Alex built a notable career as a strategic HR partner for key business leaders, serving in HR management roles for Brightstar Corporation, and industry leaders, including Target Corporation, and Microsoft Corporation.

She holds a Bachelors in Economics from Duke University and a Masters in Human Resources and Industrial Relations from the University of Minnesota. Alex currently lives in Memphis with her two daughters.

Social Media

LinkedIn:in//consultalexsmith                                   Twitter and IG: @chroalexsmith

Editorial Panelist

Ayana Wilkins

Director of Financial Enterprise Applications

Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services

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Editorial Panelist

Ayana Wilkins

Director of Financial Enterprise Applications

Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services

Ayana attended University of Oklahoma and University of Central Oklahoma. She graduated with a Business Administration of Accounting degree in 2004. She has been employed with the State of Oklahoma since 1997

Her tenure with state government began as an intern with the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) Accounting and Human Resources-Payroll department.  At ODEQ she progressed from intern to Accountant to Civil Rights Administrator (CRA).  As CRA Ayana wrote policies related to the Civil Rights Act and American with Disabilities Act. She also served as Treasurer for the Oklahoma Alliance of Civil Rights non-profit organization.

From 2009 to 2012 Ayana assumed the duties of Lead on the implementation of PeopleSoft modules that ODEQ would use to manage grant projects, time collection and reimbursement. In this position she worked alongside the Oklahoma State Finance IT department during implementation and provided supported as the agency served as a pilot projects for PeopleSoft in state government.

In 2012 Ayana moved to Oklahoma Management and Enterprise Services (OMES) IT department. At OMES she became the Functional Lead for the PeopleSoft application. In this position she assisted with multiple agency implementations. She also worked with the Project Manager on resources management; project budgeting, timeline, and scope—communicated with multiple agencies on project status and user acceptance testing.

From 2014 to 2018 Ayana worked as Project Manager for OMES IT department. She managed multiple projects and worked with multiple contracted consultants in co-managing the upgrade of the PeopleSoft application. She manages Oracle and 3rd party budgets; approved team resource commitments; approved contracted consultants’ effort, approved and paid all invoices; co-managed a functional team; maintained the project plan and provided weekly status reports.

 Ayana became the State of Oklahoma’s Oracle Manager at OMES. She manages vendors (to include Oracle and any related 3rd Parties). In this position she manages budget. She works on contracts to be presented to Legal for execution; and requests all purchase order to encumber funds for the goods or services contracted. She is responsible for tracking available encumbrances, invoices, and payments. Ayana co-maintains a 3 to 5-year roadmap for the State’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications. She manages the technical and security provisioning teams for the State’s ERP.  

In 2020 Ayana became the Director of Financial Enterprise Applications at OMES. This includes the duties of Oracle Manager as well as working with State agencies and their leadership on legacy financial applications and what OMES has to offer in alignment with the State’s strategic goals.

Editorial Panelist

Dr. Donald Alcendor, Ph.d,

Associate Professor, Center for AIDS Health Disparities Research, Division of Microbiology & Immunology, Physiology & Obstetrics & Gynecology

Meharry Medical College

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Editorial Panelist

Dr. Donald Alcendor, Ph.d,

Associate Professor, Center for AIDS Health Disparities Research, Division of Microbiology & Immunology, Physiology & Obstetrics & Gynecology

Meharry Medical College

Dr. Alcendor completed his post-graduate studies at the NIH and Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore Maryland in departments of Molecular Virology and Viral Oncology respectively. As a graduate student at the University of California at Davis he received the Patricia Roberts Harris Graduate Fellowship, was a University of California Davis Mentorship Fellow, a National Heart Lung and Blood Institute Pre-doctoral Fellow, a National Heart Lung and Blood Institute Post-doctoral Fellow, a Floyd and Mary Schwall, Dissertation Fellow, a National Heart Lung and Blood Institute Spring Fellow, and a recipient of the Merck Special Service Award.

Dr. Alcendor was also a research consultant to the Viral Vector Core Laboratory in Viral Oncology, at Johns Hopkins, and was a Cytomegalovirus Expert for the FDA, Division of Vaccine Injury and Compensation Program for the Department of Health and Human Services in Rockville, Maryland. He has also served as a summer mentor for the Leadership Alliance for the American Society of Microbiology. He was a mentor for the FDA Office of Minority Health, Health Disparities Fellowship. He was also selected as a Minority Scholar in Cancer Research by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). He received the Nashville Business Journal Health Care Hero Award in Research.  He was selected as a member of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) list of distinguish minority microbiologist. He was also a committee member on the independent Research Evaluation and Decision Panel (REDP) for the AIDS Cancer and Specimen Resource of the NCI-AIDS Malignancy Program. He was a Brain-on-chip investigator in partnership with Vanderbilt and the Cleveland Clinic. He was funded to develop the Blood-Retinal-Barrier on a Chip. He is a Research Liaison for the FDA Office of Minority Health with Meharry Medical College.  He was a consultant and voting member on the FDA Antimicrobial Drug Advisory Committee. He was selected as an expert grant reviewer for the Florida Department of Health’s Biomedical Research Programs through the Oak Ridge Associated Universities and Department of Energy.  He is an Associate Director of the Vanderbilt Short Term Training Program for minority students. He is also a member of the Vanderbilt Pre3 Initiative (Preventing Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes & Prematurity). He is a voting member of Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (CTSA) Scientific Review Committee. He is Technical Advisory Group member for the Tennessee Health Care Innovation Initiative Episodes of Care, “HIV Outpatient Skin and Soft Tissue Infection (SSTI) for the State of Tennessee.  He was the Principal Investigator and Director of the Community Outreach Core for Project SAVED, a CDC funded HIV capacity building assistance initiative. He was selected as an expert advisory panel member for the American Lung Association COVID-19 Action Initiative. He is a member of the American Lung Association Scientific Advisory Board. He was the director of the Zika Pathogenesis Working Group based at Meharry. He was an Associate Director for the Continuum of Care Scientific working group for the Tennessee Center for AIDS Research and he organized the 1st HIV/AIDS Awareness Summit for Teens sponsored by the HIV Center at Meharry.  Finally, he is a member of several editorial boards and committees associated with infectious disease and has been an invited speaker to key national science conferences.

Underwriter Speaker

Brian Davidson

Solutions Engineer

Okta

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Underwriter Speaker

Brian Davidson

Solutions Engineer

Okta

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Underwriter Speaker

Derek Doerr

Enterprise Solution Architect

Amazon Web Services

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Underwriter Speaker

Derek Doerr

Enterprise Solution Architect

Amazon Web Services

Derek Doerr is a senior technology leader with over 10 years’ experience in the public sector. He specializes in management and governance in large enterprises he has developed and lead strategic plans to steer government customers through technology transformations, remediation of technical debt, optimization of existing technical assets and increasing organizational agility. He has strong technical and business skills with engineering degrees from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the University of Georgia.

Underwriter Speaker

Dave Kopniske

Senior Director, Solutions Engineering of State, Provincial, Local Government and Education

Tableau

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Underwriter Speaker

Dave Kopniske

Senior Director, Solutions Engineering of State, Provincial, Local Government and Education

Tableau

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Underwriter Moderator

Scott Swanson

Executive Vice President

Enquizit

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Underwriter Moderator

Scott Swanson

Executive Vice President

Enquizit

Scott Swanson is the EVP of Enquizit, where he focuses on Cloud Transformations and Business Enablement. Some of his prior experiences include:

  • Transforming large, diverse Federal organizations from traditional to cloud service delivery, leading to up to 40x faster service delivery and cost reductions from 25-56%.
  • Leading ITIL Problem Management rollout at Liberty Mutual, a Fortune 500 company, saving more than $270 million in the first year.
  • Transforming Silverchair, a small Printing Company, into a Software Development organization with new IT strategy and highly reusable SaaS/Cloud offerings and a solid business model.
  • Elevating a Data Analytics and Visualization solution called RADR from a single-use model to a highly configurable, reusable model for Elder Research a Data Science consulting firm.
  • Radically increasing the pace of change for a fragile portfolio of projects while simultaneously improving stability for the Association of American Medical Colleges.
Editorial Moderator

Aaron Boyd

Senior Editor

Nextgov

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Editorial Moderator

Aaron Boyd

Senior Editor

Nextgov

Aaron Boyd is an award-winning journalist currently serving as senior editor for technology and events at Nextgov. He primarily covers federal government IT contracting and cybersecurity issues affecting both civilian and defense agencies. As a lifelong nerd and policy wonk, he feels right at home covering the intersection of technology and policy in the nation's capital.

Event Host

George Jackson

Director of Events

Government Executive Media Group

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Event Host

George Jackson

Director of Events

Government Executive Media Group

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Editorial Moderator

Alisha Powell Gillis

Senior Editor

Route Fifty

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Editorial Moderator

Alisha Powell Gillis

Senior Editor

Route Fifty

Alisha Powell Gillis is the senior editor at Route Fifty where she is responsible for programming live and online events content, moderating panel discussions, soliciting, editing and writing analytical pieces and overseeing the annual Navigator Awards program. Before joining Route Fifty, Alisha was the director for community impact at the Urban Libraries Council (ULC) where she worked to connect urban public libraries to critical issues in state and local government and led event programming. Prior to ULC, Alisha served the nation's governors for nearly a decade at the National Governors Association where she specialized in homeland security, emergency management and cybersecurity issues. Alisha holds a master's degree in global security studies from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor's degree in political science from Hofstra University.