IEEE Military Communications Conference
28 October – 1 November 2024 // Washington, DC, USA
C5I Technologies for Military and Intelligence Operations Today and Tomorrow

VIP Panels


Date:  Tuesday, October 29
Time:  9:30 - 10:40
Location:  Columbia Ballroom 5-12/Terrace Level


Jon Pelson
Rampart Communications

View Jon Pelson's Biography

During his three-decade career as a telecommunications executive, Jon served as Vice President of Lucent Technologies and Chief of Convergence Strategy for British Telecom, among other roles. Most recently, he is the author of the best-selling book, Wireless Wars; China’s Dangerous Domination of 5G and How We’re Fighting Back. He has advised private technology companies and agencies of the U.S. Government on matters of global competition and national security. Jon is a graduate of Dartmouth College (BA) and of the Colgate Darden School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia (MBA)



Mary Schurgot
U.S. Army C5ISR Center

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Dr. Mary R. Schurgot joined DARPA in 2020 as a program manager in the Strategic Technology Office (STO). Her research interests include secure and efficient data sharing, automated decision aids, and the design of new networking and communication paradigms. Prior to DARPA, Schurgot was technical director of machine learning and edge capabilities at CACI where she developed and led programs at the intersection of analytics, cyber, and networking. She has served as principal investigator and technical lead for DARPA programs and transition efforts.  Schurgot earned her bachelors, masters, and doctorate degrees in electrical engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology.


Thomas Rondeau
Principal Director for Future G & 5G, OUSD (R&E)

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Dr. Tom Rondeau is the Principal Director for the FutureG & 5G Office for the US Department of Defense, serving in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E)). In this role, Dr. Rondeau is responsible for the research, funding, and execution of programs to advance warfighting capabilities using 5G and future-generation wireless technologies. Before assuming his role as Principal Director of the FutureG & 5G Office, Dr. Rondeau spent more than six years as a Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) program manager, where he led efforts that challenged and advanced studies in a variety of warfighting domains, earning him the Distinguished Public Service Medal. Prior to joining DARPA, Dr. Rondeau was the Project Lead for the GNU Radio project, consulted on wireless communications problem sets, and worked as a visiting researcher with the University of Pennsylvania and as an Adjunct with the IDA Center for Communications Research in Princeton, NJ. Dr. Rondeau holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech, where his dissertation won the Council of Graduate Schools’ 2007 Outstanding Dissertation Award in math, science, and engineering.


Douglas Kirkpatrick
President & CEO, Eridan

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Dr. Douglas Kirkpatrick is the CEO and Co-founder of Eridan with prior leadership roles as a VC, Chief Scientist at DARPA, VP of R&D for Fusion Lighting, and as a staff scientist and VP at SAIC. Dr. Kirkpatrick received his BS degree (Physics & Mathematics) from the College of William and Mary (1980) and his Ph.D. from MIT in 1988 (Physics). He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and has authored more than 30 journal articles and 60 US and international patents. 

Steve Vogelsang
CTO, Nokia Federal Solutions

View Steve Vogelsang's Biography

Steve Vogelsang is the Chief Technology Officer for Nokia Federal Solutions. As CTO, Vogelsang is responsible for leading a technical team that curates and adapts Nokia’s broad portfolio of networking products and technology to deliver mission critical capabilities to the U.S. Government.

Vogelsang joined the company through the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent. He brings more than 30 years of technology experience in IP and optical networks. Most recently, Vogelsang was the Vice President of Strategy and Technology for Nokia’s Network Infrastructure division where he helped launch new technology offerings, including IP network analytics and security, data center switching, client optics, optics integration with ASICs and Silicon photonics.

Vogelsang holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. He also holds two patents in state-efficient network function support and ATM communications system, UBR-ABR gateway.


Tracy van Brakle
AT&T Labs

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Tracy van Brakle is an Expert Member of Technical Staff, AT&T Labs CTO RAN, and a co-chair or key contributor within several open source projects and standards development organizations. She is the Principal Investigator (PI) of the NTIA PWSCIF project “ACCoRD” (Accelerating Compatibility and Commercialization of open RAN for Deployments), and the PI of the NSF/DoD Convergence Accelerator project “INDIGO” (Intelligent Networks Designed and Integrated for Globalized Operations).  Her current area of interest is integrating and ultimately commercializing open RAN technologies with open platforms using model-driven interfaces from O-RAN, 3GPP, and other standards organizations.  She holds 17 active US patents in Wireless Technologies. Before joining AT&T, Tracy was a Senior Technologist with Goldman Sachs.



Date:  Wednesday, October 30
Time:  9:30 - 10:40
Location:  Columbia Ballroom 5-12/Terrace Level


John Burke
Office of the Under Assistant Secretary of Defense For Research and Engineering/ Science and Technology

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Dr. John Burke serves as the Principal Director for Quantum Science in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. In this role he leads the Department’s efforts at technology modernization in quantum science, one of DoD’s top technology modernization priority areas.

Prior to this position, Dr. Burke was a DARPA Program Manager developing quantum science and technology for sensing, timing and computing applications. Previously, Dr. Burke worked in the Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate as a nationally recognized Principal Investigator.



Richard Muller

View Richard Muller's Biography

Dr. Richard “Rick” Muller serves as the Director of the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency (IARPA). As IARPA's sixth full-time director, he is responsible for implementing high-risk, high-payoff research programs to address the Intelligence Community's most challenging intelligence gaps and provide our nation with an overwhelming intelligence advantage.

Prior to joining IARPA, Dr. Muller was senior manager of Quantum and Advanced Microsystems at Sandia National Laboratories and led the Quantum Information Science program there. He also served as the director of the Department of Energy's (DOE) Quantum Systems Accelerator, one of the five centers DOE created under the National Quantum Initiative. From 2016 to 2017, Dr. Muller led the drive for advanced computational capabilities for national security as part of the Joint Program Office for the National Strategic Computing Initiative. Before taking on management roles, his research interests focused on developing computational methods to predict the behavior and applications of novel materials, molecules, and devices.

Dr. Muller holds a bachelor's degree from Rice University and a doctorate from the California Institute of Technology in chemistry.

Dr. Muller was raised outside of Chicago and enjoys baking bread, drinking coffee, and spending time with his wife Tess and their son Alex.


Paul Stimers 
Holland & Knight's Public Policy & Regulation Group

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Paul Stimers is a Washington, D.C., attorney and a member of Holland & Knight's Public Policy & Regulation Group.  Mr. Stimers focuses his policy advocacy efforts on matters related to emerging technologies such as quantum technology, commercial spaceflight, and artificial intelligence (AI), and advises a wide range of companies and industry associations in pursuing legislation and representing their interests before Congress and federal agencies.  He is the founder and executive director of the Quantum Industry Coalition, a group of quantum computing, sensing, communications, and cryptography companies working to advance U.S. quantum leadership.  He holds a BA from the University of Washington, a JD from Harvard Law School, and an MPA from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.


Date:  Thursday, October 31
Time:  9:30 - 10:40
Location:  Columbia Ballroom 5-12/Terrace Level


Honorable Reggie Brothers
MIT Lincoln Laboratory

View Reggie Brothers Biography

View Reggie Brothers' Biography

Dr. Reggie Brothers is the Chief Executive Officer of He was previously Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Peraton, and served as a principal with The Chertoff Group.

Prior to that he held the role of Under Secretary for Science and Technology at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), where he was responsible for a science and technology portfolio that included basic and applied research, development, demonstration, testing and evaluation with the purpose of helping DHS operational elements and the nation’s first responders achieve their mission objectives.

From 2011 to 2014, Reggie served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research at the Department of Defense. In this position, he was responsible for policy and oversight of the Department’s science and technology programs and laboratories. He has also held senior roles at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, BAE Systems, Draper Laboratory and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Lincoln Laboratory.

Reggie holds five patents, is a Distinguished Fellow at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET) and a member of the Visiting Committee for Sponsored Research at MIT.

He received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Tufts University, an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Southern Methodist University and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT.



Honorable Alan R. Shaffer
Former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment

View Alan R. Shaffer's Biography

The Honorable Alan R. Shaffer assumed his current position as the director of Washington operations for MIT Lincoln Laboratory in April 2022. Previously, he served as the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment (A&S) from January 2019 to January 20, 2021. Senate confirmed in January 2019, he was responsible to the Under Secretary of Defense (A&S) for all matters pertaining to acquisition; contract administration; logistics and materiel readiness; installations and environment; operational energy; chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons; the acquisition workforce; and the defense industrial base. During this period, he concurrently served as Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Defense.

From 2015 to 2018, Shaffer served as the Director, NATO Collaboration Support Office in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. In this role, he was responsible for coordinating and synchronizing the Science and Technology (S&T) collaboration between NATO member and partner Nations, comprising a network of about 5,000 scientists.

Previous to his role at NATO, Shaffer served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (ASD(R&E)) from 2007 to 2015. In this position, Shaffer was responsible for formulating, planning, and reviewing the Department of Defense (DoD) Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E) programs, plans, strategy, priorities, and execution of the DoD RDT&E budget that totals roughly $25 billion per year. He also served twice as the Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering from 2007 to 2009 and from 2012 to 2015, a position that was the Chief Technology Officer of the DoD.

In 2009, he was appointed as the first Director, Operational Energy, Plans and Programs (Acting). Shaffer has also served as the Executive Director for several senior DoD Task Forces, including review of all research, acquisition and test activities during the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure. In 2007, he was the Executive Director for the DoD Energy Security Task Force and, and from 2007 to 2012, he served as the Executive Director of the Mine Resistant Ambush Protection (MRAP) Task Force, where he was responsible for oversight, fielding, and employment of 27,000 MRAPs across the DoD.

Before entering the federal government, Shaffer served 24 years as a commissioned officer in the United States Air Force and retired in the grade of Colonel. While serving, he held positions in command, weather, intelligence, and acquisition oversight with assignments in Utah, California, Ohio, Honduras, Germany, Virginia, Washington DC, and Nebraska. Upon retirement from the Air Force in 2000, Shaffer was appointed to the Senior Executive Service. In 2001, he assumed the position as Director, Plans and Programs, Defense Research and Engineering. Shaffer earned a BS degree in mathematics from the University of Vermont in 1976, a second BS degree in meteorology from the University of Utah, an MS degree in meteorology from the Naval Postgraduate School, and an MS degree in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service, the Meritorious Executive Presidential Rank Award in 2004, the Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award, and the Distinguished Executive Presidential Rank Award in 2007 and 2015. He is a member of the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies Board of Regents and is a Distinguished Fellow of the Emerging Technology Institute of NDIA, as well as a member of several boards.

Dr. Robert G. Atkins
MIT Lincoln Laboratory

View Robert G. Atkins Biography

View Robert G. Atkins' Biography

Dr. Robert Atkins is the Head of the Advanced Technology Division at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. Dr. Atkins holds special expertise in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, air defense radar, RF signatures and electromagnetic modeling, systems analysis and architectural engineering, rapid capability development and advanced technology development. In his current position, he leads efforts aimed at the development of revolutionary component and subsystem technologies to enable new system level solutions to critical national defense challenges. Technical areas include advanced imagers, lasers, quantum computing, microsystems, RF technology, and chemical and biological sensors. Dr. Atkins holds a S.B., S.M., E.E., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from MIT.


Dr. Jay Lewis
National Semiconductor Technology Center

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Dr. Jay Lewis is the Director of the National Semiconductor Technology Center, or NSTC, Program, for the CHIPS R&D Office at the Department of Commerce. In this role he is working to establish the NSTC program, a public-private consortium that will serve as a cornerstone of semiconductor research for the country. He previously worked at Microsoft, at DARPA, where he was a program manager and the Deputy Director of the Microsystems Technology Office, and had an early career in semiconductor research.

Dr. Lewis is a Fellow of the American Vacuum Society and is an IEEE and SPIE Senior Member. He has published over 50 articles in technical journals and conference proceedings and holds eleven U.S. patents. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Materials Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Florida.