2024 Thought Leaders Conference:
Emerging Technologies in Critical Infrastructure

Thought Leaders Conference:
Emerging Technologies in Critical Infrastructure

On May 14, 2024, the Institute for Homeland Security at Sam Houston State University will sponsor a Thought Leaders Conference for professionals who protect any of the 16 critical infrastructure verticals.

The question for this conference is:

"How will emerging technologies be leveraged to protect critical infrastructure and defend against physical and cyber security risks to critical infrastructure operations?"

The conference will focus on transformative technologies and how they might assist to protect or be used to degrade the security of critical infrastructure. Quantum computing, artificial intelligence, and analytical technologies in support of security management, information protection, intelligence analysis, crisis management, and supply chain resilience.

May 14, 2024


SHSU - The Woodlands Center: 3380 College Park Drive, The Woodlands, TX 77384

Registration Fee:
$49, includes lunch and up to 2 FREE IHS Course Coupons.

Preview Courses Here!

9:00 AM
Robert Liscouski Image

Keynote Speaker: Robert Liscouski

Topic: Quantum Computing: How will it Change the Way Critical Infrastructure is Protected?

Robert Liscouski, a Co-Founder and Chairman, CEO and President of QCi since the company was formed in February 2018, transitioned to the role of Chairman of the Board of Directors in February 2024 to lead the company’s strategic direction and Chair the Board’s Risk Committee. Under Mr. Liscouski’s leadership QCi evolved from a software platform company trading on on the OTC Markets, to one of the leading Quantum Solutions companies listed on Nasdaq. He brings to the company more than 35 years of successful executive experience at public and private companies, and federal agencies ranging from operational roles to leadership positions. He has extensive start-up experience in cyber-security in the private sector as well as developing critical programs for protecting national security interests and essential infrastructure, as well as in crisis management, organizational development, and strategic planning. Mr. Liscouski was appointed by President George W. Bush as th first U.S. Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection upon the launch of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In addition, he served at the U.S. Department of State, serving on the Intelligence ScienceBoard supporting the CIA and Director of National Intelligence. Mr. Liscouski’s private sector experience includes President and Director at Implant Sciences Corporation, Director of Information Assurance at The Coca-Cola Company, and Vice President at Orion Scientific Systems. Mr. Liscouski currently serves on the board of technical advisors for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the board of the National Child Protection Task Force. He received his Bachelor of Science from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and Master of Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

9:40 AM
Nick Reese Image

Featured Speaker: Nick Reese

Topic: Are Emerging Technologies Enhanced or Degraded by Quantum Computing?

Nick Resse is currently co-founder and managing partner at Frontier Foundry. Previously he worked as the CEO and founder of Triantha. Prior to that, he was the first ever Director of Emerging Technology Policy at the US Department of Homeland Security where he served for over 3 years. His team developed homeland security and national policies on a wide variety of emerging technologies and traveled around the country meeting with state, local, tribal, and territorial partners to talk about issues with coming technologies. Before DHS, he spent six years in the intelligence community and nine years in the military before that. He is also a professor at New York University and the Managing Partner at the Frontier Foundry Corporation where they are developing AI products.

9:40 AM
Robert Kolasky Image

Featured Speaker: Robert Kolasky

Topic: Are Emerging Technologies Enhanced or Degraded by Quantum Computing?

Bob Kolasky is Senior Vice President of Critical Infrastructure at Exiger, where he directs the development of cutting-edge third party and supply chain risk management technology for the critical infrastructure community. Bob is a widely-recognized expert with over two decades of experience. He’s a Nonresident Scholar in the Carnegie Endowment’s International Peace’s Technology and International Affairs Program, a CSIS Senior Associate, and a Senior Fellow at Auburn University’s McCrary Institute. Bob also served the OECD’s High-Level Risk Forum Chair. He was the founding Director for CISA’s National Risk Management Center, where he co-chaired the Information and Communications Technology Supply Chain Risk Management Task Force. Throughout his career, he’s worked for government agencies and contractors, including DHS, GAO, Abrams Learning & Information Systems and Booz Allen Hamilton.

12:30 PM
Brian Murphy Image

Keynote Speaker: Brian Murphy

Topic: Protecting Critical Infrastructure from AI generated Disinformation Attacks by Nation-States, Insider Threats, Competitors, Criminal Organizations, etc.

Brian Murphy is the Managing Director for Logically.ai. In his role, he assisted in developing and implementing advanced Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence solutions to find harmful threat content at scale and across languages and internet platforms. Before joining Logically, Murphy served as both the Principal and Acting Under Security for Intelligence for DHS. Murphy was a special agent with the FBI for 20 years. While there, he performed duties from street agent up to roles as a national manager in the senior executive service. During his career, he served in New York, Afghanistan, Algeria, Tunisia, Niger, Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Washington, DC. Murphy began his federal service in 1994 as an officer in the Marine Corps and would later return to this role in 2004 after being recalled to active duty for service in Iraq. Murphy has been an adjunct professor for Georgetown’s Security Studies Program, where he teaches about homeland security and the domestic intelligence architecture underpinning national security. As of 2022, Murphy has been a member of DHS’s Election Infrastructure Committee and in 2024 was elected to the executive committee. In 2023 Murphy joined Pitt Cyber as an Affiliate Practice Scholar and collaborates with researchers and industry. Murphy is the President of the non-profit, Information Professionals Association, which is focused on cognitive security Murphy’s academic credentials include a PhD from Georgetown University; MA from Columbia University; and a BA from William and Mary. He is a certified U.S. Intelligence Officer and Joint Duty Certified and maintains a Top Secret clearance. Murphy is the author of the book Foreign Disinformation in America and the U.S. Government’s Ethical Obligations to Respond, Spring Nature, 2023

1:10 PM
Michael Ard Image

Featured Speaker: Michael Ard

Topic: Strategies to Protect Critical Infrastructure from Information Warfare Attacks

Michael J. Ard is the Program Director and Senior Lecturer for the Master of Science in Intelligence Analysis program at Johns Hopkins University. A former CIA analyst and manager, Dr. Ard specialized in Latin American and Middle Eastern issues. Part of his career included three years at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, where he served as Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Western Hemisphere. In addition to his career in government, Dr. Ard worked in corporate security at Marathon Oil and as a consultant for a professional service firm focused on international risk. He writes on a variety of intelligence and national security issues, and in 2003, he published An Eternal Struggle: How the National Action Party Transformed Mexican Politics (Praeger). He was educated at the College of William and Mary and the University of Virginia, where in 2001 he earned his PhD in foreign affairs. Dr. Ard formerly was Program Director for Intelligence Studies at American Public University System and for six years taught international security in Rice University’s Master of Global Affairs program. Prior to his academic and intelligence careers, Dr. Ard served as an officer in the US Navy and is a veteran of the 1991 Gulf War.

1:10 PM
Lisa Kaplan Image

Featured Speaker: Lisa Kaplan

Topic: Strategies to Protect Critical Infrastructure from Information Warfare Attacks

Lisa Kaplan founded Alethea in 2019 to help customers navigate the new digital reality and protect against threats stemming from disinformation, misinformation, and social media manipulation. Under Kaplan’s leadership, the Alethea team has built the scalable technologies and solutions to detect threats to market capitalization and shareholder value, customer bases, physical safety, business operations, and brand and reputation. This includes exposing foreign, domestic extremist, and for-profit disinformation networks that have targeted organizations, institutions, and brands. Kaplan has briefed US, NATO, EU, and G-7 policymakers and officials on disinformation. She writes for Brookings and Lawfare, and is frequently sought out by top-tier media outlets, such as The New York Times, Bloomberg, CNN, and the Washington Post. Alethea was named one of the hottest cybersecurity startups to watch in 2023 by Fortune and Business Insider. She was named to the Washingtonian’s 2023 Tech Titans list; the 2021 Forbes 30 Under 30 list of top entrepreneurs and leaders; and the Washingtonian’s 2021 Washington’s Most Powerful Women list. Kaplan is a graduate of Colby College.