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Exploring national security over breakfast with the W&M Alumni Association

June 7, 2019
By Kathryn H. Floyd ’05

Photo by Michael Steelman

On May 21, W&M alumni, parents and friends gathered in Washington, D.C. for the W&M National Security Breakfast & Business Cards, part of W&M Alumni Association's One Tribe. One Network. career programming. The event featured a panel discussion moderated by Kathryn H. Floyd ’05, director, Whole of Government Center of Excellence, William & Mary, and was an opportunity for national security experts to share with the W&M community their unique views on current and future national security challenges. Panelists included Matt Fine ’94, supervisory special agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Rita M. Sampson ’89, chief of equal employment opportunity and diversity, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Carolyn Sughrue ’83, senior account executive, SAP National Security Services, RADM Elizabeth L. Train ’78, USN (Ret), COO, Team Rubicon Global and Russ Travers ’78, deputy director, National Counterterrorism Center.

The speakers addressed what is on their desk and mind right now, including the allocation of national security resources, competition with the private sector over skilled employees, an environment conducive to people wanting to serve, and the need to be more open to risk. Looking from 2019 through to 2028 and beyond, they forecasted that the national security community is going to need to move faster and be supported by leadership who values new prospects, training and cultural apprenticeships. Moving away from fighting yesterday’s wars will require straddling the domestic-international divide and developing a deeper understanding of the linkages between issues, like climate change and global stability.

With ever-present and looming challenges, panelists agreed that we should be doing more to enhance our national security prospects. Transparency in government can lead to more diversified recruitment. The vetting process should be streamlined as we invest in the professional continuum of advancement for the workforce. Partnerships, private and public, should be leveraged. All of this will attract, develop and cultivate the many individuals who all have a role to play in keeping our nation and way of life secure.

Breakfast & Business Cards is a professional networking series designed to bring together W&M alumni, parents, family and friends for industry-focused discussion and networking. Whether you want to look for new business opportunities, launch a startup or simply connect with the W&M community, seize the opportunity to experience a high level of networking among Tribe professionals working in a variety of exciting fields!

Join fellow W&M alumni professionals in your region for an industry-based networking breakfast and discussion with leading experts.