Opening Remarks by
Corporate Vice President
Worldwide Public Sector
Dr. Julia Glidden is Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Public Sector, for Microsoft Corporation, where she is helping to deliver on Microsoft’s mission to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more. An internationally recognized expert on Digital Government, Dr. Glidden specializes in identifying and piloting emerging technologies such as AI, Cloud and Blockchain in the GovTech space. Julia pioneered the concept of Cognitive Government and has delivered many of Europe's leading innovation projects. For over ten years, she has served as an expert advisor to the United Nations, the World Economic Forum and the European Commission.
Prior to joining Microsoft, Dr. Glidden oversaw IBM’s Global Government Industry, where she was responsible for driving digital transformation for public sector clients across the globe. An accomplished TedX speaker, Julia is regularly asked to speak around the world on emerging digital trends. In addition to being named in Apolitical's inaugural list of the Top 100 most influential people in digital government, Julia was recognized as one of the Top 40 GovTech Influencers in the 2019 e-Governance Global Industry Landscape Overview.
Mr. Bob Lord
Senior Vice President, Worldwide Ecosystems
Bob is Senior Vice President, Worldwide Ecosystems. He is focused on transforming how IBM engages with clients and ensuring the success of IBM’s ecosystems of partners and developers with our open hybrid cloud platform and AI software.
At the center of this work is a commitment to open innovation. Bob oversees IBM’s leadership and participation in open source communities, its contribution and donation of open source code, and fosters collaboration across industry, government, academia and NGOs. A prime example is Call for Code, which Bob launched in 2018 to give developers and problem solvers access to IBM tools and technologies as a means to solve global, societal challenges. Since launch, over 400,000 developers and problem solvers from over 179 nations have built solutions for an immediate and lasting impact in society.
Prior to IBM, Bob served as President of AOL, leading the company through its evolution into a leading, global advertising platform. He also served as CEO of Razorfish, a pioneering digital transformation consultancy helping companies like Cisco, Condé Nast, Ford, Mercedes-Benz and Pfizer redefine their brands for the digital age.
Bob’s experience and passion made him an active member of the TED community, board member for Aqua Finance, a Blackstone Company, and former board member for Williams- Sonoma and Screen Vision Media. He is one of CRN’s 50 “Most Influential” channel chiefs and the author of the 2013 book Converge: Transforming Business at the Intersection of Marketing and Technology.
He began his career as an engineer, graduating from Syracuse University with a BS in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, and holds an MBA from Harvard University.
CEO & Co-Founder at Rebellion
Chris Lynch is the chief executive officer of Rebellion Defense. Previously, he was the founding director of Defense Digital Service (DDS), a SWAT team of exceptional software engineers focused on the Department of Defense's most critical technology challenges. He served three secretaries of defense, launching numerous high-impact programs, including Hack the Pentagon, JEDI Cloud, counter-drone solutions, and providing technical expertise on programs including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and next-generation GPS OCX. He was an early member of United States Digital Service and is a lifelong tech entrepreneur. Chris is a Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center, working with Secretary Ash Carter on ensuring new technology serves a public purpose and good. Chris also is a regular lecturer at Stanford's computer science department, encouraging nerds to serve in government.
Caterpillar Inc., Components & Solutions Division
Eric Reiners is a Program Manager within the Integrated Components & Solutions Division of Caterpillar Inc. He is responsible for program definition and funding for Caterpillar’s focus in Automation & Autonomy technologies. These technologies range from operator assistance through remote control to full autonomy and connectivity based optimized coordination of multiple machines across a job site.
He also serves as the Caterpillar liaison for program activities with NASA and DOD. Past collaborations with NASA include: tele-robotic and automation technologies that are now part of Caterpillar commercial product; 2 NASA Centennial Challenge Programs – the 3D Printed Habitat Challenge and the Break the Ice Lunar Challenge. Eric has also served as the autonomy judge for the university level, NASA Robotic Mining Competition since its inaugural year in 2010. Collaborations with DOD have focused on the US Army Corps of Engineers and automation of construction equipment as well as new, disruptive technology, Additive Construction.
Eric began his career with Caterpillar Inc. in 1987. During his 30+ year career, he has held a variety of roles in machine design, analysis, testing, new technology introduction, new product introduction, product quality and reliability, as well as development of collaborative government research. Eric holds ten patents for machine design and machine automation algorithms. He has a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
University of California, Berkeley
Dara O’Rourke is both a professor and practitioner studying the environmental, health, and social impacts of global supply chains. Dr. O’Rourke teaches environmental and labor policy at the University of California, Berkeley, was the co-founder and CEO of GoodGuide, and founded the Sustainability Science and Innovation team at Amazon.com. Dr. O’Rourke has consulted to the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Environment Programme, the OECD, and a wide range of non-governmental organizations. Dr. O’Rourke has published three books, and dozens of academic articles, including the award-winning Community-Driven Regulation(MIT Press, 2004) and Shopping for Good (MIT Press, 2012). Dr. O’Rourke was previously a professor at MIT. He holds an MS and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BS from MIT.
J.E. “Jack” Surash, P.E.
Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army
(Installations, Energy and Environment)
Mr. Jack Surash was selected to the Senior Executive Service in September 2005. Since January 20, 2021, he is serving as the Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations, Energy and Environment). In this role he serves as the primary advisor to the Secretary of the Army and the Chief of Staff of the Army on all matters related to Army installation policy and oversight, and coordination of energy security and management. In addition, he is responsible for policy and oversight of sustainability and environmental initiatives; resource management, including design, military construction, operations and maintenance; Base Realignment and Closure; privatization of Army real estate portfolio and installations’ Safety and Occupational Health programs.
Mr. Surash was appointed as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Energy and Sustainability in February 2021. He previously served as the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Energy and Sustainability since September 2016. In this position he is responsible for overall program direction, establishment of policies, development and refinement of strategies, and oversight for implementation of all programs and initiatives related to energy security and sustainability within the Army. As the Army's Senior Energy Executive, Mr. Surash coordinates and integrates installation (traditional as well as expeditionary) and operational energy programs and strategies.
Mr. Surash came to the Pentagon from the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (EM), where he served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Acquisition and Project Management. In that position, he led efforts for EM’s annual $6 billion portfolio, served as EM’s Head of Contracting Activity, oversaw procurement planning, contract management, and provided project management support. Prior to that role, he was Director of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Office of Infrastructure and Facilities Management.
Innovation Lead, Office of the Chief Technologist
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Ken Wright currently serves as the Agency Lead for Innovation in NASA’s Office of the Chief Technologist. He is responsible for developing NASA’s Innovation Framework. Wright also is directing the design and implementation of the agency’s Innovation Portal, which links NASA employees to tools that facilitate innovation. Wright works with NASA senior leadership to cultivate innovation experiments that increase the pace of innovation and transform diverse ideas into value by effectively addressing mission challenges.