Zamawang Almemar has over a decade of experience supporting Special Operations Forces (SOF) in Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) as a Program Manager (PM) at the Department of Defense (DoD). With having already earned three Masters degrees at various universities in the U.S., she recently also became a Fellow at the National Defense University (NDU).
Zamawang was born and raised in Iraqi Kurdistan during the Iran-Iraq war, where she fled the atrocities of the Saddam regime, seeking asylum in the United States in 1997. Since then, she has produced numerous publications on spreading awareness about the chemical and biological threats from non-state actors and has conducted countless seminars and briefs to senior leaders and military commanders in the U.S. and the international community.
Alison P. Bouwmeester spent a 28-year career as a senior leader in the Central Intelligence Agency’s Directorate of Operations (Clandestine Service), where she received the Career Intelligence Medal and the National Intelligence Certificate of Distinction. Following a full career of worldwide service in intelligence, Ms. Bouwmeester successfully transitioned to a private sector career as a senior business executive in the defense services industry. She currently works as a Certified Professional Career Coach and is the Founder/CEO of Futurity, a professional services firm that provides consulting, executive coaching and training to select clients.
Currently serving as a senior official with the Department of Homeland Security, Steven Cash has broad experience at the federal and state level in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. In 1994 he joined the CIA’s Office of General Counsel transferring to the Directorate of Operations before leaving the Agency in 2001. Mr. Cash is the recipient of the Agency's Intelligence Medal of Merit, Balkans Service Medallion, and a number of Exceptional Performance Awards. He is the owner and founder of Deck Prism, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in providing assistance to US and state government entities. He is the former co-chair of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia’s Committee on National Security Law, Policy & Practice, and has taught courses at both American University and George Washington University related to intelligence.
Spencer R. Crew has worked in public history institutions for more than thirty years. He is currently the Clarence J. Robinson Professor of History at George Mason University. Previous to Mason he served as president of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center for six years and worked at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution for twenty years. Nine of those years, he served as the director of the National Museum of American History. Mr. Crew also served as the interim director for the National Museum of African American History and Culture from 2019 to 2020. At each of those institutions, he sought to make history accessible to the public through innovative and inclusive exhibitions and public programs. Mr. Crew has published extensively in the areas of African American and Public History. He also has curated numerous exhibitions the most recent one at the National Museum of African American History and culture. He is a graduate of Brown University and holds a master's degree and a doctorate from Rutgers University.
A 30-year veteran of the CIA, Ms. Flynn held a number of senior executive positions at the Agency including: Associate Deputy Director of the National Counterterrorism Center; Executive Director of the CIA Counterterrorism Center; Chief of Station in major posts in Southeast Asia and Latin America; and Director of CIA’s Leadership Academy. Ms. Flynn is currently President of the Foreign Policy Research Institute and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She previously served as Managing Principal at Singa Consulting and was an adjunct Professor at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy and School of Foreign Service/Security Studies Program.
Following his graduation from a British military college, Phil Froom was inducted into the British Army Signals Intelligence and Electronic Warfare organizations at the height of the Cold War. Following his military career, Mr. Froom transitioned to the private sector defense industry, working alongside NATO forces, delivering electronic warfare and joint fires solutions to government, agencies, conventional and Special Forces.
Having received significant evasion and escape training during his service with the British Army on the Rhine during the Cold War, Mr. Froom became intrigued by evasion and escape material, and is now one of the foremost authorities in the field of WW2 evasion and escape material, being both a collector and historian in the field. After twelve years of research, in 2015 he published his acclaimed book titled Evasion and Escape devices produced by MI9, MIS-X and SOE in WWII.
Melvin L. Gamble
A 40-year retired Senior Intelligence officer, Mr. Gamble served in a number of senior executive positions in the Directorate of Operations in the Central Intelligence Agency to include: Chief and Deputy Chief of Stations in Africa and Latin America; Chief of Central Asia and the Caucasus; Special Assistant to the Associate Deputy Director of Operations; Deputy Chief of European Division, and Chief of Africa Division. Mr. Gamble retired and is currently President of Gamble Advisory Group, a security consulting firm. He also serves as an advisor on security matters to two Wall Street firms.
Dr. Asha M. George
Dr. Asha M. George is the Executive Director of the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense. She is a public health security professional whose research and programmatic emphasis has been practical, academic, and professional. She served in the US House of Representatives as a senior professional staffer for emerging threats, cybersecurity, and science and technology and subcommittee staff director for intelligence, information sharing, and terrorism risk assessment at the House Committee on Homeland Security in the 110th and 111th Congress. She has worked for a variety of organizations, including government contractors, foundations, and non-profits. Dr. George also served on active duty in the US Army as a military intelligence officer and as a paratrooper. She is a decorated Desert Storm Veteran. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Natural Science from Johns Hopkins University, a Master of Science in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Doctorate in Public Health from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She is also a graduate of the Harvard University National Preparedness Leadership Initiative.
Dexter Ingram is a counterterrorism and counter weapons of mass destruction strategist with over 25 years of experience. He has served as an Advisor to the Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS; Senior Counterterrorism Advisor to INTERPOL in Lyon, France; Senior Political Advisor in Helmand, Afghanistan; Deputy Director of the State Department's Preventing WMD Terrorism team; and as a senior liaison to the FBI and DHS. Dexter led many US interagency delegations to Asia and Africa focusing on nuclear proliferation deterrence. In 2010, Dexter became the first US recipient of the International Counterterrorism Fellowship at National Defense University. Dexter began his career as a Naval Flight Officer, fueling his dedication to public service. He is actively involved in educational initiatives that empower underserved public schools. Dexter is an energetic speaker with a unique perspective fusing STEM and spy history. His private spy collection combines historic CIA, KGB, Stasi, OSS, SOE, and French Resistance gadgets with fictional James Bond memorabilia.
Alan Kohler retired from the FBI in 2023 after 27 years dedicated to counterintelligence and national security matters. His career included every role a special agent can have within the Counterintelligence Program of the FBI, starting as a street agent in Washington, D.C. and finishing at the highest executive roles including Assistant Director of the Counterintelligence Division and Acting Executive Assistant Director for the National Security Branch. Mr. Kohler was also posted to the U.S Embassy in London as the Bureau’s liaison to British intelligence and law enforcement. He currently serves as the President of Pamir Consulting.
Michael J. Lacombe
Mr. Michael J. Lacombe is a 28-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency's Directorate of Operations with 10 years in the ranks of the Senior Intelligence Service (SIS). He retired in 2018 as an SIS-4 having served in multiple senior leadership positions, including four war zone tours with two as Chief of Station. Mr. Lacombe also served as the Chief of the Agency’s Operational Training School. Mr. Lacombe is the recipient of numerous awards including CIA's Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal and the Presidential Rank Award. Prior to joining CIA, Mr. Lacombe served as an officer in the US Air Force. He earned a Master's Degree from Central Michigan University and a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Massachusetts. Mr. Lacombe currently serves as a Managing Partner of Nebula Partners Group, a Security/Intelligence Training and Consulting firm.
Melissa Boyle Mahle
A former US intelligence officer and expert on the Middle East, Ms. Mahle worked on many of the key challenges to US national security, including running operations against al-Qaeda terrorists and illicit networks selling weapons of mass destruction. She received a Presidential Letter of Appreciation for her work on the Middle East Peace Process and numerous exceptional performance awards from the CIA for her recruitment of agents and collection of intelligence. Ms. Mahle is the author of the book Denial and Deception: An Insider’s View of the CIA from Iran-Contra to 9/11.
David G. Major
Founding Board Member
The first FBI official to be appointed to the National Security Council, Mr. Major served as the Director of Counterintelligence, Intelligence and Security Programs. During his 24-year FBI career specializing in counterintelligence, he was involved in more than 100 espionage cases. He is the founder and President of The Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies.
Keith J. Masback
The US Army’s first Director of Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Integration, Mr. Masback is an internationally recognized authority on geospatial intelligence (GEOINT). During his 30-year professional career, Mr. Masback commanded a paratroop unit that brought intelligence from satellites and aircraft to soldiers in the field and later led an organization responsible for prioritizing and managing the collection by imaging and missile warning satellites at the National Geospatial- Intelligence Agency. He formerly served as the CEO of the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF), and as Chair of the Department of the Interior's National Geospatial Advisory Committee. Currently an active angel investor in and advisor for leading-edge aerospace technology startups, he’s also a Non-Resident Advisor for the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies and a member of the Geographical and Geospatial Sciences Committee of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine.
Thomas P. Melcher
Thomas Melcher is Executive Director of Private Wealth at Glenmede, a leading investment and wealth management firm. Mr. Melcher joined Glenmede after twenty-six years at PNC, where he most recently served as EVP and Chief Investment Officer for the PNC Asset Management Group. Mr. Melcher has been quoted extensively in financial press; and has been featured in “The Family Office Book,” written by Richard Wilson. Mr. Melcher also authored the forward to “Sell Like A Team” by Michael Dalis and was twice recognized as one of the nation’s “Top 100 Wealth Advisors” by Worth Magazine. Mr. Melcher is a member of the Board of Councilors of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education. He also serves on the corporate council of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.
Jonna Hiestand Mendez
Founding Board Member
A former Chief of Disguise in the CIA’s Office of Technical Service, often compared to “Q” in the Ian Fleming novels, Ms. Mendez was also a specialist in clandestine photography. Her 27-year career, for which she earned the CIA’s Intelligence Commendation Medal, included operational disguise responsibilities in the most hostile theaters of the Cold War, from Havana to Beijing to Moscow and ultimately into the Oval Office. She is currently an author, lecturer, teacher and consultant on intelligence matters. Ms. Mendez is frequently interviewed by the media as an expert commentator. She has co-written several books with her late husband Antonio Mendez, including Spy Dust, Argo and, most recently, The Moscow Rules. Her latest book, In True Face, recounting her career as a female operations officer in the CIA is scheduled to be published in Spring 2024.
Malcolm W. Nance
A career US Navy terrorism intelligence collector, code breaker, and interrogator with wide-ranging field and combat experience in the Middle East, South West Asia, and Africa, Mr. Nance is a counterterrorism analyst for MSNBC. He’s the author of The Terrorist Recognition Handbook, The Terrorists of Iraq: The Strategy and Tactics of the Iraq Insurgency, An End to al-Qaeda: Destroying Bin Laden’s Jihad and Restoring America’s Honor, and the New York Times best seller Defeating ISIS: Who They Are, How They Fight, What They Believe. Drawing on his experience as a thirty year veteran of the US intelligence community’s program on combating terrorism, he’s been a Middle East policy advisor to the US and international governments on special operations, homeland security, and intelligence.
The Honorable Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers is a former member of Congress representing Michigan's Eighth Congressional District. He previously served as an officer in the US Army and as an FBI special agent in Chicago. While in Congress, Mr. Rogers chaired the powerful House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) where he led the bipartisan Huawei investigation and report issued in 2012 and authorized and oversaw a budget of $70 billion which funded the nation's 17 intelligence agencies. Today, Mr. Rogers advises C-suite executives from Fortune 100 companies, providing analysis and expertise on the challenges facing companies operating in the digital era, as well as cybersecurity and executive leadership. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the MITRE Corporation, and as a Director at leading companies including CyberSponse, IAP, and 4IQ. Additionally, Mr. Rogers serves on the board for IronNet Cybersecurity and is a Senior Fellow at Harvard University and a member of the Board of Trustees and the David Abshire Chair at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, where he directs the Center’s national security programs. Mr. Rogers is a regular public speaker on global affairs, cybersecurity, and leadership. He also serves as a regular national security commentator on CNN and hosts the channel’s documentary-style original series Declassified, offering viewers insights into America’s spy stories. Mr. Rogers is a 1985 graduate of Adrian College. He is married to Kristi Rogers and has two children.
Karen M. Schaefer
Karen M. Schaefer held numerous leadership positions within the Central Intelligence (CIA) during her 26-year career, with overseas assignments as an operations officer in Latin America, Europe, Afghanistan and Iraq (where she served as Chief of Base). Her headquarters positions included Chief of Operations, Directorate of Science and Technology; Deputy Associate Director of Military Affairs; Deputy Chief of Counterintelligence, Near East Division; Executive Assistant to Deputy Director CIA; and Group Chief, Iran Operations Division. She also served as Director of Intelligence Programs at the National Security Council (NSC), where she managed the President’s covert action programs. She closed out her government career as the Associate Executive Assistant Director (AEAD) of the National Security Branch, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Director’s Senior CIA Representative. Ms. Schaefer served as the Policy Lead for the Biden Transition Team Central Intelligence Review Team in 2020. Ms. Schaefer currently sits on the board of Microstrategy Government Services, and Donovan Capital Group. She also sits on the advisory boards of the International Spy Museum, Third Option Foundation, FAMIL, and the Sycamore Institute and is an Expert for the Cipher Brief. Ms. Schaefer holds a BA in Spanish and Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia, and her awards include the Presidential Rank Award, Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, the CIA Director’s Medal for Extraordinary Fidelity and Essential Service, the United States Special Operations Command Outstanding Civilian Service Medal, and two Director of National Intelligence Exceptional Achievement Medals.
Jonathan B. Smith
Jonathan B. Smith is an entrepreneur, author, and business strategist. As the Co-founder of Optimize for Growth, Jonathan is a Certified EOS Implementer® and has worked with over 125 high growth entrepreneurial companies to help them improve strategy, execution, and results. Mr. Smith is the Chief Relationship Officer at the Black Swan Group and works closely with former FBI Hostage Negotiator, Chris Voss. He has extensive experience marketing, selling, and operating in the Middle East. From 2005 to 2011, he was the COO of Wave Dispersion Technology and created the WhisprWave®, a floating security barrier designed to defend critical infrastructure against Water-Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (WBIED). Mr. Smith was a member of the Joint Civilian Orientation Conference (JCOC 84). He was also a Delegate with the US Department of State’s Global Entrepreneurship Program to Jakarta and Athens. Jonathan is a Commercial Pilot and avid offshore fisherman.
A retired senior intelligence ofﬁcer and Vietnam War veteran, Robert (Bob) Wallace served in the Central Intelligence Agency from 1971 through 2003. His ﬁeld assignments included that of case ofﬁcer and Chief of Station. He was appointed Deputy Director of CIA’s Ofﬁce of Technical Service (OTS) in 1995 and elevated to Ofﬁce Director in 1998. He retired in 2003 with multiple awards including recognition by the CIA’s Inspector General, the Intelligence Medal of Merit, the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, and two Clandestine Service Donovan Awards. He frequently speaks and writes on intelligence and has co-authored several books including SPYCRAFT (2008), The Official CIA Manual of Deception and Trickery (2009), and three volumes of Spy Sites in Washington, DC, New York and Philadelphia.
The Honorable William H. Webster
Founding Board Member
The only person to have served as both Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (1978-1987) and Director of Central Intelligence (1987-1991), Judge Webster’s distinguished career includes appointments as a judge of the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, a US District Court judge, and a federal prosecutor in Missouri. He is a retired partner with the law firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP and serves as the Chair Emeritus of the Homeland Security Advisory Council.
During her 20-year CIA career, Ms. Wood served in the Director’s area and three Agency directorates – analysis, operations, and digital innovation – leading a wide variety of the Agency’s missions in analysis and operations. Ms. Wood served most recently as Deputy Chief of the Innovation & Technology Group at the Open Source Center (OSC). She led OSC’s open-source IT and innovation efforts to extract meaning from big data by guiding multi-disciplinary teams of analysts, data scientists, data management officers, engineers, programmers, developers and researchers in creating tools, methodologies, and infrastructure for the future. Ms. Wood is an expert contributor to The Cipher Brief.
Advisory Board Emeriti
Christopher Andrew – Founding Board Member Emeritus
Carlos Davis – Founding Board Member Emeritus
Lieutenant General Claudia Kennedy, USA (Ret.) – Founding Board Member Emeritus
Dame Stella Rimington – Board Member Emeritus
Richard Schroeder – Founding Board Member Emeritus
Antonio Joseph Mendez – Founding Board Member
S. Eugene Poteat – Founding Board Member Emeritus
Congressman Louis Stokes – Founding Board Member
Admiral Stansfield Turner, USN (Ret.) – Founding Board Member Emeritus
Robert De Niro
Major General Oleg Danilovich Kalugin, KGB (Ret.)
John E. McLaughlin
ADM William H. McRaven, USN (Ret.)
LTG John F. Mulholland, Jr. USA (Ret.)
GEN David H. Petraeus, USA (Ret.)
Gary Powers Jr.
Sir John Scarlett
Sir Dermot Turing
Douglas H. Wise
Ambassador R. James Woolsey