Plenary Speakers

Plenary/Keynote Speakers:

Stephanie Adams
Stephanie G. Adams
Dean of Engineering, Batten College of Engineering & Technology. Old Dominion University

Dr. Stephanie G. Adams is the 7th Dean of the Batten College of Engineering and Technology at Old Dominion University. Previously Dr. Adams served as Department Head and Professor of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech from 2011 – 2016 and held faculty and administrative positions at Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Her research interests include: Broadening Participation, Faculty and Graduate Student Development, International/Global Education, Teamwork and Team Effectiveness, and Quality Control and Management. In 2003, she received the CAREER award from the Engineering Education and Centers Division of the National Science Foundation. Dr. Adams is a leader in the advancement and inclusion of all in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. She has worked with a number of colleges and universities, government agencies and non-profit organizations on topics related to graduate education, mentoring, faculty development and diversifying STEM. A few examples include: The University of Michigan, North Carolina State University, NASA Must Program, QEM Network and the Gates Millennium Scholars Program.

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Dr. Yacov Haimes
L. R. Quarles Professor, University of Virginia
Systems and Information Engineering

Yacov Y. Haimes is the Lawrence R. Quarles Professor of Systems and Information Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Founding Director (1987) of the Center for Risk Management of Engineering Systems at the University of Virginia. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. (with Distinction) degrees in Systems Engineering from UCLA, and his B.S. degree in Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry from Hebrew University, Jerusalem. As an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)-American Geophysical Union (AGU) Congressional Science Fellow (1977-78), Dr. Haimes served in the Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President, and on the United States House of Representatives Science and Technology Committee.

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Ms. Kristen Baldwin
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Systems Engineering

Ms. Kristen J. Baldwin was appointed the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Systems Engineering in January 2016 while continuing as Principal Deputy, SE. She is the principal systems engineering advisor to the Secretary of Defense and is responsible for establishing and executing engineering policy and oversight across the Department. Her oversight includes concept engineering and analysis, design, development and manufacturing, and independent program review and assessment of the Department’s major acquisition programs. She leads more than 40,000 Defense acquisition professionals in the DoD Engineering (ENG) and Production, Quality, and Manufacturing (PQM) workforce. Ms. Baldwin also serves as the acting Defense Standardization Executive. She oversees the DoD strategy for Trusted Systems Design.

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Vaughan Turekian
Senior Director of Science and Technology for Sustainability Program
National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Prior to joining the STS program, Dr. Turekian served as the Science and Technology Advisor to the Secretary of State at the Department of State since September 2015. Dr. Turekian drew upon his background in atmospheric chemistry and extensive policy experience to promote science, technology, and engineering as integral components of U.S. diplomacy. Previously, he was Chief International Officer for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Director of AAAS’s Center for Science Diplomacy (2006 – 2015). In this capacity, he worked to build bridges between nations based on shared scientific goals, placing special emphasis on regions where traditional political relationships are strained or do not exist. As Editor-in-Chief of Science & Diplomacy, an online quarterly publication, he published original policy pieces that have served to inform international science policy recommendations. In addition, Dr. Turekian worked at the State Department as a Special Assistant and Advisor to the Under Secretary for Global Affairs (2002 – 2006) on issues related to sustainable development, climate change, environment, energy, science, technology, and health. He also served as Program Director for the Committee on Global Change Research at the National Research Council (2000 – 2002), where he was study director for a White House report on climate change science.

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Mr. Mark Honecker
Executive Director/Chief of Staff,
U.S. Fleet Forces Command

Mr. Mark Honecker was born in Wiesbaden, Germany but spent most of his formative years in Alexandria, Virginia. He graduated with Honors from Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer, North Carolina with a Bachelor of Science in both Business Administration and Economics. After entering Federal Service, Mr. Honecker attended The American University and graduated with a Master of Public Administration (MPA). Additionally, he has completed the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Seminar XXI program in Foreign Politics, International Relations and National Security.

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John Buckley
Vice President, Product Development & Technical Execution
Engineering, Science & Technology
Northrop Grumman Mission Systems

John Buckley is vice president of Product Development and Technical Execution for the Engineering, Sciences and Technology organization in the Mission Systems sector.

In this role, Buckley is responsible for transitioning mission systems to product line based architectures. His organization’s business facing roles serve as the primary interface to the sector divisions and focus on successful technical execution of sector programs. He is also responsible for the Engineering Center of Excellence, which provides design rules, standardized processes, technical development and solution support services across multiple disciplines.

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Dr. Alex Vacca
Director of Strategic Planning
Northrop Grumman

William Alexander Vacca, Ph.D., is Corporate Director, Business Assessment, at Northrop Grumman’s headquarters, located in Falls Church, Virginia. In this role, he is responsible for assessing and forecasting the broader strategic, financial, competitive, and technological trends affecting the global defense industry and evaluating options for Northrop Grumman’s future business growth. Recent projects have included comparative approaches to advanced military aircraft design, emerging aspects of electronic warfare, and the global consolidation of advanced microelectronics.

He joined Northrop Grumman in 2001 as an analyst in the strategic planning staff at the Electronic Systems Sector in Linthicum Maryland, where he focused on advanced microelectronics and technological competitiveness. Following Northrop Grumman’s acquisition of TRW he served as manager of market analysis at Northrop Grumman Space Technology in Redondo Beach California where he was responsible for hiring and managing a competitive intelligence function while integrating legacy TRW and Northrop Grumman best practices and supporting space programs. In 2005 he joined the Corporate Strategy and Technology staff in Century City California, and moved to Virginia as part of the corporate office restructuring and relocation.

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