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Leadership Conference

2019 Speakers

Our Leadership

VADM Walter E. "Ted" Carter, Jr, USN,
Superintendent, United States Naval Academy

CAPT Robert Chadwick, USN,
Commandant of Midshipmen, United States Naval Academy 


Forrestal Lecture

BloombergMichael R. Bloomberg, Founder, Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies & 108th Mayor of New York City

Michael Bloomberg is an entrepreneur and philanthropist who served as Mayor of the City of New York. Bloomberg is the founder, CEO and owner of Bloomberg L.P, a global financial services, mass media, and software company. Bloomberg also promotes global change through Bloomberg Philanthropies, focusing on five important areas.

  1. Public Health
  2. Arts and Culture
  3. The Environment
  4. Education
  5. Government Innovation

His tenure as mayor proved to be a success. On top of many other achievements while in office, Bloomberg reformed the public school system and made impressive towards improving public health and lowering the poverty rate in the city. Today Bloomberg continues to use his talents and influence to improve the world we live in.


Keynote Speakers

VADM Tyson 

VADM Nora Tyson, USN (Ret.), Commander of U.S. Third Fleet

Vice Admiral Nora Tyson served over 38 years on active duty in the United States Navy, retiring as a Vice Admiral.  She is a native of Memphis, Tennessee, and a graduate of Vanderbilt University.  She received her commission through Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island, and earned her Naval Flight Officer wings in 1983. She is a 1995 graduate of the U.S. Naval War College with a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Affairs.  

An aviator by specialty,Tyson served three operational flying tours in Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron FOUR, at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, and Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, including one as Commanding Officer.  The squadron provides secure communications between National Command Authorities and our nation’s nuclear forces.

Tyson’s operational assignments include USS Lexington (AVT 16); Navigator aboard USS Enterprise (CVN 65); Commanding Officer of amphibious assault ship, USS Bataan (LHD 5), leading the Navy’s initial disaster relief efforts on the U.S. Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and deploying twice to the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom; Commander, Task Force 73, Commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific based in Singapore; and Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 2, where she led the USS George H.W. Bush Strike Group on its maiden deployment in support of combat operations in both U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility.

Her shore assignments include political military planner in the Asia-Pacific Division of Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate (J-5) of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS); Executive Assistant for the Assistant to the Chairman of JCS; Director of Staff for Commander, Naval Forces Europe/Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet; Executive Assistant for the Chief of Naval Operations;  Vice Director, Joint Staff, and Deputy Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command.

Tyson’s last active duty assignment was Commander, U.S. THIRD Fleet, from July 2015 to September 2017, commanding all Naval Forces on the West Coast to the International Dateline, comprised of about 110 ships, 400 aircraft and 60,000 people.  Her military awards include: Navy Distinguished Service Medal(2), Defense Superior Service Medal(2), Legion of Merit(5), Meritorious Service Medal(3), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal(2), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2) and various unit awards.

She was the St. Mary’s Episcopal School 1998 Distinguished Alumna and Vanderbilt University 2012 Distinguished Alumna.

She serves on the Vanderbilt University Board of Trust and the Los Angeles Fleet Week Leadership Council. During her career and currently as a motivational/leadership speaker and defense and leadership consultant, she has traveled extensively around the world sharing her experiences and hoping to help future generations make the world a better place.  Her current passion is playing golf and traveling with her husband, also a Navy Veteran.


Secretary Gordon England, Former Deputy Secretary of Defense and Secretary of the Navy

Gordon England served as the 29th Deputy Secretary of Defense from January 2006 to February 2009. He previously served as the 72nd and 73rd Secretary of the Navy and as the first Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Prior to joining the administration of President George W. Bush, Mr. England served as President of the General Dynamics Fort Worth Aircraft Company (later Lockheed), President of the General Dynamics Land Systems Company and as corporate Executive Vice President of General Dynamics Information Systems and Technology Sector, Ground Combat Systems Sector and the International Sector. His business career spanned over 40 years as an engineer and senior executive. A native of Baltimore, Mr. England graduated from the University of Maryland in 1961 with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. In 1975 he earned a master's degree in business administration from the M.J. Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University and is a member of business, engineering, and leadership honor societies. Mr. England has served in a variety of civic, charitable and government organizations, including serving as a city councilman; Vice Chair, national Board of Goodwill, International; the USO's Board of Governors; the Defense Science Board; the Board of Visitors at Texas Christian University; and many others. He has been recognized for numerous professional and service contributions by multiple universities and organizations.

Gen Pace

General Peter Pace, USMC (Ret.), 16th Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff

General Peter Pace was commissioned in June 1967, following graduation from the United States Naval Academy. He holds a Master's Degree in Business Administration from George Washington University, attended the Harvard University Senior Executives in National and International Security program and graduated from the National War College. During his distinguished career, Gen. Pace has held command at virtually every level, beginning as a Rifle Platoon Leader in Vietnam. He also served as Commanding Officer of the Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C.; Deputy Commander, Marine Forces Somalia; Deputy Commander, Joint Task Force Somalia; Director of Operations for the Joint Staff; Commander, U.S., Marine Forces Atlantic/Europe/South and Commander in Chief, US Southern Command. Gen. Pace was sworn in as sixteenth Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on September 30th, 2005. In this capacity, he served as the principal military advisor to the President, the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council. Prior to becoming Chairman, he served as Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. General Pace holds the distinction of being the first Marine to have served in either of these positions. General Pace retired on October 1st, 2007, after more than forty years of active military service.


Mr. Horacio Rozanski, President and CEO of Booz Allen Hamilton Inc.

Horacio Rozanski is president and chief executive officer of Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., a global firm that brings bold thinking in consulting, analytics, digital solutions, engineering, and cyber to Fortune 500 corporations, governments, and not-for-profits in a diversity of fields, from defense and health to energy and transportation. Mr. Rozanski joined Booz Allen in 1992 as a consultant to commercial clients. He was elected vice president in 1999, and served as chief personnel officer, chief strategy and talent officer, and president and chief operating officer before becoming CEO. He also is a member of the firm’s board of directors.  
He is involved in all aspects of managing Booz Allen’s national and international operations and workforce, leading efforts to set the firm’s business goals and growth strategy, build value for investors, and identify emerging trends that will affect clients. 
Born and raised in Argentina, Mr. Rozanski originally came to the United States to attend college. He holds a B.B.A. degree (summa cum Laude) from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire and an M.B.A. degree with high honors from the University of Chicago. Hispanic Business Magazine named him to its list of the 2012 Most Influential Leaders in the United States. He also sits on the board of directors for the Center for Talent Innovation and is a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Committee on Conscience.



Colonel Arthur J. Athens, USMCR, (Ret.), is the Director of the U.S. Naval Academy’s Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership and a member of the Academy’s Senior Leadership Team. Colonel Athens retired from the Marine Corps in July 2008 with over 30 years of combined active duty and reserve service. As a Marine Officer, he commanded units in the 3rd and 4th Marine Aircraft Wings, served with the U.S. Space Command and instructed at Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1, the Marine Corps’ equivalent of the Navy’s Top Gun School. Additionally, he was a White House Fellow under President Ronald Reagan, the Special Assistant to the NASA Administrator following the Space Shuttle Challenger accident, the Executive Director of OCF, a worldwide non-profit organization helping military personnel integrate their faith and profession, the Commandant of the United States Merchant Marine Academy, and the Naval Academy’s first Distinguished Military Professor of Leadership.

Panel One: Bring out the Best in People

CMDR_Wallace.jpgModerator: CDR David M. Wallace, USN, Professor of Leadership and Ethics at the Naval Academy

Commander David M. Wallace, U.S. Navy is a 1996 graduate of the US Naval Academy, and spent nearly twenty years as an operational leader in the Navy.  As a naval officer, he led teams of various size and organizational level from leading a single division on a Navy ship to commanding multiple teams operating on several ships spanning thousands of miles in various situations and contexts.  He holds a PhD in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from George Mason University, and is currently serving as the Admiral Jay L. Johnson Professor of Leadership and Ethics at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, where he directs the core leadership curriculum for the junior class and conducts research in leadership and leader development.

Mike SteadmanMike Steadman, Founder of Ironbound Boxing, National Boxing Champion, USNA Class of 2010

Mike Steadman is a 2010 graduate of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Mike is the Founder of IRONBOUND Boxing, IRONBOUND Boxing is a veteran-owned social enterprise that runs on-site corporate boxing classes for forward-thinking companies. IRONBOUND Boxing strives to strengthen community, relieve stress, and promote physical fitness as a way of life. Proceeds from class power the IRONBOUND Boxing Academy, IRONBOUND’s nonprofit boxing gym, which provides free recreation to Newark youth and young adults. Mike is also three-time National Collegiate Boxing Champion from the United States Naval Academy and Marine Corps Infantry Officer, with deployments to Afghanistan and Japan/Philippines. IRONBOUND Boxing’s clients include Newark Venture Partners, WeWork, and Spotify. IRONBOUND Boxing is a hybrid organization, with a both a for-profit and non-profit arm.


Dr. Denis Onieal, Deputy United States Fire Administrator

Dr. Denis Onieal is the Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator for the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA). He was named to this position in May 2015. He is responsible for managing the U.S. Fire Administration and the programs and training activities at the National Emergency Training Center.

Dr. Denis Onieal joined the Jersey City Fire Department in 1971 and rose through the ranks to become the acting chief in 1995. In 1995 he was appointed superintendent of the National Fire Academy. During Dr. Onieal’s tenure the NFA increased training from 15,000 people in 1995 to 110,000 people in 2015. Dr. Onieal led USFA’s team at the World Trade Center in 2001 and was sent to Atlanta to organize and manage over 4,000 firefighters in the response to Hurricane Katrina. Dr. Onieal was awarded the James. O Page EMS Achievement Award in March 2015 from the International Association of Fire Chief’s EMS Section. This award honors those who demonstrate professionalism and exemplary performance and leadership. The following month, in April 2015 the Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) awarded Dr. Onieal the CFSI/Motorala Solutions Mason Lankford Fire Service Leadership Award. Dr. Denis Onieal lives a service oriented life and has provided exemplary leadership to the fire service throughout his career.

Loren MayorMs. Loren Mayor, President, Operations at NPR

Loren Mayor was promoted to the President of Operations at NPR in September 2018. As President of Operations she reports directly to NPR President and CEO Jarl Mohn, helping to set the course of NPR’s future. Ms. Mayor came to NPR in 2012. Since her arrival she has been a key decision maker on strategies of all kinds. She has helped identify new business opportunities and developed new organizational plans for NPR as a whole. Prior to coming to NPR, Miss Mayor service as Vice President of Strategy and Ventures at PBS for 4 years. Before PBS Ms. Mayor was employed by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. She rose to the position of Vice President of Media Strategies and Technology over her five years there. She has a PhD from Northwestern University where she also served as a visiting assistant professor.  

Capt Plumb

CAPT Charlie Plumb, Retired Navy fighter pilot and former POW

Captain Charlie Plumb grew up in a small town in Kansas. Captain Plumb graduated from the Naval Academy in 1964. Captain Plumb completed Navy Flight Training and reported to Miramar Naval Air Station in San Diego where he flew the first adversarial flights in the development of what would be called The Navy Fighter Weapons School, currently known as “TOP GUN.” The next year, Captain Plumb’s squadron the Aardvarks launched on the Aircraft Carrier USS Kitty Hawk with Fighter Squadron 114 to fly the Navy’s hottest airplane, the F-4 Phantom Jet. Code named “Plumber,” Captain Plumb flew 74 successful combat missions over North Vietnam and made over 100 carrier landings.

On his 75th mission, just five days before the end of his tour, Captain Plumb was shot down over Hanoi, taken prisoner, tortured, and spent the next 2,103 days in an 8-by-8 foot cell as a Prisoner of War. During his nearly six years of captivity, Captain Plumb distinguished himself as a pro in underground communications. He was a great inspiration to all the other POWs and served as chaplain for two years.

Following his repatriation, Captain Plumb continued his Navy flying career in Reserve Squadrons. He retired from the United States Navy after 28 years of service.

Since his return home, Captain Plumb has captivated more than 5,000 audiences in almost every industry around the world with stories that parallel his POW experience with the challenges of everyday life.

Panel Two: Leading Beyond Self


Moderator: Coleman Ruiz, Former Navy SEAL, Trainer and Founder of Mission Critical Team Institute

Coleman Ruiz is a trainer, educator, write, and a teammate. He is a 1997 graduate of the United States Naval Academy and following his commissioning he spent 13 years in active duty service as US Naval Officer in the Naval Special Warfare Community. Over these 13 years, he served overseas during six operational combat deployments in both Afghanistan and Iraq theaters of war. He served multiple roles as a troop commander, joint task force commander, and an executive officer. Mr. Ruiz is currently serving as a General Partner at Anchor Capital Holdings, LLC a special asset investment group in Annapolis, MD. Additionally, he served as the Executive Director of Carry the Load in Dallas, Texas, a national 501(c)3, as a board member at Tip of the Spear, a veteran-focused non-profit, and a member of the Station Foundation's veteran transition programs.


Ryan Holiday, American author, marketer, entrepreneur, Editor-at-large for the New York Observer

Ryan Holiday is a marketer, media strategist, entrepreneur, and the bestselling author of Trust Me, I’m Lying; The Obstacle Is the Way; Ego Is the Enemy; Conspiracy and other books about marketing, culture, and the human condition. Mr. Holiday, through his books, articles and lectures, has been credited by the New York Times with the increasing popularity of stoicism. He is the former Director of Marketing for American Apparel and a media columnist and editor-at-large for the New York Observer.  His work has been translated into over 30 languages and has appeared everywhere from the New York Times to Fast Company. His company, Brass Check, has advised companies such as Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as multi-platinum musicians and some of the biggest authors in the world. He lives in Austin, Texas.

Mike Erwin

Mike Erwin, CEO of Character & Leadership Center, Co-author of Lead Yourself First

Mike Erwin is the CEO of the Character & Leadership Center and co-founder & president of The Positivity Project—a non-profit organization with the mission to empower America’s youth to build positive relationships. Mr. Erwin graduated from West Point in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics. He was commissioned as an Intelligence Officer, serving in three combat tours with the First Cavalry Division and 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne). His service includes deployment to Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004–2005 that involved the Battles of Fallujah and Najaf. Mr. Erwin also deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2006–2007 and 2009. On those tours, he worked with NATO forces, to include serving as a lead intelligence planner for one of the largest NATO-led combat operation in history. Mr. Erwin earned two Bronze Star Medals from these tours. In 2010, Mr. Erwin founded the non-profit organization named Team Red, White & Blue (Team RWB). Team RWB’s mission is to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their communities through physical and social activity.


Ms. Erin Scruggs, LinkedIn Director of Talent Acquisitions

Erin Scruggs has a twenty year career in recruiting and talent acquisition leadership at some of the largest global brands in Silicon Valley including Yahoo!, PayPal, eBay, and LinkedIn. Erin specializes in recruiting strategy, large global growth initiatives, and complex program implementation.  Today, Erin leads a team of ~100 people to fulfill the hiring needs for executive, professional and operational talent across LinkedIn, a 1 billion dollar subsidiary of Microsoft. Erin's belief that talent is every organization’s number one operating priority drives her to find the optimal balance between the art and science of talent acquisition.  After more than a decade of conversations with prospective talent, she continues to be energized by the power of relationships and the depth of authentic connections.  Erin also plays significant roles in philanthropy efforts, having served on the board of the Light House Homeless Prevention Support Center, and as a Court Appointed Special Advocate working with foster children. 


Judge Ray Kethledge, Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge and co-author of Lead Yourself First

Raymond Michael Kethledge (born December 11, 1966) is a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2008. Judge Kethledge appeared on Donald Trump's list of potential Supreme Court of the United States nominees in 2016, and was described by press reports as a finalist in President Trump's nomination to replace Anthony Kennedy on the court. Judge Kethledge is the Co-Author of "Lead Yourself First: Inspiring Leadership Through Solitude."


Panel Three: Leading From Within


Moderator: Dr. Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson is Professor of psychology in the Department of Leadership, Ethics and Law at the United States Naval Academy, and a Faculty Associate in the Graduate School of Education at Johns Hopkins University. A clinical psychologist and former Lieutenant Commander in the Navy’s Medical Service Corps, Dr. Johnson served as a psychologist at Bethesda Naval Hospital and the Medical Clinic at Pearl Harbor where he was the division head for psychology. He is an award-winning mentor and teacher and the author of 13 books, in the areas of mentoring, professional ethics, and counseling. His most recent book is: Athena Rising: How and Why Men Should Mentor Women (with David Smith).  

Dana Born

Brigadier General Dana H. Born, USAF, (Ret.), first female Dean of Faculty at the United States Air Force Academy, Lecturer of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School of Government

Dana H. Born is a retired Brigadier General with 30 years of service in the United States Air Force. Gen. Born graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1983. Prior to coming to Harvard, from 2004-2013, she served two terms as the presidentially appointed Dean of the Faculty at the United States Air Force Academy where she was also the Professor and Head of the Behavioral Sciences and Leadership Department. Previously, Gen. Born served as an Exchange Officer with the Royal Australian Air Force, Assistant Director for Recruiting Research and Analysis for the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Force Management Policy), Deputy Chief of the Personnel Issues Team for the Department of the Air Force (DC/Staff Personnel), Aide and Speech Writer to the Secretary of the Air Force, Squadron Commander for 11th Mission Support Squadron at Bolling AFB, DC and in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.


LGEN Tom Metz, USA, (Ret.), Director of Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, Deputy Commanding General and Chief of Staff, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command

Thomas F. Metz is a Lieutenant General in the United States Army. Gen. Metz is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. In 1971, upon his graduation from West Point, Gen. Metz was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Infantry. Gen. Metz retired from the Army in Jan 2010 after more than 40 years of active military service. His tour of duty prior to retirement was as the Director, Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization., leading the DOD organization tasked with finding and fielding ways to defeat the IED threat. Previously he was the Deputy Commanding General and Chief of Staff, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command. Previous to that assignment he was Commanding General of the U.S. III Corps and Fort Hood. He assumed command of III Corps on 7 February 2003.

Gen. Metz’s awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Army Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Commendation Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal with 2 Service Stars, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon with Numeral 3, Expert Infantryman Badge, Senior Parachutist Badge, Ranger Tab, and Belgium Brevet "A" Commando.


Major General Charles Bolden, USMC, (Ret.), USNA ‘68, former Administrator of NASA, former Astronaut and test pilot

Charles Frank Bolden Jr. is a former Administrator of NASA, a retired United States Marine Corps Major General, and a former NASA astronaut. A 1968 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, he became a Marine Aviator and test pilot. He became a member of NASA’s Astronaut Office in 1980 where he spent 14 years. After his service as an astronaut, he became Deputy Commandant of Midshipmen at the Naval Academy. Gen. Bolden was assigned to multiple commands in the late 1990’s to include the Deputy Command of U.S Forces in Japan. Maj. Gen. Bolden was nominated by President Barack Obama and later was approved by the U.S. Senate on July 15, 2009. On January 12, 2017, Gen. Bolden announced his resignation from NASA. His last day was January 19, 2017.


Dr. Jullette Saussy, M.D., Former Washington D.C. Director of EMS for city of New Orleans, Medical Director New Orleans Fire Department and Chief Medical Officer Homeland Security city of New Orleans, Medical Director of Clinical Affairs at Teleflex Medical

Jullette M. Saussy is a medical doctor and the former head of emergency medical services for New Orleans, Louisiana, and Washington, D.C. Dr. Saussy started in emergency medical services in 1984 as an emergency medical technician and received her paramedic training in 1986 from the University of South Alabama. After graduating from Tulane University, she worked as a paramedic for the New Orleans Health Department EMS Service on the night shift. Later, she graduated from medical school at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans. In 2004,  Dr. Saussy became the director and medical director of New Orleans Emergency Medical Services in New Orleans, and directed operations when Hurricane Katrina flooded the city the following year. In June 2015, Dr. Saussy was named the medical director of the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department in Washington, D.C. On January 29, 2016, she announced her resignation from that position in a letter to Mayor Muriel Bowser. In her letter, she called the culture of the DC Fire and EMS Department "highly toxic to the delivery of any semblance of quality pre-hospital medical care."

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