Corporate Officers

Michael Swetnam, CEO Michael Swetnam assisted in founding the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies in 1994. Since its inception, he has served as Chairman of the Board and currently serves as the Institute's Chief Executive Officer.

He has authored and edited several books and articles including: "Al-Qa'ida: Ten Years After 9/11 and Beyond," co-authored with Yonah Alexander; "Cyber Terrorism and Information Warfare," a four volume set he co-edited; "Usama bin Laden's al-Qaida: Profile of a Terrorist Network," co-authored with Yonah Alexander; "ETA: Profile of a Terrorist Group," co-authored with Yonah Alexander and Herbert M. Levine; and "Best Available Science: Its Evolution, Taxonomy, and Application," co-authored with Dennis K. McBride, A. Alan Moghissi, Betty R. Love and Sorin R. Straja.

Mr. Swetnam is currently a member of the Technical Advisory Group to the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. In this capacity, he provides expert advice to the U.S. Senate on the R&D investment strategy of the U.S. Intelligence Community. He also served on the Defense Science Board (DSB) Task Force on Counterterrorism and the Task Force on Intelligence Support to the War on Terrorism.

From 1990 to 1992, Mr. Swetnam served as a Special Consultant to President Bush's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB) where he provided expert advice on Intelligence Community issues including budget, community architecture, and major programs. He also assisted in authoring the Board's assessment of Intelligence Community support to Desert Storm/Shield.

Prior to forming the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, Mr. Swetnam worked in private industry as a Vice President of Engineering at the Pacific-Sierra Research Corporation, Director of Information Processing Systems at GTE, and Manager of Strategic Planning for GTE Government Systems.

Prior to joining GTE, he worked for the Director of Central Intelligence as a Program Monitor on the Intelligence Community Staff (1986-1990). He was responsible for the development and presentation to Congress of the budget of the National Security Agency, and helped develop, monitor and present to Congress the DOE Intelligence Budget. Mr. Swetnam was also assigned as the IC Staff representative to intergovernmental groups that developed the INF and START treaties. He assisted in presenting these treaties to Congress for ratification. Collateral duties included serving as the host to the DCI's Nuclear Intelligence Panel and Co-Chairman of the S&T Requirements Analysis Working Group.

Mr. Swetnam served in the U.S. Navy for 24 years as an active duty and reserve officer, Special Duty Cryptology. He has served in several public and community positions including Northern United Kingdom Scout Master (1984-85); Chairman, Term limits Referendum Committee (1992-93); President (1993) of the Montgomery County Corporate Volunteer Council, Montgomery County Corporate Partnership for Managerial Excellence (1993); and the Maryland Business Roundtable (1993). He is also on the Board of Directors of Space and Defense Systems Inc., Dragon Hawk Entertainment Inc., and the Governing Board of The Potomac Institute of New Zealand.

Tom O'learyTom O'Leary is Executive Vice President and COO of the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. He retired from the Marine Corps in 2001. In July of 2001, he joined the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies as a Senior Research Fellow and was subsequently detailed as an IPA from Potomac Institute to the Department of Navy. While an IPA, he served as the first Program Manager for the Littoral Combat Future Naval Capabilities program, then as the Director, Expeditionary Warfare Operations Technology Division, Office of Naval Research, and finally as Technical Director, Marine Corps Warfighting Lab.

As a Marine, he served in a variety of service and joint command and staff assignments. He participated in several operations to include the Multi-National Peace-Keeping Force, Beirut; Operation Snowcap; Operation Desert Shield; Operation Desert Storm; Operation Sea Angel; and Operation Restore Hope.   He also participated in the Marine Corps' Advanced Warfighting Experiments (AWE) Hunter Warrior and Urban Warrior.

Upon retiring from the Marine Corps, he joined the Institute for Defense Analyses as a Research Staff Member where he was the Task Leader for the Joint Study on Effects Based Operations.

Mr. O'Leary holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology, a Master of Science Degree from the University of Southern California, and a Master of Arts Degree from the Naval War College.

Over the last thirty years, Mr. O'Leary has developed technical expertise in a number of areas:

  • Strategic Planning and Policy
  • Program and Financial Management
  • Joint and Service Transformation
  • Joint and Service Concept Development and Experimentation
  • Operational Command and Control
  • Science and Technology Management
  • Science and Technology Transition and Insertion
  • Countering Terrorism
  • Urban Operations
  • Training and Education Management

Gail CliffordGail G. Clifford, CPA, MBA, CGMA

Ms. Clifford is the Vice President for Financial Management & Chief Financial Officer at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. She is also a member of the Board of Directors. She has over 33 years of accounting, finance and management experience and has worked in various industries including insurance, government contracting, and non-profit.

Ms. Clifford joined the Potomac Institute in 2001 as Chief Financial Officer. She is responsible for all phases of financial and accounting management including: planning, billing, banking relationships, and accounting practices through appraisals of the organization’s financial position and monthly financial and operating reports. She previously held financial positions with the International Science and Technology Institute, Lance Bailey and Associates, and B.L. Seamon & Associates, Inc. Ms. Clifford graduated with honors from the University of the West Indies, Trinidad, with a B.S. in Business Management. She has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Johns Hopkins University, and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA).

Ms. Clifford is a member of the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants. She is also a member the National Association of Female Executives (NAFE), the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA), and the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW).

Management Team

Kathryn Schiller WursterKathryn Schiller Wurster is the Chief Policy Officer at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies.  Ms. Schiller Wurster is currently leading a study for IARPA to develop an assessment methodology for forecasting the potential consequences of technology development. She also supports the Defense Microelectronics Activity on strategic planning efforts, supply chain risk management and trust issues for microelectronics parts. Her past research projects have included work for DARPA, DDR&E, Air Force, Congress, and other agencies. Symposia and events she has managed include: “Global Climate Change and National Security: The Science and the Impact,” “Developing Ethics Guidelines for Research and Use of Neurotechnologies,” “Every Crisis is a Human Crisis: Disaster Preparedness,” and “Glaucoma Screening and Treatment: Driving Towards a Unified Federal and Private Sector Policy Approach.” Ms. Schiller Wurster helped launch the Center for Neurotechnology Studies (CNS) and participated in drafting the National Neurotechnology Initiative legislation, which contributed to the development of the President’s BRAIN Initiative. Ms. Schiller Wurster attended the University of Virginia as an Echols Scholar and graduated in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political and Social Thought. She joined the Potomac Institute in May 2005.


Dr. Buss is the Vice President of Science and Technology Policy and the Director of the Center for Neurotechnology Studies at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. We develop meaningful science and technology policy options through discussions and forums and ensure their implementation at the intersection of business and government. She man­ag­es a vari­ety of OSD pro­grams includ­ing an out­reach effort for the Depart­ment of Defense to the start-up com­mu­nity across the coun­try to find inno­v­a­tive tech­nolo­gies to meet the chal­lenges faced by the Ser­vices and Gov­ern­ment agen­cies. She performs science and technology trends analysis and recommends policy solutions to some of the countries most pervasive problems.  The Cen­ter for Neu­rotech­nol­ogy Stud­ies (CNS) is dedicated to ascribing meaningful policy solutions to one of the most influential science and technologies of our time. Dr. Buss earned a doc­tor­ate in bio­chem­istry from the Uni­ver­sity of Mary­land Depart­ment of Chem­istry and Bio­chem­istry. Dr. Buss received her BS in bio­chem­istry with a minor in math­e­mat­ics from the Uni­ver­sity of Delaware.

Laura Worcester ImageLaura Worcester is the Vice President for Program Development and Execution at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. Ms. Worcester brings over 26 years experience in science and technology (S&T) program management to lead the planning, development, management, and execution of programs at the Potomac Institute. Her duties include strategic planning and analysis based on National Security and National Military Strategies; interpretation of military roles, missions and operational concept analysis; identification of needed capabilities and gaps in available systems; identification of potential S&T solutions and integration of S&T programs from multiple functional and technology investment areas to provide full or partial solutions to capability gaps. As a participant in the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) Program, Ms. Worcester served in the Office of Naval Research Expeditionary Maneuver Warfare and Combating Terrorism S&T Department as the Deputy for Planning, Programing, and Operations from 2005 to 2013. She established the departmental processes for the execution of over $200M in USN/USMC S&T, and was responsible for day-to-day operations to include human capital strategy, outreach, and contract management. Prior to that Ms. Worcester was the Director of the Human-Technology Integration and Assessment Center at the Potomac Institute where she provided technical oversight on many DoD and Naval S&T development projects. This included all management oversight on studies and analyses being conducted within her Center. Ms. Worcester is a Certified Modeling and Simulation Professional, has a Master¹s Degree in Public Administration from The American University, and a Bachelor of Arts from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She has authored and co-authored numerous articles and technical reports/presentations for a variety of technical and academic publications. Ms. Worcester has developed technical expertise in a number of areas including Science and Technology Program Management, RDT&E Budgeting and Execution, Congressional Interest Programs, Human Subject Use Policies and Procedures, Modeling and Simulation, Virtual Reality, Defense Acquisition Process, Training and Human Performance Science and Technology, Cognition and Decision Making,Technology Transition, and Public ­ Private Partnerships.

Senior Research Fellows

Mike Fritze

Dr. Fritze joined PIPS in April of 2015 as a Senior Fellow. He leads the PIPS efforts in the area of US Government Trusted Microelectronics policy and also contributes his experience to helping Roadmap US Government Microelectronics R&D efforts for the future. His current focus is on strategic planning for DOD(DMEA) and DOE sponsors. He is developing related programs in the trusted microelectronics area. His strong technical background in Microelectronics provides a wealth of experience to manage these efforts at the Institute.


Dr. Fritze was the Director of the Disruptive Electronics Division at the USC Information Sciences Institute (2010-2015). He also held a Research Professor appointment in the USC Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering (Electrophysics).  His research interests at ISI included Trusted Electronics, CMOS Reliability & Robustness, Low power 3DIC enabled electronics and Rad-hard electronics.  He was a Program Manager at the DARPA Microsystems Technology Office (MTO) from 2006-2010.  While at DARPA, Dr. Fritze was responsible for Programs in the areas of 3D Integrated Circuits (3DIC), Steep-Subthreshold-slope Transistors (STEEP), Radiation Hardening by Design (RHBD), Carbon Electronics for RF Applications (CERA), Silicon-based RF (TEAM), Ultra-low power Digital (ESE), Highly regular designs (GRATE) and Leading edge foundry access (LEAP).


Prior to joining DARPA, Dr. Fritze was a staff member from 1995-2006 at MIT Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington, Massachusetts, where he worked on fully-depleted silicon on insulator (FDSOI) technology development with an emphasis on novel devices. Particular interests included highly scaled, tunneling-based, and ultra-low power devices. Dr. Fritze also worked in the area of silicon-based integrated optics. Another research interest at Lincoln Laboratory was in the area of resolution-enhanced optical lithography and nanofabrication with particular emphasis on low volume technological solutions.

Dr. Fritze received a Ph.D. in Physics from Brown University in 1994, working in the area of compound semiconductor quantum well physics. He received a B.S. in Physics in 1984 from Lehigh University. Dr. Fritze is an elected member of Tau Beta Pi and Sigma Xi. He is a recipient of the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service awarded in 2010.  He is a Senior Member of the IEEE and is active on the program committees of the EIPBN (3Beams, for which he served as Program Chair in 2012), GOMAC and IEEE S3S conferences. Dr. Fritze has published over 75 papers and articles in professional journals and holds several U.S. Patents.



Jay R. Grove is a Vice President of the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. Mr. Grove joined the Institute in 2015, continuing a career in defense industry leadership.

Mr. Grove brings significant experience in space and airborne communications and electronic warfare systems development. His background includes integrated avionics for tactical fighters, advanced beam-forming for protected communication satellites, counter IED systems, Signals/communications Intelligence, and airborne battlespace communications integration. Mr. Grove’s 25+ year career has spanned engineering, program execution, business area development, and executive leadership of defense electronics businesses.

Prior to assuming his current responsibilities for the Potomac Institute, Mr. Grove served in executive positions at Northrop Grumman Corporation, where he had increasing leadership responsibilities. Most recently, he led strategy and business development as Vice-President for the Communications Division of the Information Systems Sector. Previously, he led advanced technology business units for Communications and Networking. Mr. Grove’s career has spanned space, airborne, and ground-based systems for industry leaders Northrop-Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Argon ST (now Boeing), ViaSat, and EMS Technologies (now Honeywell). He has led P&L organizations of $450M and more than 500 employees at multiple sites around the US including rate manufacturing.

Mr. Grove earned his MS in Engineering (MSE) from the University of Dayton and his BS in Systems Engineering (BSSE) from Wright State University. Mr. Grove has completed the Executive Entrepreneurship Course at Stanford University and the Technical Leadership Course at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Research Fellows (S&T Policy)


Dr. Paul Syers is a Research Fellow in Science and Technology Policy Division. He is currently focused on examining issues and policies of the microelectronics industry. Specifically, his research is related to improving government access to and trust in state-of-the-art technologies as well as improving public private collaborations in R&D.

Syers joined the Institute in September 2015 as a Research Associate and CReST Fellow after completing his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Maryland, researching electromagnetic phenomena in semiconducting materials. Paul received a B.S. in Physics from Emory University and an M.Phil. from the University of Cambridge for research on high temperature superconductors.

Charles MuellerDr. Mueller works on identifying important S&T regulatory issues and developing sound regulatory policy solutions founded in the best available science.  Additionally, Dr. Mueller is the lead on a project with the Office of Corrosion Policy and Oversight within the Department of Defense  (DoD) that is attempting to optimize the DoD’s current Corrosion Prevention and Control strategies by applying regulatory science & engineering principles.

Prior to joining the Potomac Institute, Dr. Mueller obtained his doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Maryland’s Chemistry and Biochemistry Department in 2014.  His dissertation involved the characterization of two putative DNA metabolizing enzymes in the bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans and required a combination of molecular biology, cell biology, microscopy, and biochemical analyses.  Before obtaining his doctorate he obtained a B.A. in Chemistry from Elon University and then worked at the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health studying the effects of selenium on cancer using both live mouse models and tissue cultures.

Dr. Mueller is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Research Associates (S&T Policy)


Sara Usher is CReST Fellow in the Science and Technology Division. A recent graduate of the University of Oxford, Sara earned her doctorate in International Relations. Her doctoral research involved an interdisciplinary theoretical and methodological approach to understanding civil wars. Drawing on a background of anthropology, biology, and psychology, she applied evolutionary-biology theory, applied mathematics, statistical analyses and process tracing methods to better understand various types of conflict and violence. Prior to her doctorate, Sara was employed in the pharmaceutical industry and has collaborative research experience with scientists from Princeton University, the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis at the University of Tennessee, and Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Sara was previously employed in the policy sector as an intern and later consultant for the RAND Corporation, a consultant for the Peace and Justice Centre in Edinburgh, UK, and as an instructor for the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford.



The Institute welcomes back Jennifer Lato, a former intern and current Research Associate in the CEO’s Office. Jennifer first joined the Institute in 2013, and provides analytic and research support for the Corrosion Policy and Oversight (CPO) and Defense Microelectronics Activity (DMEA) efforts. Jennifer also provides editorial assistance for Potomac Institute publications such as U.S. Health Policy: An Insider’s Perspective (2014).  Jennifer has a History and Spanish from SUNY Geneseo as well as a M.A. in International Affairs from the George Washington Universities Elliott School of International Affairs. 

Jennifer brings an interdisciplinary perspective to policy analysis. Prior to joining the Potomac Institute, Jennifer worked in the Department of Treasury's Office of Financial Assets Control, where she assisted sanctions investigators as part of a as part of an executive order to combat transnational criminal entities. Additionally, Jennifer held a short-term post at the Bureau of Intelligence of Research (INR) at the State Department. In this position, Jennifer coordinated the review of strategic signals intelligence requirements with INR analysts.

Ziden1Kathryn Ziden holds a Ph.D. in Biophysics from Johns Hopkins University where she studied residual dipolar couplings as a way to elicit protein structure and dynamics using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy. During this time, she became interested in science policy and received a NATO Science for Peace and Security Fellowship to study Rapid Decision Making techniques in the event of a CBRN attack, as well as a Boren Fellowship from the National Security Education Program to pursue a project on alternative energy policy in India. She has worked for eight years as a S&T analyst in the government sector.

Derek Denning

Dr. Derek Denning is a Research Associate in the S&T Policy Division. Dr. Denning obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland with a background in organic photochemistry. His research focused on the applications of photoinduced electron transfer chemistry as it pertains to photoremovable protecting groups and the photochemical reduction of carbon dioxide. Prior to that, Derek obtained his B.S. in chemistry from Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont and participated in a NSF directed summer undergraduate research program at the University of Kansas. Derek is an avid sports fan and in his free time he enjoys playing softball in spring/summer and skiing in the winter.

Research Assistants (S&T Policy)

ChloeHiteChloe Hite is a Research Assistant in the Science and Technology Division. A recent graduate of Boston University, Chloe earned her B.A . in anthropology with a minor in economics. Before joining the PIPS, Chloe worked as an intern at the Hudson Institute, studying the proliferation and mitigation of nuclear, biological, and chemical WMD threats. She has also contributed to research efforts focused on how technological innovation impacts the economy and society at large, including research assessing technology’s place in education and the arts. Born and raised in the Midwest and influenced by parents in medical and agricultural professions, Chloe has witnessed firsthand the impact that S&T innovation and policy influence can have on both a micro and macro level.

JBechtelJoe Bechtel is a Research Assistant at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies in the CEO’s Office. Joe Bechtel currently provides research and analytic support to guide discovery of innovative, non-traditional solutions and develop technology assessments for the Rapid Reaction Technology Office (RRTO) in its mission to enable new, affordable capabilities. Joe organizes events, conferences, and discussions for RRTO at the Institute and at other venues, by interfacing and coordinating with government officials, venture capitalists, commercial leaders and academics. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in Sociology & Anthropology from Towson University with a focus on Criminal Justice. As an intern at the Potomac Institute in 2014, Joe studied terrorism and counterterrorism subjects as well as attended conferences in the DC and Virginia area. His final project as an intern was on terrorism policy procedures inside a law enforcement agency. In his free time, he volunteers for the Bowie Boys & Girls Club.

SeanFilip1Sean received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Connecticut as well as his Masters of Science in Political Science with a concentration in International Relations from Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts.  Sean enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2009 and is currently still serving with an Infantry reserve battalion.  Sean’s military experiences have taken him across the United States as well as the Middle East.

Luke KosloskyLuke Koslosky is a Research Assistant in the S&T Policy Division. Since then, his work has focused on policy recommendations for the implementation of biometric scanners and big data analytics in a fully interoperable Healthcare IT system. He has also participated in CReST discussions on the potential impacts of Artificial Intelligence on society. Before joining the Institute, Luke interned for Senator Jim Nielson in the California State Legislature. He also worked for Rep. Doug LaMalfa in the House of Representatives analyzing policy and managing constituent correspondence. Luke received a B S in Political Science from Santa Clara University, where he was awarded the Bernard L. Kronick Award for Excellence in Writing for his analysis of the implementation of the Dayton Accords in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Research Interns (S&T Policy)

indexErica Turner is a Research Intern in the Science and Technology Division. Erica is a recent graduate from the University of Maryland, where she studied French language and political science in the Honors College. She has previously worked in tech- and health-oriented organizations, most recently as an intern at a consulting firm for National Labs and before this as an intern at a global health NGO focusing on alcohol consumption. Born and raised in the DMV to a military family working in health and science professions, Erica has been influenced by S&T throughout her life and is looking forward to making a valuable contribution here at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. In her free time, Erica enjoys improving her French language skills and is currently starting to learn Spanish.

Finance Accounting and Human Resources

skarzynski buyansanaa medBuyansanaa Skarzynski has ten years of experience in the government contracting industry with experience in providing finance and accounting support, expert consulting and assurance services. Her areas of expertise include government contracting compliance and reporting under Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and Cost Accounting Standards (CAS), indirect rates, DCAA audit support, financial analysis, final vouchers for contract closeouts and providing full assurance services to government contractors. Buyansanaa received a master’s of business administration with a concentration in accounting and is an active member of AICPA.

Administrative Support

alexAlex Taliesen is the Creative Art and Media Associate for the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, responsible for graphic, video, and web content.  He has a background in Set Design and painting for theater, as well as Graphic Arts and video production.  Mr. Taliesen has a BA in theater from Greensboro College, and a BS in Computer Animation from Fullsail University.

Herbert Hunter has worked as a Security Professional for over 25 years.   During his career in the area of security, he has performed various duties such as Personnel, Administrative support and Physical Security.   Mr. Hunter has also enjoyed the opportunity to travel overseas to countries including Japan, England and others, in support of government security missions.  He has supported a variety of government agencies including DARPA, NSA, CIA, and various branches of the military.

BrookeBranson1Brooke Branson is the Receptionist/Administrative Assistant at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. She graduated from Ashland University with a degree in International Political Studies and History. As an Ashbrook Scholar, she wrote an undergraduate thesis titled Democracy and Iran.

Prior to joining the Potomac Institute, she interned for The Heritage Foundation as the Middle East Intern. During her internship she researched Iranian cyber threats, terrorism, and Middle East nuclear proliferation.

In her free time Brooke enjoys playing rugby with the DC Furies.

Senior Research Fellows (SPARC)

Dwight LyonsDwight Lyons is a Senior Research Fellow at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies and the Director of the Concepts and Analyses Division. He holds a masters degree in physics, served in the U.S. Army, and in addition has over 26 years providing analytical and technical support for Naval operations, developing systems and processes, operational and strategic planning, definition and management of Science and Technology (S&T) programs, experimentation, transition of successful S&T products, research program financial management, and participation in “real-world” military operations. He has worked on a number of programs, formulating and executing S&T programs, conducting technology assessments and applications to military operational needs, working with teams at ONR and DARPA, military laboratories, and operational commands, and including both near-term transitions and the development of strategic long range S&T plans. Mr. Lyons is recognized as a leading expert in the analytical and technical support of warfighting and S&T programs.

Gary BrownGary Brown is a Senior Research Fellow in the Concepts and Analysis Division.  He served for 20 years as a Marine Corps infantry officer and retired as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations (G-3) for the 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (Antiterrorism).  He served additional tours as a strategic planner with CENTCOM J5, a small-boat raid force commander, an Inspector-Instructor, and a Recruiting Station Commander.

Following his retirement, he provided concept development, strategy development, portfolio development and analysis, and technology transition and studies support to ONR, DARPA, and ASD(R&E) in the areas of combating terrorism, counterinsurgency, peace operations, distributed operations, urban operations, technology forecasting, and autonomous systems.

Gary Brown holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Master of Science degree in Systems Technology from the University of Louisiana-Shreveport, and is a graduate of the Amphibious Warfare School, the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and the Marine Corps School of Advanced Warfighting.

Research Fellows (SPARC)

Mike HollandMr. Michael Hoglund, PMP, currently provides strategic planning assistance to the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division (NSWC IHEODTD). This assignment varies broadly from the development of new strategic goals and objectives, implementation of non-traditional systems aimed at spurring innovative solutions, to the development of new business areas and partnerships.  Our nation has accepted risk in our energetics based weapons system development over the past several decades with our superiority rapidly declining compared to potential competitors. Mr. Hoglund is helping lead a campaign to reenergize naval energetics RDT&E to ensure the Department of Defense intelligently invests in systems that will keep our nation safe for the future.  He brings a lengthy history of government S&T and R&D program management for multiple DoD and executive branch clients.  Mr. Hoglund earned his BS in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from the College of William and Mary and a MS in Biotechnology from the Johns Hopkins University.


Doug Stilwell is a Research Fellow with the Center for Emerging Threats and Opportunities (CETO). He joined CETO in April 2017 and supports the Futures Assessment Division of the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory / Futures Directorate.

Mr. Stilwell possesses extensive leadership and management experience at the military service and joint levels as well as in the defense industry. Prior to joining the Potomac Institute, he worked over five years for American Systems Corporation of Chantilly, Virginia as a Program Manager for Science and Technology Integration (Warfighter Performance, Training and Education). He previously served over 30 years on active duty in the United States Marine Corps, where his major assignments included infantry company, Battalion Landing Team, and Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) command; Director, Marine Corps Strategic Vision Group; Commander, Marine Corps Training Command; Current Operations Branch Head, Deputy Director for Operations, and Executive Assistant to the Deputy Commandant for Plans, Policies and Operations, Headquarters Marine Corps; and Chief, Joint Training Division, U.S. Joint Forces Command.

Mr. Stilwell’s education includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Master of Science degree in National Security Strategy from the National War College, National Defense University. He additionally holds a Certificate in Strategic Foresight from the University of Houston. His strengths include multinational, joint, and Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) military planning and operations; strategic planning and foresight; policy development; training and education; wargame facilitation; and integration of defense-related science, technology, research and development efforts.

Adam is a Research Fellow and a member of the SPARC team. He has over ten years of professional experience supporting government clients. Adam has worked with a variety of offices, programs, and personnel in the National Capital Region with naval S&T policy analysis. He provided programmatic support for Marine Corps Intelligence S&T intergradation strategy development and delivered special studies and assessments. Adam has experience with Knowledge Management strategy and implementation, as well as Knowledge Management tools migration strategies.

Adam served seven years as a Marine Corps Infantry officer with experiences in the Middle East, Guantanamo Bay-Cuba, South East Asia, and Eastern Europe.

Kathy GoodsonDr. Kathy Goodson is a Research Fellow and the Director of Communications at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. She works on a variety of Secretary of Defense and Naval science and technology projects related to education and training.  As Director of Communications, she is responsible for the internal and external communications of the Institute.

Dr. Goodson led the educational outreach components of a joint Potomac Institute and Office of Corrosion Policy and Oversight effort. She completed her studies for a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Maryland, College Park, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry.  Dr. Goodson received her B.S. in Chemistry from Virginia State University.

DriestLieutenant Colonel Charles Driest, USMC (Ret.) is a Research Fellow assigned to the TECOM (Training and Education Command) at the US Marine Corps base at Quantico, Virginia.

Lt. Col. Driest has over 29 years of experience in Marine Corps Operations, Studies and Analysis and personnel management, including six years as an instructor on the Operational Level of War. He served overseas in several high-risk posts, including Commandant of the Marine Corps Observer to the US Embassy in Nicaragua; Future Operations Officer for all Marine Forces (MARFOR) for Operation Restore Hope/ Provide Comfort in Somalia; and Executive Officer of F-Company, MSG Bn (State Department), responsible for all US embassies in Sub-Saharan Africa. Upon retirement from the Marine Corps in 1994, LtCol Driest was awarded the Legion of Merit.

Lt. Col.  Driest also has over 15 years of experience in the private sector in program management, modeling and simulation wargame design, and multinational information services.  He was formerly employed by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) as the Exercise Team Leader for the Synthetic Theater of War (STOW), a DARPA project. He also held a position with MITRE as the Project Lead for Multinational Information Services (MNIS),  a  program designed to increase information sharing with Allies, Coalition Forces, and Communities of Interest (COIs).

Lt. Col. Driest’s awards and decorations include: the Legion of Merit, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Navy Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Commendation (With 2 Stars), National Defense Service Medal (With Star), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Navy/Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon (With Star), and USMC Security Guard Ribbon.

    Mr. J.D. Canty is a Research Fellow at the Center for Emerging Threats and Opportunities.  Mr. Sparks joined the Potomac Institute as a Research Fellow at CETO in August of 2008.  Mr. Canty conducts research in support of Futures Assessment Division, Futures Directorate / Commanding General Marine Corps Warfighting Lab. 

     Prior to joining the Potomac Institute, Mr. Canty served over 26 years in the United States Marine Corps. His major assignments included squadron and group command, Director of the Marine Corps War College, Marine Corps University, MAGTF planner at II MEF G-5, and PACOM Area Officer, Information Operations and Special Technical Operations, J-3, Joint Staff.  He received a B.S. in Business Administration from Middlesex Polytechnic, Potters Bar, Enfield, London, U.K.  Additionally, he attended the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, Quantico, VA, receiving a Master’s in Military Studies, and the Naval War College, Newport, R.I. where he received a MA in National Security and Strategic Studies.

     Mr. Canty has extensive experience in Marine Corps and Joint operations, wargaming and case study development. 

Mr. Dailey is a Research Fellow in the Concepts and Analyses Division.  He served in the Marine Corps as a Naval Flight Officer, performing in command and staff assignments both in Fleet units as well as in the supporting establishment over a 22 year career.

Upon military retirement, Mr. Dailey entered industry supporting several U. S. Navy and U. S. Marine Corps programs.  As a system engineer, he supported the Navy’s AEGIS/Theater Air and Missile Defense program, and supported the U. S. Marine Corps’ air command and control directorate at Marine Corps Systems Command.  Before joining the Potomac Institute, Mr. Dailey supported the Marine Corps’ Warfighting Laboratory Joint Concept Development and Experimentation Division as a subject matter expert in urban operations and irregular warfare.  He now supports U. S. Marine Corps’ Training and Education Command.

Mr. Dailey holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Communication from Syracuse University, a Master of Arts degree in Management from Webster University, and is a graduate of the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, as well as the Armed Forces Staff College.  He is an Enterprise Architect as certified by California State University-East Bay and the FEAC Institute.

Chris Haliday is a Research Fellow with the Center for Emerging Threats and Opportunities (CETO).  He joined CETO in June 2012.

Mr. Haliday possesses extensive leadership and management experience in military logistics and operations, both at the staff level and in the field. During his 28-year active duty Marine Corps career, he served in a range of service, joint and combined assignments, including company, battalion and installation command, as well as with the logistic plans and policy staffs of Headquarters Marine Corps, U. S. Central Command and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. His strengths cover the areas of multifunctional logistics, particularly relating to support of Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) operations; transportation and distribution operations; strategic planning and policy development; force structure analysis, design and planning; and installation management, including base operating support, public works, physical security, community services and military support to civil authorities.

Mr. Haliday’s education includes a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Duke University, master's degree in Security Studies from the Marine Corps University and additional graduate work in International Economic Relations at the Paris Institute of Political Studies.

Andy is a Research Fellow with the Center for Emerging Threats and Opportunities (CETO).  He joined the CETO team in October 2014 after retiring from the Marine Corps with 30 years of service. Andy was designated as an Infantry Officer.

Command tours have included platoon command in 2d Battalion (Bn), 8th Marines and 2d Bn, 2d Marines, company command in 2d Bn, 7th Marines and battalion command in 2d Bn, 4th Marines and 2d Bn, 3rd Marines. Additionally, he commanded the Marine Corps’ Training Command and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit.  He has participated in a combat deployment as part of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), plus disaster relief missions in the Philippines and as part of operation Tomodachi in Japan.

In addition to his command time, Andy was a staff platoon commander and tactics instructor at The Basic School.  He served as an instructor and the Associate Chairman of the Physics Department at the United States Naval Academy.  Staff tours have included time with the III Marine Expeditionary Force Operations, Operations Officer for the 31st MEU, Ground Advocate for Headquarters Marine Corps and the deputy commander at the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab.

Andy holds a BS degree in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering from Penn State, and Master’s Degrees from The Naval Postgraduate School in Applied Physics and the National War College in National Security Strategy. 

Gordon O'Neill, Research Fellow, CETO

Samuel Kirby, Research Fellow

Dr. Bill Powers is a research fellow at the Center for Emerging Threats and Opportunities (CETO), a think tank dedicated to identifying, examining, and determining solutions to emerging national security threats in support of Marine Corps operating forces. He has over 30 years experience in executive level management and aviation operations.

Prior to joining the Potomac Institute, Dr. Powers served as the Deputy Director of the Marine Corps Center for Lessons Learned in Quantico, Virginia. His active duty service includes 33 years as an enlisted Marine and as a Marine Corps officer, commanding a battalion (acting), a squadron, and a group. He served as a Commandant of the Marine Corps Fellow assigned to the first Secretary of Defense Strategic Studies Group, as a Marine Corps Service Planner, and as the Deputy Director of the MAGTF Staff Training Program.

Dr. Powers has a dual BA in Economics and Political Science from the University of Central Florida, an MS in Business Administration from Boston University, and a doctorate in Organizational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University.

His research areas include Marine Corps aviation issues, both air (UAS) and ground (UGS) unmanned systems (UMS), the Caucasus and Central Asia, the interagency process, science and technology issues, and a Marine Corps enterprise called Commercial Hunter.

 Jack Sparks serves within the Center for Emerging Threats and Opportunities (CETO).  

Research Associates (SPARC)

SWorcester2Sabrina Worcester is currently a Research Associate for Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. She is currently working on numerous Organizational Strategic Planning initiatives providing direct support to the Military and Civilian leadership at Naval Surface Warfare’s Indian Head EOD Technology Division.

Before coming to work at Potomac Institute, Sabrina spent the past decade supporting multiple corporations such as American Systems, Qivliq LLC and TKC Communications. Sabrina has a broad skill-set to include Project Management, Research and Analysis, Contracts Management, Purchasing, Facilities Management and Information Systems Security Management.

Intergovernmental Personnel Assignments

Robert Hummel

Dr. Robert Hummel formerly served as the Chief Scientist of the Potomac Institute in the CEO’s Office and is a member of the Center for Revolutionary Scientific Thought.  He is the author of the recent Potomac Institute book on “Alternative Futures for Corrosion and Degradation Research,” and is also serving customers in DARPA and OSD.  He is the principle author of the Institute’s forthcoming book on machine intelligence.  He is currently researching material sustainment of materiel that is subject to atomic degradation.

Prior to joining the Potomac Institute, he served as a program manager at DARPA for nearly nine years, managing and initiating projects in information exploitation, computer science, and sensor design.  Prior to joining DARPA, he was a tenured faculty member at NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences in the Computer Science Department, where he did research in computer vision and artificial intelligence.  

Dr. Hummel’s PhD is from the University of Minnesota in mathematics, and he holds a B.A. from the University of Chicago, also in mathematics.

Dr. Becky McCauley Rench 

Prior to joining the Potomac Institute, Dr. McCauley Rench successfully defended her Ph.D. in Geosciences and Astrobiology at the Pennsylvania State University in 2015. Her graduate work focused on the diversity and metabolic potential of cave microbial communities as they relate to early Earth analog environments and the search for life. A West Virginia native, she completed her undergraduate schooling at West Virginia University and holds a B.A. in Biology and a B.A. in Chemistry. Before starting her graduate education and after obtaining her B.A. degrees, Dr. McCauley Rench participated in disaster preparedness response as an AmeriCorps member in San Francisco.

Dr. McCauley Rench is a Truman Scholar and NSF Graduate Research Fellow.



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Our Mission

The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies is an independent, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit public policy research institute. The Institute identifies and aggressively shepherds discussion on key science and technology issues facing our society. From these discussions and forums, we develop meaningful science and technology policy options and ensure their implementation at the intersection of business and government.


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