Mike is a national security expert and noted author with an extensive background in defense policy, military intelligence, and support to US counter-terrorism operations. His extensive national security credentials include serving as the Director of Strategy for the White House Homeland Security Council, Intelligence Officer for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and Senior Analyst for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Mike has been interviewed on television and radio by ABC, The Canadian Broadcast Company, Fox News, FRONTLINE, MSNBC, NBC, NPR, The New York Metro News, New York Sun, and The Washington Post. He also is the co-author of two books on security and counter-terrorism (including a New York Times Best Seller) and has authored more than a dozen journal and opinion-editorial articles.
A former Fulbright Scholar to Turkey, Mike is an Occasional Guest Lecturer at National Defense University, Georgetown University, and Joint Special Operations University. He received an M.A. in Strategic Studies and International Economics from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, D.C., and an M.B.A. from the Australian School of Business in Sydney, Australia. He also graduated cum laude with a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania.
John Thorne is a noted strategy, policy, and counterinsurgency expert with an extensive background in national security and stability operations, with service as a Department of Army Civilian in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
During his 13 months in Kandahar, John advised battlespace-owning Brigade and Squadron commanders and staffs on cultural, political, economic, and development issues during counterinsurgency and stabilization operations. For his accomplishments he was awarded the Superior Civilian Service Medal.
John received an M.A. in Strategic Studies and International Economics from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, D.C. and a B.A. from the University of Chicago.
John maintains a TS/SCI security clearance.
Ms. Ben-Amou is a Senior Analyst providing strategic planning and policy expertise to the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. Prior to joining Diligent she worked with Booz Allen Hamilton on projects for the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Research and Development (R&D) Process Implementation and Improvement Project (PIIP). She has gained meaningful experience in Business Process Reengineering (BPR) and has developed an expertise in SharePoint development from the user perspective. Her focus included compiling financial and qualitative reports, aiding in performance metrics development and reporting tools, high-level documentation of processes, and supporting strategic communications efforts.
Ms. Ben-Amou received her M.A. in Strategic Studies and a focus on defense and intelligence related issues. She studied abroad in Jerusalem, Israel in 2011 and in Bologna, Italy throughout her first year of graduate studies. In addition, she has reached a professional working proficiency level in Arabic and an intermediate working proficiency level in Hebrew through combined graduate and undergraduate study.
Chris Bowen is a Senior Analyst providing strategic planning and policy expertise to the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering.
Prior to joining Diligent Innovations, Chris worked as an international strategic consultant and US Army Major. His areas of focus have included geopolitical risk analysis, competitive intelligence, due diligence, social media analytics, and regulatory compliance.
Chris received a M.A. in Strategic Studies and International Economics from the Johns Hopkins School of International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, D.C. and a B.A. from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He maintains Secret DoD clearances.
Lauren Hickok is a Senior Analyst with extensive multi-agency experience crafting and implementing U.S. strategy to counter the development and use of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons. She has spent more thhan a decade providing expertise to the U.S. Departments of Defense, State, and Energy, including State’s Biosecurity Engagement Program and at Sandia National Laboratories, where she focused on advancing international cooperation on biosecurity. Ms. Hickok also has served as a Fellow with the Pacific Forum of the Center for Strategic and International Studies analyzing the North Korean nuclear program.
Lauren currently conducts research and policy analysis on a variety of DoD Research and Development issues including analyzing the costs, benefits and core competencies of the $67 billion annual budget that sustains the 35,000 scientist and engineers of DoD Laboratory system.
Lauren holds an M.A. in Public Affairs from Princeton University as well as an M.A. in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and a B.A. in History from Yale University.
Mark Ducasse is a Policy Analyst providing support to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Global Security, Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Policy. Mark has professional experience in government and non-government services, research and analysis, writing and editing, project leadership, stakeholder engagement, strategic coordination and outreach.
Mark is a published author with an interest in transatlantic relations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. He has notably served as a cooperative security subject-matter expert for the U.S. Department of Defense and as a junior civil servant for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs in the United Kingdom.
Mark holds a Master of Science degree in Global Security from the University of Southampton and a Bachelor of Arts with Honours (sic) degree in International Relations and Global Politics from the Nottingham Trent University, both based in the U.K.
Hayley Anne Severance is an Epidemiologist who currently serves as a support contractor in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction within DoD Policy. Hayley is the biological threat reduction functional lead and the Global Health Security coordinator and is responsible for advising the Policy Director of the Cooperative Threat Reduction program on developing strategic guidance for the Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP) within the EUCOM, AFRICOM, CENTCOM, and PACOM areas of responsibility. Hayley serves as the AO-level Policy lead for the DoD Global Health Security Agenda coordination cell and is responsible for refining messaging on the DoD role within GHSA, securing high-level DoD support for the Agenda, preparing senior leadership for international GHSA summits, and representing OSD Policy equities in GHSA fora.
Previously, Hayley served as the Epidemiology subject matter expert on the CBEP Biosurveillance Team for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s Advisory and Assistance Support contract and as an operational research and development analyst at Georgetown University’s Project Argus, a disease prevention initiative focused on detecting catastrophic biological events on an international scale using open source media surveillance. Hayley is a 2016 Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Initiative (ELBI) fellow. She holds a Masters in Public Health (MPH) in Epidemiology from The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences and a Bachelor of Science in Public Health from Rutgers University-New Brunswick.