AFCEA Central Virginia Chapter Organizes Inaugural Data Centric Summit

Closing Panel Discussion: Dr. Seth Berl, PhD (Moderator), MSG Michael Purviss, Duncan McCaskill, Robert King, and Bill Burnham
Closing Panel Discussion: Dr. Seth Berl, PhD (Moderator), MSG Michael Purviss, Duncan McCaskill, Robert King, and Bill Burnham

The AFCEA Central Virginia Chapter (CeVA) successfully organized its inaugural Data Centric Summit (DCS) on March 19 and 20 in Charlottesville, Virginia. With the driving theme “Data is an enabler for mission success,” the event fostered collaboration between data practitioners from the public sector, industry, and academia.

The summit saw participation from a diverse group of experts, including federal CDOs, military officers, CTOs, and data scientists, who shared their perspectives on the importance of data management, infrastructure, and security to support valuable insights. The discussions highlighted technology’s significant role in the knowledge and decision-making capabilities of personnel for ensuring data integrity and accessibility.

The vision for the event was inspired by Dr. Seth Berl – CTO, GovSmart and VP of Industry Affairs, AFCEA CeVA – to facilitate collaboration among the Federal Government. The details of the event, initially spread by word of mouth with significant interest in participation and engagement, spotlight the importance of data and AI in today’s data-centric world.

DCS saw 170 participants connecting for a day and a half of impactful presentations, dialogs, networking, Q&A, and panel discussions.

The first day started with Robert King, Chief Data Officer for the Department of Energy, as the opening keynote. King spoke about the importance of data management and its critical role in business for each agency, sub-agency, and program office within the federal government.

King’s successful tenure as the inaugural CDO for the Department of Homeland Security, Social Security Administration, and now the Department of Energy, proves him to be an experienced subject matter expert in federal data strategy. His address set the tone for the summit with the CDO’s pivotal role in managing data, architecture, and AI applications.

King’s opening remarks were a catalyst for the discussions that were preceded by a powerful lineup of speakers and subject-matter experts including other keynotes Bill Burnham, Snehal Antani, and closing with a powerful dialog by Department of the Navy Chief Data and AI Officer Duncan McCaskill.

Day 1 of the event featured:

  • Robert King, CDO, US Department of Energy

  • Captain Derrick Kozlowski, CDO, US Army Signal School

  • Bryan Rosensteel, US Federal Field CTO, Ping Identity

  • Colonel Eric Haas, Commander, U.S. Army National Ground Intelligence Center

  • Colonel Kris Saling, Innovation Director, US Army Recruiting Command

  • CW5 Jeramy Cosner, N-CFT CTO, US Army Futures Command

  • Dr. Jordan Barr, Lead Data Scientist, Elder Research

  • Bill Burnham, Public Sector CTO, Hewlett Packard Enterprises

  • MSG Michael Purvis, Platform Engineer, Joint Communications Unit

  • Adam Trexler, Principal Data Scientist, Elder Research

  • Randy Berger, Federal CTO, GovSmart

  • Maj. Gen. (ret.) David Gaedecke, Former 16th Air Force (AFCYBER) Vice Commander

  • Dr. Logan Selby, CEO, DataShapes

  • Dr. Seth Berl, CTO, GovSmart

  • Jesse Goraya, Principal/Director, Booz Allen Hamilton

  • Dr. Peter Santhanam, Principal Research Staff Member, IBM Research

Day 2 of the event featured:

  • Snehal Antani, CEO and Founder, Horizon3.AI

  • Olivier Pfister, Quantum Information Professor, University of Virginia

  • Anthony Fox, CTO, General Atomics CCRi

  • Duncan McCaskill, CDO & CAO, US Department of the Navy

  • Panel with Dr. Berl (Moderator), McCaskill, King, MSG Purvis, Burnham

There was overwhelmingly positive feedback from speakers, attendees, and organizers throughout the entire event. The synergy of subject matter experts, data practitioners, and leaders led to great discussions, and insights that forged new relationships and ideas.

While DCS 24 has ended, the conversations have continued. AFCEA CeVA plans to host its second annual event in 2025. Executives seeking to engage with counterparts in other agencies to discuss challenges or share successes can contact the AFCEA CeVA team.

CDO Magazine is the official media partner of AFCEA CeVA. Katya Mijatovic, Principal Data Scientist, and Christopher O'Keefe, VP, Innovation, of Data Society Group attended the Data Centric Summit. They conducted insightful interviews with twelve esteemed speakers and the series will be published soon.

AFCEA Central Virginia Board (Left to Right): Adrian Felts, Adam Doyle, Lauren Cappa, Dr. Seth Berl, Rick Tamborino
AFCEA Central Virginia Board (Left to Right): Adrian Felts, Adam Doyle, Lauren Cappa, Dr. Seth Berl, Rick Tamborino

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