LTG (ret) Bob Ashley
Lieutenant General (Ret.) Bob Ashley retired with 36+ years of leadership, operational, and combat experience in intelligence, global security, and risk management. He served as the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency responsible to the Secretary of Defense for global security. He also served as US Army G2, the senior intelligence officer in the Army responsible for security, counter-intelligence, and intelligence systems development for an Army. As the commandant for the Army’s Intelligence Center, he was responsible for training Soldiers and Officers in cyber, counter-intelligence, analysis, open source intelligence. Bob holds Masters degrees from the US Army War College and Defense Intelligence College and a Bachelor of Science degree from Appalachian State University.
William P. Crowell is a Partner at VC firm Alsop Louie. He is also an Independent Consultant specializing in Information Technology, Security and Intelligence Systems. He is a director at SafeNet, Inc., encryption, data protection and authentication solutions, which is in the process of being acquired by Gemalto. He is also a director at DeviceAuthority, device authentication; SAP NS2, a subsidiary of SAP; and Toopher, multifactor authentication. He is Chairman of the Board of Centripetal, a startup in the rule-based packet gateway and filter area. Until its acquisition by Cisco in June 2007, he was Chairman of Broadware Technologies, a video surveillance software company. He was also a director at ArcSight, Inc. (ARST), which was acquired by HP in October 2010; Narus, Inc. which was acquired by Boeing in July 2010; Six3 Systems which was acquired by CACI in November 2013, Air Patrol, wireless network security company acquired by Sysorex in May 2014, and Fixmo, Inc., a mobile device security company acquired by Good Technologies in June 2014.
Crowell served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Santa Clara, California-based Cylink Corporation, a public company and leading provider of e-business security solutions from November 1998 to February 2003, when Cylink was acquired by SafeNet, Inc.
Crowell came to Cylink from the National Security Agency, where he held a series of senior positions in operations, analysis, strategic planning, research and development, and finance. He served as Deputy Director of Operations from 1991 to 1994 running its core signals intelligence mission. In February 1994 he was appointed by President Clinton as the Deputy Director of NSA and served in that post until his retirement in September 1997. From 1989 to 1990, Crowell served as a vice president at Atlantic Aerospace Electronics Corporation, later acquired by Titan Corp, leading business development in space technology, signal processing and intelligence systems. In April 1999, Crowell was appointed to the President’s Export Council (PEC), which advised the administration on trade and export policy.
After 9/11, he served on the Markle Foundation Task Force on National Security in the Information Age, which published three landmark studies on Homeland Security and information sharing. He has also served on numerous panels to investigate and improve military command and control, intelligence and security systems and served as Chairman of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Senior Advisory Group from 2007 – 2014.
Crowell is an expert on network and information security issues. In December 2008 Security Magazine selected him as one of the 25 most influential people in the security industry. In May 2007 he co-authored the book, “Physical and Logical Security Convergence,” published by Elsevier. He has been quoted in many trade and business publications including the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, USA Today, Information Week, Network World, Computer World, Federal Computer Week, CIO Magazine and the San Jose Mercury News. Crowell has also appeared on CBS MarketWatch, CNET News, CNBC, and The Charlie Rose Show. He was the technical advisor to the TV series, “Threat Matrix” during its run on ABC in the 2003 season.
William’s Comments on Benchmark:
Benchmark and Jeremy are my “go to” resources for getting the right candidates for my portfolio and have used him many successful executive placements. Having been closely affiliated with Benchmark as an advisor for nearly 10 years, I can say Jeremy King has two very extraordinary approaches to his business of finding the right people for important positions in growing companies. First, he spends the time to really understand the company’s needs and opportunities in the marketplace and to document the job specification so that everyone involved fully agrees on the kind of person that will succeed in that particular business. Second, he searches for the perfect match, not just a person who can fill a job, but a person who will bring the energy, drive and knowledge that will make the company a resounding success. I believe that his approach not only brings the right person to the job, but also brings the right company to the person. He believes that highly qualified individuals will only apply their skills effectively when they want the company to excel as well as themselves. He is trusted and has concentrated his searches in the IT and Cyber fields which has allowed him to build a vast network of candidates in almost every region of the country.
Matt Devost is a technologist, entrepreneur, and international security expert and is currently the CEO and co-founder of OODA LLC, a consultancy that helps clients identify, manage, and respond to global risks and uncertainties while exploring emerging opportunities and developing robust and adaptive strategies for the future. OODA also operates the OODAloop.com and CTOvision.com web sites.
In 2010, Matt co-founded FusionX LLC which was acquired by Accenture in August 2015 and he later led Accenture’s Global Cyber Defense practice. Previously, he had been the co-founder and CEO of the Terrorism Research Center and served as a founder or c-suite executive at iDefense, iSIGHT Partners, Tulco Holdings, and Total Intelligence Solutions. He has also been a special advisor the U.S. Department of Defense, a founding member of the Black Hat review board, and was an adjunct professor at Georgetown University for 14 years teaching a flagship-class on “Information Warfare and Security”.
Matt’s Comments on Benchmark:
Having worked with Jeremy and the Benchmark team for over a decade, they’ve become my sole source for recruiting or placing executive candidates in the security, intelligence, and high tech domains. I’ve worked with Benchmark on all angles of executive placement and have seen them place retiring U.S. government executives into meaningful business leadership roles and conduct thorough searches for executives to lead a company through their next phase of growth. Jeremy is a consummate networker and puts the effort in to maintain relationships over the long-term and his network continues to deliver value to those involved.
Hon. Sue Gordon
Ms. Gordon previously served as principal deputy director of national intelligence in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) until last August. Prior to that, she was deputy director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). She has also served as director of the CIA’s Information Operations Center and senior cyber adviser to the director of the Central Intelligence Agency. She worked for the CIA for over 25 years. Since leaving the intelligence community, Ms. Gordon has become a member of the advisory board of Pallas Advisors, a national security strategic advisory firm based in Washington, D.C., and the board of the information technology company CACI.
Sue’s Comments on Benchmark:
Jeremy King and Benchmark are the perfect partners for matching expertise with opportunity; experience with need. Their unique ability to understand how an individual’s performance in the public sector translates into ability in the private sector is a gift for those finding their way or seeking new talent. What differentiates Benchmark is deep understanding of the complex environment, commitment to a good outcome for all, unrelenting integrity in the process, and investment in the humans involved. When you are new to job search, as I was, someone who wants nothing more than you want for yourself is invaluable. I will be a customer, partner, and friend forever.
Bob Gourley is the CTO and Co-Founder of OODA LLC. He is an experienced cybersecurity and physical security expert and author who has conducted assessments for corporate and government clients across multiple sectors of the economy. During his tenure as the CTO of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Bob was named one of the top 25 most influential CTOs in the globe by Infoworld. He was named by Washingtonian as one of DC’s “Tech Titans.” He writes at CTOvision.com and OODAloop.com.
Robert’s Comments on Benchmark:
I’ve known Jeremy King for a decade and have observed him delivering incredible results for clients in aerospace, defense, ecommerce, and the technology sectors. Nobody does CEO, GM and VP searches better. He possesses an absolute integrity, a deep understanding of market dynamics, the players involved, and how the government buys advanced capabilities and solutions for the mission. He has perfected trust-based networking.
Kevin Higgins is a board member, senior corporate executive, and a former key member of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)’s C-suite leadership team. He has three decades of global leadership experience, and integrates his entrepreneurial mindset, public and private sector experience, and unique global insights and network to improve decision-making, solve problems, and create opportunities. In 2022, Kevin founded KSTK Enterprises, LLC, a boutique strategic advisory service focused on helping clients navigate the myriad of complexities of today’s world. He serves as a Senior Advisor for WestExec and sits on several advisory boards, including Sayari and New North Ventures. Prior to his board and advisory work under KSTK Enterprises, Kevin served as Senior Vice President and General Manager for US Operations and Global Opportunities at Zipline International Incorporated.
Kevin retired from the CIA after a distinguished 30-year career, and in his last assignment served as Chief of Staff to CIA Director William J. Burns. He assisted the Director with executing the Agency’s global intelligence mission and confronting the most intractable national security challenges and emerging threats. His previous roles include Assistant Director of CIA for Africa, Chief of Operations of CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, and several foreign field assignments as Chief of Station. His numerous awards and distinctions include the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, CIA’s Excellence in Leadership Award, the George W. Bush Award for Excellence in Counterterrorism, the CIA Director’s Award, the CIA Director’s Award for Distinguished Service, and is a three-time recipient of the most prestigious honor in federal civilian service, the Presidential Rank Award. With Kevin’s continued commitment to CIA’s mission, he is a board member of the Third Option Foundation. This non-profit organization provides critical support to the operators and families of CIA’s Special Activities Center.
Married with two children, Kevin graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Grambling State University, where he played NCAA Division I tennis, and holds a Master of Science – MS, National Security Strategy from the National War College.
LTG (ret) Scott Howell
Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC)
Lieutenant General (Ret.) is a Venture Partner with top VC firm General Catalyst. He retired from the United States Air Force in August 2021 after a 34 year career, including most recently as commander of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), from July 2018 to June 2021. In his role at JSOC, Lt. Gen. Howell oversaw military operations across multiple theaters, and was responsible for the readiness and mission execution of highly-specialized military forces of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. Before JSOC, he served as the Vice Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command with a focus on organizing, training, and equipping more than 70,000 U.S. Special Operations personnel operating in more than 85 countries. In this role he led acquisition, budgeting, programming, and fiscal processes for USSOCOM with the military services, Joint Staff, and Office of the Secretary of Defense. Before that, Lt. Gen. Howell commanded all Coalition special operations forces in Afghanistan. Lt. Gen. Howell is a guest lecturer at Vanderbilt University and is active with The Vanderbilt Project on Unity & American Democracy. He is a CAPSTONE Senior Fellow at National Defense University. He is a Board advisor to several public and private emerging technology, AI, software and aerospace companies, and a Board member of the Special Operations Foundation.
Gus Hunt serves as President and CEO of Hunt Technology, LLC, a consulting company focused on strategic IT planning, IT effectiveness and efficiency, cyber security, data-centric protection, and the cloud. Mr. Hunt is a recently retired federal government senior executive having served 28 years with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), most recently as the organization’s Chief Technology Officer. As CTO, Mr. Hunt set the information technology strategic direction and future technology investment plan for CIA.
He was the motivating force behind CIA’s decision to acquire a copy of both the Amazon cloud and IBM’s Watson. As CTO, Mr. Hunt developed and implemented the CIA’s process for expanding technology discovery and accelerating the adoption of new IT capabilities, enabling the CIA to keep pace with technology change in the commercial marketplace.
Prior to his role as CTO, Mr. Hunt served as the Director of Applications Services for the CIA, charged with building the information technology capabilities that enable the CIA’s operational and analytic missions. He set the vision and direction for application development at the CIA by shifting to Agile Development techniques; implementing a service oriented architecture; building core and common services to include security as a service and the enterprise data layer; and implementing earned value management and total cost of ownership business processes to dramatically improve management decision effectiveness.
Mr. Hunt joined the CIA in 1985 as an analyst and subsequently served in varied analytic, operational, and technical leadership roles to include: Director of Architecture and Systems Engineering (ASE); Chair of the CIA Architecture Review Board; Chief of Research and Development for the Crime and Narcotics Center; and Deputy Chief of the Operations Support Group in the Non-Proliferation Center.
Gus’s Comments on Benchmark:
Benchmark and Jeremy King helped me navigate after I decide to join the private sector. He was influential in advising and making introductions that led to consulting and advisory roles. When he reached out I was at a top hedge fund and the Accenture role seemed like a great fit. He was a consummate professional and is known as a trusted channel in our world.
Former CEO of Avantus (sold to QinetiQ)
Former CEO of Avantus (sold to QinetiQ)
Andrew Maner is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of E3/Sentinel, a mission-focused services and solutions company that has a long history of consistent growth and high performance in the federal services market. Maner is an accomplished leader in the Federal/Consulting arena with specialty in M&A, Corporate Leadership and Organization Design/Change with mission eminence in National Security and Homeland Defense.
Preceding his current roles, Maner was the US Federal Leader in IBM’s Global Business Services Public Sector Practice where he led the $1.8B P&L and its Sector capture/strategy assets, market development personnel and initiatives. Maner realigned the entire group over 2+ years and increased employee retention and innovation efforts as well as significantly increasing profit margins.
Prior to being acquired by IBM in March of 2010, Maner was the CEO of National Interest Security Company (NISC), a 1,000-employee DC Capital backed Information Management/Services and Technology Management Consulting Company serving the intelligence, homeland security, Department of Defense (DoD), federal, medical, and energy marketplaces. Maner led 20%+ organic growth as well as 7 acquisitions ranging from $12M to $80M topline in the National Security arena.
Maner was appointed by Pres. George W. Bush in January 2004 as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) until March of 2006. As the CFO, Maner was responsible for the on-going integration of agencies such as the Transportation Security Agency (TSA), United States Coast Guard, United States Secret Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and FEMA into DHS. Maner also managed all budget, finance, financial system, strategic planning, and investment review functions within the $50B Department.
Maner also served at the U.S. Customs Service (later to become CBP under DHS) from January 2002 to January 2004. Maner was the Chief of Staff to U.S. Customs commissioner Robert C. Bonner, serving as the agency’s principal operating officer. In March 2003, Maner was also asked to direct and manage the merger of the four component agencies of CBP including U.S. Customs, U.S. Border Patrol, INS Inspections, and Agriculture & Quarantine Inspections. The merger involved a total of 42,000 personnel and budgets totaling $7B.
Maner served in the administration of Pres. George Bush in the White House Office of Advance and later as a Staff Assistant under Press Secretary Marlin Fitzwater in the White House Press Office (1991-1993). Following the change in administration, he continued to work for former Pres. Bush and Mrs. Bush, as Director of Press and Political Affairs in the former President’s office in Houston, Texas. During the U.S. aid effort in Somalia in 1993, Maner served as Special Assistant to the United Nations Envoy to Somalia in Mogadishu, where he helped manage operations and interactions between the thirty nations contributing troops and aid. He also assisted with political, economic/trade development and food aid efforts throughout the country.
Maner is a graduate of Purdue University (B.A.), where he currently serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board and received his Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. In 2005, Maner was selected for the coveted Purdue University Old Masters award program and was chosen to receive the Distinguished Public Service Award from the United States Coast Guard in 2006. Maner also sits on the Board of Directors of No Greater Sacrifice, a non-profit specializing in secondary education for children of the fallen and severely wounded.
Andrew’s Comments on Benchmark:
Having served on Benchmark’s advisory board for over 12 years, I have seen firsthand that Benchmark has earned the respect of their clients and candidates because of a deep understanding of these complex markets, not just joining the conversation, but leading, creating and often initiating thought leadership themselves in areas such as Cybersecurity and Risk Management. Benchmark’s specific commitment to the Intelligence/DoD/National Security Community has been proven many times over. They understand the importance of a mission; the mission of their clients and our clients; they understand that every week in our business is a lifetime and that human capital is our most important asset. Their network of senior officials from government and industry are unmatched in my experience.
Department of State
Ellen was appointed by President Trump to be the Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. She was sworn in on January 17, 2019. Ms. McCarthy returns to government service after three years in the private sector, where she served as President of Noblis NSP, leading its mission to serve clients in the Intelligence Community (IC). Before joining Noblis, from 2015 to 2018, she capped an over 25-year career in the IC serving as Chief Operating Officer of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. From 2008 to 2012, she served as the President of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA), which supports government policy and programs relating to cyber security, counter intelligence, acquisition, and homeland security. From 2004 to 2008, Ms. McCarthy was the Director of the Human Capital Management Office and the Acting Director of Security in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (OUSD(I)). At DoD, she focused on policy development and strategy relating to intelligence reform, resource management, acquisitions, collection authorities, and personnel. Ms. McCarthy also served the Director of Intelligence Operations, Strategy, and Policy for the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and played a critical role in moving the USCG intelligence program into the IC, establishing Maritime Intelligence Fusion Centers, expanding USCG attaché presence worldwide, and establishing new intelligence and law enforcement collection capabilities.
Ms. McCarthy started her government career as an all source intelligence analyst at the Office of Naval Intelligence and at Atlantic Fleet. Before joining the IC, she served as a technical research analyst at the Institute for Defense Analysis supporting the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization. Ms. McCarthy is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the University of Maryland.
Hon. Tidal “Ty” McCoy
Mr. McCoy is a senior executive with over 25 years of experience at the highest levels of government and the private sector. He has planned and executed major doctrinal changes, multi-billion dollar programs, legislative support activities, association creations, and company strategic financing initiatives as a senior executive within the United States Air Force, the Department of Defense, the aerospace industry and the venture capital community. As a dedicated professional, he has served with distinction at the highest levels within the legislative and executive branches of government, and has received Presidential, Defense and Air Force Secretarial and Congressional recognition for his accomplishments.
Mr. McCoy is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Washington Capital Partners, LLC, a Venture Capital firm focused on early stage investing in technology companies that seek breakthroughs in business models, products, processes, and management. He placed investments in some fifteen companies, leading the firms efforts in discovery, due diligence, negotiations, governance, milestones, alliances, path to market, recruitment and exits. Prior experience in private equity before founding Washing Capital Partners included: Founder, Vice Chairman, and Chairman of the Investment Committee of the George Washington National Bank of Alexandria and served as an Advisor on an $ 890M acquisition in Joint Venture with the Carlyle Group.
Previously, Mr. McCoy was Vice President for Government Relations for Thiokol Propulsion where he developed an effective and comprehensive government relations program that considerably strengthened Thiokol as an aerospace company within the NASA and Defense contractor community. His efforts on behalf of the Company with Congress and the then-serving administration resulted in creating opportunities for Thiokol to successfully compete for strategically significant NASA business that led to a period of unprecedented growth and value-creation for the Company. He was a key participant in the formulation of the Thiokol strategy for developing a new, large solid rocket motor to deflect and defeat proposals for an expensive and potentially dangerous liquid rocket motor alternative for the Space Shuttle; and led the strategy for a team where Thiokol was a major subcontractor in winning a multi-billion dollar Minuteman ICBM Contract.
Earlier, Mr. McCoy served as Assistant Secretary for Manpower, Reserve Affairs, and Installations and later Assistant Secretary for Readiness Support (Installations, Logistics, and Readiness). As the Senior Assistant Secretary he was the senior civilian official during the modernization and rearmament of the USAF during the Reagan Administration. During this time, he served on the Air Force Systems Acquisition Review Council, the final review authority prior to approval by Secretary of the Air Force for all major acquisition programs (multi-hundred and multi-billion dollar programs), which reviewed the management, cost, schedule, and performance of systems. In this capacity, he oversaw some $50B in appropriated funds. His responsibilities included recruitment, training, promotion policies, diversity, morale, ethics, retirement, housing, energy, environment, construction, readiness, and many other matters through direct and constant contact with civilian and Air Force colleagues.
Other previous positions of service include Member of the Professional Staff, Senator Jake Garn and the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee; Director of Policy Research, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy; Scientific Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Engineering and Systems; Deputy Assistant and Staff Assistant to the Secretary of Defense; Member of the Professional Staff, National Security Council, The White House; and Officer, United States Army.
Mr. McCoy received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering from the United States Military Academy, West Point, in 1967, and a Master’s Degree in Business Financial Management from George Washington University in 1975. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Viet Nam, and other military medals while on active duty as an officer in the United States Army; and, as a civilian, Medals for Extraordinary Service by two different Secretaries of Defenses and the Secretary of the Air Force.
Tidal’s Comments on Benchmark:
Having seen Jeremy in action for over 15 years, I can testify to the integrity, energy, high level connections, real time knowledge of govt/industry, unrelenting competence of Jeremy King as a businessman and executive recruiter.As a former Acting Secretary Air Force and Chairman of several companies/associations now, I have seen firsthand how he differs from the competition. If you want the best, full spectrum performance, you want Benchmark.
LTG (Ret) Kevin McLaughlin
Lt Gen (retired) Kevin McLaughlin has over 34 years of experience in the space and cyberspace business with a focus on creating and leading large-scale, innovative, global organizations, and with unique strengths in operations, strategic planning, policy development, organizational transformation, and human capital development.
As the founder and President of McLaughlin Global Associates LLC, Gen McLaughlin advises senior executives and corporate boards on cyberspace and space operations, defense, risk management, strategy formulation and implementation, domestic and international policy, and government and private sector business opportunities. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Practice at the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University where teaches a course entitled Cyberspace Implications for National Security.
Gen McLaughlin’s last active duty assignment was as the Deputy Commander of United States Cyber Command at Ft Meade, Maryland from 2014 – 2017. In this capacity, he directed 12,000 personnel and a $525M budget to defend the nation’s largest information network, provide offensive cyberspace options to commanders, and protect critical U.S. infrastructure from cyber-attacks.
Before joining U.S. Cyber Command, Gen McLaughlin led 24th Air Force, the U.S. Air Force’s organization of 4,500-personnel that organized, trained, and equipped cyber forces to execute global cyberspace operations.
Prior to his assignment at 24th Air Force, Gen McLaughlin spent thirty years as a leader of large, complex, and highly technical organizations associated with some of the world’s most critical space organizations including the squadron that operates the Global Positioning System and Air Force group that operates over 170 satellites for national leadership, U.S. and allied military, and civil and federal agencies.
Kevin’s Comments on Benchmark:
I am proud to be associated with Jeremy King and Benchmark Executive Search. Every endeavor I pursue in my post government career must meet three key tests. It has to include great people who share a common purpose and vision. It has to be focused on a purpose that transcends business and is focused on mission, people, and community. And it must insist on excellence as the only yardstick that it measures itself against. Jeremy King, Benchmark, and the Benchmark Advisory Board exemplify all of these traits. Benchmark’s perfect blend of client focus, mission first, and people always makes the company special and I am honored to be on their team. Jeremy’s access to world-class talent makes his firm the envy of his competitors. I look forward to helping our team make even a greater impact in the future.
Mr. Saab is a Managing Director with Valor Equity Partners, where he supports the firm’s capital raise and client service functions, as well as the sourcing, tracking and underwriting of potential investment opportunities. He first joined Valor as an executive in residence in 2019. Previously, Mr. Saab held numerous leadership positions at the CIA, including chief strategy officer, member of the CIA’s corporate board, acting assistant director, among other senior executive positions. Prior to joining the CIA in 2001, Mr. Saab was a consultant and entrepreneur in the management consulting and technology space.
Costa’s Comments on Benchmark:
Transitioning from a long-time mission-driven government career is one of the most challenging life experiences that one may face. One of the keys to making a successful transition is connecting and networking with like-minded, genuine, non-transactional and helpful individuals who are willing to provide honest, open, and most importantly productive advice and feedback. From all the select recruitment firms to the most well placed senior executives, Jeremy and his team — with their candor, extensive network, and deep understanding of both the commercial and government environments — have by far been the most insightful and decision-enabling advisors that I have had the privilege of meeting and working with.
Jeanne Tisinger is an accomplished global leader with extensive experience delivering the enabling technology and business services that provide speed, reach, and scale for the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) global operations. As former Deputy Director of CIA for Support (DDS), she reported to the Director of the CIA and was responsible for cyber/personnel/physical security, infrastructure, finance, supply chain management, real estate acquisition and management, medical, personnel, and associated information technology. She delivered against unprecedented mission demand while driving programmatic rigor in the execution of a multi-billion-dollar support services portfolio. She led the Talent Management Program for several thousand careerists across dozens of occupational categories, with a focus on developing leaders at every level. Ms. Tisinger is a proponent and recognized role model for diversity and inclusion.
Prior to her role as DDS, Ms. Tisinger served as CIA’s Chief Information Officer (CIO), where she held worldwide responsibility for Enterprise Information Technology (EIT) strategy, architecture development, infrastructure operations and service delivery. She drove enhancements to the CIA’s resiliency posture and significantly advanced inter- and intra-Agency collaboration capabilities. She constructed and executed the CIA’s acquisition strategy for commercial cloud services, resulting in the partnership with Amazon to provide an Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud for the Top Security Intelligence Community (IC) Marketplace, while concurrently enhancing the IC’s cybersecurity posture. Ms. Tisinger is known for her ability to build strong partnerships across the commercial sector, foreign affairs, and national security communities.
Ms. Tisinger is currently serving as a consultant on technology strategy, cyber defense, shared services and workforce inclusion. Clients include financial services and private sector partners in the national security community.
Ms. Tisinger serves on the Board of Directors for Northwest Federal Credit Union, the Board of Advisors for the Dean of Science of George Mason University, and the Advisory Board for Peraton.
Ms. Tisinger’s honors include being Recipient of three Director’s Awards (from DCIA Leon Panetta and John Brennan) and the Intelligence Community’s Distinguished Service Award from the Director National Intelligence, James Clapper. She was the recipient of the Presidential Meritorious Rank Award in 2011 and the Presidential Distinguished Rank Award in 2014 (reserved for the top 1% of Federal Senior Executives). Ms. Tisinger was named by Washingtonian magazine as a Top 100 Tech Titan for the National Capital Region, Information Week’s Top 25 Public CIO’s, and FedScoop’s top 10 Most Influential Women in Federal IT.
Jeanne’s Comments on Benchmark:
Jeremy King’s deep understanding of the national security talent pool transitioning from government service to the private sector is unparalleled. He builds relationships early and nurtures those relationships for years, becoming a trusted advisor for so many. His keen insights into the needs and priorities of the private sector are equally impressive. Jeremy is a ‘connector’ who gets excited when he matches the best people to the most demanding missions – and delivering exceptional results.
Alan Wade retired from federal service at the end of 2006 after a thirty-five year career at the Central Intelligence Agency. He retired as the Chief Information Officer, a position he held since 2001.
Alan held a series of senior positions at the CIA including the Director of Communications, Director of Security, and Chief Information Officer. In his assignment as Chief Information officer, he was dual-hatter as the Chief Information Officer for the United States Intelligence Community.
During his career, Alan’s contributions were recognized several times. He is a recipient of the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, the Director’s Medal, and the Distinguished Intelligence Medal.
Since retirement, Alan has worked with several early stage companies. He served on the board of Safeboot, N.V. (acquired by McAfee in 2007) and Detica DFI (acquired by BAE Systems in 2008).
Additionally, Alan serves on public sector advisory boards of several technology companies.
Alan graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Blacksburg, Virginia in 1973, receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. In 1978, he received his Masters degree in Electrical Engineering from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
Alan’s Comments on Benchmark:
Jeremy has earned a unique set of trusted relationships in the national security community. His track record is a result of the confidence his clients and colleagues have in him, and the high regard in which he is held.
Bob Butler is the co-founder and managing director of Cyber Strategies LLC. Previously, he served as the CSO for IO, a global data center service and product firm. He has consulted as a Special Government Expert to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and Air Force Scientific Advisory Board. He also serves as a fellow at the Center for New American Security (CNAS) and is a member of the Texas State Cyber Security, Education and Economic Development Council. Prior to assuming his current roles, Mr. Butler served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Cyber and Space Policy. He was responsible for providing insightful policy advice and support to the Secretary of Defense and other senior Department of Defense (DOD) leaders by formulating, recommending, integrating, and implementing policies and strategies to improve United States Cyber and Space posture. This encompassed DoD policy relating to requirements, capability development, operations, declaratory policy, employment, and international cooperation or agreements.
Previously, Mr. Butler served as an Account Executive with Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), managing Defense Intelligence business with Combatant Commands and Military Services. He managed approximately 200 employees at over ten separate customer locations in the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom. He served as chairman of corporate cyber technical working group coordinating cyber strategies across commercial, international and federal sector market spaces. Mr. Butler is a former member of the Senior Executive Service, and recently was the Associate Director, Joint Information Operations Warfare Command (JIOWC), Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. In this position, he advised the JIOWC commander and US Strategic Command leadership on key information operations issues and opportunities for providing superior support to combatant command and Department of Defense plans and operations.
Additionally, Mr. Butler guided the development of JIOWC IO strategies and technologies to enhance mission support. Mr. Butler is a retired U. S. Air Force officer. From December 1979 to August 2005, he served in a variety of intelligence and communications-computer systems positions in the continental United States and Europe at the detachment, squadron, group, major command, unified command, Headquarters Air Force and Office of the Secretary of Defense levels.
- 1979 Bachelor of Science degree in computer information systems with a minor in Spanish, Manhattan College (AFROTC Distinguished Graduate), Riverdale, N.Y.
- 1981 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
- 1983 Master of Business in Administration, University of Maryland, College Park, Md.
- 1994 Air Command and Staff College (Distinguished Graduate), Maxwell AFB, Ala.
- 1998 National Defense Fellow, Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, Washington D.C.
Robert’s Comments on Benchmark:
As governments and businesses “connect” and grow, adversaries and competitors are watching and exploiting our “inter-connectedness.” This growing cyber threat, the associated business risk and “what to do about it” are now becoming regular discussion items at all corporate board meetings. It is clear that most companies, Boards and CROs are not prepared to address this challenge. We need to identify executives who understand this threat and can translate cyber threats and proposed corporate response into risk mitigation, business continuity and growth. Finding this executive talent for different corporate cultures is rare. In my experience across government and corporate America, there is none better — in leading this executive search and matching process – than Jeremy King and Benchmark.
Former Chief Security Officer at JP Morgan
James Cummings is currently a senior advisor to Oliver Wyman Consulting, and the President of Building Homes for Heroes, Inc. As a military veteran Colonel Cummings served 24 years on active duty including positions at The White House on the National Security Council, as an executive assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force and Chief of Staff, multiple command positions, and various overseas deployments. While in command, he lead global cyber defense and offensive activities on behalf of the United States Air Force in direct support of various combat activities. Upon retirement, Jim held various cyber related consulting positions with Deloitte and Lockheed Martin, before joining JP Morgan Chase & Company as their Chief Security Officer. While holding this position, he was responsible for global physical and technical security, business continuity, investigations, executive aircraft, Military and Veteran Affairs, and cyber security for the firms 240,000 employees in 60 countries and within 6,600 facilities. In September 2017, Jim returned to San Antonio, Texas to be with his family and became the President of Building Homes for Heroes, non-profit organization providing mortgage free homes to severely injured military veterans.
Carol A. Haave is the former Assistant Secretary for International Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security and the former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Counterintelligence and Security. She has more than 25 years of working directly with cabinet-level officials providing defense, security, intelligence, counterintelligence and technology advice, and is noted for adapting commercial technology and innovative programs to benefit the military and security officials involved in conflict situations.
Responsible for Homeland Security’s relationships with all foreign countries, Carol was directly involved in successful efforts to identify, disrupt and respond to terrorist and other security threats to the United States and its forces. In addition, she personally led a small team of operational and technology experts who created a “smart” biometrics identification card system for Iraq — collaborating with the governments of Iraq, UAE and Oman — that provides ID cards to Iraqi government personnel (police, military, etc.) and others seeking US base access that continues to have worldwide application today.
Carol was the “operations manager” for a $125 million/one year program that built a commercial communications, command and control, and information management system deployed to 33 sites throughout Europe to include Bosnia, along with the first deployment of the Predator UAV that ensured military leaders were privy to the same operational information and intelligence simultaneously. She created and deployed Strategic Counterintelligence Cells to Iraq and Afghanistan that successfully identified nontraditional threats and IED/bombmakers. She also led a team of risk and security experts in the development of a risk assessment methodology for the Department of Defense’s critical infrastructure protection to ensure the best application of resources, and another that resulted in the unprecedented increase in priority within the Department to counter cyber threats.
As a senior Homeland Security official, Carol has significant experience with U.S. Borders, Customs and all Homeland Security departments. As a senior official at Defense and Homeland Security, she developed and maintains significant international contacts.
Carol has over a decade of DARPA experience, including technology transition and information management. She has served as a Management Analyst at NASA and an Inspector at Summa Corporation. She started her government career as a military police officer.
LTG Rhett Hernandez
Lieutenant General Hernandez retired on 1 November 2013 following 39 years of distinguished service in the United States Army. His last active duty assignment was as the first Commander of Army Cyber Command (ARCYBER), where he was responsible for the daily operations and defense of all Army networks, and when directed, conduct the full range of cyberspace operations. In addition to building a cyber force of more than 17,000 people, he led the development of a wide range of transformational concepts, plans and programs to increase the Army’s ability to conduct Land and Cyber operations. As the Army’s lead for all cyberspace activity, he was the force modernization proponent for cyber doctrine, training, leader development, organization, materiel and people. He developed strategic direction, requirements and an acquisition approach for all cyberspace operations in the Army.
Additionally, he was responsible for the Army’s full-spectrum Information Operations (IO) organization, which provides IO theory development and training to operational application across military operations. Previously General Hernandez served as the Deputy Chief of Sta, Army Operations; Chief, U.S. Military Training Mission, Saudi Arabia; and Commanding General,
Human Resources Command. In all three positions, he was involved in key issues and decisions at the highest levels. In his role as the Deputy Chief of Sta, Army Operations, he oversaw Army operations worldwide, directed Army transformation eorts, co-chaired the programming and budget board, chaired the Army network modernization board, approved and prioritized
Army requirements. As the Chief, Military Training Mission, Saudi Arabia, he was the senior defense official to the U.S. Ambassador. He led the largest security assistance program in the world, oversaw the Foreign Military Sales program, strengthened the strategic military partnership and increased readiness and interoperability.
As the Commanding General of Human Resources Command, General Hernandez directed the personnel management, from accession to retirement, for all soldiers and officers. He transformed personnel services and the management systems to support an Army at war. General Hernandez has extensive operational experience, and has held commands at each level from Lieutenant to Lieutenant General. He served as the Assistant Division Commander, Support for 1st Armored Division and oversaw the division’s deployment and logistic operations in Baghdad, Iraq. As the Operations Chief in J-39, IO, he established and directed the IO Task Force responsible for supporting the integration of Combatant Command IO plans with USG activities. General Hernandez holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy, West Point, a Master of Science degree in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia and a Masters of National Security Strategy from the National War College where he was named a distinguished graduate. His overseas experience includes tours in Germany, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
Currently, General Hernandez serves as the West Point Cyber Chair to the Army Cyber Institute, is the President of CyberLens, LLC and serves as a cyber expert on advisory boards. He has considerable insight and expertise on Cybersecurity issues and was an integral part in MacB strengthen and its considerable offensive and defensive Cybersecurity capabilities to meet current and future needs of ARCYBER, as well as the broader Cyber community. Lieutenant General Hernandez has been a Member of Board of Advisors at Macaulay-Brown, Inc. since May 19, 2014. He has been a Member of Public Sector Advisory Council at Palo Alto Networks, Inc. since February 12, 2015.
He and his loving wife, Pat, grew up together in Palmerton, PA and were married in 1976 upon graduation from West Point. They currently reside in the DC area and have two wonderful children.
Rhett’s Comments on Benchmark:
Benchmark is the best Executive Search firm I have encountered. Their passion, integrity and commitment to excellence are unmatched. Jeremy King is a trusted professional of character and expert in national and cyber security. I value and seek his advice. Benchmark is my #1 choice to find the right talent to meet any mission need.
Mr. Olsen is President of IronNet Cybersecurity and is responsible for leading their consulting services, providing strategic and operational guidance to companies on cybersecurity and cyber threats, and helping to guide IronNet’s business development.
Mr. Olsen has worked for over two decades as a top government official on national security, intelligence and law enforcement issues.
Appointed by the President to serve as the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), Mr. Olsen led the government’s efforts to integrate and analyze terrorism information and coordinate counterterrorism activities for three years. Prior to joining NCTC, Mr. Olsen was the General Counsel for the National Security Agency.
Mr. Olsen also served at the Department of Justice in a number of leadership positions, responsible for national security and criminal cases, and for over a decade as a federal prosecutor. Mr. Olsen also served as Special Counsel to the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
In addition to his work with IronNet Cybersecurity, Mr. Olsen is a lecturer at Harvard Law School and a national security analyst for ABC News. Mr. Olsen graduated from the University of Virginia and Harvard Law School.
Matthew’s Comments on Benchmark:
In my experience, Jeremy King is unsurpassed as a trusted partner in the national security executive search and recruiting space. He combines his deep knowledge of the security terrain — both in the government and private sector — with a well-deserved reputation for integrity to serve his clients and countless friends, many of whom served as high-ranking military and intelligence officials. Over the years, Jeremy has built an extensive network of appreciative clients and loyal colleagues, who continue to seek Jeremy’s advice as the professional landscape continues to evolve.
Jill Singer leads AT&T Government Solutions’ business activities across the national security community, overseeing the delivery of strategic technology solutions and services to national security agencies across the Federal marketplace. In her twenty-nine years of U.S. Federal Government and industry experience, Jill has focused on delivering the information, technology, and infrastructure necessary for her customers to effectively execute their missions.
Before joining AT&T, Ms. Singer was a partner with Deep Water Point, providing federal clients with services spanning transformation, strategy, leadership, and technology. Previously, she was chief information officer (CIO) for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), part of the National Foreign Intelligence Program and deputy CIO for the Central Intelligence Agency. Additional senior leadership positions within the federal government include director of the Diplomatic Telecommunications Service, US Department of State, and chief of systems engineering, architecture, and planning for the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) global infrastructure organization. Jill has also held industry positions with Science Applications International Corporation, Inc. (SAIC), GE Aerospace, and IBM.
Ms. Singer earned a BS in computer science and an MS in systems analysis from the University of West Florida and graduated from several leadership programs, including the Federal Executive Leadership Program and the University of Virginia’s (UVA) Executive Leaders Program. She currently serves as an executive-on-ground for the UVA McIntire School of Commerce and is co-chair of the AFCEA International Cyber Committee. Her numerous awards include induction into the Executive Mosaic Wash100 (2014). Jill is also an accomplished speaker and published author.
Jill’s Comments on Benchmark:
Jeremy King’s Benchmark Executive Search is a world-class executive search firm centered on developing deep relationships with individuals, cultivating respect with companies and clients, and delivering high quality results. Benchmark’s knowledge and insights of the National Security sector and federal government marketplace is unique and highly regarded for matching outstanding talent to critical executive roles. Jeremy and his colleagues are passionate about our nation’s security and created MissionLink as a mechanism to connect commercial technologies and innovators to unique intelligence community needs to purposefully drive innovation and evolution. Combining mission achievement with corporate success and business growth for long term productivity of people, companies, and the country is a successful formula for Jeremy, Benchmark, and MissionLink.
Michael J. Sulick
After a twenty-eight year career, Michael Sulick retired from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 2010 as the Director of the National Clandestine Service (NCS). As Director NCS, Mr. Sulick was responsible for coordinating the espionage activities of the US Intelligence Community and managing global covert operations on terrorism, weapons proliferation, and regional and country-specific issues.
Mr. Sulick held a number of other senior positions in the clandestine service both at CIA headquarters and overseas. In 2004 he served as the deputy in CIA’s Clandestine Service. Prior to that, as chief of CIA counterintelligence, Mr. Sulick strengthened collaboration with the FBI on major espionage cases. A specialist in Russia and Eastern Europe, Mr. Sulick was chief of the Central Eurasia Division responsible for intelligence collection operations and managing foreign liaison relationships in Russia, Eastern Europe and the former republics of the Soviet Union.
Overseas Mr. Sulick served as the senior CIA representative in Russia and Eastern Europe where he managed operations and foreign intelligence relationships during an era of dramatic post-Cold War change. Earlier in his career he served at locations in the former Soviet Union, Asia and Latin America. In 1991 he was the first CIA officer to enter the Soviet Union to forge new relationships with intelligence services of a newly independent former Soviet republic.
In retirement Mr. Sulick has served as a national security consultant to US and foreign corporations and lectured on intelligence topics at various universities and public forums. Currently he is a senior partner in Threat Pattern, an intelligence and security company specializing in insider threats. He speaks Russian, Polish and Spanish and has written about intelligence issues in CIA’s Studies in Intelligence, the Los Angeles Times and Cipher Brief. He is the author of Spying in America: Espionage from the Revolutionary War to the Dawn of the Cold War and American Spies: Espionage against the United States from the Cold War to the Present, both published by Georgetown University Press.
A native of New York City, Mr. Sulick earned a Ph.D. in comparative literature from the City University of New York and an M.A. and B.A. in Russian Studies from Fordham University. He also served in Vietnam with the U.S. Marine Corps.
Michael’s Comments on Benchmark:
Insider threats and cyber threats are on the rise but still many corporations have not devised adequate programs to protect their assets. Finding the right professional to mitigate these dangers may seem at times like wandering through a wilderness, but Benchmark, led by the talented Jeremy King, has proven to an outstanding leader in this growing field. With its unparalleled network in both the private sector and the US Government national security arena, Benchmark matches the most qualified and suitable professionals to the exact corporate position. Most importantly, Benchmark assists both sides in understanding the different cultures of government and industry and thus makes the transition as smooth as possible. In my dealings with national security professionals, no competitor eve comes close to Benchmark’s excellence in executive search.
Jose A. Rodriguez, Jr.
Jose A. Rodriguez, Jr. is a 31-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency. When he retired in January 2008 he was the Director of the National Clandestine Service, the head of all human clandestine operations for the CIA and responsible for the coordination of human operations for the intelligence community.
From 2002 until late 2004 he was Director of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center where he lead the worldwide intelligence collection programs and covert action operations against international terrorist organizations following the ouster of terrorists from Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks. He is a former Deputy Director of the Counternarcotics Center and Chief of Latin America Division. During his career he served in seven overseas assignments and was Chief of Station four times.
Upon leaving federal service, Jose became a consultant and the Managing Director of J-ROD Strategies. In September 2008 he assumed the position of Senior Vice President at Edge Consulting, a National Interest Security Company which was acquired by IBM in 2010. He was a member of the Board of Directors of MVM Inc. from 2009-2011. Jose served as an Account Executive in IBM’s intelligence practice until March 2012. He left IBM to promote his book “Hard Measures: How Aggressive CIA Actions After 9/11 Saved American Lives,” which was published on April 30, 2012. Hard Measures was an instant New York Times best seller. Jose was featured on CBS News’ “60 Minutes” and many other network news programs.
Regarding Hard Measures, former CIA Director General Michael V. Hayden (USAF, Ret.) said: “Jose Rodriguez guided some of the CIA’s greatest counterterrorism victories, and his story is one of courage, commitment, and decisiveness.”
Jose received many honors and awards during his career including the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Award, the George H. W. Bush Award for Excellence in Counterterrorism, the Defense Intelligence Director’s Award and three Director of Central Intelligence Awards
- Trusted advisor to corporate boards, C-suite, and leading investment firms, as well as confidant to many of the nation’s elite business leaders.
- Serial connector and clearinghouse for opportunities at the intersection of talent, capital, entrepreneurs and business development.
- Aligns A-talent (Board/CXO/VP’s) to fast growing companies (national security, cyber security, venture capital/private equity backed tech innovators).
- Passionate charity campaigner and advocate for veterans’ and mental health causes.
- An “honest broker” entrusted by the highest-levels of the national security community.
Jeremy King is the founder and President of Benchmark Executive Search. For almost 25 years, Jeremy has played a strategic role in building the leadership teams for many hundreds of growth companies, including noteworthy publicly-traded success stories. His sterling reputation as a trusted advisor transcends his network of many thousands of executives, investors, and industry insiders. This trust ties deeply into the highest-levels of the federal government, which has forged a network with senior government officials within the intelligence, defense and national security communities. He has helped transition and guide hundreds of top federal executives and flag-officers into private sector, consulting, advisory and board roles.
Benchmark has received recognition from:
- Forbes as Best Executive Recruiting Firms
- CyberSecurity Ventures as a Top 10 Cyber Search Firm Worldwide
- Hunt-Scanlon Media as a Top 20 Cyber Executive Search Firm
- ExecutiveBiz as a Top 10 GovCon Executive Recruiter
- Bisnow’s Top 40 Federal Entrepreneurs and Innovators in DC
Prior to founding Benchmark, Jeremy was a Managing Partner at Austin McGregor Executive Search where he opened the Silicon Valley office and subsequently expanded the firm’s East Coast High Technology and Federal IT practices. Jeremy gained hands-on general management experience in the technology industry that began at Erol’s Internet, where he led channel sales and business development. The company grew from 5,000 to more than 100,000 customers, helping Erol’s become the 7th largest ISP before its sale to RCN. Earlier in his career, Jeremy was the youngest search consultant at a top-10 retained executive search firm, including as a member of the firm’s leadership team in the company’s early-stage high technology practice. Jeremy graduated from Florida State University with a BS degree in Political Science.
Jeremy is conceiver and achiever in the non-profit sphere, with a talent to connect people and a dedication to support those who serve, which has been key to significant contributions to important causes.
- Serves on the board of veteran non-profit America’s Warrior Partnership, rated ‘Platinum’ with Charity Navigator.
- Co-founded and serves on the board of non-profit MissionLink, an exclusive, CEO-only organization that fosters collaboration, access, and opportunity for companies focused on defense and national security missions. Over the past decade with over 400 alumni, MissionLink has been featured in The Washington Post, The Washington Business Journal, The Washington Times, DC Business, and Bisnow.
- Co-founded and serves on the board of non-profit HER Foundation (Hyperemesis Education & Research), helping find a cause and cure for a debilitating pregnancy disease called Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG).
- Member of Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC), Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA), Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA), and National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD).
- Participates regularly as an invited speaker on talent trends or national security and cyber trends, as well as panel discussions or moderating panels.