The Mission to Integrate Artificial Intelligence into the Military’s Future Battle Rhythm

March 10, 2021 | Lt. Gen Michael Groen, JAIC Director | Hon. Katharina McFarland, NSCAI Commissioner | Alon Jaffe, Director, Microsoft Federal National Intelligence Division

March 10, 2021 at 1:30pm ET


Artificial Intelligence in the New Age of National Security
a 6-part series

Part 3: The Mission to Integrate Artificial Intelligence into the Military’s Future Battle Rhythm

This special series of virtual web briefings will tap leading, diverse experts from government, industry, academia and finance and investment to lay out a path forward for integrating Artificial Intelligence into the US National Security infrastructure. Our goal is to bring greater attention and expertise to the issue of artificial intelligence and how it will change the nature of intelligence moving forward.

During this 6-part series, we’ll hear from a number of experts from both the public and private sectors, as both are crucial when it comes to understanding artificial intelligence, developing it, identifying gaps that need to be filled, and integrating it into US national security, intelligence collection and analysis. Register for ‘Part 3: The Mission to Integrate Artificial Intelligence into the Military’s Future Battle Rhythm,’ click here.

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About the speakers:

Lt. Gen. Michael Groen
Director, JAIC

Lieutenant General Michael S. Groen assumed his current position as the Director, Joint Artificial Intelligence Center on 1 October 2020. As a member of the JAIC team, he leads the transformation of U.S. Joint warfighting and departmental processes through the integration of Artificial Intelligence.

Prior to this nomination, General Groen was assigned to the National Security Agency and served as the Deputy Chief of Computer Network Operations, leading this premier Computer Network Exploitation organization. In 2018/2019, he served as the Director for Intelligence, Joint Staff (J2) in direct support of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the Joint Staff. He also served as the Vice J2. Prior to his Joint Staff assignments, General Groen served as the Director of Marine Corps Intelligence (DIRINT) where he championed the redesign of intelligence capabilities into a Marine Corps Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Enterprise (MCISRE).

General Groen has served in a variety of operational, ground, air, and naval units. His service has included Central America, the Western Pacific, the Philippines, the Balkans and Iraq, General Groen served afloat with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and supported aviation units in the U.S. and Okinawa. In 2003, he was assigned to the 1st Marine Division. He initially served as the Deputy Intelligence officer, then became the Intelligence Officer (G-2) in 2004. He has supported both conventional combat and counter-insurgency operations. General Groen was a principal in the redesign of Marine Intelligence to meet the emerging demands of the Global War on Terror. Later, General Groen served with the U.S. European Command as the Chief of Intelligence Planning for Europe and Africa. He was instrumental in transitioning intelligence processes into the Joint Intelligence Operations Center.

General Groen has commanded intelligence and operational units including the 3d Radio Battalion (conducting its first deployment to the Southern Philippines in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM) and the Headquarters Battalion, 1st Marine Division in Camp Pendleton, California. He was also given additional duties as the Division’s Chief of Staff. As a perpetual change-agent, he has served as a Combat Development, Requirements, and Acquisition officer. He served as the initial Director of the Commandant’s Amphibious Capabilities Working Group (Capabilities), the Ellis Group (Expeditionary Futures) and as the Director of the Commandant of the Marine Corps Strategic Initiatives Group (SIG).

General Groen is a graduate of Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI with a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering. He has received multiple Master’s Degrees from the University of Southern California (Systems Management) and from the Naval Postgraduate School (Electrical Engineering, Applied Physics.) General Groen is a graduate of the Marine Corps Command and Staff College and the Naval War College.

General Groen’s personal decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, and the Combat Action Ribbon.

Hon. Katharina McFarland
Commissioner, National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence

Katharina McFarland joined the SAIC Board in 2019. Prior to her onboarding, Ms. McFarland was a Director for Engility Holdings, Inc. from 2017 to 2019.

In 2017, she retired from civil service as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition. She was appointed to this position in 2012 by then President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. During her ASD tenure, she was also appointed Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisitions, Logistics & Technology and Army Acquisition Executive. Prior to her 2012 ASD appointment, McFarland served as President of the Defense Acquisition University from November, 2010 to May, 2012. From May, 2006 to November, 2010, she was the Director of Acquisition, Missile Defense Agency. Ms. McFarland began her civil service career in 1986 at Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps as a general engineer.

Ms. McFarland received an Honorary Doctoral degree in Engineering from the University of Cranfield, United Kingdom, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Queens University in Kingston, Canada, with accreditations in Materials, Electronics and Civil Engineering.

Alon Jaffe
Director, National Intelligence Division National Security Group, Microsoft Federal

Alon Jaffe is the Director of the National Intelligence Division within Microsoft Federal Sales. Alon began his Microsoft tenure in April 2020 and is responsible for advancing and orchestrating Microsoft initiatives to maximize efficiency, growth, and innovation in support of the Intelligence Community. Alon brings to Microsoft 35 years of Intelligence Community service within Government as an Intelligence Officer and within Industry as an Enterprise Sales and Consulting leader.

Alon has been in private industry supporting the IC since he left Government service in 2001. He has served as a senior Sales leader at SAP NS2 and Adobe Systems. Alon led SAP NS2’s National Security Professional Services team, where he had responsibility for Professional Services Sales and Delivery of technical services for National Security customers. At Adobe Systems, Alon was Director of Federal Services, where he led the growth and management of the company’s North American Public Sector National Security, DoD, Law Enforcement, and Federal Civilian agencies market.

Alon entered USG service in 1984 and served in various Intelligence Community operational capacities including Deputy Chief of Intelligence Operations at U.S. European Command. Prior to that assignment, he served in various positions of increasing responsibility within the Joint Staff, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Alon is the recipient of the National Intelligence Meritorious Award, Superior Civilian Service Award; Commanders Award for Civilian Service; Armed Forces Civilian Service Medal; and NATO Medal.

Alon is a graduate of the U.S. Air War College and attended the Intelligence and Policy Seminar Program at Harvard’s JFK School of Government. He earned his Master of Science in Strategic Intelligence from the National Intelligence University and his undergraduate degree in Political Science and Information Systems Management from the University of Maryland.

Alon serves on the Board of Advisors for the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA).


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