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The World, together with all of its countries, is facing significant challenges to its national security across a diverse set of threats. On one end of the spectrum are various non-state actors with different motivations. These groups enjoy low barriers of entry to launch either kinetic or non-kinetic attacks. On the other end of the spectrum is the resurgence of great power competition, which is causing fundamental divergences in the rules-based international order.

The rapid cycle of move and counter-move necessitates a collaborative, coordinated multi-discipline approach to address the threats.  Fortunately, analytic techniques can bridge domains to provide insight across a broad range of operational problems. For example, techniques to gain data-driven insights into prepositioning forest fire equipment are similar to those used for prepositioning warfighting equipment aboard ships. The organizational structures for gangs, trans-national drug cartels, and terrorist groups all have similar properties.  If you understand these properties, then you can more effectively disrupt or defeat the group. Additionally, an environment of cooperation will mitigate manpower and monetary resource challenges that government and non-governmental organizations often face.

Join us for the inaugural INFORMS Conference on Security (IConS), to be held in Monterey, CA from February 9-11, 2020. IConS will bring together leading analytics professionals, decision-makers in national defense and security, and first responders to share tools, techniques, and best practices to address the broad spectrum of challenges to U.S. national security.

Confirmed Speakers

Lt Gen John Shanahan headshot

Gregory C. Allen

Department of Defense Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC)

AI Initiatives in the Department of Defense

Greg Allen will present an overview of AI initiatives in the Department of Defense to include the challenges and opportunities the U.S. military faces in accelerating AI-ready technology at-speed and at-scale across a vast national defense enterprise. Lt. Gen. Shanahan will also discuss the importance of AI-principles and the department’s commitment to make ethics and appropriate levels of human control as cornerstones of the DoD AI strategy.

Juliana Vida headshot

Juliana Vida

Splunk, Inc.

Debunking the Myths Around Bright
Shiny Objects and National Security

As we face unprecedented challenges in national security amidst a turbulent global political and financial landscape, it’s tempting to be lured by the promises of panacea using mature technologies such as Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, 5G and the like. But beware – the allure of these bright shiny objects, frequent subjects of the 24 hour news cycle, can distract you away from the most important element underlying their effectiveness – boring old data. Uninteresting as it may seem, harnessing the power of data is not easy, but it sits at the core of confronting the world’s biggest problems. It’s chaotic and messy, but not without hope of solutions. Join us as we discuss data’s role in addressing national security challenges such as ransomware attacks on utilities and schools, election fraud, and natural disaster response.

Robert Dell headshot

Dr. Robert F. Dell

Naval Postgraduate School

Advanced Analytics for National Security in the Age of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing allows us to temporarily leverage massive computing power. Harnessing this power for analyzing ever-increasing troves of data creates exciting opportunities for analysts. The popular press routinely reports on how artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, optimization, and more over-hyped buzzwords are transforming industries. This talk surveys the state of the art and the current vocabulary, with a focus on diverse national security applications and how the age of cloud computing provides new challenges and opportunities.

Chandler Swallow headshot

Robert Chandler Swallow

U.S. Air Force Headquarters

Air Force Strategic Innovation – Driving the Rapid Transition from Kinetic to Cognitive Warfare

Since its inception in 1947, the United States Air Force has used the combination of technological advancements and the innovation of its Airmen to achieve its missions. The coming age promises ever-rapidly changing innovations driven equally by the public sector and private sector – particularly in the areas of cyber and information warfare from enhancements in automation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. The technical evolution is, however, only part of the challenge. We remain of the opinion that the most important component for success in the future is the quality of our workforce – both uniformed and civilian. This talk will address how the Air Force is planning to incorporate rapidly changing technology to develop an analytic foundation to enable the rapid transition from kinetic to cognitive warfare. We explain how cognitive warfare is the shift of strategy and the corresponding modeling efforts to focus on things that win modern war: joint all domain command and control, information warfare, adversary cost imposition, game theory thinking, and deception. Finally, we discuss the necessary investments in people to enable our success in these efforts.

What Has Gone Wrong With Risk Analysis?

Backing up O.R. with PR

Gerry Brown

Gerald Brown

Naval Postgraduate School

Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Operations Research National Academy of Engineering Ph.D., University of California at Los Angeles, 1974

Sam Savage

Sam Savage

Stanford University

Dr. Sam L. Savage is an Adjunct Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University and Executive Director of, a nonprofit devoted to making uncertainty actionable. Dr. Savage is author of The Flaw of Averages: Why We Underestimate Risk in the Face of Uncertainty, and is the inventor of the Stochastic Information Packet (SIP), a standardized data array for conveying uncertainty. Dr. Savage received his Ph.D. in computational complexity from Yale University.

Two seasoned analysts recount their experience reviewing risk analyses, Brown in defense applications, and Savage in those and others. They report a sampling of their most memorable, even startling discoveries. 

It turns out there are some common misconceptions and malpractices that too often can be traced to results that just don’t stand up to review. These will be explained.

Things don’t have to be this bad. There are better ways to conduct risk analysis, whether for natural or engineering hazards, or threats from intelligent adversaries. The essentials for such risk analyses will be reviewed from the O.R. perspective by Brown and the PR perspective by Savage.

Benefits of


Sharing your work with a new audience, for both opportunities for peer review and connecting with others who have similar or complementary problems and interests.


Being at the forefront of your professional discipline, and making connections to both further your own practice as well as strengthening the broader analytic community.


Access to senior decision-makers in both the public and private sectors who have security-related challenges that can be addressed with analytics, as well as connecting with analytics professionals who have similar problems and similar or complementary approaches.

Topics Include

Data Security

How should data be collected and stored in such a way that is useful and accessible for analysis, but also secures the underlying rights and ethics of the owner and the data subjects, and protects the data from theft, alteration, or exploitation?

Disaster Recovery

How can O.R. better support disaster recovery operations, including actions take in advance of, during, and after a disaster?   

Emergency Preparedness

How can O.R. and analytics better help government agencies and the public writ large understand and prepare for emergencies?

Frontiers in O.R.

How can the security community benefit from and drive innovation and advances in operations research tools, techniques, and practices?


How can intelligence agencies use advanced analytic techniques to provide rigorous, reliable intelligence assessments from limited and potentially obfuscated data?  

Law Enforcement

How can O.R. help law enforcement agencies prevent, predict, and respond to crime to increase public safety?

Military O.R.

What aspects of O.R., advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, or machine learning are missing or underutilized within the military O.R. community? How can their incorporation better increase the rigorous and impactfulness of analysis provided to military decision-makers?      

Network Resilience

How can network systems – such as logistics, transportation, energy, communications, and even human networks – be better designed and protected to increase their robustness and resiliency to attack and degradation?   

Physical Security and Protection

How can O.R. and analytics increase the effectiveness and efficiency of physical security and protection systems, including the allocation of agents, the use of sensors and detection systems, and the deployment of barriers?

Thank Your to Our Sponsors

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