The Defense Cyber Summit explores partnership opportunities between higher education and military cyber forces. This workshop focuses on subjects such as intra-industry efficiency, techniques and procedures in order to field the latest innovation and technology and render a tactical advantage.
The Cyber Leadership Alliance is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization that brings together experts from government, military, academia and business to:
- Synchronize efforts
- Solve complex problems
- Facilitate efficiency and effectiveness
- Foster innovation
- Promote economic and workforce development
Our MissionThe Cyber Leadership Alliance's mission is to synchronize and promote collaboration and innovation within the cyber community by convening leadership from governmental, military, academic and commercial enterprises.
The Cyber Leadership Alliance serves to connect experts across each of the disciplines below to encourage collaboration and a shared purpose.
- Counsel to leadership
- Higher education
- Educating the Judiciary
- Standards in education
- Technology transfer
- Publications to the trade
- Protecting intellectual property
- Protecting government
- Standards in services
- Information/Data sharing
- Whole of government integration
- Risk mitigation
- Contingency planning
- Leveraging federal resources
- Matching Indiana talent to Indiana jobs
- STEM training to displaced workers
- Cyber workforce projections and analysis
- Generating streamlined processes
- Leveraging existing assets
- Promoting Indiana companies
- Providing agility to government
- Building cyber infrastructure
Douglas C. RappRead Bio
Douglas C. Rapp is the founder and CEO of the Cyber Leadership Alliance (CLA). Prior to founding the CLA, he served as a strategic operations and planning specialist for the Military Department of Indiana, where he oversaw the development of the Strategic Cyber Enterprise Plan and cyber emergency response plans for the State of Indiana. Rapp also developed force structure for the Cyber Protection Team and served as a military liaison to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.
Rapp is a decorated combat veteran and retired Army officer. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University-Purdue University of Fort Wayne and a master’s degree in management from Indiana Wesleyan University. Rapp currently resides in Zionsville, Indiana where he serves as a board member for the Zionsville Chamber of Commerce.
Chief Technical Advisor
Eugene "Spaff" SpaffordRead Bio
Dr. Eugene Spafford is a professor with an appointment in Computer Science at Purdue University, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1987. He is the Executive Director of the Purdue University Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS). In 2012 he was named as one of Purdue’s inaugural Morrill Professors — the university’s highest award for the combination of scholarship, teaching, and service.
Dr. Spafford is among the foremost leaders in the field of computing. He has been honored with nearly every possible award in cyber security, including induction into the Cyber Security Hall of Fame. He has established an on-going record of accomplishment as a senior advisor and consultant on issues of security and intelligence, education, cybercrime and computing policy to a number of major companies, law enforcement organizations, academic institutions and government agencies, including Microsoft, Intel, Tripwire, SignaCert, Unisys, the US Air Force, the National Security Agency, the GAO, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Justice, the Department of Energy, and the staff of two Presidents of the United States.
Director of Operations
Roger PlasterRead Bio
Roger Plaster has led technology projects for both Fortune 500 Companies and Department of Defense entities. His professional background includes work in business requirement analysis, biometrics, continuous improvement and software launches. He holds a MBA and a MSPM from George Washington University as well as a BSME from the United States Military Academy at West Point. He is an Officer in the Indiana Army National Guard and a decorated combat veteran.
Chad PittmanRead Bio
Chad Pittman is the president of the Cyber Leadership Alliance’s board of directors. He currently serves as vice president of Purdue University’s Office of Technology Commercialization, managing the development and implementation of strategies to commercialize Purdue technologies and research.
Prior to his role at Purdue University, Pittman worked for five years as the executive vice president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC). During his tenure at the head of the IEDC, Pittman’s team recruited nearly 1,000 companies to Indiana, resulting in more than 100,000 projected jobs added.
Pittman served as an infantry company commander in the U.S. Army, earning a Bronze Star for his service in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He continues to serve as a major in the U.S. Army Reserves. Pittman is a graduate of Indiana University in Bloomington and Indiana University’s Robert McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis. He lives in Zionsville, IN with his wife Cristi and their four children.
Dewand NeelyRead Bio
Dewand Neely was appointed by Governor Mike Pence as Indiana’s Chief Information Officer in October 2015. In Neely’s previous role, his responsibilities included managing an annual operating budget of $27 million and overseeing a staff of 90 employees responsible for providing IT support to all state agencies. Dewand joined Indiana’s government in 2003 as a contractor and then served as a full-time employee for the Family and Social Services Administration. In 2005, he was chosen to be one of the initial employees to join the Indiana Office of Technology where he assisted the statewide IT consolidation efforts. He held several managerial roles within the IOT before ultimately reporting directly to the CIO.
Neely holds an undergraduate degree from Purdue University’s School of Technology and an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University.
Leon RavennaRead Bio
Leon Ravenna sits on the board of directors for the Cyber Leadership Alliance. Ravenna is currently the vice president for security and compliance at Interactive Intelligence. He has more than 25 years of experience in healthcare, financial services, and technology companies.
Ravenna has extensive experience in the regulatory, compliance, and privacy spheres, having managed ISO27001, HIPAA, SSAE-16PCI and FISMA audits. He currently holds a PMP and multiple privacy certifications including CIPM, CIPP/C and CIPP/E. He was previously a member of the VMware mid-market customer council.
Leon Ravenna has a bachelor’s of science in business systems from Taylor University.
Tony VespaRead Bio
Tony Vespa serves the Cyber Leadership Alliance as a member of the board of directors. He is the founder of the Vespa Group, a security and technology consulting firm headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Prior to starting the Vespa Group, he spent 11 years on active duty in the United States Navy. Vespa has a passion for solving complex problems and is committed to having a profound impact on our national security through innovation, collaboration and economic development.
Tony Vespa is a distinguished graduate of the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis.
LTC Ernest WongRead Bio
LTC Ernest Wong is the Deputy Director of Research at the Army Cyber Institute and an Assistant Professor with the Department of Systems Engineering. He holds a MS in Management Science & Engineering and a MA in Education from Stanford University as well as a MS in Military Science from the Mubarak Al-Abdullah Joint Command & Staff College in Kuwait. His professional background includes over 21 years as a Military Intelligence Officer as well as a NASA Summer Faculty Fellow appointment.
Carolene Mays-MedleyRead Bio
Carolene Mays-Medley is a recognized leader and speaker in cyber and physical security and was named as a Smart Grid Today Top 50 Smart Grid Pioneers of 2013. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the White River State Park (WRSP) Development Commission and as a Commissioner for the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC). She previously acted as the Chairperson of Critical Infrastructure Committee for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and participated on the U.S. Department of Energy Natural Gas Infrastructure Modernization Partnership, the New Mexico State University Center for Public Utilities Advisory Council, the University of Missouri Financial Research Institute Symposium Advisory Board and the Washington Action and Water Committees.
Carolene’s commitment to service and community led her to run for the Indiana House of Representatives in 2002, where she served three terms as State Representative in Indianapolis. Her Legislative committees included Ways and Means, Public Health and Transportation. She was also Vice-Chairman of the Small Business and Economic Development Committee.
Defense Cyber Summit
Crit-Ex 2016 – Critical Infrastructure Cyber Incident Exercise
The Indiana National Guard in conjunction with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, the Indiana Office of Technology, and other stakeholders, is conducting a set of exercises which simulate a cyber attack on elements of the State’s critical infrastructure that would result in a prolonged outage of services. The Crit-Ex tabletop and cyber event exercises will help the State of Indiana prepare for a significant cyber event by identifying the cascading effects of an attack on critical infrastructure, validating the readiness and resiliency of affected organizations and coordinating cross-sector communication and roles. These exercises will enhance cooperation between the State of Indiana and the industries that manage and support critical infrastructure.
Cyber Emergency Management Workshops
These workshops assist emergency managers at all levels to plan and train for major cyber incidents that affect critical infrastructure. The Indiana Department of Homeland Security will host one workshop in each of its districts. The workshops will cover basic knowledge of how the internet drives our critical infrastructure and how to plan for the effects of a major cyber incident. This program lays the foundation for further work in establishing local cyber incident management annexes and plans.
Citizens Cyber Incident Reporting Portal
Attacks on both business and personal cyber networks are serious economic and security threats to our state. Citizens and businesses need ways to protect themselves from cyber security incidents. An accessible process is also needed by which citizens and businesses can report these incidents when they do happen. The State of Indiana is likewise in need of a program to collect and report on cyber incidents, phishing, malware and other vulnerabilities.
Members, Clients & Initiative Partners
The Cyber Leadership Alliance is proud to be one of only twenty companies who are industry partners with the Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS) at Purdue University. CERIAS is currently viewed as one of the world’s leading centers for research and education in areas of information security and is unique among such national centers in its multidisciplinary approach to problems.