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National Security Innovation Forum

November 16, 2023
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg Center

The National Security Innovation Forum, hosted by the Pallas Foundation for National Security Leadership, will be a dynamic gathering of senior officials and private sector leaders to highlight, discuss, and derive actionable plans for building the future defense ecosystem.


This summit will challenge each of us to do our part in accelerating progress to restore our defense innovation ecosystem and collaborate on commitments to retain our competitive edge in this era of great-power competition.


Centrally located in the nation’s capital, The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg Center is designed to be a space for collaboration, discovery, and dialogue. As a space built to convene global leaders and develop the next generation of these leaders, the Bloomberg Center serves as the perfect location to host this forum that intends to accomplish just that.

The Pallas Foundation is a non-profit organization that fosters the education and professional development of emerging leaders from traditionally under-represented groups in global and national security.


All times are in EDT


2:00 PM

2:10 PM

2:45 PM

3:30 PM

4:00 PM


4:30 PM

Event Open
















Partnering for Economic Security and Innovation

Innovation isn't solely about generating entirely new ideas; it also encompasses rethinking challenges, experimenting with fresh tactics, and collaborating with different partners. This panel will explore the importance of a whole-of-government approach, economic security’s role in defense, and how we can create public-private partnerships with allies and partners to address national security concerns.   














Driving Agility in the Services

Service innovation is a key component to disrupting our defense ecosystem. This panel will explore how the Navy is adopting new approaches to technology and acquisition, focusing on commercial partnerships, agility and flexibility in its portfolios, and balancing risk and reward to seize opportunities for transformative advancements in military capabilities.









Next Generation: Breaking the Mold 

From trailblazing individuals akin to visionaries like Elon Musk to the next-generation leaders, these nontraditional figures are at the forefront of reshaping the defense landscape. This panel will explore how their innovative approaches are driving organizational change and technological advancements and shaping the future of the defense ecosystem. 

  • Schuyler Moore, Chief Technology Officer, US Central Command 

  • Michael MacKay, National Security Advisor, US Senator Joni Ernst

    Matthew George, CEO, Merlin Labs

  • Moderator: Lara Seligman, Defense Reporter, Politico








Investing in our Security 

​The national security ecosystem and the technology supporting our warfighters is developing at a faster pace than ever before. In order to maintain competitive investment across critical technologies, the Department of Defense must harness the financing private equity partners are pouring into technology companies. Powerful and intentional investing is the engine behind these technologies. 

  • Charles Phillips, Managing Partner & Co-Founder, Recognize  

  • Doug Beck, Director, Defense Innovation Unit & Senior Advisor, Secretary of Defense

  • Chairman Ken Calvert, Chairman, House Defense Appropriations Committee & U.S. Representative (CA-41)

  • Moderator: Jackie Davalos, Technology Reporter, Bloomberg News













Keynote and Moderated Q&A

with General Charles Q. Brown, Jr.

  • General Charles Q. Brown, Jr., 21st Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

  • Moderator: Admiral Mike Mullen, USN (Ret.), 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

 Closing Remarks

National Security Innovation Forum

Thursday, November 16, 2023                            Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg Center
            1:30 PM - 6:30 PM ET     
                            555 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC, 20001

Attire: Business or Uniform Equivalent

This event is not open to the public. Invitations are no

Please contact for any questions related to the forum.

To learn more about the Pallas Foundation for National Security Leadership, please email

Pallas Foundation for National Security Leadership is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization dedicated to the development of the nation's future leaders. 

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