Government and Industry Discuss "The Changing Face of Acquisition"

Government and Industry Discuss “The Changing Face of Acquisition”

Acquisition within the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) and national security realm relies on effective collaboration between the public, private, and academic sectors. To adopt innovative technologies, the IC must work with the private sector to improve the efficiency and speed of government acquisition practices. A more effective and efficient services acquisition process would generate higher-quality work, enhance mission capabilities, and reduce costs and delays.

To advance this goal, INSA hosted a full-day symposium, Innovating, Integrating, Evolving: The Changing Face of Acquisition, on Tuesday, April 10, 2018, to provide space for open discussion regarding the importance of acquisition within the IC. The event, which built on work undertaken by INSA’s Acquisition Management Council, identified ways in which the IC can procure and oversee high-end service contracts efficiently, promptly, and with agility. 

Agenda (PDF) Event Recap (PDF)

Opening Keynote: Katrina McFarland

Katrina McFarland, former Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics & Technology) and Army Acquisition Executive, discussed the history of how we arrived at the current government acquisition structure and shared her views on how to make the system more effective and efficient. 

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Katrina McFarland

Where Innovation and Speed of Acquisition Intersect

Panelists explored acquisition methods to acquire new technologies, as well as how to accelerate the government procurement cycle.

  • Howard Weitzner, Managing Director, Accenture Federal Services (moderator)
  • Christina Monaco, Chief Ventures Officer, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)
  • Dr. Stacey Dixon, Deputy Director, Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA)
  • Michael Chih, Director, Office of Technical Services, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

IC Deputy Directors' Panel

Four deputy directors discussed a broad range of topics, including strategies and best practices at their respective agencies.

  • Bill Greenwalt, Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council (moderator)
  • Justin Poole, Deputy Director, NGA
  • Melissa Drisko, Deputy Director, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)
  • Frank Calvelli, Principal Deputy Director, National Reconnaissance Office (NRO)
  • George Barnes, Deputy Director, NSA

Afternoon Keynote: Kevin Meiners

Kevin Meiners, Assistant Director of National Intelligence for Acquisition, Technology, and Facilities, discussed how a new organizational structure at the Office of the National of National Intelligence between the offices of the chief information officer and the chief data officer will enhance the Intelligence Community's acquisition of new technology and services.


It's Cool to be an Acquisition Professional

Panelists addressed acquisition workforce recruitment and retention and explored how acquisition provides a mission critical function.

  • Ellen McCarthy, Vice President of Intelligence and Analytics, Noblis (moderator)
  • Kathy Zuback, Senior Acquisition Executive, NSA
  • Kelly Gaffney, Deputy Assistant Director of National Intelligence for Acquisition, Technologies and Facilities, ODNI
  • Joey Dahl, Contract Specialist, DIA
  • Hector Cevallos, Senior Capture Executive, KeyW


Ryan Pretzer

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