Mr. Miheer Khona is the President & CEO of Rising Sun Advisors with over 14 years of experience in Strategy, Transformation and Governance at the intersection of Cyber Security and Information Risk Management. Mr. Khona brings with him a strong analytical and engineering background in serving the needs of various clients in Financial Services, Energy, and Transportation sectors, as well as working with legislative and regulatory bodies. He led the efforts in developing the Financial Services domain of Internet Security Alliance’s Social Contract 3.0 publication – blending the realms of politics, economics, and cyber security viewpoints into a market-based implementation model for the current U.S. Executive Office of the President (EOP) and the Congress. Prior to founding the boutique management consulting firm, he successfully led the design and execution of a next-generation Global Operating Model for a bank’s Information Risk Management Division. Prior to a career in financial services, Mr. Khona provided strategic and technical analysis of global information security programs and developed enterprise risk management frameworks for multiple clients in the commercial and public (U.S. and international) sectors as a management consultant. An example of a consulting engagement, he led the conceptualization, design and implementation of an economic model to facilitate quantitative-based information risk valuation across all enterprise layers. A sampling of clients that Mr. Khona has had the privilege of serving includes, a Global Retail & Investment Bank, World Bank Group, Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC), Fannie Mae, Global Commercial & Retail Bank, Department of Energy, Department of Transportation, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense. Mr. Khona currently serves on the Economic Development Subcommittee for the Governor of Maryland’s Cyber Security Council, and is a Board Member of the School of Applied Sciences & Technology at Thomas Edison State University. Mr. Khona holds Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology from the Volgenau School of Engineering at George Mason University. Mr. Khona also has held the following designations: Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Security+, ISO/IEC 27001 ISMS Lead Auditor, ISO/IEC 27001 Information Security Risk & Implementation Practitioner.
Major Mikita R. Brown, serves with the Joint Staff (JS) J6 Joint Deployable Analysis Team (JDAT) as the Senior Air Battle Manager to provide integration expertise of Multi-Domain C2 warfighter analysis. The JDAT analyzes current and future warfighter systems in austere field conditions to address Joint integration and interoperability issues to improve combat effectiveness, reduce fratricide, and minimize collateral damage. Major Brown leads a joint and coalition team of warfighters and analyst to develop innovative C4I solutions for Integrated Air Missile Defense (TBMs and SHORAD threats), while specializing in the emerging C2BM of sUAS and C-UAS drone defense. Major Brown is a senior air battle manager with more than 1,340 flying hours (US & NATO E-3) and 720 hours of Ground Control Intercepts (GCI) via BC3-Qatar, BC3-Korea, JADGE Japan and Korea-AOC.
Ryan McCready is the Chief Executive and Co-Founder of Hex Horus Ltd; a specialist agnostic CUAS Defense and Security company based in the United Kingdom. He is part of the UK’s Aerospace Defence & Security drone platform and counter drone (DPAC) Special Interest Group, who support the CUAS sector and shape legislation and standards. Ryan is a British Army veteran, of 16 years, achieving Warrant Officer Class 2, enduring operational deployments all across the globe. Deployments included Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Iraq Afghanistan and Ukraine. He was involved in counter-insurgency operations, police support operations and building partner capacity support, where he saw first-hand the evolution of hybrid warfare tactics and emerging threats, such as the nefarious use of commercial UAS. Ryan spent years as a forward air controller, more commonly referred to as a Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) during some of the most kinetic times in Afghanistan, providing Close Air Support (CAS) and airspace management for multi-national forces, including the US Marine Corp MEU, UK’s 16 Air Assault Brigade and other ISAF contributing nations. Ryan was awarded the prestigious Accolade of the UK’s Most Outstanding Solider Award 2011, presented by HRH Prince William and Princess Katherine, for his conduct and efforts on operations in Helmand province Afghanistan; of note, he was wounded in action (WIA). More recently in 2017, US (4*) General John Nicholson Jr US FOR-A Commander awarded Ryan NATO’s Meritorious Service Medal for his personal contributions towards CUAS on Operation Resolute Support Afghanistan, in developing CUAS strategic framework, operational support and lifesaving tactics.
Matthew B. Whitman is a Finance and Business Professional with 20 years of experience managing multi-billion dollar programs totaling between $30-40 Billion of spending with agencies such as the National Reconnaissance Office, Department of Homeland Security, and the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security. Mr. Whitman has spent his career advising senior leadership, matching resources with requirements and conducting business in innovative ways that deliver costs within forecasts. He has also developed an extensive portfolio of analytical models and statistical tools to strengthen logical arguments for sound continued support. He received his Bachelors of Science in Finance from George Mason University in 1997, graduating “with distinction” and receiving the “Excellence in Finance Award.” He currently resides in Manassas, Virginia with his wife and two children.
Patrick Egan is the editor of the Americas Desk at sUAS News and host and Executive Producer of the sUAS News Podcast Series, Drone TV and the Small Unmanned Systems Business Exposition. Experience in the field includes assignments with the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command Battle Lab investigating solutions on future warfare research projects. Instructor for LTA (Lighter Than Air) ISR systems deployment teams for a OSD, U.S. Special Operations Command, Special Surveillance Project. Built and operated commercial sRPAS prior to 2007 FAA policy clarification. On the airspace integration side, he served as director of special programs for the RCAPA (Remote Control Aerial Photography Association). Past collaborations within the framework of the standards groups; ASTM F-38 and RTCA SC-203 (lightly regulated sub-group), and was also a full member of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Aviation Rulemaking committee (Order 1110.150)—He has also served on the ICC (International Coordination Council) which input to the EUROCAE wg-73, and was the past President of the Silicon Valley Chapter of AUVSI (Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International).
LTC (Ret.) Tony Davila is a former Army Product Manager for Medium Altitude Endurance Unmanned Aircraft System with experiences in acquisition, testing, research and development, and operational integration of multiple unmanned systems in Department of Defense to include manned and unmanned teaming (MUM-T). In over 30 years of Army service, he has accrued multitude of experiences in Special and Conventional Operations in Intelligence, Maneuver Warfare, Psychological Operations, Information Operations, Electronic Warfare, Technical Operations, Aviation, Cyber and Space. He received his B.S. in Computer Science from Christopher Newport University at Newport News, Virginia in 1991 and his M.S. in Systems Management from Florida Institute of Technology at Melbourne, Florida in 1999. Currently, he is the founder and President of Knight Technical Solutions, LLC, a service disabled veteran owned small business, located at Huntsville, Alabama.
In 1996, Jeff Parisse co-founded kVA Effects®, a high voltage special effects company that uses Tesla coils to make electrical arcs for entertainment. kVA Effects® has installations in major science museums throughout the World and is credited with the first commercial plasma ball machine (Winterhur Switzerland), the first high voltage flying rig (Mercedes Benz) and the largest Tesla coils on permanent display in the World (Tampa Bay Lightning a NHL hockey team). Jeff provides on-camera high voltage expertise for major broadcast and cable networks and was the principal expert on the Modern Marvels special on life of Nikola Tesla. His work on Fear Factor Live earned the 2005 T.E.A. Award for best themed attraction for Universal Studios Hollywood. In 2002, Jeff began an autonomous flight and long range telemetry R&D project that combined his knowledge of robotics, embedded systems and RFI mitigation techniques. The project created breakthroughs in ultra-light civilian UAV technologies that were later used for low altitude pollen research by a major university. While at kVA Effects®, Jeff Parisse continued to develop specialized aircraft for special effects teams, professional cinematographers and research agencies. He has more than 1000hrs. as a remote pilot and flies fixed wing and multirotor aircraft in the >10lb. weight class. In 2013, Jeff joined Monarch Inc., an unmanned aircraft manufacturing firm in Ridgecrest California where he currently serves as their Director of Robotics. Jeff's responsibilities include developing working systems for geomapping and spectral crop analysis, promoting positive dialogue with elected representatives and industry leaders and bringing advanced technology to purchasers of aerial robotic systems.