Priscilla Guthrie

Former Special Command Advisor, US Cyber Command, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Deputy DoD CIO)

In 2012, Priscilla Guthrie became special command advisor for U.S. Cyber Command. In this position, she advised the commander on all aspects of cybersecurity, information assurance and information technology. Prior to joining U.S. Cyber Command, she was VP at ViaSat Inc. In 2009, she was confirmed by the Senate as the intelligence community CIO. Prior to becoming the IC CIO, she was director of the information technology and systems division of the Institute for Defense Analyses.

In 2001, Guthrie became the deputy assistant secretary of defense (deputy DoD CIO). Before moving to the Pentagon, she was VP at TRW where she worked in and managed businesses in company’s defense/intelligence, automotive and information technology sectors.

Guthrie holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from the Pennsylvania State University and an MBA from Marymount College.

John Stenbit

Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense and current Advisory Board member of NSA

Mr. John P. Stenbit is the former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence and its successor organization, Networks and Information Integration, and the former Department of Defense (DoD) Chief Information Officer. His career spans over 30 years of public and private sector service in the telecommunications and the command and control fields. His public service includes four years at the DoD from 1973 to 1977, serving for two years as principal deputy director of telecommunications and command and control systems.

Mr. Stenbit previously was an executive vice president of TRW, from which he retired in May 2001. He has chaired the Science and Technology Advisory Panel to the Director of Central Intelligence and served as a member of the Science Advisory Group to the directors of Naval Intelligence and the Defense Communications Agency. Mr. Stenbit is currently a consultant and member of the Defense Science Board, the National Security Agency Advisory Board, the STRATCOM Advisory Board, and the National Reconnaissance Office Advisory Group. He is a director at Cogent Systems, Viasat, Defense Group Inc., and Loral Space & Communications.

Alan Wade

Former Chief Information Officer of CIA

Alan Wade retired from federal service at the end of 2005 after a thirty five year career in the Central Intelligence Agency. He retired as the Chief Information Officer, a position he held since 2001. Alan graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Blacksburg, Virginia in 1973, receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. In 1978, he received his Masters degree in Electrical Engineering from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Alan held a series of senior positions at CIA, including the Director of Communications, Director of Security, and Chief Information Officer. In his assignment as Chief Information officer, he was dual- hatted as the Chief Information Officer for the United States Intelligence Community. During his career, Alan’s contributions were recognized several times. He is a recipient of the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, the Director’s Medal, and the Distinguished Intelligence Medal.

Since retirement, Alan has worked with several early stage companies. He served on the boards of Safeboot N.V. (acquired by McAfee in 2007) and Detica DFI (acquired by BAE Systems in 2008). He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Aerospace Corporation and on the boards of several early-age companies. Additionally, Alan serves on public sector advisory boards of several technology companies, the Hume Center for National Security and Technology at Virginia Tech, the Advisory Board for the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Virginia Tech, and on the Board of the organization of retired CIA officers. Alan lives in Annandale Virginia with his wife and two children.

Jim Noble

Former Chief Information Officer of Merrill Lynch, Altria, AOL Time Warner

Jim Noble is widely considered to be one of the world’s foremost IT thought leaders. Jim has been voted #7 Most Influential Technology Executive by Forbes Magazine and in 2012 he was Winner of CIO magazine’s annual award for technology innovation.

During his career, Jim has held a series of global CIO roles in multiple industry sectors. He was Global Head of IT Strategy for BP, Managing Director of IT for Merrill Lynch, Group Vice President and CIO of Altria Group (Philip Morris and Kraft), and Senior Vice President and CIO at AOL Time Warner. Prior to AOL Time Warner, Jim had been with General Motors, where he was based in Detroit as Chief Technology Strategy Officer, moving to that assignment from the role of CIO of General Motors International, where he was responsible for all IT activities outside of North America.

Earlier in his career, Jim led the worldwide IT consulting practice at Cap Gemini, and prior to that he worked for GE on the design of aircraft systems. Jim acted as Chairman of the World ITO / BPO Forum from 2008-14. He is currently CEO of The Advisory Council International, leading an organization providing technology advice to senior executives and Board members. He is a board member of a leading VDI company and co-founder of a social networking company. He was President of the Society for Information Management, the leading US professional association for IT executives. Jim’s passion for coaching is legendary. He helped launch in-house IT Academies at General Motors and BP, and he is an adjunct professor & visiting lecturer at three universities.

Manish Thakur

Managing Partner

Manish brings a 20 year background in investing, finance and public policy. Prior to founding Option3Ventures, he has worked at Merrill Lynch, SG Cowen and HSBC where his responsibilities included managing initial public offerings, private placements, mergers and acquisitions, private equity and strategic investments. During his time as an investment banker, Manish has covered communications, defense, satellites and technology industries. Manish has also worked in the aerospace & communications sector, having served as CFO of Ellipso, a Washington-based satellite venture by the Boeing Company.

During his various assignments, Manish has had extensive experience both in the United States and globally, having worked in India, Indonesia, Mexico, Thailand and Russia. Outside of the investment industry, Manish serves as National Security Coordinator for USINPAC, a Washington-based political action committee. Manish holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BSc. from the University of London.

William J. Sanford

Chief Financial Officer

Bill brings a deep and successful expertise in private equity structuring and management. As CFO of Morning Street Capital, Inc., Bill has managed $40 million in secondary direct private equity funds. Bill currently serves as a board director for Teters Floral Products, LTD – an artificial botanical products business and served as a board member for Celeste Industries – a packaging and airline chemicals business. Prior, Bill was brought into CRP Partners, LLC as a Director in the middle-market Turnaround Management firm. Bill helped the team manage the bankruptcy and $45M sale of G+G Retail and provide a turnaround plan for Fazoli’s, a large Italian restaurant chain, which was able to secure an additional $70M in ABL availability.

Bill also worked for Columbia Strategy LLC and published/ co-published several secondary private equity market reports, including: Opportunity in Adversity, What Private Equity Firms Need to Know About the Secondaries, and Deal/ Transaction Process Flow Diagrams. Early in Bill’s career, he worked as a software engineer for IBM’s Advanced Internet Technology Group, Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. as a marketing assistant, and Probe Economics Inc. as an information technology specialist.

Bill received a B.A. in economics from Johns Hopkins University and successfully completed 8 second year M.B.A. courses at Columbia Business School.

Lisa Donnan

Managing Director

Lisa Donnan is a recognized thought leader in cyber security and data analytics. She has built a reputation around successfully commercializing innovative technology and launching new businesses, markets and products in the public and private sectors.

Lisa was most recently with BeyondTrust Inc. where she led their Federal business, prior to that she led the Office of Marketing and Technology at TASC Inc. (now Engility) where she was responsible for growth initiatives that capitalized on emerging technologies. Before joining TASC, she led Salient Federal’s (now Salient CRGT) cyber security business unit bringing advanced cyber security solutions, information assurance, engineering services and technology to public and private sector organizations. Lisa created and built the Cyber Security unit while at Command Information, a venture of The Carlyle Group, Novak Biddle Venture Partners, and Paladin Capital Group prior to its sale to Salient.

Prior to that Lisa was an EVP at Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE), she held various executive positions and was instrumental in launching key growth initiatives that drove transformation to a national IP and broadband operating company. She also led numerous high-growth, high-performance initiatives as a vice president at Sun Microsystems, NeuStar Inc. and at TMNG.

Lisa serves on Volgenau School of Engineering Board of Advisors at George Mason University.

She holds a bachelor of science in business administration from Ramapo College and completed executive finance program at Wharton Business School of University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Peter Fonash

Chief Technology Officer

He is a recognized industry and government thought leader in advanced/emerging communications and cybersecurity technologies.

Dr Fonash is currently Professor & Associate Director of the Cybersecurity Program at George Mason University.  Formerly, he was the CTO of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) Cybersecurity and Communications organization. This organization is responsible for protecting all federal systems and critical infrastructure from cyber-attacks and directing nationwide emergency communication operations. In this position Dr Fonash worked closely with the NSA and commercial security innovators to develop technology and processes that dramatically lower the cost and improved the effectiveness of cyber security operations. Prior to his CTO role he managed the National Communications System organization which provided special communication services to the President, Federal, state and local governments, and critical infrastructures. At the Department of Defense Dr Fonash had several key engineering management responsibilities including Chief of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Advanced Technology Office and he led the engineering effort for the first worldwide, web based, logistics support system.

Dr Fonash has a BSEE, MS, and MBA from the University of Pennsylvania, and a PHD in information technology and engineering from George Mason University. He is TS/SCI Security Clearance eligible.

Steve Tonella

Executive-In-Residence — Sales & Marketing

Steve Tonella is an Executive Sales Leader with a track record of building & leading global/local organizations in high growth and turn around business environments.  He brings over 14 years of Business Leadership experience which includes companies such as Cisco, Nimsoft (Acquired by CA), and Jive Software (Sequoia Backed).  Steve has built up cross functional sales teams in the Americas, EMEA, Asia Pacific and speaks Spanish & Italian. Steve has been consulting for several SaaS startups in a strategic sales capacity.

Areas of expertise: SMB, Mid-Market and Enterprise SaaS sales and networking solutions, Direct & Channel Sales, Top performance track record in both leadership and individual contributor roles, Successful creation and implementation of SaaS Go-to-Market strategy to the mass market for multiple customer segments, Accomplished multi-discipline sales expertise with direct leadership responsibility for Field/Inside Sales, Business Development and Sales Operations, Creates process, accountability, and effective account/territory planning,  Strategic thinker, accomplished negotiation & interpersonal skills capabilities resulting in strong working relationships internally and externally.

Sumanth K. Chepuri


Sumanth K. Chepuri is the Founder and President of Global Datasec (GDS). Global Datasec is a government contracting company with a focus on Information Technology, Software Development and Security solutions. Since 2006, Sumanth has successfully delivered Enterprise wide applications for several agencies including: ARMY, NAVY, US Department of Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice. There was a mix of classified and non-classified contracts.

Under Sumanth’s leadership, GDS was the prime contractor to build a Data warehouse applications called Navy Logistics Library (NLL) for the NAVSUPP Weapons Systems Support (WSS). NLL serves as the main system for publications, directives and technical manuals for the entire NAVY. At Fort Leavenworth Army Base, GDS has managed the Network Enterprise Center (NEC), Redesigned and implemented the website and was one of 6 small businesses to win the Combined Arms Center’s Omnibus contract with a ceiling of $250 million. This vehicle fell under the TRADOC Command. Sumanth created a Joint Venture with MELE Associates to successfully capture the incumbent partners as well as bring on large companies like Deloitte as a sub contractor to GDS-MELE. The CAC Omnibus consisted of 14 different functional areas. To include: Doctrine Development, IT Support, Strategic Communications, Data Collection and Analysis, Leader Development, Simulation Development and Software Development

More recently Sumanth has steered GDS into Identity and Security solutions, utilizing palm vein biometrics. GDS has partnered with a Compliance Software company called OCR to integrate Physical security with Cyber security through many biometric platforms. GDS and OCR are jointly creating the capture strategy for Identity and Security solutions for the The US Government and The IC.

Sumanth is passionate about giving back to his Indian roots. As a founding member of US India Political Action Committee (USINPAC), Sumanth helped build a valuable and lasting political foundation for Indian American’s in Washington DC.

Sumanth has a double degree from University of Maryland, College Park in Accounting and Finance and was the Captain of the Men’s Tennis Team. Sumanth received the Scholar Athlete Award and held leadership roles in Delta Sigma Pi, a professional business fraternity.

Sumanth lives in Bethesda, Maryland with his wife Cassie Chepuri and his 3 year old daughter Eliana Siri Chepuri. His activities when not consumed by work include yoga, biking with his wife and daughter, working out in the gym and most importantly eating, living and sharing their natural holistic lifestyle.

Dr. Armeane Choksi

Former Vice President of World Bank

Dr. Armeane M. Choksi served as Vice President of World Bank. Dr. Choksi spent more than two decades with the World Bank. He ran World Bank’s operations in Brazil, Peru and Venezuela, managing a portfolio exceeding $8 billion, and was responsible for its operations policies worldwide in education, health, social security and social sectors. Dr. Choksi has negotiated investment projects and economic policy changes with governments of several emerging markets. Dr. Choksi has advised governments in Latin America, Asia and the Middle East on a variety of issues including foreign trade, financial reform and health and education policies.

Dr. Choksi is the Chairman and Member of Advisory Board of Hudson Fairfax Group. He also founded the firm. Dr. Choksi is the Chairman of Rubicon Capital Investments. He also founded Rubicon Capital Investments.

Dr. Choksi sits on various governing boards, including The University of Edinburgh United States Development Trust, The Washington Ballet, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, and the International Advisory Board of Freedom from Hunger.

Dr. Choksi teaches at the Wharton School on Business.

Merrick Andlinger

President of Andlinger & Company

Mr. Merrick G. Andlinger serves as the President of Andlinger & Company, Inc., a private investment and management firm founded in 1976 and with offices in the US and Europe. Mr. Andlinger serves and has served on numerous corporate boards (publicly listed and privately held) in the U.S. and Europe in the manufacturing, technology, cleantech and service sectors.

For many years he was an energy investment banker, and has been a small enterprise Chief Executive Officer, a corporate spy, and a college professor. He was the Executive Chairman of AgCert International Plc, a clean development mechanism (CDM) project developer; Chief Executive Officer of Pure Energy Corporation, a bio-based fuel and chemical company; and Managing Director and co-Head of the Global Energy and Power Group in the Corporate Finance department at Smith Barney Inc. He began his investment banking career at Salomon Brothers.

In addition, he serves on the boards of charitable and education institutions, including the advisory board of Princeton University’s Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment.

Mr. Andlinger holds an M.B.A. from Stanford University Graduate School of Business and an A.B. from Princeton University.

Jamil Sopher

Former World Bank Principal Financial Analyst

Jamil Sopher has served as a World Bank staff member for over 30 years. Until 1997, he served in World Bank Operations, reaching the position of Principal Financial Analyst. In the mid-1990s, he oversaw Private Participation in Infrastructure-Bank partnerships. Under his leadership, the World Bank actively supported BOT/BOO deals for power, water supply and transport in the Philippines, Thailand, and Laos. Mr. Sopher was elected Chairman of the World Bank Group Staff Association late in 1997. He served in that capacity for two years.

From January 1, 2000 until he retired from the World Bank in September 2000, Mr. Sopher served as Operations Adviser in the Quality Assurance Group. Since January 2002, Mr. Sopher has served as the quality adviser to the Bank’s Latin America and Caribbean Regional Financial Management Unit.

He received a BS in 1965 and a Master of Engineering (Electrical) in 1966, both from Cornell; and his MBA (Finance) from Harvard in 1968.

William B. Kerr

Legal Advisor

William B. Kerr specializes in corporate governance and complex commercial litigation. Mr. Kerr’s areas of practice include multi-district litigation and shareholder disputes, many of which have arisen within the context of bankruptcy. Mr. Kerr has represented numerous private and public companies, including insurers, retailers, a Major League Baseball team and several media production companies.

Mr. Kerr received his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Cornell University in 1994 and his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1997. He also attended the London School of Economics and the Wharton School of Finance. He is a member of the bar of the State of New York and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. Mr. Kerr has extensive experience in the trial courts of the State of New York, as well as the Appellate Division of the First Department, the U.S. District Court and U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.