In its fourth year, the Academic Security and Counter Exploitation Program’s annual higher education seminar brings together experts from federal law enforcement and intelligence services, academia, and the private sector to examine, promote awareness of, and counter the threat posed by foreign influence and theft of academic research.

Professional Tracks

This year will feature several breakout sessions for security and compliance, cyber security, and executive leadership. Seminar participants will be able to indicate session preference during the check-in process. Please see descriptions below for intended audiences.

SECURITY AND COMPLIANCE | Intended for university research compliance, research administration, facility security, research security, and export control professionals.

CYBER SECURITY | Intended for information security officers, computer incident response teams, information system security managers.

EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP | Intended for Vice Presidents for Research and Provosts.


David L. Bowdich

Deputy Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation

In March 2018, David Bowdich was appointed deputy director of the FBI. In this role, he oversees all FBI domestic and international investigative and intelligence activities. In April 2016, Mr. Bowdich assumed the position of associate deputy director of the FBI, where he oversaw the management of all FBI personnel, budget, administration, and infrastructure. Prior to this appointment, he served as assistant director in charge of the FBI's Los Angeles Field Office from December 2014 to April 2016.

John C. Demers


John Demers became Assistant Attorney General for National Security on February 22, 2018. In that capacity, he leads the Department of Justice’s efforts to combat national security related cyber-crime, terrorism and espionage, to enforce export control and sanctions laws, to use the authorities of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and to conduct national security review of foreign investments.

Kelvin K. Droegemeier, Ph.D.


As Director of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), Dr. Kelvin K. Droegemeier serves as President Donald J. Trump’s science advisor and leads OSTP in its coordination of science and technology initiatives across the Federal Government. Kelvin’s background is in extreme weather, numerical weather prediction, and data assimilation.

William R. Evanina


William R. Evanina is the Director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, an organization he has led since June 2, 2014. He serves as the head of Counterintelligence (CI) for the U.S. Government and as the principal CI and security advisor to the Director of National Intelligence.

Major General Thomas E. Murphy

Director, Protecting Critical Technology Task Force, Office of the Secretary of Defense

Maj. Gen. Thomas E. Murphy is the Director, Protecting Critical Technology Task Force, Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia. In this capacity, he leads the Secretary of Defense-established task force responsible for countering the loss of the department’s critical information and technologies, ensuring the competitive advantage of the Joint Force.


Scot Allen, Ph.D. ǀ Research Compliance Officer; Colorado School of Mines

Molly Markley ǀ Office of General Counsel, Colorado School of Mines

Scientific discovery and innovation are based on open and reciprocal exchange of information and ideas...except when they aren’t.  Foreign talent recruitment programs, intellectual property theft, trade wars, economic sanctions, election hacking - all threaten the principles of openness and transparency that academic research communities are built upon.  How do we communicate effectively with faculty members about the stuff we are all seeing in the news?

Tim Stearns, Ph.D. ǀ Chair, Department of Biology; Frank Lee and Carol Hall Professor; Stanford University

As part of its ongoing effort to keep international research collaboration both open and secure, the National Science Foundation (NSF) commissioned a report by the independent science advisory group JASON to enhance the agency’s understanding of the threats to basic research posed by foreign governments that have taken actions that violate the principles of scientific ethics and research integrity. This featured presentation will cover findings and recommendations of this study.

Jeffrey Stoff ǀ Open Source Exploitation Officer; Factor 8 Program

This presentation will provide an overview of vectors of technology and know-how transfers that largely fall outside U.S. intelligence, counterintelligence, law enforcement, export control, or other regulatory oversight.  Examples of state-directed influence and penetration of (primarily) federally funded research in academia will be provided, as well as research collaboration that undermines academic integrity and ethics and threatens U.S. national security.  A key challenge facing U.S. research institutions is that the highlighted examples are most likely legal, though some may violate administrative or grant compliance provisions.

Glenn Tiffert, Ph.D. ǀ Visiting Fellow; Hoover Institution

U.S.-based scholars are co-authoring science and technology research with counterparts at seven PRC universities that are intimately tied to the PRC’s defense industrial base and weapons development programs.  Prevailing risk management and due diligence frameworks are inadequate to these circumstances because, while these collaborations may be reckless on national security grounds, most are nevertheless lawful.  What does this grey zone look like, and how should we navigate it?

Douglas Thomas ǀ Director, Counterintelligence Operations and Investigations; Lockheed Martin

This presentation will discuss Lockheed Martin’s award-winning Counterintelligence program, focusing on the establishment, governance, and program execution. It will also cover efforts to partner with the academic community; tapping into their diverse and collaborative environments to further the company’s research and development objectives, while ensuring sensitive information is properly safeguarded.

Edward H. You ǀ Supervisory Special Agent; Federal Bureau of Investigation

The U.S. bioeconomy increasingly serves as a critical foundation for American competitiveness, security, economic growth, and global leadership in research and innovation.  The bioeconomy—spanning health care, information systems, agriculture, manufacturing, national defense, and beyond—is growing rapidly with increasing impact on our country's prosperity and health.  However, along with the amazing promise, there are associated security challenges, many of which have not been identified or fully defined.  The FBI will provide broader awareness of the bioeconomy security issue and highlight the importance of building partnerships between the academic, private sector, and law enforcement communities.

Neal Ziring ǀ Technical Director; National Security Agency Cybersecurity Directorate

Modern systems are very challenging to protect and defend.  Serving as a security engineer requires understanding core principles and applying them in creative ways. This talk will present some principles, illustrating them with example of application to a Smart City infrastructure, followed by informed discussion.


View the Agenda Here - Full Conference attendance runs from noon, March 2, until noon March 6 (Cost $475).

PART 1 | Starts at Noon, March 2 | Cost $325  | Focus is Academic Security & Research Administration

SOCIAL | Evening, March 4 | Kyle Field Football Stadium

PART 2 | Starts Morning, March 5 | Cost $225 | Focus is Facility Security Administration

Breakfast buffet and lunch service will be provided as part of the seminar fee on March 3, 4, & 5. All day snacks will be similar to a continental breakfast, but all breakfast and dinner meals are on your own with plenty of nearby options.


The 2020 seminar will be hosted at the Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center, located on the campus of Texas A&M University. More information on the Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center may be found here.

The hotel block at the Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center is no longer available. However, there is a block available at the Embassy Suites.

If you have trouble reserving a room at the GSA rate, please email Sam Lewis ( More rooms will be made available if the block runs out.

Transportation & Parking

TRANSPORTATION | A coordinated group shuttle transportation back to all Houston airports on March 6, 2020 may be considered if there is adequate interest, elected at the time of registration. You will be contacted if you select that option if interested. Ground shuttle information can be found here. 

PARKING | The Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center provides daily valet parking for all conference attendees, reduced rate valet parking for hotel residents, or you may self-park in any nearby parking garage. The hotel’s parking garage and a campus map of the other nearby parking options can be found hereCampus “C” passes must be associated with the vehicle’s license plate, in which it is displayed, to avoid a citation. Transportation Service’s guidance for departmental parking passes can be found here.

See you in Aggieland!

March 2-6, 2020