News & Media

Courtney Banks Selected to Participate as a National Journal National Security Expert

Courtney Banks Selected to Participate as a National Journal National Security Expert

December 2008: Courtney Banks, CEO of NSAWW, was recently selected to participate on the National Journal "National Security Experts Blog." Banks will join other executives, leaders, former government officials and scholars in the area of national security, offering her expertise and opinions on topics ranging from U.S. foreign policy and the Obama administration to cyber security and defense procurement. 

NSAWW Announces the Addition of Two New Members to Board of Advisors

December 2008: NSAWW is pleased to welcome two newcomers to its Board of Advisors, Mario Possamai and Major General Henry Stratman. They join current members Lieutenant General Don Kerrick, Dr. Patricia Sanders, Steven Pomerantz, Oliver "Buck" Revell, Lieutenant General Harry E. Soyster, and Dr. Marvin J. Cetron.

Mario Possamai is an experienced independent consultant with expertise in security issues ranging from emergency management and pandemic planning to terrorism, organized crime, black market economies, and money laundering. He most recently acted as Senior Advisor to Ontario Superior Court Justice Archie Campbell, who headed the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) Commission, and also served as the Commission's liaison on a pandemic research project conducted by the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) at Fort Belvoir. Previously, Mr. Possamai served for many years as an investigative consultant in complex investigations into counterfeiting operations in Paraguay, Uruguay, and Brazil, as well as the Middle East and Balkans. Prior to this work, he provided forensic consulting services to the Bre-X gold mining fraud investigation in Indonesia in 1997, and served as a forensic consultant to a southern African country (a position in which he gave direct ongoing briefings to the country's Attorney General, Minister of Justice, and Minister of Finance). Mr. Possamai holds the designation of Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) and Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS). He also sits on the ASIS Council for Global Terrorism, Political Instability, and International Crime.

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CBS NewsMakers Interview: Courtney Banks Video [video]

Courtney Banks was interviewed by CBS Newsmakers. 

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Courtney Banks Breaks the Mold in the Security Industry, News on Women

NewsOnWomen.com: Breaking News – Inside Scoop from Women Executives 

courtney banks newsonwomenSeptember 2008: Courtney Banks is definitely a woman CEO who has never heard of the word "can't". Her groundbreaking work in the area of national security at such a young age (under 35) is amazing. Courtney, who holds a Masters Degree in National Security Studies from Georgetown, tells us about her challenge to rise to the top in a mostly male dominated industry: 

"My interest in Homeland Security started when I was a young girl and saw the television adaptation of Herman Wouk's miniseries, The Winds of War. I knew from that point on that I wanted to work with the military when I grew up and over time that interest expanded into working with law enforcement and in homeland security as well. I was fortunate enough to have been well educated and afforded a lot of opportunities as a child to be exposed to an educational philosophy espoused by many of the role models around me that to whom much is given, much is expected, and I suppose that that altruistic sentiment settled in to my consciousness over time, enforcing my desire to work in support of people who serve others besides themselves. Though certainly many professions fit that bill (teachers, doctors, etc.) the field of national security – as I had originally viewed it in the television epic- stirred an interest in me that I never lost. 

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NSAWW Welcomes Three New Members to its Board of Advisors

September 2008: NSAWW announced today the addition of three new members to its Board of Advisors, Lieutenant General Don Kerrick, Dr. Patricia Sanders, and Steven Pomerantz. They join current members Oliver "Buck" Revell, Lieutenant General Harry E. Soyster, and Dr. Marvin J. Cetron. 

Lieutenant General Don Kerrick is a retired three-star general and former Deputy National Security Advisor to the President of the United States. Most recently, Lieutenant General Kerrick served as Vice President at General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, where he was responsible for strategic planning, business development, mergers and acquisitions, international business, and customer and corporate relations. Prior to his White House appointment, Lieutenant General Kerrick served as the Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Before becoming the Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Lieutenant General Kerrick served as the Chief of Staff of the National Security Council, where he was responsible for directing a staff of 200 personnel from all agencies of the government. In that capacity he was responsible for developing, implementing and reviewing U.S. foreign and national security policies around the world. 

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Pandemic Preparedness: It's Time to Plan

Pandemic Preparedness: It's Time to Plan

September 2008: NSAWW Client Advisor Mario Possamai wrote an article on preparing for pandemics, such as SARS or influenza, for Security Management Magazine.  Mr. Possamai pointed out that the threat of a global pandemic is not a top-level influencer among decision-makers, and stressed that security professionals must work to convince management of the need to develop pandemic plans.  He suggests making a business case that investment in such plans leads to broader benefits for the organization, and discusses ways to develop succession plans and compensaiton plans that align with this pandemic plan.  To read the full article, click the link below, or click here to view the article on Security Management's website.

Possamai.Mario_09.08_Security-Management.pdf

Slight Limp, Not Lame - National Journal

Slight Limp, Not Lame - National Journal

National Journal; "Intelligence: Lame-Duck Count: 1."
By Shane Harris 

Anyone who questioned whether President Bush maintains a firm grip on the levers of national security needed only to examine last week's flurry of activity over the resurgence of Al Qaeda. Bush and his aides clearly reminded us of a historical truth: The president, any president, is the commander-in-chief and holds wide powers that do not diminish according to the calendar. 

A new national intelligence estimate, part of which the administration declassified and released on July 17, concluded that Al Qaeda has regenerated itself and found sanctuary in the hinterlands of Pakistan. That's hardly news -- the president's senior intelligence advisers had been telling reporters so for months -- but the NIE, as a visible, public statement, gave White House officials a platform from which to promote Bush's counter-terrorism strategy and shape future policy. 

Bush's homeland-security adviser, Frances Townsend, took to a White House podium the day the NIE was released to declare that Al Qaeda in Pakistan had effectively merged with Al Qaeda in Iraq, the group responsible for some of the most spectacular and deadly violence there. "I think there's a tendency to try and suggest that Al Qaeda core [in Pakistan] and Al Qaeda in Iraq are two separate things," she said. "It's the same organization." 

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Defeating terrorism: is it possible? Is it probable? - The Futurist

Defeating terrorism: is it possible? Is it probable? - The Futurist

Report by Forecasting International; "Terror 2000: The Future Face of Terrorism"
The Futurist; May 1, 2007
By Dr. Marvin J. Cetron


Forecasting International (FI) is in the business of predicting future developments. Therefore, let us begin with a few of the easiest and least welcome predictions that FI has ever made. 

  • Terrorist events will be more common and bloody in the years ahead than they have been to date. September 11 will prove to have been no more than a taste of things to come.
  • Al-Qaeda, often under other names, will grow much larger and more dangerous than the band of fanatics that attacked the Pentagon and the World Trade Center in 2001. This process already is well under way.
  • Jihadists, or Muslim extremists, will acquire nuclear weapons within the next 10 years, if they do not possess them already.
  • As things stand, the war on terror will drag on for decades, with many tactical successes but little or no strategic benefit. In the long run, this could leave the Western world facing choices even more horrific than the attacks themselves.

The remainder of this article will be devoted to explaining these forecasts and to examining the prospects for changing them. Finding some way to change the obvious direction of the war on terror is the single greatest need that faces not only the United States, but also the rest of the world. 

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Women in Technology Announces Finalists for Eighth Annual Leadership Awards

Women in Technology Announces Finalists for Eighth Annual Leadership Awards

Business Wire
Winners to Be Announced at May 17, 2007, Awards Gala 

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- Women in Technology (WIT), the premier organization contributing to the success of professional women in the Washington technology community, today announced finalists for the Eighth Annual Women in Technology Leadership Awards. Women who have excelled in their roles as mentors, leaders and role models in the dynamic technology industry will be honored for their accomplishments. Lesli Foster, Emmy award-winning journalist and weekend anchor for WUSA-TV in Washington, will serve as the mistress of ceremonies for the event. 

The winners will be recognized at a banquet and ceremony on May 17, 2007, at the Hilton McLean in Tyson's Corner. 

"We received over 100 nominations--a record number--for this year's Leadership Awards," said Marguerete Luter, president of WIT. "While it certainly made the selection of finalists and winners challenging, it demonstrates the incredibly talented pool of women business leaders we have in the greater Washington, D.C. technology community." 

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Terror Response Technology Report, Defense Daily

Terror Response Technology Report, Defense Daily

International Experts Assess Non-conventional Terrorism Threat

Defense Daily; HERZLIYA, Israel--Experts from the U.S. and Israel met here last month to discuss the threat of nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) terrorism and ways to defend against an array of scenarios, with opinions ranging on the likelihood of different types of attacks. 

"It still couldn't be easier to launch a terrorist attack in this fashion," Leonard Cole, a bio-terrorism expert from Rutgers University says about a biological weapon scenario similar to the anthrax event that paralyzed parts of the U.S. in 2001. As the U.S. then learned this lesson, so too did its potential adversaries, he adds. 

Cole was a panelist on the subject at the annual conference on terrorism's global impact hosted by the Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya. 

Cole says biological threats are different compared to nuclear and chemical ones because such agents can reproduce and become more dangerous over time instead of dissipating. 

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