Gerald (Jerry) Buckwalter, Chairman of the Board
Jerry Buckwalter is Northrop Grumman Information System’s Director of Strategy. His primary role is to develop long range strategies to grow business, remain highly profitable and position the company for the future, which also includes M&A planning. Prior to this assignment, he coordinated homeland security business with the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, Intelligence agencies, other federal agencies, state and local authorities, and international governments. Mr. Buckwalter has also served in several advisory roles with the National Homeland Defense Foundation, National Infrastructure Advisory Council, Defense Science Board, University of Maryland Graduate School of Technology and others. Prior to joining Northrop Grumman, Mr. Buckwalter was President and General Manager of AvinStream, LLC, Vice President and General Manager for G4S’ United States-based business, Vice President and General Manager and Vice President of Marketing for Johnson Controls World Services, and Director of Strategy and Program Development for Lockheed Martin. Jerry started his career as an engineer with the U.S. Army Electronics Command. He earned a degree in Physics from Monmouth University and has extensive continuing education at George Washington University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Jerry has an adult son with Asperger Syndrome. The life-long struggle to find his son’s value-add place in society has inspired Jerry to develop repeatable solutions for those who are searching for similar answers for special needs adults.
Evan Wolff, Board Secretary
Evan D. Wolff, Esq. is the Director of the Homeland Security Practice at the law firm of Crowell & Moring LLP. Mr. Wolff’s practice includes advising defense, chemical, energy and manufacturing companies on compliance with the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards and advising critical infrastructure companies on liability and regulations associated with terrorism and natural disasters, including the SAFETY Act. He also has significant experience advising companies on computer network and security issues, and coordinating investigations after intrusions and data breaches. Prior to joining Crowell & Moring LLP, he led a similar practice at Hunton and Williams LLP. Prior to that, Mr. Wolff served as the Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary at the Department of Homeland Security in the Office of Infrastructure Protection and Principal Homeland Security Policy Analyst for the MITRE Corporation. Prior to working at MITRE, Mr. Wolff served as General Counsel at iSciences, LLC, a remote sensing and GIS firm. Before his legal career, Mr. Wolff was a Geologist at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
James McCament, Board Treasurer
James W McCament serves as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Chief of the Office of Legislative Affairs. He oversees USCIS interaction with Members of Congress and their staff on matters of legislative development, immigration policy, USCIS operations and individual cases of interest. Mr. McCament supervises 25 employees at USCIS headquarters and provides oversight of 160 USCIS employees that manage local congressional work across the United States. Mr. McCament previously served as the DHS Field Office Director in Havana, Cuba supervising the processing of refugees from Cuba and the adjudication of approximately 18,000 travel documents issued each year under the 1994 U.S. Cuba Migration Accords. James also served as Senior Counselor to the Director of USCIS with responsibilities for strategic analysis and advice including immigration reform efforts. He also held the position of Special Advisor to the Secretary of DHS. Under both Secretary Ridge and Secretary Chertoff, Mr. McCament was involved with key departmental operations. He played a key role in the preparation of 13 departmental candidates for Senate confirmation. Prior to DHS, he was as an Honors-Attorney in the Office of the General Counsel at the Department of the Treasury. Mr. McCament received his Juris Doctor from the University of Notre Dame Law School, and served as a law clerk to Chief Judge William C. Lee of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana. A native of Ohio, he is a member of the State of Ohio Bar. Mr. McCament received his B.A. from Mount Vernon Nazarene College, studied as a Senior Executive Fellow with the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and is a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute’s “Leadership in a Democratic Society” program. He currently serves as Adjunct Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law in Arlington, VA.
Mathew Garver advises clients in matters of private equity, asset privatization and infrastructure finance in North America and Europe. Mr. Garver works with private sector project sponsors, developers and financiers of privately financed infrastructure assets. His extensive international privatization and infrastructure finance experience stems, in part, from his considerable work in the U.S., UK and EU member states. He operates independently, but has performed similar roles for Patton Boggs, and before that as a consultant and secretary to the infrastructure Steering Committee at the world’s largest global law firm, where he specialized in private equity finance for public private infrastructure projects in North America and Europe. Formerly, he was a principal with a venture capital and private equity banking firm, where he specialized in growth equity and leveraged recapitalization transactions for larger middle-market companies. He also served as the director of corporate development and managed investor relations for one of the most sizeable lottery systems providers listed on the NYSE. Additionally, Mr. Garver is currently a director of a middle-market private investment firm, where he oversees firm investments in energy and infrastructure services, asset finance, natural resources and business services companies. As a director, he leads initiatives relating to financial valuation, strategy and corporate development and mergers and acquisitions.
Dr. Marilyn F. Hays
Marilyn Hays, Ph.D. has worked in the field of autism since 1974 when she was part of the teaching team starting the first public school program for this population in Orange County Florida. It was a federally funded program so the team was trained by some of the top professionals in the field of autism. In 1983, Marilyn was asked to start a pilot program for high functioning students with autism at the elementary school level. She wrote a book detailing their unique curriculum titled, “Working Together for a Brighter Future” in 1997. In 2000, Marilyn retired from the county school system and began her doctoral work and consulting practice, serving individuals with autism at all ages. In 2001, Ms. Hays founded STARS Club, Inc., a 501 (c) 3 social organization for high functioning individuals with autism, Asperger Syndrome, and other developmental disorders. Within the framework of the club and her consulting practice Dr. Hays assists these individuals in the areas of social, emotional, behavioral and vocational growth, along with enhancing their participation within the community through volunteer work and participation in community activities. Dr. Hays’ philosophy is that all these individuals are “STARS” and it is just a matter of discovering what talents and abilities make each shine!
Phil Whitebloom is Communication Engineering, Inc.’s (CEI) Vice President of Sales, Marketing & Business Development. His primary role is to drive strategies that will result in profitable sales and growth of multi-media systems, products, and services, into various markets which include; Government, Corporate, Broadcast Television/Radio, Sports, and Houses of Worship. Prior to CEI Phil worked at Sony Electronics of America for 23 years. During that time he served in a variety of sales and management positions in the Broadcast and Professional Product Systems Division. He is best known for managing Sony’s Government and Education businesses for 18 years in a regional and national capacity. Mr. Whitebloom was a member of Sony’s team that designed and implanted a “business to business” sales company where he took on the role of Vice President of Sales for Government and Education. He is a two time winner of Sony’s highest honor (induction into the Samurai Society). Prior to his 23 year career at Sony, Mr. Whitebloom worked in sales positions at NCR Corporation and at Lanier Business Products. Mr. Whitebloom continues to serve on the Executive Board and Board of Trustees of his religious organization where he has held leadership positions for the past twelve years. He is the former President of the organization’s Board of Trustees where he was responsible for the entire operation which included the facility, staff, religious school, and preschool. Mr. Whitebloom is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh School of Business where he continues to teach as a guest instructor. He is married with a son, two daughters, and one granddaughter. His primary hobby is astronomy.
John Ariale has nearly 30 years of senior level experience in congressional relations, legislative politics and advocacy. He brings a comprehensive knowledge of the intricate and complex details of the appropriations process along with policy expertise in the areas of effective foreign assistance, international relations, defense, foreign assistance, global development, global health, homeland security, defense and financial services.
Prior to joining Cloakroom, John founded Ariale Strategies and prior to that, served as Congressman Ander Crenshaw’s Chief of Staff and his Appropriations Associate, the Member’s liaison to the House Committee on Appropriations. Ariale was the principal drafter of the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE Act). He worked with the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS), Autism Speaks, and a broad coalition of stakeholders to pass the legislation in December 2014. The ABLE Act promotes independent living and community inclusion for people with disabilities and had broad bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress. The passage of the landmark ABLE Act will go down in the history books as one of the most successful bipartisan, bicameral advocacy campaigns and one of the most profound changes in the law for disabled Americans in decades. John was honored as NDSS’ 2014 Champion of Change for his leadership efforts. John was also the recipient of the Arc’s Inaugural Catalyst Award in 2015 for the Public Policy Victory of the Year.
John represents two key clients in the health and welfare arena: Autism Speaks and Project C.U.R.E.
John graduated from Stetson University and received his J.D. from Stetson University’s College of Law. John resides with his wife Susan and their family in Northern Virginia.
Christopher Long is President and CEO of Washington Resource Associates (WRA), the Center for Public Policy Innovation (CPPI), and founder of the Digital Dialogue Forum and Homeland Security Dialogue Forum. Mr. Long has built a successful practice advising a diverse array of clients on a broad range of issues related to innovation, technology, and national security.
Founded over 20 years ago, WRA is a leading government and public affairs consulting firm specializing in policy strategy and planning, public policy education, communications, and collaboration. WRA is known for its ability to bring together multiple and diverse stakeholders for meaningful collaboration on challenging policy issues; lead productive and educational policy forums; and promote policies that support innovation and economic growth.
Mr. Long founded and is President of the Center for Public Policy Innovation (CPPI), a 501(c)(3) not for profit educational think tank whose mission is to assist government officials in addressing the many challenging issues brought on by the rapid advancement of Information Technology a non-profit think tank dedicated to educating Congress on policies related to innovation and emerging technologies.
Mr. Long is a leader in building successful partnerships for policy education and collaboration. He founded the Digital Dialogue Forum, Washington, DC’s premier technology roundtable, and the Homeland Security Dialogue Forum, which both facilitate collaboration between the tech industry, Congress and the Administration. WRA has also assembled a powerful grassroots network of community leaders and organizations across America, and forged close relationships with federal, state and local officials to deliver free online tax assistance to millions of lower and moderate income Americans across the nation.
As a long time Virginia resident, Mr. Long has worked with state leaders throughout the Commonwealth on technology policy matters. He served as Chairman of the Technology Policy Transition Committee for former Governor Tim Kaine, and has served on the Advisory Committee for the General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Technology and Science. Mr. Long is a founding member of the Northern Virginia Technology Council Political Action Committee (NVTC TECHPAC) and serves on the TECHPAC Board of Directors. Mr. Long began his career as a political advisor and has served numerous past and current members of Congress. He is a trusted advisor to many state and federal leaders on matters related to technology policy and homeland defense.