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Keynote Speakers

James Risen

 James Risen is an author and investigative reporter. A two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, Risen is the author of five books. His most recent book is The Last Honest Man: The CIA, the FBI, the Mafia, and the Kennedys — and One Senator’s Fight to Save Democracy, about Senator Frank Church and the Church Committee, which Risen co-authored with his son, Thomas Risen. 

James Risen’s last three books, including The Last Honest Man, have all been New York Times bestsellers. 

Risen lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his wife.

Gina Bennett

Gina M Bennett is a retired CIA seasoned counterterrorism specialist and member of the Senior  Analytic Service who authored the earliest warnings in the 1990s about the growing danger of  the movement Osama bin Laden fomented. She served for 34 years in the Intelligence  Community, filling numerous roles in the counterterrorism mission throughout the entirety of her  career. Ms. Bennett is often featured in documentaries and other media profiling her role in  counterterrorism and as a pioneer for women in National Security and Intelligence careers, which  she now continues as the new Strategic Advisor for Girl Security, a nonpartisan, nonprofit  organization which seeks to empower, secure, and advance young girls into national and  international security missions.  

Ms. Bennett remains an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University’s Center for Security  Studies, where she teaches both Ethics in Intelligence Support to National Security and Hunter Gatherer National Security. She recently joined the Board of Directors of the Alturas Institute, a  nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing American Democracy by promoting  the Constitution, civic education, gender equality and equal protection of the law to continue  serving her commitment to the Constitution even while fighting to ensure it includes all  Americans.  

She is the mother of five children, who were the source of inspiration for her two “National  Security Mom” books comparing national security to parenting: “National Security Mom: While  Going Soft Will Make America Strong,” and “National Security Mom 2: America Needs a Time Out.” She has written numerous articles for a variety of journals, including Joint Force Quarterly  and Studies in Conflict and Terrorism. 

Ms. Bennett earned her Bachelors degree in Economics and Foreign Affairs from the University  of Virginia and her Masters in Security Studies as a Distinguished Graduate of the Marine Corps  War College.