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Dole Institute hosts Ron Marks as Spring 2020 Discussion Group Fellow

The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas has announced that it will host Ron Marks, a former Central Intelligence Agency spy and Cyber Industry executive, as their Spring 2020 Discussion Group Fellow.

In the age of total information, new public and private players with ever advancing means and methods are upending and redefining the “second oldest profession.” Companies like Google and Facebook have access to unprecedented amounts of our personal information. Governments now use social media as a weapon against their enemies. Security has become an elusive concept and national intelligence is playing a larger role in our day to day lives than ever before.

Marks will be hosting Discussion Groups Wednesday afternoons at 4 p.m. throughout the Spring semester at the Dole Institute of Politics on this timely topic. The series, themed “Spying in the Cyber Age,” will occur on February 12, 19,  and 26; March 18 and 25; and April 1 and 8.

“Ron Marks has over three decades of experience in the intelligence community,” Dole Institute Director Bill Lacy said. “He has tremendous insight into how the national security community operates before and after the age of social media. He and his guests will apply their expansive experience to explore what might arise next on the horizon for intelligence matters in light of an ever-changing cyberspace.”

Marks is a 35-year veteran of the U.S. national security community. A former CIA official, Marks was a clandestine service officer and a Senate Liaison for five Directors of Central Intelligence. He went on to serve on Capitol Hill as Intelligence Counsel to Senate Majority Leaders Robert Dole and Trent Lott. Marks maintains his involvement with intelligence matters as a member of various intelligence community advisory groups both in and outside the government.

Since leaving government, Marks has been a successful senior defense contractor and a software executive. After leading national security business ventures at Science Applications International Corporation and SRA International, Marks was picked to re-open British Telecom’s Federal Practice. He was then hired to re-establish the Washington, D.C. office of Oxford Analytica, a UK based international consultancy firm, and led it for six years.

Marks is currently President of ZPN Cyber Strategies. He is Chairman Emeritus of Intelligence and Cyber Studies at the Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security (now Texas A&M) in Washington, D.C., as well as an adjunct instructor at John Hopkins’ Krieger School where he teaches Homeland Security Intelligence, and a Senior Instructor with The Intelligence and Security Academy.

The Dole Institute hosts Dole Fellows for semester-long appointments. Using his or her extensive national or international political experience, each Dole Fellow produces a one-of-a-kind program to explore an aspect of the political process and presents it to attendees through a series of interactive sessions or events.

The Dole Fellowship Program at the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics unites political practitioners and University of Kansas students to build a greater appreciation for civic and political involvement through a series of Discussion Group sessions each semester. Community members are also welcome to attend these afternoon sessions with our Dole Fellows and their special guest speakers. These programs are free and open to the public.

The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics is dedicated to promoting political and civic participation as well as civil discourse in a bipartisan, philosophically balanced manner. It is located on KU’s West Campus and houses the Dole Archive and Special Collections. Through its robust public programming, congressional archive and museum, the Dole Institute strives to celebrate public service and the legacies of U.S. Senators Bob Dole and Elizabeth Dole. The Discussion Group program is made possible by the generosity of Newman’s Own Foundation.

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