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Speaking Truth to Power in the Cyber Age?

February 19, 2020 @ 12:00 am


These infamous mass surveillance programs not only dominated many a conspiracy-theorist blog, but also began shifting public understanding of intelligence gathering in the age of the internet. As the role of computers rose, the role of human beings seemed to diminish. The practical truth lies somewhere between the Rosenbergs and Facebook. Dole Fellow Ron Marks welcomes the Honorable Randall M. Fort, former assistant secretary of state for Intelligence and Research, as they delve into this new world where the purposes of computers and humans in intelligence gathering have shifted in unprecedented ways.

Fort is an expert on the emergence of artificial intelligence and other technological tools used in data mining and processing. In this discussion, he and Marks will explore how these emergent technologies change the intelligence game, but also how integral humans remain to the overall process. To that point, they will discuss how to utilize personal networks to collect information without competing with senior executives. Fort and Marks will serve as guides through a rapidly shifting landscape in which the technologically adept person may have the career advantage.

Randall M. Fort is director of Corporate Programs Security for Raytheon. He joined the Engineering, Technology and Mission Assurance leadership team in July 2009. Prior to Raytheon, Fort was employed at the U.S. State Department as the assistant secretary of state for Intelligence and Research, from 2006 to 2009. He managed the production and dissemination of all-source intelligence analysis for the secretary of state and other senior policymakers. Fort headed the department’s Cyber Policy Group and the Bureau of Intelligence and Research— a member of the U.S. intelligence community.

Before his U.S. State Department appointment, Fort was director of Global Security for Goldman Sachs, from 1996 to 2006, where he was responsible for all aspects of physical security risk management, including
investigations, travel safety, executive protection, risk analysis, access control, perimeter protection and security technology. He also served as chief of staff to the president and co-chief operating officer of the firm. From 1993 to 1996, Fort was director of Special Projects at TRW, Inc. for two of the corporation’s Space and Defense operating groups.

He served as the deputy assistant secretary for Functional Analysis and Research in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the U.S. Department of State from 1989 to 1993. He was also the special assistant to the secretary for National Security and director of the Office of Intelligence Support at the U.S. Department of the Treasury from 1987 to 1989. Prior to moving to Treasury, he served as a professional staff member, first as assistant director and subsequently as deputy executive director, of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board at the White House from 1982 to 1987.

The Dole Discussion Groups are made possible by a grant from Newman’s Own.



February 19, 2020
12:00 am
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