NPLI Team Tackles Cyber Challenges

Cyber DC

L to R: Banks, McNulty, Marcus, and Luczynski after a meeting at the White House.

Cyber threats are emerging as a distinct and persistent challenge requiring new thinking on policy and action. Leadership is a key component to enabling agencies to better work together across government and for the public and private sectors to coordinate and collaborate in their efforts.

An NPLI Cohort XII project team took on this issue and recommended a new operating structure modeled after the joint interagency task force in South Florida focused on impeding the drug trade. USAF Col. Ron Banks, project team lead, and some members of that project team have continued to pursue this approach and others. They have been joined by Cohort XIII’s USAF Col. Steve Luczynski who worked on a separate cyber project during his time with the NPLI. Banks and Luczynski were recently joined by the NPLI’s Leonard Marcus and Eric McNulty for meetings in Washington, D.C. to learn more about the leadership challenges and possible solutions to them.

Marcus noted that cyber truly is a meta-leadership challenge. “No single agency can handle this alone, the threat spans national as well as domestic jurisdictional boundaries, and government and business must work together to be effective,” he said. “This requires exceptional leadership as welll as technical connectivity.”

This work is extending toward a dialog on cyber leadership issues to be held at Harvard in August. NPLI faculty will lead a discussion that will include an invitation-only group of leaders from the public, private, and non-profit sectors. This event is supported by the United States Air Force War College.

Hallmarks of successful NPLI executive education projects are the commitment of participants and their impact on real world challenges. The continued persistence of this team is rooted in their understanding of this emerging threat and dedication to a sustainable solution.