Technology Informs Strategy, Planning and Risk Mitigation

ecurity of our country begins with security of private and public organizations. If the two can work together in new and innovative ways, we will be better at mitigating the risks that are rapidly evolving both locally and globally. A key to this, is ensuring technology informs our assessments, as well as our strategy and planning.

We were able to sit down with Dr. Thomas Cellucci who has had a front row seat in making this happen. Cellucci will be a key note speaker at The Great Conversation in Security in March. 

Cellucci worked at DHS for four years and served as one of its highest-visibility leaders as Chief Commercialization Officer and Senior Counselor. He helped develop a program that identified, evaluated and commercialized technologies into products or services that could meet the operational requirements of DHS’ stakeholders.

According to an article published in Government Security News (GSN), as Chief Commercialization Officer, Cellucci managed the DHS Science and Technology Directorate’s outreach efforts with the private sector and, in that capacity, made countless appearances at industry trade shows, symposia and other meetings. A tireless booster of DHS, Cellucci frequently instructed small businesses on the best ways to develop a successful business relationship with his department. “It was an honor and privilege to help develop and foster innovative public-private partnerships that have demonstrated impact for both the private and public sectors.”

Since that time, Cellucci has continued to demonstrate that he is an accomplished entrepreneur, seasoned senior executive and Board member possessing extensive corporate and VC experience across many worldwide industries. In 1999, he founded a highly successful management consulting firm, Cellucci Associates, Inc. He has authored or co-authored 25 books and over 184 articles on requirements development, commercialization, nanotechnology, laser physics, photonics, environmental disturbance control, MEMS test and measurement, and mistake-proofing processes.

Cellucci co-authored ANSI Standard Z136.5 "The Safe Use of Lasers in Educational Institutions." He has also held the rank of Professor or Lecturer at institutions like Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, Eurasian Technological University, National Kazakh Agrarian University  and Camden Community College. 

Dr. Cellucci has been involved in many philanthropic and volunteer pursuits as well. Cellucci served as a Fellow with the Smithsonian Institution's James Smithson society for five years where he was the primary fund raiser for the Smithsonian with a special emphasis on the National Portrait Gallery's American Presidents Collection. Cellucci was involved in securing funds for portraits of two Presidents and First Ladies - President and Mrs. William Jefferson Clinton and President and Mrs. George W. Bush. Cellucci has served as a local volunteer firefighter for over 34 years and was commissioned as an Admiral in the Texas Navy by Governor Rick Perry in 2008. Cellucci served as the Commander of the 3-D ("Detect, Deter and Defend") Security Command Squadron in the State of Texas with the purpose of educating, preparing and organizing civilians across the state to assist in disaster response efforts.

Cellucci earned a PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania (1984), an MBA from Rutgers University (1991) and a BS in Chemistry from Fordham University (1980). He has also attended and lectured at executive programs at the Harvard Business School, MIT Sloan School, Kellogg School and others. He also holds the rare distinction of being an Honorary Professor at two major universities in Kazakhstan, as well as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of two major universities.

The Interview
The Great Conversation (TGC): Why are you participating in The Great Conversation?

Cellucci: I was involved with the Great Conversation several years ago as the first Chief Commercialization Office of the USA. I am so proud of what it has become and honored to speak at this event.

TGC: What have you learned this year?

Cellucci: Company leaders need to understand potential security vulnerabilities and their impact (s) on their organization--and more importantly-- for their customers and stakeholders.

TGC: What is the most successful leadership model you have seen in our industry?

Cellucci: I was privileged to work with several Presidents of the United States and have witnessed, first-hand, several programs where the public and private sectors have joined forces to protect our citizens and property.

TGC: How will cyber threats impact the security ecosystem: (consultants, integrators, and technology vendors)?

Cellucci: Cyber threats are a reality of business and life. They present enormous business opportunities for some—and more requirements for members of the ecosystem.

TGC: Why is Enterprise Risk Management critical to the success of a client?

Cellucci: As President Eisenhower once responded to a reporter who asked him how important plans were. The President responded: “Plans are worthless, but planning is everything”.

TGC: Tell us a little bit about your presentation and why it is important.

Cellucci: There’s a difference between invention, innovation and commercialization. Commercialization yields product and services that increase a firm’s, region’s and/or country’s economic outlook. Innovation drives performance in how we manage people, process and technology. Without a knowledge of technology, innovating your people and processes will be constrained.

TGC: How does culture impact the success of the risk mitigation program?

Cellucci: Culture is everything! There are multiple examples of failed efforts because the culture was inadequate for a risk mitigation program.