Defense Intelligence Agency Deputy Director of Global Integration Speaks About National Security Threats
Texas A&M University’s Bush School of Government & Public Service hosted the first discussion in its Gemini Industries, Inc. Defense Intelligence Speaker Series on Thursday, April 14, 2022 in the school’s Washington teaching site, known as the Bush School DC. The speaker series is made possible through a significant donation and the support of Gemini Industries, Inc. of Burlington, Massachusetts. Through the generous support of the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation, Bush School DC offers graduate programs in the fields of international policy, diplomacy and national security.
After welcome remarks from Lt. General (Ret.) Jay Silveria, Executive Director of the Bush School in Washington, DC, Gemini CEO Victoria Bondoc spoke about her company’s long-standing commitment to national security and her desire to support Bush School students as they prepare to become the nation’s future leaders.
Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Director of Global Integration Greg Ryckman served as the evening’s keynote speaker, stepping in for Army Lt. General and DIA Director Scott Berrier. In a conversation with Bush School Professor of the Practice Greg Vogle, Ryckman talked about the threats China and Russia pose to national security.
“If you’re coming into this business today, China will define your entire career, it just will. Russia will be there but China will define it,” said Ryckman. “We are absolutely in a crisis and if we don’t change the paradigm – take a look at a map someday – look at Europe and how we’re postured against China and it’s just scary. We’ve got until the end of this decade to change that paradigm completely so that we can actually compete with them over time. That urgency is real and we need to think of it that way.”
“We’re seeing the challenge that Russia poses to us. Russia is different than it was before, NATO is different than it was before and I think we’ve got to look at Russia a little bit differently than we did, but regardless, it’s a proximate threat and it’s demonstrating that to us today.”
Professor Vogle drew upon his distinguished 30-year career with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to provide insight and advice for students pursuing a career in intelligence and national security. “For you students out there, the world’s full of problem identifiers. You don’t want to be a problem identifier, you want to be a solution to a problem.”
Ryckman pointed to the current Ukraine-Russia conflict, noting that there are lessons to be learned from observing how the situation plays out. “Strategically how the Russians planned that campaign and executed, I think it calls a lot of things into question,” he noted. He told attendees “you’re in the middle of a case study quite frankly on escalation theory, deterrence theory and probably a more dangerous environment than most of us actually realize it is. Don’t miss that opportunity to learn from that.
Students and guests were also able to mingle and speak with Professor of the Practice Jim Olson, who served for over thirty years in the Directorate of Operations of the Central Intelligence Agency, and with Gary Ross, Director of Intelligence Studies at the Bush School DC.
About The Bush School of Government & Public Service
The Bush School of Government and Public Service was founded in 1997 under President George H. W. Bush’s philosophy that “public service is a noble calling.” Since then, The Bush School has continued to reflect that notion in curriculum, research, and student experience and has become a leading public and international affairs graduate institution. In January 2021, The Bush School launched its Washington, DC teaching site to draw upon the wealth of resources in the nation’s capital. The Bush School’s vision is to inspire excellence in the noble calling of public service. The Bush School prepares students to become principled leaders in their fields and to reflect the value of public service throughout their careers. The Washington, DC faculty are an accomplished team who not only have expertise in their respective teaching areas, but also in the global realm of government and public service.
About Gemini Industries, Inc.
Gemini’s mission is to provide rapid response and innovative solutions to create the future of National Security. Through a practice of no-fail, no-excuses execution, Gemini helps leaders make critical decisions and achieve their goals by exploiting cutting-edge technology and innovative strategies. For more than 35 years, Gemini has committed its resources to support National Security projects. They have supported U.S. Conventional and Special Forces, Improvised Threat Defeat, Counter Terrorism Initiatives and International Programs.
About Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University is a community of scholars dedicated to solving diverse, real-world problems through determination, innovation, and above all, fearlessness. Texas A&M opened its doors in 1876 as the state’s first public institution of higher education and is today a tier-one research institution holding the elite triple land-, sea- and space-grant designations. Research conducted at Texas A&M represented annual expenditures of almost $1 billion in fiscal year 2018. Texas A&M’s 71,000 students and half a million former students are known for their commitment to service, as well as dedication to the university’s core values and rich traditions.