Keynote Speakers

Linda BernardiLinda Bernardi – Technologist, Innovation Provocateur & Former IBM Chief Innovation Officer & Watson Co-Lead

Linda Bernardi, a former co-lead on the Watson team at IBM, shares her passion for enabling disruption and bringing critical innovation and technologies into companies around the world.
A leading technologist, serial high tech entrepreneur, and disruptive thinker, Linda is widely regarded for helping transform the IoT and big data analytics landscape. As the former chief innovation officer at IBM for IoT and Cloud, her focus was integrating Watson’s cognitive capabilities into the IoT and new product offerings, enabling IBM’s Fortune 100 customers to introduce IoT, AI, and cognitive capabilities into their operations and thrive in the hyper-connected world. 

Follow Linda Bernardi on Twitter (@linda_bernardi) and on Facebook (@theLindaBernardi).

The Honorable Lucian NiemeyerThe Honorable Lucian Niemeyer – Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations & Environment

The Honorable Lucian Niemeyer became Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations & Environment (EI&E) in August 2017. The office provides budgetary, policy, and management oversight of the Department of Defense's acquisition and use of operational and installation energy to support warfighting and base operations, which encompasses energy security, increased energy efficiency, and promotion of renewable energy sources. EI&E also includes an $880 billion real property portfolio that encompasses more than 500 installations, 562,000 buildings and structures, and 25 million acres.

Previously, Niemeyer served as Founder of The Niemeyer Group, where he advised public and private entities on national defense issues. From 2003-2014, he was a staff member of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, where he managed military installations, oversaw energy and environmental programs, and recommended the construction, repair, and modernization of military facilities. Niemeyer is an Air Force veteran, retiring in 2008 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel with 15 years of active and five years of Air National Guard service working within the installation engineering and military plans community. Niemeyer holds a Bachelor of Architecture, from the University of Notre Dame, a Master of Business Administration from The George Washington University, and a Master of National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College.


James M. ByrneJames M. Byrne, Acting Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs

James Byrne was named Acting Deputy Secretary on Aug. 28, 2018. He was previously appointed by President Trump on Aug. 9, 2017 to serve as the General Counsel for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Prior to joining VA, Mr. Byrne served in Lockheed Martin Corporation’s legal department as the Chief Privacy Officer and lead information technology, cybersecurity, and counterintelligence attorney. Prior to joining Lockheed Martin, he served as the career Senior Executive Service Deputy Special Counsel with the Office of the United States Special Counsel, and both General Counsel and Assistant Inspector General for Investigations with the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.

Mr. Byrne has over 20 years of experience in the public sector, also including service as a deployed Marine Infantry Officer and a U.S. Department of Justice international narcotics prosecutor. Before joining VA, he volunteered for ten years on the Executive Board of Give an Hour, a non-profit organization that has developed national networks of volunteer professionals capable of providing complementary and confidential mental health services to post-9/11 Veterans, service members and their families. Read James' full bio.