Betti Harvey is the President and CEO of Blackstone Defense Services and Blackstone Training Academy, providing the leadership, financial oversight, operational focus, and strategic direction for both companies, as well as Blackstone Investigations which provides executive protection and investigative services to select clients. Her vision is to provide exceptional counterintelligence support and risk management services to the government, cleared defense and select private industry. Betti has over 24 years of experience in intelligence and counterintelligence, serving in multiple assignments as an active-duty Intelligence Officer in the United States Air Force and a Senior Intelligence Officer and Counterintelligence Agent with the Department of Defense. Betti holds bachelor’s degrees in Nursing from Worcester State University and in Criminal Justice from Westfield State College and a master’s degree in Forensic Psychology from George Washington University.
Ron Harvey is a Senior Counterintelligence and Insider Threat Advisor with over 35 years of counterintelligence and insider threat experience. He served for 25 years with the Air Force Office of Special investigations as a credentialed special agent and case officer, including as a Colonel serving as the Director of Operations managing all criminal and counterintelligence investigations and operations worldwide. Ron holds a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Colorado and master’s degrees in Business from Troy State University, and in Forensic Science and Forensic Psychology from George Washington University. Ron is also a Massachusetts Institute of Technology fellow and holds Insider Threat certifications from the Department of Defense and Carnegie Mellon. Ron serves as the Lead Insider Threat instructor.
Denise Benson has over 24 years of experience in defense intelligence focusing on intelligence analysis, signals intelligence, and counterintelligence. Denise has an associates degree from the Defense Language Institute in Persian-Farsi, a bachelor’s degree in Middle East Studies from George Mason University, and a master’s degree in International Relations from St. Mary’s University. She holds certifications from the Defense Intelligence Agency in Intelligence Analysis and Counterintelligence and from the Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management in International Programs and Security Cooperation. She is also a certified PMI® Instructor, Project Management Professional (PMP)®, Risk Management Professional (RMP)®.
Josue “Joe” M. Bellinger has over 32 years of experience in National Security and Law Enforcement. This includes 20 years of experience as a criminal investigator and senior manager with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and 30 years of military experience as an Active Duty and Reserve US Navy Officer (Information Warfare Qualified), retiring as a Captain. He has training and experience in intelligence analysis, cyber operations, criminal investigations, insider threat investigations, counterintelligence, fraud investigations, protection operations and national security investigations. Joe graduated from Old Dominion University, Norfolk VA, with a BS in Engineering Technology, Cum Laude, as a Naval ROTC Scholarship Student. He also earned a MS in Strategic Intelligence from the National Intelligence University (NIU) in Washington, DC.
LuWanda Cheney is an award-winning speaker, writer and author of three books. She has over forty years of experience leading workshops in Financial Planning, Public Speaking, Writing, and Motivation and Success. She has owned several small businesses and coached Small Business owners for QVBAC. A Financial Advisor for over 15 years, she worked for Paine Webber, was Associate V.P. at Dean Whitter, and V.P. at Atlantic Financial. She graduated from Worcester State College with a BS, received a Fellowship to University of Massachusetts MFA Program and a Teaching Assistantship. She also attended Western New England School of Law.
Robin Dreeke has over 31 years of experience with the U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Marine Corps, and 21 years as a Credentialed Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Robin has over 21 years of Counterintelligence (CI) experience as a CI Special Agent; serving in the New York City Field Office, Norfolk Field Office and as a Supervisory Special Agent serving in FBI Headquarters; Washington, D.C.-Russian SVR Division, and the CI Training Center, Quantico, V.A. Robin received advanced specialized behavioral training and served for 16 years as a CI Behavioral Analysis Program Team member; consulting, conducting, and leading behavioral consultations on multiple complex CI Operations throughout the U.S. Robin also spent 13 years as an Adjunct Instructor for the FBI National Academy, New Agents Training, the FBI CI Training Center, and the FBI Leadership Development Program and five years as a Lead Instructor at the FBI CI Training Center for CI Advanced courses. Robin’s CI and Behavior expertise was exemplified in the three years as the Head of the CI Behavioral Analysis Program (BAP). He was responsible for coordinating and organizing a team of over 44 adjunct CI Special Agents and five operational psychologists, providing operational support and consultation to CI Special Agents. Robin has published numerous peer-reviewed papers and three books on leadership and human behavior.
Jim Hamby brings over 35 years of specialized experience to Blackstone Training Academy as both a Senior Counselor and an Adjunct Professor. He is a retired US Army Colonel and former Defense Intelligence Senior Executive Service professional. Jim served in our Nation’s most elite Joint Special Operations units, worked closely with interagency partners for decades and operated abroad both unilaterally and with our closest foreign allies. Jim was both a credentialed US Army Counterintelligence Special Agent and a member of the Clandestine Service as a certified Operations Officer (aka Case Officer). While in uniform, Jim served as the CENTCOM J2X and as a civilian was the first Deputy Director of the Defense Clandestine Service. Jim continues to serve as an educator with several Universities as an Adjunct Professor and provides specialized tradecraft scenario based training to unique Special Operations Forces and members of the US Intelligence Community. He is also a sought-after private sector consultant in the arena of countering insider threats. Jim has both Bachelor (BS) and Master of Science (MS) degrees in Criminology from Florida State University and has attended the Harvard Business School executive education focused on Risk Management for Corporate Leaders.
Staff officer Brandon Harvey manages business, IT and student affairs. He also serves as a Facility Security Officer. Brandon is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from George Washington University and interns with Marine Acoustics working software refactoring. He enjoys traveling and spending time with his two huskies.
Daniel Hoffman had a distinguished career with the Central Intelligence Agency, where he was a three-time station chief and a senior executive Clandestine Services officer. He also led large-scale HUMINT (human intelligence gathering) and technical programs and his assignments included tours of duty in the former Soviet Union, Europe, and war zones in the Middle East and South Asia. In addition, Hoffman served as director of the CIA Middle East and North Africa Division. During his 30 years of government service, Hoffman also served with the U.S. military including as an associate professor at the Army Command General Staff College. He graduated from Bates College with a B.A. in History. He has a Master of Science from the London School of Economics and a Master of Public Administration from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government (2006). Hoffman currently serves as a Fox news contributor since 2018.
Dave Holder is an insider threat specialist experienced in leading national security investigative teams worldwide. He is currently an advisor to Ford Motor Company, leading the implementation of their new Insider Threat Program. Dave is a former active duty U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 3. He began as a U.S. Army Infantryman, quickly becoming a credentialed Counterintelligence Special Agent and Case Officer with offensive and defensive operational assignments at Ft. Campbell, KY; Ft. Meade, MD; and in Afghanistan, South Korea, and Hawaii. During his military service, Dave developed deep experience in all aspects of global full field counterespionage investigations and operations. He specialized in the use of investigative source operations, canary traps, investigative analysis, FISC-authorized electronic surveillance, and case prosecutions, resulting in numerous criminal convictions and adverse administrative actions. Dave worked corporate insider threat and counterintelligence for a Fortune 500 defense contractor prior to his current role. He received his Master of Arts in International Relations from Webster University, Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management from Covenant College, and Project Leader and Project Manager certifications from Cornell University.
Kerry Krell is an award-winning military and federal government intelligence officer with assignments within the Departments of Defense (DoD), State (DoS), and Homeland Security (DHS). He is a multidiscipline national security technician, leader, and educator with 25 plus years of combined experience in homeland security/defense, intelligence operations support, counterintelligence (CI), counterterrorism, insider threat programs, force protection, and intelligence analysis and production. Kerry has provided intelligence, threat recognition, CI Awareness and Reporting, Security Education Training and Awareness, and Insider Threat training to thousands of government, military, and corporate professionals from varied backgrounds. His subject matter expertise, training, and exemplary communication skills are used to conducted threat, vulnerability, and risk assessments for government, corporate, and executive customers. Kerry is also experienced, and government certified in supporting, conducting, and overseeing CI, security, and administrative investigations.
Dr. Kirk Kennedy is a licensed clinical psychologist, and he has completed over 31 years of federal service including four years of active duty with the U.S. Air Force, four years overseas with Department of Defense, and over 20 years in intelligence and counterintelligence activities with various federal agencies. In addition, to conducting case consultations, he trained federal agents and analysts and he conducted research on convicted spies. Since his retirement from federal service in September 2020, he has worked for Peraton, Inc., assisting the Department of Defense Personnel and Security Research Center (PERSEREC) with a variety of research and training initiatives. He continues to provide independent psychological assessments to assist in selection into high-risk professions.
Pete Lapp spent 22 years as a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, primarily working counterintelligence, espionage, and economic espionage matters involving Cuba, Russia, and China. While Pete retired from the FBI’s Washington Field Office, he spent some of his career as a program manager and unit chief at FBIHQ’s Counterespionage Section. Pete was also detailed to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence as a senior advisor.
Pete is now president and founder of PJ Lapp Consulting, LLC, where he focuses his experience on helping departments, agencies, and companies build their insider threat programs. His book on the FBI’s espionage investigation of Ana Montes, titled The Queen of Cuba: The Inside Story on How the Perfect Spy Evaded Detection for 17 Years, is scheduled for release by Spring 2023.
Dr. Larry Lewis is a licensed psychologist (MD and VA) with over 30 years’ experience in the DoD as an active duty officer and a cleared government contractor. Larry has coached and provided consultation services to leaders, executives and managers in both the government and civilian sectors. As an operational psychologist, Larry has extensive experience in assessing personnel seeking positions in highly specialized organizations and has experience with assessment for professional development. He has provided members of these organizations leadership coaching, professional development training, post-event debriefings, decompression and reintegration programs, support to deployed operations and consultation to special projects.
Aden Magee is a CI Agent/Officer and Senior Executive Consultant with a polymathic legacy of executing sensitive CI operations and managing large-scale CI programs in support of the most vital national security interests. He has been recognized as the preeminent IC expert on full-spectrum, all-actor intelligence collection (CI) and terrorism threats to DoD Critical Infrastructure and other Mission Assurance/Continuity of Government programs (senior intelligence/threat advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Global Security), and the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Security Program (senior intelligence/threat advisor to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Matters). He has also been recognized as a preeminent IC expert on the most sophisticated non-state unconventional threats to include transnational terrorist elements and other criminal organizations such as narcotics, human, and other contraband trafficking networks (senior intelligence/threat advisor to the Commander, Joint Irregular Warfare Center, DHS National-level CI Program Manager, U.S. Army Special Operations Command G2X). He has extensive real-world threat analysis and neutralization experience to include the management of national- and theater-level CI programs in immersive hostile environments (Iraq, Kosovo, Bosnia). He is a credentialed DoD and DHS CI Agent with broad experience in CI operations and investigations. Among his many operational CI assignments, he commanded a highly specialized strategic CI special operations element that operated against the world’s most sophisticated foreign intelligence services and provided pivotal support to the highest priority counterespionage investigations and programs during the final four years in Cold War Europe. He is the author of five (commercially) published CI-related books and is regularly published in intelligence, CI, and counterterrorism professional journals. Aden is a retired U.S. Army officer, a Master Parachutist, and a disabled veteran of foreign wars. He currently performs as a senior executive advisor to Commander USSOCOM and Commander USCYBERCOM.
Michael “Mike” Maroney is a retired US Army Warrant Officer (CW5) (Counterintelligence and Area Intelligence Technician) with 31 years active military service and a retired federal civilian with 16 years active federal service. Mike conducted and led Strategic CI Operations (OFCO) and HUMINT Controlled Collection Operations throughout Europe, CONUS, and Southwest Asia during his military and civilian career. He also served in JOINT ENDEAVOR in Bosnia-Herzegovina; JOINT GUARDIAN in Kosovo; DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM in Iraq, and in the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. When Mike was not actively conducting and leading intelligence operations, he trained Soldiers, Officers, and Civilians in CI and HUMINT skills at the US Army Intelligence Center (nine years) and the Advanced Foreign Counterintelligence Training Course (one year). Mike is a graduate of the US Army CI Special Agent Course, the Military Operations Training Course, and the Defense Language Institute (German and Russian). He also attended a course in Mastering Negotiations at the Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, MA. Mike earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in German/History from the University of Maryland and a Master of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Rhode Island.
Tim O'Neil has spent his professional career since 1978 in intelligence, counterintelligence and security-related matters in military, contractor and government assignments. His broad expertise in varied positions around the world, in the classroom, in the Pentagon hallways as well as in forward deployed tactical units provides him with unique perspectives in each of these disciplines.
Elizabeth Penn, who describes herself as a “History and Legal Buff”, is excited to join Blackstone as a Legal Consultant. She currently works full time as a Paralegal specializing in offensive litigation in New York, New York. Elizabeth received a Bachelor of Arts from Lafayette College studying Government, Law and History. While in school, she dived deep into Constitutional Studies eventually becoming the writing tutor or Teacher’s Assistant for the Constitutional Law classes. Furthermore, her knowledge of constitutional law was put to the test studying counterterrorism and security in Stockholm, Sweden. Exposure to domestic and international security studies further solidified her desire to one day enter the counterterrorism field. Since college, in addition to her full-time role as a paralegal, Elizabeth has provided several writings and teaching documents for education institutes like Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. When she has free time, “Lizzie” as her friends call her, loves to frequent local trivia nights, listens to true crime podcasts, and attends as many dance classes as she can.
Michelle Platt or “Mox,” as she is affectionately known, began her illustrious career working with her father, Jack Platt, a renowned CIA Counterintelligence officer who worked against the Russians and their KGB network. When Jack Platt retired from CIA, he formed the Hamilton Training Group (HTG), providing his daughter Michelle with the best education and training in covert tradecraft and surveillance available outside the CIA. Because of her vast expertise living abroad while growing up and her ability to use real-world scenarios and exercises to develop her students in the field, Michelle enjoys a well-earned reputation within both the IC and the corporate sector. Her goal is to educate, improve, maintain, and enhance situational awareness, risk and threat assessment, operational security, surveillance detection/counter surveillance, observation skills and personal safety. She acts as an advisor to empower clients to become their own personal safety advocate.
Robert “Bob” Rendon was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. He enlisted in the Army in 1976 and in 1984 was appointed a Warrant Officer in the Military Intelligence Corps. He attended Los Angeles City College, University of California at Davis, University of Maryland, and New Mexico State University, earning a Bachelor of Science from New York Regents. He served tours as a special agent at both White Sands Missile Range and Special Operations; a Department of Defense special access program team chief; an offensive foreign CI operations case officer for the Foreign CI Activity; Chief of Counterespionage, Senior Advisor, Civilian Deputy Commander, and Director of Operations for the 650th MI Group (Allied Command CI) at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, Belgium; and as Senior Advisor, 470th MI Brigade in Fort Sam Houston. Before retirement, he served as the USAREUR G2X Director of the Theater Coordination Branch in Wiesbaden, Germany. He is a graduate of the Defense Language Institute, Intelligence Community Officer and National Senior Intelligence Course, Executive and Management Assessment and Development Programs, National Security and CI Implications, Joint CI Staff Officer, the Laboratory for Scientific Interrogation, Army Advanced CI Training (AFCITC) and Military Operations Training (MOTC). Mr. Rendon has experience in intelligence and CI investigations and operations at the tactical, operational, strategic, and management level. Most notably, he negotiated, coordinated, conducted and oversaw bilateral, multilateral, combined and joint CI operations with the intelligence, CI, and security services of partner nations from throughout the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and for NATO military formations in the Balkans, Iraq, and Afghanistan, where he also served.
Gregory Sims served in the CIA’s Clandestine Service for over 30 years, working as a Collections Management officer, Operations Officer, and Senior Operations Manager, with over 20 years spent in operational field assignments. Gregory’s field assignments included multiple tours as a Chief and Deputy Chief of CIA field stations in Europe and the Near East. Gregory led diverse, multi-disciplinary teams in pursuit of the CIA’s most difficult challenges, fostering a culture that instilled a common strategic outlook and encouraged unorthodox approaches to complex problems. Gregory was a regular contributor to CIA professional journals regarding the theory and practice of intelligence operations and strategy and an advocate of professional grounding in intelligence history as a key element in strategy formation. Gregory was awarded the CIA’s Career Intelligence Medal for service reflecting exceptional achievements that substantially contributed to the CIA mission. Since retirement from CIA, Gregory has worked as a strategy consultant for the USIC, instructor on intelligence issues for the US Army, and a business intelligence consultant. Gregory speaks Swedish, elemental Russian, and received a BA in Russian Studies from Mary Washington College.
Jim Stuteville is an influential, results-driven leader with over 40 years of experience directing CI and human intelligence organizations in the U.S. Army and as a defense intelligence senior executive service leader. As a credentialed U.S. Army CI Special Agent, Jim commanded the Army’s Foreign CI Activity and the Joint CI Unit-Iraq. He also served as the Chief of DIA’s Field Operating Base – Korea and as the Commander of the Army Operations Group, the Army’s only human intelligence organization. After retiring from the Army as a Colonel in 2011, Jim was selected as a Defense Intelligence Senior Leader in the Army G-2 to serve as the Senior CI Advisor to the Army G-2 and the Army’s Liaison Officer to the FBI. After serving over three years in this capacity, Jim was selected for the defense intelligence senior executive service and assignment as the Director of CI for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. After retiring from federal service in 2020, he started his security consulting company and currently works with various DoD clients, non-profit organizations, and small businesses to improve their security practices. Jim has a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy and a Master in Military Arts and Science degree from the Army’s Command and General Staff College. He also obtained professional certificates in Project Management and Information Security from Villanova University and is a certified Project Management Professional.
George Stukenbroeker investigated and managed counterintelligence matters for most of his 26-year FBI career, working in field offices and at headquarters. He has received awards from the DNI and the directors of the FBI and CIA. After a White House posting, he was an early co-director of the National Insider Threat Task Force, and was instrumental in creating the minimum standards now used by insider threat programs throughout the federal government.
Alex Vega IV Alex provides National Security consulting to both the U.S. government and the private sector. His four decades of distinguished service includes high-level diplomatic assignments serving throughout Russia, the Far East, Central Asia and the countries of Europe and the former Soviet Union. A retired U.S. Army officer, he served on active duty as a Combat Arms and Russian Foreign Area officer. Highlights of his assignments include serving as an Investigator with the Joint U.S. & Russia Commission on POW / MIA, as a U.S. Army Attaché at U.S. Embassy Moscow, and as a Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) Inspection Team Chief leading intrusive inspections of Russian military units under the Conventional Forces of Europe Treaty, the Vienna Document 1999 Agreement, and Article 2 and 4 of the Dayton Accords in Bosnia-Herzegovina. For the last two decades, has provided focused threat mitigation expertise. Alex served as a visiting graduate professor to the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University with the majority of his graduate students now serving throughout the U.S. intelligence community. Alex most recently served in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s (ODNI) National Counterintelligence Directorate (NCD), focused on Russia. A sought-after speaker, he recently lectured on the topic of the Russian Ukrainian conflict to the leadership of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory. Alex earned his Baccalaureate degree in History from Texas A&M University at College Station, Texas, and his Master’s degree in National Security Affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. He is also a graduate of the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch, Germany, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and the U.S. Army War College. A graduate of the Defense Language Institute, he speaks Russian, German and Spanish.
Maj(LDO) Scott C. Whitney USMC(Ret.) enlisted in 1977 and has more that 45 years experience supporting Special Operations, Intelligence, and Counterintelligence Activities having served in Marine Corps Reconnaissance, Marine Security Guard detachments, and CI/HUMINT Teams as a Warrant Officer . He consolidated three disparate CI and Interrogator/Translator elements and then commanded the 3rd CI/HUMINT Company, he served as the III Marine Expeditionary Force Staff CI Officer, and retired after 26 years of service as the dual-hatted Marine Forces Pacific and Marine Forces Central Command CI/HUMINT Officer controlling over 2/3 of the Marine Corps HUMINT Exploitation Teams (HET) around the globe including Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He is a certified Master Training Specialist having taught the MAGTF CI Course at Dam Neck, and as part of the team that wrote the J-2X doctrine within the Pentagon J2-CI Shop, he also received a DoD Annual CI Award for the DIA J2X Mobile Training Team that facilitated it's implementation. Post retirement, he served as the Deputy Program Manager of the Counterintelligence Field Activity's Force Protection Response Group. He's continued to support these activities as a corporate VP-Mission Services. He is focused on collection, surveillance, surveillance detection and counter-surveillance. He is also highly experienced in supporting IC counterparts and liaison partners with a total of 16 combat tours having earned the Bronze Star for sensitive activities during OIF.
Several other instructors and consultants provide services for Blackstone Training Academy, but are not featured here as they continue to work in sensitive assignments.
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