Catalytic Think Tank: Everyone Can Innovate!

February 13, 2024

Join leaders from across the federal government and academia for a morning of discussion on innovation through the people who make up our organizations, the institutions responsible for turning that innovation into action, and the operations responsible for finding value in fast-moving, mission critical environments. 

This in-person event is split into two parts. The first is a closed-door session on the improve, drop, and sustain of innovation in government organizations by practitioners who have lived those efforts in some of the biggest and oldest organizations in federal government.  

Following the discussion, you’ll have the opportunity to join our panelists in small group discussions as they engage in conversations around empowering people, creating innovative organizations, and operationalizing innovation. This curated experience will develop some shareable insights.

We hope you’ll consider joining us! Participation is limited to 30 people, split between government and industry. Please complete the form below to indicate your interest in attending the event. You will receive further details by email along with confirmation of your registration following payment.

When: Friday, April 5 at 8:30 am – 12:00 pm

11440 Commerce Park Drive
Suite 400
Reston, VA 20191

Cost: The cost to attend the event is $40 for Industry, there will be no cost for Government attendees.

If you are interested in attending the event, please confirm your interest on the registration form: I’m interested in attending!

For questions about the event, please contact


COL Kristin Saling, US Army Recruiting Command, Innovation Directorate  

COL Kristin Saling is a recognized leader in the Army people enterprise, who has spent the past eight years investigating new technologies and analytics, pairing them with teams of talented individuals, partnering with academia and industry to deliver best practices, and attacking the Army’s most pressing challenges in people analytics and talent management. Since she arrived at the HQDA G-1 in 2016, she established data, analytics, and innovation teams and capabilities for the Army Talent Management Task Force, for the ASA(M&RA)’s People Analytics directorate, for US Army Human Resources Command, and is now designing the Innovation Directorate for US Army Recruiting Command.


Ms. Molly Moran, Miami University Faculty & co-founder Office of Research and Design @ State Dept.

Molly Moran has twenty years of experience in technology and design in the public sector.  For 14 years, she worked for the U.S. Department of State as both a contractor and a Civil Servant, experimenting with ways to use emerging technology for diplomatic endeavors.  When Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton began her tenure at the State Department and wished for a new way to dialogue with her 100,000-person workforce, Molly defied bureaucratic odds by building and launching the “Sounding Board,” a community discussion board, within 48 hours.  She continued to work on that project, which engaged 40,000 employees a month, for many years.  She co-founded the office of Research & Design in the Office of the Secretary, from where she facilitated high-profile technology and innovation projects for Secretary Clinton and three other Secretaries of State.

Currently, at Miami University in Ohio, Molly teaches courses on digital design, design thinking, public interest technology, and social issues in design.  She is the Associate Chair of the Department in Emerging Technology in Business and Design.  Molly earned her MA in Communication, Culture, and Design from Georgetown University, and is currently working toward an MFA in Creative Writing.  She continues to consult on digital projects for non-profits and start-ups, and loves providing her students with the opportunity to work on real-world projects.


Mr. Thomas Mills, Executive Director, Cargo Systems Program Office, Office of Trade, U.S. Customs and Border Protection 

Tom Mills is Executive Director for the Cargo Systems Program Directorate in CBP’s Office of Information and Technology.  In his role as Executive Director, Mr. Mills oversees a wide range of functions, including development and maintenance of the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) and other software applications related to CBP’s trade mission.

A consummate technophile, Tom has over 20 years of experience leading and managing challenging and innovative technical programs and projects. He brings a unique perspective to CBP OIT, having personally directed Information Technology (IT) projects for the Federal government in both the government and private sector capacity.  He’s a graduate of the United States Naval Academy where he majored in Naval Architecture.


Renata Spinks, SES (retired), Marine Corps

Ms. Renata C. Spinks is a senior cybersecurity and technology executive whose diverse experience reaches across multiple sectors- Active Duty; Academia; and the Executive Branches of the Federal Government including the Intelligence Community and Department of Defense.  As a retired career SES who most recently served as the Assistant Director of IT for IC4 (Information, Communications, Computers, Command and Control) for the Unites States Marines, she also served as the Senior Information Security Officer/Authorizing Official for the service.

Prior to Ms. Spinks’ assignment to MARFORCYBER, her federal career path included serving in the US Treasury Department and the IRS.  She also served in the Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement which is where the expansion of her love for cyber grew. There she excelled in working with DHS-ICE, DOJ, CIA and the ODNI while serving as a criminal research specialist; utilizing forensics and human intelligence to investigate human trafficking and child exploitation.  She is also a decorated combat veteran from the 28th Combat Support Hospital, US Army 44th Medical Command, Fort Liberty, North Carolina.

Ms. Spinks has provided exemplar leadership in developing and delivering security focused technology,  cloud migration services, data management, strategy and governance, training, emergent technology adoption and implementations as well as spearheaded process improvement and architectural design  and shifted mindset to tactical edge technology.  Leveraging her federal, industry and military experiences, Ms. Spinks has led and influenced transformational efforts not only within the services but is known for establishing roadmaps and implementation techniques for information technology enterprise capabilities as well as cybersecurity across multi-million-dollar programs internally and externally to the DoD.

Ms. Spinks has now transitioned to industry and is the founder of CyberSec International.  CyberSec international will be an industry-based go-to problem solving company for specialty cyber operations concentrating on intelligence driven information technology, governance, transition planning and information technology modernization for supply chain, defense industrial base technology, and operations inclusive of law enforcement, business, and warfighting.

She is the Founder of Rising Footsteps Non-Profit Organization supporting under resourced and under exposed communities.  She also serves on the Board of Advisors for her alma mater Saint Augustine’s University, Raleigh, NC and is establishing a footprint for cybersecurity education in her home state, Louisiana. She is a member of several Information Technology Associations.  Her highest degree of education is Master of Science in Technology Management and is currently a Cybersecurity PhD Candidate at Capitol Technology University.


If you are interested in attending the event, please confirm your interest on the registration form: I’m interested in attending!