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DOD and Academia: How Higher Education Can Advance National Security


Joseph Kopser
Grayline Group, President

Joseph Kopser is a lifelong problem-solver committed to building the teams needed to take on our toughest challenges. In addition, he is a technology entrepreneur and expert in transportation, smart cities, urban mobility, energy, national security issues as well as an Army combat veteran. Currently, he serves as an Executive-in-Residence at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas. In addition, he is President of Grayline where he works with people and companies to bring together experts, data, and solutions to help companies and public institutions manage disruptive change. Prior to co-founding Grayline, Joseph co-founded and served as CEO of RideScout, before it was acquired by Mercedes-Benz in 2014.

Joseph served in the U.S. Army for 20 years earning the Combat Action Badge, Army Ranger Tab and Bronze Star. He is a graduate of West Point with a BS in Aerospace Engineering and also received a Masters from the Harvard Kennedy School in 2002. In 2013, he was recognized as a White House Champion of Change for his efforts in Energy and Transportation. In 2014, his company, RideScout, won the U.Sa\ Department of Transportation Data Innovation Award. In 2018, Joseph ran for Congress in a race that attracted more voters than any of the 36 districts in Texas. Losing by less than 3 points in a heavily gerrymandered district, Joseph demonstrated that voters want civility and problem solvers in Congress. In his free time, he works closely with The Bunker, an organization dedicated to supporting veteran entrepreneurs. In 2017, he co-authored the book, Catalyst, which serves as the foundation of his public speaking. In 2019, Joseph became the inaugural Chairman of the Board of Advisors for the CleanTX Foundation, an economic development and professional association for cleantech.

Joseph and his wife of 25 years, Amy, live in Austin and they are extremely proud of their three adult daughters.

Ross Guieb
TAMU George H.W. Bush Combat Development Complex, Executive Director

Ross Guieb is the Executive Director for the George H.W. Bush Combat Development Complex at the Texas A&M University System RELLIS Campus in Bryan, Texas. He is a husband, Aggie Dad, and a “Soldier for Life.”
As Executive Director, Ross provides oversight of a unique ecosystem of state-of-the-art facilities, researchers, staff and faculty, organized and focused to accelerate priority Department of Defense technologies from the lab to the field. This includes developing strategic partnerships across DoD, academia, and the defense industrial base. BCDC represents a more than $200M combined investment from the Texas A&M University System, State of Texas, and Army Futures Command.


A decorated combat Veteran, Ross retired in 2020 as a Colonel with 29 years of service in the U.S. Army. As an senior staff executive, Ross played an instrumental role in the development of Army Futures Command and the reorganization of the Army’s modernization enterprise, and brings to the Texas A&M University System tremendous insight on how to best support national security research priorities.


Ross holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the University of California, a Masters of Arts in Business and Organizational Security Management from Websters University, a Masters of Science in Adult Education from Kansas State University and a Masters of Science in National Security Policy and Resource Strategy from the Eisenhower School at the National War College. He is also a graduate of the FBI Academy, and received professional certification from the University of St Andrews (Scotland) Centre for the Study of Terrorism.
Ross is married and is the proud father of three sons, two are currently on ROTC scholarship with the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M University.

Guy Walsh
NSCC, Executive Director

Guy M. Walsh is the founding executive director of The University of Texas at San Antonio’s National Security Collaboration Center (NSCC). The NSCC was established in 2019 on the UTSA main campus and is a core initiative in UTSA’s downtown campus expansion with the opening of the NSCC/School of Data Science in 2022. The NSCC is focused on advancing research, education and workforce development in areas including cybersecurity, data analytics, augmented/virtual reality, cloud computing and 5G technology while anchoring the San Antonio-Austin emerging high-tech corridor.

Walsh brings a wealth of experience in building strategic alliances between federal and state government, academia and industry partners. He is among the nation’s foremost leaders in national security as the strategic initiatives lead for U.S. Cyber Command at Fort George Meade, Md. His expertise includes interagency coordination, cyber and Joint All Domain operations, international engagement, partnership building, risk mitigation and crisis response, strategic planning and local and state emergency management.

In 2011, Walsh was handpicked by the NSA Director/Commander, U.S. Cyber Command to operationalize cyber as the newest combat organization in the Department of Defense. His strategic vision led to the creation of Cyber Command’s Guard and Reserve Directorate in 2011, where he established numerous partnership and policy initiatives in collaboration with senior officials on the national security staff, Office of the Secretary of Defense, National Guard Bureau, National Governors Association, Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice.

In 2015, Walsh was a founding member and deputy director of the Capabilities Development Group, charged with integrating USCYBERCOM’s prioritized cyberspace capability development to rapidly deliver joint operational products and services required for generating, facilitating and monitoring effects in and through cyber space. He was also a founding member, co-developer and champion for CYBER GUARD, a Tier 1 level exercise to develop a “whole of nation” (federal, state and private sectors) response to cyber threats to U.S. critical infrastructure and key resources.

Guy Walsh has over 20 years of executive level management and operational leadership roles in both national defense and domestic operations (DSCA/DOMOPS) including aerospace operations, cyberspace operations, counterinsurgency and disaster relief and recovery. He has been an innovative and motivational leader of complex organizations including Commander, 175th Wing, Maryland Air National Guard and Commander, 451st Air Expeditionary Wing, Kandahar, Afghanistan. Guy is command pilot with 100 combat missions and 4,200 flying hours in military aircraft including the A-10C Thunderbolt, F-4 Phantom and C-130J Hercules.

Guy is a native of Manasquan, New Jersey and a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and Harvard’s Senior Executive program in Homeland Security. He served as a National Defense Fellow with the Institute of National Security Studies (INSS) and also holds a Master's degree in International Relations from the University of Southern California.


The academic community and the Department of Defense may, at first, seem strange bedfellows. But with each facing the need to adapt and move forward in ways that support their own missions (as well as the greater good), collaboration could be the golden ticket. 

Join us for a conversation among university faculty and defense change-makers on the mutual benefits of an academia X DoD alliance. We’ll explore the future potential of this relationship as well as a few examples of how universities are finding value in national security projects while lending their thinking and research facilities to keep the nation safe.


Attendees (12)

Wayne Polatkan
Wayne Polatkan
Tuloy, Chief Executive Officer
Jacob Fridakis
Jacob Fridakis
University of Texas at Austin, Student
Sergio Gallucci
Sergio Gallucci
SCOUT Inc., CTO
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