event graphicSpeaker Biographies

The following speakers are participating in the September 23 press conference and roundtable discussion to be held in New York (click here for event description).

General Thomas McInerneyLt. General (ret.) Thomas McInerney

After graduating from the academy in June 1959, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army. He then joined the Air Force, and completed initial pilot training at Bartow Air Base, Florida, and Laredo Air Force Base, Texas, in November 1960. McInerney was assigned to Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, and later to Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, for advanced gunnery training. His first operational assignment was in October 1961 with the 476th Tactical Fighter Squadron, flying F-104s at George Air Force Base, California. There he took part in the Berlin and Cuban crises in 1962, flying escort missions in the West Berlin Air Corridor and escort reconnaissance missions over Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis. In April 1963 he was one of the first forward air controllers assigned to South Vietnam with a Vietnamese army division.

Upon his return to the United States in April 1964 he was assigned to the Tactical Air Warfare Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Floria, as an F-4C aircraft commander. In February 1966 he attended the F-4 Fighter Weapons School, Nellis Air Force Base, where he remained as an instructor with various F-4 assignments in the Weapons School and the Tactical Fighter Weapons Center, Test and Evaluation Division. Also, he participated in two Southeast Asia deployments as introduction team chief, bringing the F-4D and F-4E into combat.

McInerney volunteered for a fourth tour in Southeast Asia and served with the 469th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, from February until August 1969. After completing the Armed Forces Staff College in February 1970, he was transferred to the Directorate of Operational Requirements, Air Force headquarters. During this assignment he participated in many high-level study groups on the Middle East, air-to-air missile requirements and the F-15 advanced air superiority fighter.

Upon graduation from National War College in July 1973, McInerney was assigned to the 58th Tactical Fighter Training Wing, Luke Air Force Base, as F-104 and F-5 director of operations. He was primarily responsible for German F-104 training and the F-5E Military Assistance Program. In August 1974 he became the air attache to the U.S. Embassy in London. There he worked for three different ambassadors, assisting them in changing U.S. policy toward the multi-role combat aircraft, and increased standardization with European aerospace and North Atlantic Treaty Organization air forces.

From November 1976 until October 1977 he was vice commander of the 20th Tactical Fighter Wing, Royal Air Force Station Upper Heyford, England. McInerney then became military assistant to Ambassador Robert W. Komer, the adviser to the secretary of defense on North Atlantic Treaty Organization affairs. In this capacity, he assisted in developing the organization's long-term defense program, which was announced at the 1978 Washington Summit. In March 1979, McInerney became commander of the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing, Clark Air Base, Philippines, and was deeply involved in implementing the base agreement that placed Clark Air Base under Philippine sovereignty.

In February 1981 he was assigned as commander of the 313th Air Division, Kadena Air Base, Japan. McInerney then served as deputy chief of staff for operations and intelligence, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, from June 1983 to July 1985, when he became commander of 3rd Air Force, Royal Air Force Station Mildenhall, England. In October 1986, McInerney was assigned as vice commander in chief, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Ramstein Air Base, West Germany.

He became commander of Alaskan Air Command, Alaskan NORAD Region, and Joint Task Force Alaska in May 1988. McInerney assumed command of Alaskan Command upon its activation in July 1989, and became commander of 11th Air Force when Alaskan Air Command was redesignated 11th Air Force in August 1990.

McInerney's last active duty assignment was as Assistant vice chief of staff, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. He was responsible for the organization and administration of the Air Staff. Additionally, he served as deputy chairman of the Air Force Council and is the Air Force accreditation official for the Air Attache Corps. He retired from the Air Force on 1 July 1994.

Brigadier (ret.) General Ken Chrosniak

Ken Chrosniak enlisted in the Army in 1965, and went on to serve 36 years of combined duty in the Regular Army, Army Reserve, and the National Guard.  He retired as a Combat Engineer Colonel, and was subsequently promoted Brigadier General in the New York Guard.

Ken has served in Vietnam, Bosnia, Kuwait and Iraq, along with command and staff assignments in the U.S. and overseas. 

Ken's latest assignments included postings as an instructor at the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks as well as four years with the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was positioned for two years as Chief of Staff to the Army Asymmetric Warfare Office at the Pentagon, and served (by request) in Iraq as Commander of the Abu Ghraib Forward Operating Base and detention facility, specifically to remediate issues raised in the aftermath of the scandal.

His decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and the Combat Action Badge. 

A Time To BetrayReza Kahlili

Reza Kahlili is an Ex-CIA worked in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. His historical memoir, A Time To Betray chronicles 1979 revolution through decades of service, including Iran-Contra and the Iran-Iraq war. Kahlili's intel has strategically influenced U.S. presidential administrations on Iran policy.

Kahlili teaches for U.S. Department of Defense within the Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy (JCITA) and the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies (CI Centre). His instruction supports operatives on the front lines facing Iranian agents in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan. Within JCITA's Iran Program, A Time To Betray is required reading for intelligence officers across all military branches, and throughout the intelligence community. It is recommended by former high-ranking military and is featured on the CIA Bookshelf.

"Reza Kahlili" is a pseudonym, as he requires anonymity for safety reasons. Kahlili has given speeches before prominent organizations, including World Affairs Council, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center, and at the National Press Club. He has also been featured on ABC, C-Span, CBN, FOX, MSNBC, 700 Club, Christian Science Monitor, Forbes, Haaretz, Washington Times and others. Kahlili serves on the advisory board of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran, and lives with his family in California.

Lt. Col. Tony ShafferLt. Col. (ret.) Tony Shaffer

Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer is highly experienced intelligence officer, and recipient of the Bronze Star, with 25 years of field experience. Tony has commanded and directed several key operational intelligence organizations. These include Special Mission Task Force STRATUS IVY, that conducted direct support to DoD compartmented activities (OSD, SOCOM, JSOC, Army) which was focused on offensive information operations. In addition, he was in charge of Field Operating Base (FOB) Alpha, a joint DIA/CIA unit conducting classified collection and special operations support regarding terrorists just after the 9/11 attacks.

During the 1980s, Shaffer was a counterintelligence officer. He deployed to Germany to conduct counterterrorism operations in 1985 as part of REFORGER and worked in New York City as part of Army's anti-terrorism efforts during OPSAIL 1986 – the re-opening of the Statue of Liberty. He also worked to monitor Soviet military officers visiting the United States during the INF Treaty missile eliminations, as well as a reserve tour with Army Foreign Counterintelligence Activity (FCA).

Lt. Col. Shaffer transitioned into the Foreign Intelligence area of focus with his graduation from "The Farm" in 1988, and his work at Air Force Special Activities Center (AFSAC) where he worked as a case officer. He was brought to active duty by the Army for the first Gulf War in 1991 and transitioned into the Army's Military Intelligence Excepted Career Program (MIECP) where he became the chief of Army's global Controlled HUMINT collection program, and ran specific Special Access Program (SAP) operations that netted highly

As a reservist during this period, he was the senior HUMINT advisor to the J2/Senior Intelligence Officer of Joint Interagency Task Force East (JIATF-E) that conducted counter-drug operations in the Transit Zone. During this tour he was successful in integrating highly specialized hybrid technology/human intelligence operations to obtain high value intelligence information to support the operational forces.

In 1995, Shaffer transitioned to Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), as part of the consolidation of all Service (Army, Navy, Air Force, USMC) controlled HUMINT into the Department of Defense. He became a Senior Intelligence Officer (Operations) and created Task Force STRATUS IVY that conducted the full spectrum of support to Department of Defense, Special Operations Command and other non-DoD agencies. This included support to the controversial counterterrorism project known as ABLE DANGER – an pre-9/11 offensive operation suite designed to detect, degrade and counter Al Qaeda capabilities.

In 2001, just after the 9/11 attacks, he was returned to active duty for a 30 month period , during which he commanded a DIA operating base (OB Alpha) and had two successful combat tours to Afghanistan.

During his two successful, undercover, combat tours he participated in the search for senior Al Qaeda leadership in Afghanistan. These operations provide him with a unique viewpoint on terrorism and its roots in southwest Asia. Operation Dark Heart provides an unprecedented look at intelligence operations during a period in the war where a small number of operators were able to effectively control this large country. In recognition of successful high risk/high gain operations Tony received the Bronze Star Medal (BSM) for performance as an Operations Officer of the HUMINT Support Detachment in Afghanistan supporting CJTF 180 and CJTF 121.

As a senior fellow, he has conducted multiple courses of instruction, to include the Psychology of Terrorism, Leadership and Effects Based Operations. He is nationally known Subject Matter Expert (SME) intelligence collection and policy, terrorism, data mining, situational awareness and adaptive/disruptive technologies. He is also a senior advisor to multiple organizations on terrorism and counterinsurgency issues and a member of the US Nuclear Strategy Forum. Tony is a frequent guest on national electronic media ( TV and radio) and is frequently quoted in print media as an analyst regarding defense issues.

Clare LopezClare Lopez

Clare M. Lopez is a strategic policy and intelligence expert with a focus on national defense, Islam, Iran, and counterterrorism issues. Currently a senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy and the Clarion Fund and vice president of the Intelligence Summit, she formerly was a career operations officer with the Central Intelligence Agency, a professor at the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies, Executive Director of the Iran Policy Committee from 2005-2006, and has served as a consultant, intelligence analyst, and researcher for a variety of defense firms. She was named a Lincoln Fellow at the Claremont Institute in 2011.

Ms. Lopez is deputy director of the U.S. Counterterrorism Advisory Team for the Military Department of the South Carolina National Guard and serves as a member of the Boards of Advisors/Directors for the Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia, the Clarion Fund, the Institute of World Affairs, the Intelligence Analysis and Research program at her undergraduate alma mater, Notre Dame College of Ohio, and United West. She has been a Visiting Researcher and guest lecturer on counterterrorism, national defense, and international relations at Georgetown University. Ms. Lopez is a regular contributor to print and broadcast media on subjects related to Iran and the Middle East and the co-author of two published books on Iran. She is the author of an acclaimed paper for the Center, The Rise of the Iran Lobby and co-author/editor of the Center's Team B II study, "Shariah: The Threat to America".

Ms. Lopez received a B.A. in Communications and French from Notre Dame College of Ohio and an M.A. in International Relations from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. She completed Marine Corps Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Quantico, Virginia before declining a commission to join the CIA.

Ken TimmermanKen Timmerman

Best-selling author Kenneth R. Timmerman is a contributing editor for Newsmax Media who has spent his career investigating the dark side of national security.

Over the past three decades he has interviewed dissidents behind the Iron Curtain, covered numerous Middle East wars and false-hope peace treaties, interviewed suicide bombers, debriefed defectors from Iranian intelligence organizatons, and covered the plight of Christians persecuted for their faith.

His just-released third novel, St. Peter's Bones, is a witness to the persecuted church in Iraq, and is based on numerous reporting trips to northern Iraq, Jordan, and Lebanon. It is a war novel with a political twist.

His most recent work of non-fiction, Shadow Warriors: Traitors, Saboteurs, and the Party of Surrender, exposes a secret intelligence war, fought not against our enemies abroad, but by partisan bureaucrats and their allies in Congress and the media against a sitting United States president. Rush Limbaugh called the book "fabulous," and devoted five full pages of his monthly newsletter to it.

For his work in exposing the Islamic Republic of Iran's nuclear weapons program, he was nominated for the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize by former Swedish deputy Prime Minister Per Ahlmark.

To raise awareness of the threat from the Islamic regime in Iran, and the potentially tragic gaps in U.S. intelligence in spotting and tracking these threats, he wrote Honor Killing, a sizzling thriller set on the next battlefield in the war on terror, which has been featured by national talk radio hosts Laura Ingraham, Michael Reagan, Frank Gaffney, and others. Honor Killing tells the story of how Iranian terrorists bring a nuclear weapon into the United States under the noses of U.S. law enforcement and intelligence watchers, blinded by political correctness to the threats from a Fifth Column of Muslim immigrants.

Chet NagelChet Nagle

Chet Nagle is a Naval Academy graduate, a Georgetown Law School graduate, and a Cold War carrier pilot who flew in the Cuban Missile Crisis. After a stint as a Navy research and development project officer, he joined International Security Affairs (ISA) as a Pentagon civilian involved in defense and intelligence work. Afterwards, he lived abroad for 12 years as director of Aeromaritime, Inc and an agent for the CIA, working in Iran, Oman, and many other countries.

Along the way, he was founding publisher of a popular geo-political magazine, The Journal of Defense & Diplomacy, with 26,000 readers in over 20 countries. At the end of government work in the Middle East, he was awarded the Order of Oman for his role in Oman's victory in a guerilla war fomented by communist Yemen. Nagle's first book, Iran Covenant, is a fact-based novel about Iran's nuclear weapons program and the use of EMP to end it. His second novel, recently published, is The Woolsorter's Plague. It describes an attack on Washington, DC, by terrorists using a biological weapon made in Iran. He has appeared often on radio (including the Monica Crowley Fox News show) and television (including the Stakelbeck on Terror show on CBN). He also appeared in Iranium, a documentary film about Iran's nuclear weapons program. Nagle is a contributing editor for Family Security Matters, and writes for Tucker Carlson's Daily Caller.


Tim BTim Brownrown

Tim Brown is a retired, decorated 20-year FDNY firefighter, a survivor of the 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, a first responder to the 1993 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, and a veteran of the New York Urban Search & Rescue Task Force team that responded to the 1995 terrorist attack on the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City. Tim lost 93 of his friends on Sept. 11th, including his two best friends.

His last assignment in the FDNY was Rescue Co. 3. He served several years in Mayor Giuliani's Office of Emergency Management. Tim spent two years on special detail to the federal government, serving as a special assistant to the Secretary of Health and Human Services during the anthrax terrorist attacks in 2001-2002, earning his Top Secret government clearance while helping to build command and control into the department. He also responded to the Station nightclub fire in Rhode Island, which killed 100 people. Tim helped the governor manage the aftermath and stayed on to recommend changes to their emergency management system.

Tim has been a leader in defending the memory of those lost on 9/11. He has become a media commentator on the subject and has appeared on all major news channels including FOX News, CNN, MSBNC, CNBC and dozens of local news programs. Tim is a sought-after voice on the subject and has appeared in many documentaries. This year two new documentaries will premiere, the first from the American Center for Law and Justice named "The Export" and the second named "Rebirth" that won rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival. He co-founded theBravest.com, Inc. and EmergencyStream.com with his brother, Providence, Rhode Island firefighter Chris Brown.

Cynthia AyersCynthia Ayers

Cynthia Ayers was recently appointed Vice President of EMPact America, after retiring from the National Security Agency (NSA) with over 38 years of government service. Her intelligence community career included a position as an NSA Representative to the DCI's Counterterrorism Center, where she worked throughout the attacks on the USS Cole and 9/11 (2000-2002).

Her service culminated in an eight-year assignment to the Center for Strategic Leadership as the National Security Agency's Visiting Professor to the U.S. Army War College (USAWC). While at the USAWC, Professor Ayers taught electives on contemporary threats to national security from an intelligence perspective, and advised students on research concerning strategic intelligence, counterterrorism, cyberwarfare, the Middle East and critical infrastructure protection.

She has written several published articles on national security issues (to include the threat of an EMP resulting from an attack using a high-altitude nuclear blast); given presentations to a variety of federal, state, and local organizations; participated as guest and co-host in radio broadcasts; and assisted with the production of workshops on topics of national security interest (e.g. Iran, terrorism, and catastrophic critical infrastructure events).

Peter HuessyPeter Huessy


Peter Huessy is President of his own defense consulting firm, PRH&CO, and its subsidiary, GeoStrategic Analysis, both founded in 1981. Mr. Huessy has served as a consultant to a number of defense clients, helping to cover congressional activities, monitoring budget and policy developments on missile defense and related matters. Mr. Huessy prepares weekly reports for the group on nuclear activities in and outside of government, including arms control, proliferation, long range precision strike, conventional prompt long range strike, nuclear deterrence and nuclear strategic modernization.

For the Missile Defense Information Group, Mr. Huessy serves as a consultant on Congressional, Legislative and Government Relations. He monitors missile defense activities in and out of government, including matters within DOD, the Department of State, the White House and National Security Council, foreign governments, Congress, the GAO and CBO, non-governmental organizations, think tanks and universities.

Since 1983, Mr. Huessy has hosted over 1000 Congressional breakfast seminars on Capitol Hill dealing with missile defense, strategic nuclear modernization, strategic airlift, strategic bombers, proliferation, arms control, defense policy, and homeland security, including port and maritime security and nuclear terrorism.

Mr. Huessy has been associated with major arms control and strategic modernization efforts since the early 1980s. His professional and educational background have provided him with an authoritative knowledge of the history of arms control efforts, the politics of arms control, the congressional role in the arms control process and the geostrategic and allied aspects of arms control policies. Mr. Huessy lectures on nuclear terrorism, key nuclear challenges, missile defense and proliferation issues and was a Featured Writer for Frontiers for Freedom. He occasionally writes for Human Events, is now a Contributing Editor to Family Security Matters and Big Peace and was formerly an occasional columnist for the Washington Times.

Dr. Peter Vincent PryDr. Peter Vincent Pry

Dr. Peter Vincent Pry is President of EMPact America. He has served: on the Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States established by the U.S. Congress (2008-2009); as Director of the United States Nuclear Strategy Forum, an advisory body to Congress on policies to counter Weapons of Mass Destruction (2005-2009); on the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack (also commonly known as the EMP Commission), established by the U.S. Congress (2001-2008); as Professional Staff on the House Armed Services Committee of the U.S. Congress, with portfolios in nuclear strategy, WMD, Russia, China, NATO, the Middle East, intelligence, and terrorism (1995-2001); as an Intelligence Officer with the Central Intelligence Agency responsible for analyzing Soviet and Russian nuclear strategy and operational plans (1985-1995), where he was formally recognized by the agency for his expertise, groundbreaking research, and his outstanding accomplishments during his 10 years of service; and as a Verification Analyst at the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency responsible for assessing Soviet compliance with nuclear and strategic forces arms control treaties (1984-1985).

Dr. Pry also played a key role: running hearings in Congress that warned about how terrorists and rogue states could pose an EMP threat, establishing the Congressional EMP Commission, helping the Commission develop plans to protect the United States from EMP, and working closely with senior scientists who first discovered the nuclear EMP phenomenon. Dr. Pry holds two Ph.D.s (in International Relations and U.S. History) and a certificate in nuclear weapons design from the USAF Weapons Laboratory. He has also written numerous books on national security issues.

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