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Colonel Michael Alcantara, 
Policy Officer Defence, DG DEFIS, European Commission 

Colonel Michael Alcantara joined the European Commission in 2019, as a seconded national expert appointed in the Defence Industry directorate of the Directorate General Defence Industry and Space. He is mainly involved in the programming and preparation of the European Defence Fund's annual work programmes and long-term planning.

He started his military career in 1992 and joined the French Air Force in 1995 and the Air Force Academy in 2000. As a communications and information services (CIS) officer, he commanded four air base operational support squadrons. He also served as a staff officer in national headquarters and abroad as the CIS Service Level Manager at the NATO Joint Warfare Centre in Stavanger, Norway. He has been engaged in overseas operations, including in Kosovo, North Macedonia, Afghanistan and the Middle East, as well as in domestic special air security operations in relation to major international events such as the Normandy debarkation celebrations. He graduated from the War College course in Paris and joined the French Joint Staff in 2017 where he headed the European Union section of the capability development international cooperation and planning office. In this position, he was closely involved in the preparation of the European capability development process and contributed actively in particular to the revision of the Capability Development Plan (CDP), and the preparation of the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD), the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) and the European Defence Industry Development Programme (EDIDP). Moreover, Colonel Alcantara completed the Ecole Nationale d'Administration's Executive Course in European Studies, class of 2019.

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James Appathurai,
Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, NATO

James Appathurai was appointed to this post in September 2021. As DASG, he works on policy development and implementation in the fields of Emerging and Disruptive Technologies, cyber security, counter-terrorism, the security implications of climate change, and hybrid defence. Mr. Appathurai previously served as DASG for Political Affairs and Security Policy, as well as Special Representative to Central Asia and the Caucasus. He was NATO’s Spokesperson from 2004 to 2010. He served as Deputy Head and Senior Planning Officer in the Policy Planning and Speechwriting Section of NATO’s Political Affairs Division from 1998 to 2004. He served in the Canadian Defence Department from 1994 to 1998.

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Joe Baguley, 

Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, EMEA, VMware

Joe Baguley is VMware’s Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for EMEA, who joined VMware in July 2011. He helps develop and communicate VMware’s strategy and vision with customers and partners, using his wealth of experience to help organisations reduce costs and better support users and business needs. As part of VMware’s Office of the CTO and its representative in EMEA, Joe assists VMware’s customers in understanding how to use today’s advances in technology to deliver real business impact as well as working with them to inform VMware’s R&D processes.

Joe is a recognised leader within the European technical community and considered one of the top 50 most influential leaders in UK IT. He won an award for data leadership in ‘Infrastructure & Protection’ in the 2016 Data 50 Awards and appeared in the Computer Weekly UKtech50, the Information Age Top 50 Data Leadersand the Cloud World Series’ Cloud 100 community board. He has played a key role in CloudCamp and other events, communicating how cloud technology fits into the broader IT landscape. Joe previously spent ten years at Quest Software where he was CTO of EMEA, shaping its direction and strategy.

In addition, Joe is also on several advisory boards at the European Commission and ETSI and is a founding committee member of the Data Centre Specialist Group at the British Computer Society which helped shape the European Code Of Conduct for Data Centres.

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Brigadier General Philippe Barthélémy
Officer in charge of the digital transformation of the Armies,
French Joint Staff

Brigadier General Philippe Barthélemy is currently serving in the Joint Staff as the officer in charge of the digital transformation of the Armies. 

Brigadier General Philippe Barthélemy graduated from Saint-Cyr military academy (1987-1990), the Signal school in Montargis (1991), the war college (2001-2002) and the Télécom Paris School (2000/2001) (with a Masters in Design and Network Architecture).He served as platoon leader in the 28th Signal Regiment (1991-1993), company commander in the 6th Divisional Signal Company in Nîmes (1996-1998), operation and instruction chief in the 18th Signal Regiment (2005/2007) and commanding officer of the 8th Signal Regiment (2010-2012). 

As a staff officer, he was assigned to the general directorate of information and communications systems (2007-2010), then to the Joint Staff as chief of communication and information systems’ department (2012-2016), and subsequently the Joint coherence officer (2016-2018). From 2018 to 2021, he was responsible for the deployment and exploitation of the communication links, networks and information systems operated by the Joint Directorate for Networks Infrastructure and Information Systems for the entire Ministry of Armies. He deployed and commanded the Signal Center of Sarajevo Sector from July to December 1993 on a UNPROFOR mandate. He returned to Sarajevo in 2004 as Operations Plan Chief in the NATO Stabilization Force Head Quarters. He also served as Operations Chief of the Support and Command Battalion in 2006/2007 in Kosovo during Operation TRIDENT.

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Brigadier General Claude Chary
General Officer of the French Land Forces in charge of the digital and the coordination of innovation

Brigadier General Claude Chary is the General Officer of the French Land Forces in charge of the digital and the coordination of innovation. General Chary graduated from Saint-Cyr (1984 – 1987, Montclar promotion), a time during which he was for the first time confronted to an artificial intelligence through the installation of an expert system during a traineeship in 1986. He then joined the École de Guerre where he studied AI and expert systems (LIPS, PROLOG) at the Dauphine Paris IX faculty (1995-1997, valedictorian) before attending the Staff College (1997-1998) and then Joint Armies Defence College (1998-1999). 


As an armored Engineer Officer, he went through all the steps to the reach command level, platoon leader at 32RG in Kehl in Federal Republic of Germany, Company commander 3RG in Charleville Mézières, head of the operational service engaged in RCI in 2003, then head of the 31 RG from 2008 to 2010, where he led the preparation of the companies that would be engaged in Afghanistan, Lebanon and RCI, but also on many internal operations during natural disasters (Storm Xynthia). Simulations" Program Officer (1999) and then Office Manager (2005) at the French Army's Operational Research and Simulation Center (CROSAT then DSRO), he participated in AI-based projects for PC training (SCIPIO, which later became SOULT) and decision support (APLET, a tool for comparing and contrasting courses of action). He created and led the Center of Expertise for digitalization and Simulation (CEISIM) 2012-2015 at Land Forces Technical Section (STAT).


In the summer of 2015, he became Head of the Simulation and Operational Research section within the Plans Office of the Plans - Programs sub-office of the Land Chief of Staff (EMAT), where he led the Army's simulation policy and the implementation of means, then set up an AI expert position and participated in the Armed Forces' reflections on the use of AI and automated systems (robotics) and the concept of future land action. From 2018 to 2019, he oversaw the Performance - Synthesis sub-department of the EMAT, in charge of the rise of the "data" cell and digital transformation projects. He participated in the reorganization of the EMAT and the creation of the Digital and Innovation Coordination Cluster. On July 1, 2019, as General Officer of the French Land Forces in charge of the digital and the coordination of innovation, he took command of the new digital and innovation coordination division created within EMAT. He is now responsible for meeting the IT needs (excluding armament programs) of the Army, approval authority and responsible for the implementation of the GDPR and ISS. He is also in charge of increasing the use of AI and data within the land forces.


Bernard Clermont, 

Head of institutional relations and programs, Europe & NATO, at John Cockerill

After completing a Master of Science in Engineering in Aerospace Electro-Mechanics, University of Liège and a Degree in Technology Management, University of Brussels – Solvay Business School.

Bernard Clermont has worked at John Cockerill Defense, formerly named CMI Defense, since 1985, starting in the Engineering department in charge of the development of armament and turret systems that are fielded in a variety of Middle Eastern countries. Moving to the position of Quality Manager for programs with AV-Tech (US) and with GKN (UK). He was then appointed Vice President in charge of Reliability, Safety and Maintainability studies, notably leading the technical and test program discussions with GDLS and TACOM related to FMS. He was the project manager for the development of the new generation of architectures for turret system and was a member of the Lethality and Turret Systems Rainbow Team on the FRES program. After the completion of this project, he took in charge the Proposals Department and Business Development defining the Technical and Commercial offers for the major Defence programs in Middle East and Asian countries. Before becoming the director of the Innovation Department, he was appointed as General Manager of CMI Defence entity in France and CEO of Agueris. 

Bernard Clermont did its military duty as Reserve Officer in Artillery Land Forces, Belgian Army. 

Bernard Clermont represents John Cockerill Defense on several Boards, is member of the SERA Councillor Committee at IHEDN (France) and member of industry representative panels of CapTech (EDA) and ASD for Land Applications.

Paul-Henry Cournède
Dean of Research at CentraleSupélec

Paul-Henry Cournède is the Dean of Research at CentraleSupélec, a top French graduate engineering school of Paris-Saclay University. His role is to drive strategic and financial planning and provide guidance across academic and research programs. He fosters new and interdisciplinary research initiatives and collaborations for the benefit of the 17 research laboratories and nearly 1000 researchers of CentraleSupélec, with academic and socio-economic partners.


He graduated from Centrale Paris (class of 97) and from the University of Cambridge (Master of Advanced Study in Mathematics). He then completed a Ph.D. thesis in applied mathematics between the Direction des Applications Militaires du Centre d'Etudes Atomiques  (CEA-DAM) and Centrale Paris, a post-doctorate at INRIA Sophia-Antipolis, and then became Maître de Conférences at Centrale Paris in 2002. He is now a Professor in the Department of Mathematics of CentraleSupélec and has been the head of the Mathematics and Informatics (MICS) laboratory between 2016 and 2021. His research in mathematical modelling, statistics and artificial intelligence covers several application domains, notably in medicine. He has supervised more than 35 PhD students.


Axel Dyèvre,

Partner at CEIS - Avisa Partners

Axel Dyèvre was a cavalry officer for 7 years. From 1995 to 1997, he was a consultant in strategy, following which he was a Senior Partner at DATOPS (now known as LexisNexis Analytics), a software editing firm developing information systems, between 1997 and 2005. There, Axel designed, developed and implemented OSINT solutions (Open source Intelligence) for governmental agencies and private firms. Axel joined CEIS at the start of the organisation in 1997, and set up the company's European Office in 2006. He  graduated from the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris (ESCP Business School) where he followed a Business Management course. Today, Axel is a Partners at CEIS-Avisa Partners, overseeing consulting and research activities for the French Ministry of the Armed Forces, European institutions, and the private sector. 

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Engineer-General (First Class) Nicolas Fournier

Director General for Digital, Information and Communication Systems (DGNUM) of the French Ministry of Defence.

Nicolas Fournier is a graduate engineer from the Ecole Polytechnique and the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Techniques Avancées (ENSTA). He joined the Service as an officer in the Armament Corps in 1998 and has been working since then for the French Ministry of Defence. Since August 2020, he has been selected as Directeur général du numérique et des systèmes d’information et de communication (DGNUM) of the French Ministry of Defence. During his career he has held alternative operational responsibilities in the management of investment projects in the digital domain and strategic responsibilities in the defence procurement domain, mainly within the Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA).


In 2005, he was selected as Chief of Staff of the Délégué Général pour l’Armement, being involved in the whole range of operational and strategic management topics related to French procurement. In 2007, he joined the outer office of the Ministre de la Défense, as a technical adviser for weapon procurement, information systems and industrial affairs. In 2009, he moved back to DGA Information Superiority. Firstly appointed as Head of the Radar and electronic warfare division, he became in 2010 Technical Director of the whole facility and was in charge of technical expertise and evaluation in the field of information technology, cyber and electronic warfare and missile systems. From 2012 to 2016, he served as Defence Equipment Attaché to the French Embassy in the United Kingdom.

In 2016, he came back to DGA as deputy director of the “Space and C4ISR projects” management unit. From 2018 to 2020, he was in charge of the sous-direction des plans et des programmes. Its main responsibilities covered the multi-annual planning and daily management of the whole Forces’ armament spending, representing an investment of 12 Bn€ per year.

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Lieutenant General Pierre Gillet

Commander of the Rapid Reaction Corps - France (CRR-FR)

Lieutenant General Pierre GILLET graduated from Saint Cyr Military Academy, the Infantry School in Montpellier and the Joint War College in Paris. He joined the Foreign Legion as a Combat Platoon Leader and Company Executive Officer from 1994 to 1996. After being assigned as an instructor at the Infantry School to train newly arrived young officers, he was posted to the French Foreign Legion Command in 2001, then to the Army Staff / Human Resources Policy as head of studies and synthesis from 2003 to 2006. Selected for Command in 2006, he was posted to the 2nd Foreign Legion Regiment in Nîmes until 2008 before returning to the Centre for Higher Military Studies in Paris. In 2009 he was selected to become Deputy Head of Human resources on the French Joint Staff and, then in July 2011 he became the Deputy Planning Officer at the Joint Operations Centre. Promoted to Brigadier General on 1st August 2014, he assumed command of the 6th Light Armoured Brigade in Nîmes. On 1st August 2016, he was appointed Commandant of the Military Schools in Draguignan, Commander of the Draguignan Defence Support Base, Commandant of the Infantry School, and Military Commander of the Draguignan-Canjuers Garrison. 

He was promoted to Major General on 1st August 2017 and appointed Chief of Staff of Rapid Reaction Corps France in July 2018. He took command of RRC France on 29th August 2019, promoting to Lieutenant General on the same day. 


During his career, Lieutenant General GILLET was deployed to several operational theatres: Chad (Operation EPERVIER), Saudi Arabia and Iraq (1st Gulf War), Djibouti (Operation ISKOUTIR), twice to Sarajevo (UNPROFOR 2 and multinational brigade), three times to the Central African Republic (EFAO and Operation BOALI COMANFOR SANGARIS) and in Ivory Coast (Operation LICORNE). 


Camille Grand, 
Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment, NATO

Prior to joining NATO, Camille Grand was Director and CEO of the Fondation pour la recherche stratégique (FRS), the leading French think tank on defence and security (2008-16), where he served on several expert groups on the future of NATO (Advisor to the Group of Experts on the Strategic Concept chaired by Madeleine Albright in 2009-10, Member of the Group of Policy Experts for the Wales Summit in 2014). His research and publications focused on defence policy, NATO, nuclear policy, and missile defence. He was also Deputy Director for Disarmament and Multilateral Affairs in the Directorate for Strategic, Security and Disarmament Affairs of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2006-08). Prior to that, he was Special Assistant for International Affairs and Deputy Diplomatic Adviser to the French Minister of Defence (2002-06), in charge of international defence and armament cooperation, policy planning, and nuclear and missile defence policies.

Camille Grand has lectured at the Paris School of International Affairs at Sciences Po Paris, at the Ecole Nationale d'Administration and at the French Army Academy, Ecole spéciale militaire de St Cyr-Coëtquidan. He was a member of the Conseil général de l'armement (National Advisory Board on Armament and Technology, chaired by the French Minister of Defence) from 2012, and a member of the United Nations Secretary General's Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters from 2014.

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Lieutenant General Vincent Guionie

Commander of the French Land Forces (CFT)

Lieutenant General Vincent Guionie joined the French military academy in 1982 and chose to serve in the Troupes de Marine. He was appointed as a lieutenant and then Officer Commanding a company to the 8 Marine infantry airborne Regiment (8e RPIMa) in 1991. His tour of duty included Cambodia, Central African Republic and Sarajevo.He was promoted major in 1995 and completed the War College course in Paris from 1996 to 1998/ The next year, he was promoted Lieutenant-Colonel. Returning to the 8 Marine infantry airborne Regiment, his tour included a commitment in Kosovo in 2002, and to the Republic of Djibouti as ACOS OPS of the French Forces Joint Staff. In 2004, he was promoted to Colonel and spent the next year in Côte d’Ivoire as the Force Commander’s military assistant. Returning to France, he was appointed as the Commanding Officer of the 8 Marine infantry airborne Regiment, from July 2005 to July 2007 and was involved in EUFOR RDC operation in Gabon and Democratic Republic of Congo. After being an auditor of the 59th promotion of the military Centre for Higher Studies and of the 62th promotion of the National Defence Institute, he was promoted to brigadier general on August 2013. 

From September 2013 till January 2014, he acted as deputy general in charge of operations at the Joint Headquarters of the SERVAL operation in Mali. He participates to the major naval and amphibious exercise “Catamaran” in October 2014 as the commander of the landing forces.

In August 2015, he was appointed Commanding Officer of the French Forces in Gabon. Promoted to Major general the 1st of August 2016, he was appointed in Paris as deputy of the vice-chief of the General Staff, in charge of resources and organization of the Army. The 1st of September 2018, he was promoted Lieutenant general and appointed in Lille, as commander of the land forces.

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Dr. Panagiotis Kikiras
Head of Unit Technology & Innovation, European Defence Agency

Dr. Panagiotis Kikiras is Head of Unit Technology and Innovation at the Research Technology and Innovation Directorate at the European Defence Agency (EDA). He has more than 20 years of experience in computer and network engineering with strong emphasis in IoT, wireless sensors architectures and analytics, embedded systems, wearables, cyber defence, security and privacy and in mission critical C4ISR systems.

Prior to EDA, Panagiotis hold a number of leading positons in industry, governmental agencies and in academia. From his tenure in governmental agencies, he gained significant expertise in managing complex European and National projects in the areas of homeland security and defense and in the design, development and management of large scale sensor based mission critical IT Systems. In Academia he is Adj. Assoc. Professor at the department of Computer Science of the Univ. of Thessaly in Greece, where he created, and was the Technical Director, of the Wireless Sensor Sensing Laboratory.  In industry he hold a leading management position at a research center of a leading innovative multinational company with track record of creating value both to customers, by delivering turnkey innovative solutions, and to research excellence by managing a research team which created new intellectual property and scientific knowledge in terms of patents and scientific publications.

Panagiotis has published more than 50 papers in scientific peer-reviewed journals and conferences in the areas of IoT architectures and analytics, cyber defence, security and privacy and is a Senior Member of the IEEE. He is a graduate of the Hellenic Army Military Academy and holds an MSc in Management and Economics of Communication Networks from the Univ. of Athens and an MSc and PHD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens. 


Engineer-General (Second Class) Dominique Luzeaux

Director of the French Defence Digital Agency

Dominique Luzeaux (Maj. General, Dr.) is currently Director of the Defence Digital Agency within the French Ministry of Defense. In his previous assignment from 2014 to 2020, he was Deputy Director of the Joint Directorate for Networks Infrastructure and Information Systems within the Joint Staff. Previously, from 2009 to 2013, he was Director for Land Systems.

He graduated from Ecole Polytechnique (1987), Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Techniques Avancées (1989), defended his PhD thesis at the University of Paris XI (1991), was a visiting research scientist at the University of California at Berkeley (1991-1992), defended his Professor thesis (2001), attended the Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale (2006), received the Ingénieur Général de l’Armement Chanson Award for his groundbreaking research in autonomous land robotics (2006).

He coauthored ten technical books in French and English on nanotechnologies, systems-of-systems engineering and simulation, has directed a dozen of PhD students, and has published around hundred articles in conferences and international journals.


Lieutenant General Guglielmo Luigi Miglietta 

Commander of the NATO Rapid Deployable Corps- Italy (NRDC-ITA)

Lieutenant General Guglielmo Luigi MIGLIETTA assumed command of the NATO Rapid Deployable Corps – Italy on 9 December 2019. A graduate from the “Nunziatella” Military School in Naples, he was commissioned in 1980 Officer into the Cavalry, he then attended the Turin Junior Officer School.  From 1985 to 1992, he served at the Cavalry Regiment “Nizza (1°)” in Pinerolo (Turin). From 1992 to 1997, he served as Chief of the Officer Cadets Section of the Turin Junior Officer School. From 1997 to 1998, he served as Tutor and Professor at the Joint Command and Staff College. As a General Staff Officer, he served in the Public Information Agency of the Italian Army as Deputy Director (1998-1999). He held the position of Head of the Public Information Office at the Army General Staff (2000-2004). He became Head of the Office of the Assistant Chief of the General Staff (2006-2008). As a Senior Officer, he commanded the Squadron Group of the “Savoia Cavalleria (3°)” Regiment (1999-2000) and the “Lancieri di Montebello (8°)” Regiment (2005-2006). As a General Officer, he commanded the “Pozzuolo del Friuli” Cavalry Brigade (2010-2011) of which he was previously Deputy Commander. He also commanded the Italian Joint Force Headquarters (2011-2012). He was  later on Director of the General and Financial Planning Department at the Army General Staff, from which he had previously been Deputy Director. From 2015 to 2016, he was appointed Commander of the NATO “KFOR” mission in Kosovo. He was then designated Head of the General Planning and Defence Budget Planning Department at the Defence General Staff. In February 2019, he was appointed Deputy Commander of the Operational Land Forces Command and Army Operational Command.

During his career, he participated in the following out-of-area operations: “Pellicano” Operation in Albania, as Officer in charge of the operations (Sept. 1991 - Feb. 1992); “Joint Guardian” Operation in Kosovo, as Commander of the Squadron Group of the “Sauro” Task Force (Jun. - Sept. 2000); "Leonte" Operation in Lebanon, as the 9th  Commander of the Joint Task Force Lebanon and of Sector West of UNIFIL (Nov. 2010 - May 2011); “KFOR” Operation in Kosovo, as 20th  Commander of the mission (Aug. 2015 - Sept. 2016).


General (Ret.) Jean-Paul Paloméros 

Senior Advisor, CEIS-Avisa Partners,

Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Transformation

General Jean Paul Paloméros occupied several positions within the French Air Force. As SACT, General Paloméros was in charge of preparing NATO's military forces and capabilities to face current and future missions assigned to The Atlantic Alliance. His tasks ranged from military strategy, capability development, collective education, training and exercises for 28 NATO nations. General Paloméros has in-depth expertise on the impact of digital transformation and cyberdefence.

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Marcel Scherrenburg

Command & Control expert in the NATO Command and Control Centre of Excellence (NATO C2COE)

Marcel Scherrenburg (MSC MBA BEng, MAJ-reservist (NLD A)) is a subject matter expert Command & Control within the NATO Command and Control Centre of Excellence (NATO C2COE). His areas of expertise are technological innovation and Decision Making Processes within Multi-Domain Operations. 


Mr. Scherrenburg holds a degree in business administration and degrees in both mechanical engineering and industrial automation. He has over 25-years of experience in innovative engineering and he has held several executive positions within the high-tech manufacturing and product development industry.


He was staff officer within the Dutch armed forces and liaison officer for the Dutch Defence industry. In this position he contributed to the capabilities insights in the Dutch Defence-Industry-Strategy (NLD-DIS2018). 


Since 2018 he has joined the NATO C2COE and in 2019 he co-authored the publication of “The Future of the Command Post - study Part One”. In 2020 he and his team provided a ‘Multi-domain operations C2 demonstrator’ to support dispersed and distributed command of NATO HQs showcasing the military advantages of Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and VR-technology. His current research for the NATO C2COE is on Multi-Domain Operations Decision-Making Processes and the enablers required for this.


Brigadier General Seán White
Director of Communications / Information systems and Cyber Defence, European Union Military Staff (EUMS)

Brigadier General White has been appointed Director of Communications / Information systems and cyber defence in August 2021. He is responsaible for developing policies and concepts for military Communication/Information systems (CIS) and Cyber Defence, which are underpinned by the EU Common Security and Defence Policy. His role, as Branch Director, is be to lead the team who provide CIS and Cyber expertise both to the EUMS and in support of all EU Missions and Operations.


Brigadier General White is a Communications and Information Services Officer with over 35 years service in the Irish Defence Forces and has held domestic and overseas appointments in a variety of military roles. Domestically, he has held Staff and Command appointments at Defence Forces Headquarters in CIS, Finance and Medical Service Delivery. He has also served on overseas missions in Lebanon (UNIFIL), Somalia (UNOSOM), Kosovo (KFOR) and Chad (EUFOR TChad/RCA). Brigadier General White was educated at Summerhill College Sligo. He holds a Master’s Degree in Information Management and Technology from the United Kingdom Defence Academy (Cranfield University), a Master’s Degree in Leadership, Management and Defence Studies and a Higher Diploma in Information Management and Technology from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. He also holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the National University of Ireland Galway and Data Protection qualifications from the Irish Law Society and King’s Inns. Brigadier General White is originally from Drumcliffe, Co. Sligo and now resides in Co. Kildare.