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NU Leadership Conference Hosts Todd Lecture Speaker

April 10, 2023 | 7:00PM EST
Location: Mack Hall Auditorium
Free and open to the public.

The inaugural Norwich University Leadership Conference, with the theme of Championing Change and Transformation, will run April 10 to April 11. A Todd Lecture Series presentation by Marene N. Allison, Vice President, and Chief Information Security Officer for Johnson & Johnson, will be the headline event.

The inaugural Norwich University Leadership Conference, with the theme of Championing Change and Transformation, will run April 10 to April 11. A Todd Lecture Series presentation by Marene N. Allison, Vice President, and Chief Information Security Officer for Johnson & Johnson, will be the headline event at 7 PM on Monday, April 10 in Mack Hall Auditorium. The Todd Lecture Series event is free and open to the public. Watch on YouTube starting at 7 PM.

Ms. Allison is responsible for protecting the Information Technology (IT) systems and data worldwide through elimination and mitigation of cybersecurity risk. This includes ensuring that the J&J information security posture supports business growth objectives, protects public trust in the J&J brand, and meets legal/regulatory requirements. With 265 companies in 60+ countries, J&J is a leader in consumer health, pharmaceutical products, and medical devices worldwide.
Prior to 2010, she was Chief Security Officer and Vice President for Medco, where she oversaw all aspects of security and regulatory compliance. As head of Global Security at Avaya, Allison secured the World Cup network in Korea and Japan in 2002. She also worked as Vice President of Loss Prevention and Safety for the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company. Before that, she was an FBI Special Agent, working on undercover drug operations, terrorist bombings, and a mock nuclear terrorism exercise.
Allison has a Bachelor of Science degree from The United States Military Academy at West Point in the first class to include women. She has served in the US Army in the Military Police, as well as on the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services and the Overseas Security Advisory Committee. She is a founding member of West Point Women and currently serves on their Board of Directors. She is also on the Board of Directors for H-ISAC (Health Information Sharing and Analysis Center) and ASIS International. She is married, has a son, a wonderful daughter-in-law and grandson, and lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Norwich University announced today will host its inaugural Medal of Honor Day on Wednesday, March 22,2023. The guest speaker will be Master Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Edward Byers, a 2016 recipient of the Medal of Honor and 2018 graduate of Norwich’s College of Graduate and Continuing Studies. MCPO Byers will give a keynote presentation at 7:30 PM in Plumley Armory.  The program is free of charge and open to the public.

The Medal of Honor is awarded by the sitting President of the United States to members of the Armed Forces who distinguish themselves conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of their own lives above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action again an enemy of the United States; engaged in military operations involving conflict with opposing foreign force; or serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.  More than 3,520 Medals of Honor since thedecoration's creation in 1861.  Norwich University has had nine Medal of Honor recipients in its 203-year history.

Byers was presented the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama during a White House ceremony February 29, 2016, for his efforts during a hostage rescue while deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2012. He is only the 11th living service member to receive the Medal of Honor for bravery displayed in Afghanistan. 

Byers joined the Navy in September 1998; he has 11 overseas deployments with nine combat tours.  His personaldecorations include the Bronze Star with Valor (five awards), the Purple Heart (two awards), the Joint Service Commendation Medal with Valor, the Navy Commendation Medal (three awards, one with Valor), the Combat Action ribbon (two awards), and the Good Conduct Medal (five awards). He retired as a Master Chief in 2020. 

Byers is the Founder & CEO of Minerva 6 Solutions, an executive consulting and advisory firm that specializes in the cross-domain space between corporate and government. His charitable work includes serving on the board of the C4 Foundation and on the honorary advisor board of the Navy SEAL Foundation. He holds a National Paramedics License, a Bachelor of Science in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis from Norwich University, and an MBA from The Wharton School.

Maj. Gen. Bryan Watson (USA Ret.) is a 34-year U.S. Army veteran and a 1982 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. An engineer by trade, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Military Academy with concentrations in mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering. He also holds a Master of Science degree in administration from Michigan University and a Master of Science degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College.

Past command assignments ranged from platoon level to brigade commander in the 16th Engineer Battalion, 70th Engineer Battalion, 588th Engineer Battalion, and 1st ID Engineer Brigade. He also served as an engineer officer observer and coach at the National Training Center and chief of staff, 1st Armored Division. MG (Ret.) Watson was the 93rd commandant of the U.S. Army Engineer Regiment and School. His other flag officer assignments are: theater engineer for ISAF/IJC and USFOR-A in Afghanistan, vice director Joint Force Development (J7) the Joint Staff, and operations director (J3) U.S. Africa Command. He has combat tours in operations Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

His awards and decorations are the Defense Distinguished Service Award, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (with Oak Leaf Cluster); Bronze Star Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), and French National Defense Medal (Gold Award.) MG (Ret.) Watson has also earned the Ranger and Sapper Tabs. In 2022, he received the Gold DeFleury from the Corps of Engineers. He also serves as the Engineer Regiment’s honorary colonel.

We invite the entire Norwich University community to read the book before attending the lecture.

The Todd Lecture Series is named in honor of US Army retired Major General and Norwich President Emeritus W. Russell Todd ’50 and his late wife, Carol, in gratitude for their dedicated service to Norwich University and the Northfield community. The series is funded by a generous donation from Ellen and John Drew, the Todd’s daughter and son-in-law, and the Drew Foundation. The series aspires to serve not only the Norwich University campus community but also residents of Central Vermont and beyond.

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Todd Lecture Series

Since 2008, the Todd Lecture Series has brought revered, provocative and surprising speakers to campus in spring and fall. Free and open to all.


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