Michael Vickers is a Principal in the Telemus Group. Dr. Vickers is widely recognized as one of the nation’s top national security professionals, with unprecedented senior tenure across Republican and Democratic administrations. He was a key operational strategist for the two great wars of our time: the operation in the 1980s to drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan that helped bring an end to the Cold War – the largest and most successful covert action program in the history of the CIA – and the ongoing war with al-Qa’ida. He played a major policy and planning role in the operation that killed Usama bin Ladin. From January 2011 to May 2015, Dr. Vickers served as the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence where he led an $80 billion, 180,000-person, global intelligence operation that included the National Security Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, National Reconnaissance Office, Defense Security Service, and the intelligence components of the Military Services and Combatant Commands. From 2007 to 2011, he served as the first and only Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations, Low-Intensity Conflict and Interdependent Capabilities. Dr. Vickers oversaw the policy, operations and warfighting capabilities of our Special Operations Forces, strategic forces (nuclear, missile defense, space, cyber), and conventional forces (air, ground and maritime). Earlier in his career, he served as a Special Forces Non-Commissioned Officer, Special Forces Officer and CIA Operations Officer, and had operational and combat experience in Central America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, and South and Central Asia. Dr. Vickers has received the nation’s highest awards in the fields of intelligence and defense, including the Presidential National Security Medal. He holds a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins, an MBA from the Wharton School, and a B.A. from the University of Alabama. Dr. Vickers is working on a memoir of his career, to be published by Knopf in 2017. He also holds several positions in the private sector.Dr. Vickers has been focused on the strategic and operational implications of China’s rise to great power status and an ongoing revolution in warfare for over two decades. As Senior Vice President at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, he led several path-breaking studies and wargames on China and the revolution in war. He has played a pivotal role in shaping DoD’s response to China’s rise in all Quadrennial Defense Reviews since 2001. As Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, he led a transformation of Defense Intelligence to meet the challenges of a rising China, a resurgent Russia and a Middle East torn asunder by global jihadists, regional power rivalry, proxy war, and state collapse. Dr. Vickers has engaged with China’s senior military and intelligence leadership since the mid-1980s.
Robert Martinage is a Principal in the Telemus Group. Previously, he served as a Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic & Budgetary Assessments (CSBA), where he directed the 20XX wargame series. Mr. Martinage has more than 17 years of experience designing, conducting, and analyzing over 40 war games and numerous studies focused on conventional operations in high-end threat environments, special operations, irregular warfare, and strategic deterrence and warfare. While performing the duties of the Under Secretary of Navy, Mr. Martinage led development of the FY 2014/2015 budgets for the Department of the Navy (DoN) and represented the Department during the Strategic Choices and Management Review (SCMR), as well as within the Defense Management Action Group (DMAG). From 2010-2013, Mr. Martinage served as the Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy, providing senior-level advice on foreign and defense policy, naval capability and readiness issues, security policy, intelligence oversight, and special programs and activities. He chaired the Naval Intelligence Council, oversaw the DoN’s military intelligence program, and represented the DoN on the Defense Space Council and Nuclear Weapons Council. Prior to his service in the Navy Secretariat, Mr. Martinage served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations, Low-Intensity Conflict and Interdependent Capabilities in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), focusing on policy issues involving special operations, irregular warfare, counter-terrorism, security force assistance, stability operations, and human assistance and disaster relief activities. During his tenure in OSD, Mr. Martinage successfully led a two-year, DoD-wide effort, directed by the Secretary of Defense, to develop an investment path for a future long-range strike “family of systems,” which culminated in major investment decisions regarding intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; electronic attack; and long-range strike capabilities. Mr. Martinage holds a MA from The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy with fields of concentration in International Security Studies, Southwest Asia, International Negotiation & Conflict Resolution, and Civilization & Foreign Affairs. Mr. Martinage earned his BA cum laude from Dartmouth College in Government with concentrations in International Relations and Political Theory & Public Law.
Jim Thomas is a Principal in the Telemus Group. He is concurrently an Adjunct with the RAND Corporation. He previously served as Vice President and Director of Studies at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) from 2009-2016. Mr. Thomas is an experienced analyst and practitioner in the fields of strategy formulation, scenario development, force and operational planning, alliance and coalition management, conventional and nuclear deterrence, and intelligence. He has published monographs with CSBA, the Center for a New American Security and the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and his articles have been published in Foreign Affairs, The American Interest, The National Interest, and the Wall Street Journal. He has served on the National Security Agency Advisory Board External Affairs Panel and participated in several Defense Science Board Summer Studies on Constrained Operations (2016), Capability Surprise (2008), and Future Warfare (2007). Before joining CSBA, Mr. Thomas held the position of Vice President of Applied Minds, Inc., a private research and development company specializing in rapid, interdisciplinary technology prototyping. Earlier in his career, he served for thirteen years in a variety of policy, planning, and resource analysis posts in the Department of Defense, culminating in his dual appointment as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Resources and Plans, and Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy. In these capacities, he was responsible for the development of the defense strategy, conventional force planning, resource assessment, and the oversight of war plans. Mr. Thomas spearheaded the 2005-2006 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) and was the principal author of the QDR Report to Congress. A former Reserve Naval officer, Mr. Thomas served as a naval warfare analyst in the Office of Naval Intelligence and National Military Joint Intelligence Center. He received the Department of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service in 1997 for his work at NATO, and the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service in 2006 for his strategy work. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute for Strategic Studies and holds a BA degree with high honors from the College of William and Mary, an MA degree from the University of Virginia, and an MA degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.