Directions to Lexington, Virginia
VMI Post Map 
facebook   twitter  Flicker FORA TV

Mrs. Ronda Dove
Administrative Assistant

P:  (540) 464-7361
F: (540) 464-7396

Center for Leadership & Ethics
VMI, Marshall Hall
500 Anderson Drive
Lexington, VA  24450

Schedule for 2016 Leadership Conference

Please note that we will observe the following security measures in Cameron Hall and Marshall Hall:  No Backpacks. No Pets, No Food or Drinks, and No Weapons. All items are subject to search.

 Kim Connolly interview on 3WZ fm about 2016 Leadership

Locations:  Marshall Hall and Cameron Hall, VMI
March 7
, 2016

7:00 - 8:30 am - Registration - Marshall Hall, Gallery

7:00 - 8:30 am - Continental Breakfast - Marshall Hall, Hall of Valor

8:40 - 9:00 am - WELCOMING CEREMONY with VMI Superintendent, GEN Peay - Marshall Hall, Gillis Theater

9:00 - 10:30 am - PANEL 1: Is Big Brother Alive and Well? - Marshall Hall, Gillis Theater

“Always eyes watching you and the voice enveloping you. Asleep or awake, indoors or out of doors, in the bath or bed- no escape. Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimeters in your skull.”
― George Orwell, 1984

“Thanks to technological progress, Big Brother can now be almost as omnipresent as God.”
― Aldous Huxley

Moderator: Angela Smith, Ph.D., Roger Mudd Professor of Ethics and Professor of Philosophy, Washington & Lee University.


Hasan Elahi, Associate Professor of Art, University of Maryland, who responded to the inclusion of his name on the FBI watch list by putting his every movement online for complete transparency and tracking.

Margaret Hu, J.D., Assistant Professor of Law, Washington and Lee University School of Law. The author of upcoming article “Big Data Blacklisting” in the Florida Law Review.

Jen Golbeck, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Maryland College of Information Studies, director of the Social Intelligence Lab, and data mining expert.

Kim Zetter, senior staff reporter at Wired magazine covering cybercrime, privacy, and security. 

11:05 - 12:05 DAY 1 KEYNOTE H.B. Johnson Jr. '26 Distinguished Speaker* - Cameron Hall

General (Ret) Keith Alexander, President and CEO of IronNet Cybersecurity, first commander, U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) from 2010 to 2014 and 16th Director, National Security Agency (NSA)L/Chief, Central Security Service (CSS) from 2005-2014.

12:15 - 1:45 pm - LUNCH WITH SPEAKER - Marshall Hall, Hall of Valor  

Christopher Sogohian, Ph. D., Principal Technologist with the Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at the American Civil Liberties Union, and Visiting Fellow at Yale Law School's Information Society Project

2:00 - 3:30 pm - PANEL 2: The Morality of Robotic Warfare -  Marshall Hall, Gillis Theater

Moderator: Richard Hooker, Ph.D., Director for Research and Strategic Support and Director, Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University.


Paul Springer, Ph.D., Senior Fellow, Air Command and Staff College, and author of Military Robots and Drones: A Reference Handbook.

Benjamin Wittes, senior fellow in Governance Studies at The Brookings Institution, co-founder and editor in chief of Lawfare, which is devoted to non-ideological discussion of hard national security choices and a member of the Hoover Institution’s Task Force on National Security and Law. The author of "The Future of Violence: Robots and Germs, Hackers and Drones—Confronting a New Age of Threat."

Jordan Paust, J.D. Professor of International Law at the Law Center of the University of Houston. He has served on several committees for international law, human rights; laws of war, terrorism, and the use of force in the American Society of International Law; the American Branch of the International Law Association, the American Bar Association, and was the Co-Chair of the American Society’s International Criminal Law Interest Group (1992-2008).

3:30 - 4:00 BREAK

4:00 - 5:30 pm - CADET-LED VMI POST TOURS - Starting at Marshall Hall

6:30 - 8:30 pm - DINNER - Marshall Hall, Hall of Valor

"Rise of the Robots:  Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future"
Speaker:  Martin Ford - Leading expert on the robot revolution, artificial intelligence, job automation, and the impact of accelerating technology on workplaces, the economy and society.

Locations:  Cameron Hall and Crozet Hall (Breakfast in Marshall Hall's Hall of Valor)
March 8, 2016

[Conference participation welcomes the entire VMI Corps of Cadets on Day Two.  Cadets and guests will be assigned to a batallion.  Guests may follow their batallion or stay for both panel sessions.  VMI Cadets are required to remain with their batallion.]
  • Keynote speech - 1st & 2nd Batallions 
  • 1st Batallion attends the Ethical Leadership Challenge; 2nd Batallion attends a Panel Discussion
  • 2nd Batallion attends the Leadership Challenge; 1st Batallion attends a Panel Discussion.  The morning and after lunch panel discussion topics are different.  Outside attendees who wish to attend both panels may do so.
  • Closing Message
6:45 - 7:45 am - Hot Breakfast Buffet - Hall of Valor (Guests) / Crozet Hall (VMI Corps of Cadets)

8:00 - 9:00 am - DAY 2 KEYNOTE SPEAKER:  Leadership & Ethics Speaker* - Cameron Hall

"The Next War:  What is the Future Technology and Geopolitics of War?"
Speaker:  Dr. Peter W. Singer.  Singer is Strategist and Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation, founder of NeoLuddite, a technology advisory firm, the author of multiple award-winning books, and a contributing editor at Popular Science. His current book, Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War paints a plausible scenario of what war at sea, on land, in the air, space, and cyberspace will be like in the future. 

 9:15 - 11:30 am - Ethical Leadership Challenge - 1st Battalion -  Crozet Hall

The Ethical Leadership Challenge is an interactive, reflective exercise involving 2 – 3 scenarios which will explore ethical dilemmas in national policy and society and require the active participation of attendees in conversation concerning different viewpoints, and self-reflection on ethical leadership. 

The sessions are designed to address our capability as a society to develop ethical practices that address new technology-driven challenges, and allow each participant to reflect on his or her personal ethical considerations and actions.

9:15 - 11:30 am - Panel #3:  "Are Cyberattacks an Act of War?" - 2nd Batallion - Cameron Hall

 Moderator: Retired U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey G. Smith Jr. ’79, Academic Dean, Virginia Military Institute and former Deputy Commanding General of Army Cyber Command


Eric Jensen, J. D., associate professor of law at BYU School of Law who teaches and writes in the area of Public International Law, Criminal Law, The Law of Armed Conflict, International Criminal Law and National Security Law. He is a former Army JAG.

Phyllis Schneck, Ph.D., Deputy Undersecretary for Cybersecurity, National Protection and Programs Directorate, Department of Homeland Security.

Rhett A. Hernandez, retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General, former Commander of the United States Army Cyber Command.

•  Kim Zetter, senior staff reporter at Wired covering cybercrime, privacy, and security. She is the author of Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World’s First Digital Weapon.

11:30 - 1:00 pm - LUNCH - Crozet Hall

1:00 - 3:30 pm - Panel #4 "Social Media Impact: The Good, Bad, and Ugly" 1st Batallion - Cameron Hall 

Moderator: Mark Bauerlein, Ph.D., Prof. of English, Emory University, author The Dumbest Generation and editor of The Digital Divide:  Arguments for and Against Facebook, Google, Texting and the Age of Social Networking. 


Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post reporter and digital culture critic.

John Trybus, Deputy Director of Georgetown University's Center for Social Impact Communication

Vera Heuer, Ph. D., Assistant Professor of International Studies, Virginia Military Institute

1:00 - 3:30 - Ethical Leadership Challenge - 2nd Batallion - Crozet Hall

3:30 - 3:45 - CLOSING MESSAGE

- Each battalion (group) remains in their respective locations to listen to our closing message

Conclusion: "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility"

The integration and reliance on technology on both an individual and a national/global level has changed our lives and global politics in ways we could not have imagined even twenty years ago. Digital technologies have created a tremendous capacity for enhancing the common good but have also exposed mankind’s flaws. By attending this conference, participants will become more aware of the individual ethical use of technology, and inspired and active citizens to help guide national policies that leverage the immense power of the digital age.

Pre-Conference Resources

We have begun a list of read/view ahead materials to prep guests for the themes and content we intend to cover over the course of our two-day conference.  Click on the link above.

Post Conference Resources

Plenary speaker sessions and panel discussions will be videotaped and shared on our VMI Center for Leadership and Ethics' YouTube Channel.

*These events are free and open to the public.  Guests who are not registered to attend the Leadership Conference, however, may not attend any other session without registering.