2018 Intel & National Security Conference

The 2nd Intelligence and National Security Conference, held on March 17 and 18, 2018, at Coastal Carolina University (CCU), was a collaborative effort by the Intelligence and National Security Studies (INSS), Political Science, and the Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS) programs at Coastal Carolina University (CCU). It focused on the themes of careers and women in intelligence and national security, which it views as interrelated.

This conference was organized as part of an upper-level course entitled “Women in Intelligence and National Security”, which was co-taught by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis (INSS Program), Dr. Ina Seethaler (WGS Program), and Dr. Kaitlin Sidorsky (Political Science Program) at CCU. It was led by the course’s 16 students, who were also members of Women in Intelligence and National Security at CCU. They were: Lauren Altman, Katie Brooks, Antigua Clyburn, Clara Comiskey, Skylar Demartinis, Beth-Anne Eiring, Caitlyn Fegett, Monica Fulmer, Belle Griggs, Crystal Marzetti, Tanya Morse, Kaitlin Presnell, Allison Reilly, Maeve Stewart, Joseph Tedeschi, and Jenny Thorpe.

The conference was sponsored by: the Quality Enhancement Plan Committee, the Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts, the University College, and Women in Philanthropy and Leadership at CCU.


Click above to access the 2nd Intelligence and National Security Conference schedule


PYLILO MichelynMEGAN B. works for the Drug Enforcement Administration as an Intelligence Analyst. She has been with DEA for about 14 years, working in the Atlanta Field Division, DEA Headquarters, the Singapore Country Office, the New Orleans Field Division, the Bogota Colombia Country Office, and now the Florence/Myrtle Beach Resident Office. Megan has worked in case support, strategic intelligence and various tactical intelligence projects. She attended Clemson University, majoring in Political Science. She has a Master’s degree in International Affairs from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Georgia.

LYNN BAKER has 31 years of law enforcement experience and is currently the Gang Intelligence Sergeant for the Horry County Police Department. For the past 12 years, Investigator Baker has been tasked with the collection, documentation, and maintenance of intelligence information that is utilized in focused investigations against criminal street gangs, outlaw motorcycle gangs and white supremacist groups. Additionally for the past 2½ years, she has been assigned to an Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) Violent Crime and Gang Taskforce that is comprised of local and federal agents. Investigator Baker, has attended over 700 hours of classes on topics such as gang graffiti, symbols, clothing, tattoos, writing, and trends. She has attended numerous gang-related conferences, including a specialized 40-hour training course at the Institute of Police Technology and Management at the University of North Florida on Criminal Street Gang Investigations. She is a member of the East Coast Gang Investigators Association, North Carolina Gang Investigators Association, Florida Gang Association and National Alliance of Gang Investigators Associations. In 2015, she was appointed as the secretary on the executive board and in 2018 as treasurer for the South Carolina Gang Investigators Associations.

DEBORAH BREEDE, Professor of Communication at Coastal Carolina University, teaches communication, women’s and gender studies, and graduate courses. A founding member of the Department of Communication, Media & Culture, and currently a member of the Honors Council and the Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts’ (COHFA) Graduate Studies Advisory Board, Dr. Breede is also a founding member of ECCAHT, the Eastern Carolinas Coalition Against Human Trafficking and has testified in the state legislature in support of their work.

KATIE BROOKS is a senior Intelligence and National Security Studies student at CCU, with minors in Criminology and Women’s and Gender Studies. She has conducted and presented research under the supervision of Dr. Rick Kilroy, and is a founding member of the Women in Intelligence and National Security club, where she currently holds the position of President. Ms. Brooks is the secretary of the CCU chapter of Order of the Sword and Shield Intelligence and National Security Honors Society, and has been formally inducted into the Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Honors Society and Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity.

ANTIGUA CLYBURN is a Senior Intelligence and National Security Studies Major and Geographic Information Systems Minor from Sumter, SC. She is a co-founding member of the Women in Intelligence and National Security (WINS) club. In the spring of 2017, she was a member of the Middle East Section of the Chanticleer Intelligence Brief (CIB), where she focused on women’s rights in Saudi Arabia. Her successful analytical prediction was featured in an interview on the topic, which was hosted on the CIB’s website.

MICHAEL CONNELLY is a Supervisory Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Myrtle Beach and Florence, South Carolina. He has served as an FBI Special Agent for more than 18 years, primarily in the Detroit, Michigan Field Office. His overseas assignments in the FBI include extended deployments to Iraq (Balad and Kurdistan), Afghanistan, Pakistan (Karachi), Nigeria, and Serbia. While deployed, SSA Connelly served on joint inter-agency task forces comprised of Department of Defense, Department of State, and foreign intelligence/military services. Prior to the FBI, SSA Connelly served approximately 10 years as an officer in the US Army.

CORONA AmandaAMANDA CORONA is an Administrator with The Chertoff Group, a risk management advisory firm in Washington DC, where, among other things, she serves as the Deputy to the Director of Operations and provides administrative support to the Chief Operations Officer. Prior to her current role, Ms. Corona served as an intern with the firm, composing daily reports on terrorism, cyber security and aviation security, in addition to her contributions to research and product development. She also worked as an intern at the Embassy of the Republic of Iraq in Washington, DC, where she co-authored a report on combatting regional terrorism and produced analyses of events and Congressional hearings. Ms. Corona is currently pursuing a Master’s in Security Policy Studies with specializations in Cyber Security and Defense Analysis from George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs.

GINA FADDIS is a retired Central Intelligence Agency operations officer and the President of Artemis, LLC, a firm that provides subject matter expertise to the Intelligence Community, the Department of Defense and private industry. Gina is one of the very few women who served their entire careers as CIA Operations Officers. She worked primarily in the Middle East and South Asia and held a number of senior command positions. Gina has a B.A. from the Evergreen State University in Olympia, Washington, and studied Political Science (graduate school) at Middle East Technical University (METU) abroad.

CHARLES “SAM” FADDIS is a Veteran, retired Central Intelligence Agency operations officer, Senior Partner with Artemis, LLC, and published author. With degrees from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland Law School, he is a contributor to SofRep, NewsMax, and The Hill among others. He regularly appears on many news networks and radio programs as a national security and counter-terrorism expert. Sam is the author of Beyond Repair: The Decline and Fall of the CIA, Willful Neglect: The Dangerous Illusion Of Homeland Security and other books.

BRIAN GOODMAN is Deputy Commander of the NSA/CSS Cryptologic Center in Augusta, Georgia. He joined the National Security Agency in 1997 after serving 23 years on active duty, retiring as an Army Military Intelligence Officer. He has served in a variety of leadership and staff positions both in the US and overseas. He has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East, providing intelligence support, assistance, and partnership to numerous Combatant, Component, Coalition, and Joint Commands engaged in the Global War on Terrorism. Mr. Goodman assumed his current duties in June 2016. He is directly responsible to the Commander NSA Georgia and the Director of NSA in providing leadership, mentorship, technical and target expertise that promotes mission execution in a safe, professional and ethical work environment, while strengthening customer relationship and building internal and external partnerships.

RAY H. retired as a Senior Intelligence Service Executive at the Central Intelligence Agency after a distinguished career in the Directorate of Intelligence and the Directorate of Operations, the Clandestine Service. He was selected as a Director of Central Intelligence Distinguished Intelligence Analyst. He produced the first Human Factors analysis of the KGB foreign intelligence service. In subsequent DI duties, R.H. was also was the senior CIA official on the United States Government’s Committee on Scientific and Technical Exchanges with the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact. In the Clandestine Service, R.H. had assignments to over thirty countries worldwide. He conducted and managed clandestine programs in HUMINT and technical collection, and espionage operations against WMD proliferation targets, terrorist targets and foreign hard target intelligence services. He directed all technical counterintelligence operations, all technical covert action programs, and he established new collection programs targeting selected foreign S&T research. He is the recipient of numerous CIA medals and awards.

CHRIS HERMANN began his career with the Federal Bureau of Investigation as an Intelligence Analyst working on the night shift at the Counterterrorism Watch unit in Washington, DC, in 2002. While there, he wrote products for the President, the FBI Director, and numerous senior executives, and was one of the first FBI employees assigned to the newly created National Counterterrorism Center. From 2006-2015 he served in a variety of roles at FBI New Haven, primarily as an embedded analyst on the Joint Terrorism Task Force and as the office’s liaison to Connecticut’s intelligence fusion center. Since 2015, he has served as a Supervisory Intelligence Analyst in FBI Columbia.

Dr. JENNIFER HESTERMAN is a retired Air Force colonel who served in three Pentagon tours and commanded in the field multiple times. Her last assignment was Vice Commander at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, where she regularly escorted the President and other heads of State on the ramp. She is the recipient of the Legion of Merit and the Meritorious Service medal with 5 oak leaf clusters. Dr. Hesterman’s book Soft Target Hardening: Protecting People from Attack was the ASIS Security Book of the Year for 2015. She also authored Soft Target Crisis Management (2016) and The Terrorist-Criminal Nexus (2013). She is on the ASIS School Safety and Security and Women in Security councils. She is presently senior fellow at the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security at George Washington University.

PAUL HICKEY was assigned from the US Air Force to the National Security Agency in 1968 as a computer programmer. After his discharge from active duty he was hired by NSA as an Intelligence Analyst in one of the Agency’s intern programs. After graduation, he took an overseas assignment in Germany, where he served as a Collection Manager. He was then assigned as a shift chief in a 24-hour rotating shift operation, before returning to Germany to serve as a branch chief. He left NSA while still in Germany and worked for Army Intelligence for the next 10 years. At the end of the Cold War, he was assigned to NSA/CSS Georgia, and renewed his work with NSA. He retired in 2001, but almost immediately returned to work as a contractor with the Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) after 9/11. He later worked for Integrated Cryptologic Solutions (ICS).

BETTY HOUBION pioneered South Carolina’s first comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation, SC Act 258, and co-organized trainings in basic human trafficking. Houbion serves as Zonta District 11 Advocacy and Service Chair and Myrtle Beach Zonta Club’s Advocacy Chair. She also serves as Director-Communications on the SC FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association Board. Last year, Houbion attended the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women as a member of Zonta International’s delegation. Additionally, she served as American Women for International Understanding’s Vice President-Development, hosted a Virtual Dialogue on Human Trafficking, and participated in a delegation to Myanmar (Burma). She also traveled as a delegate with South Carolina’s trade mission to the United Arab Emirates.

LOOMIS RachelRACHEL LOOMIS is Branch Chief, Warfighter Support, Intelligence Directorate, US Air Forces Central Command, Shaw Air Force Base, Sumter, South Carolina. She is responsible for enabling air component intelligence support to US Central Command’s Air Expeditionary Wings. Captain Loomis commissioned in 2012 from Auburn University, Reserve Officer Training Corps. She has served in numerous intelligence roles, including Chief of Information Operations, Regional Threats Analysis Squadron, and deployed as an Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance Tactical Systems Operator and Instructor, Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Prior to her current assignment, Captain Loomis was the Group Executive Officer for the Space, Missiles and Forces Intelligence Group, Wright Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio.

MALONE BenBENJAMIN MALONE is an intelligence analyst based in Washington, DC. He majored in Intelligence and National Security Studies at Coastal Carolina University, where he was recognized as Intelligence Student of the year for 2016-2017. While at CCU, he founded the Chanticleer Intelligence Brief (CIB) and was an advisor on the Student Leadership Committees as well as other National Security student organizations and initiatives. Since graduating in 2017, he has joined the Intelligence Community and continues to grow his career and education in the Washington, DC, area.

ALLISON MARDI started her Federal Bureau of Investigation career in 2012 in the Bureau’s San Juan, Puerto Rico, field office as an Operational Support Technician. She worked with the public corruption squad focusing on police corruption and then the mobile surveillance squad. She transferred to the Jacksonville, Florida, field office in October 2014 as an Operational Support Technician working in the operations center and then on the violent crimes squad. While in Jacksonville, she was promoted to an Evidence Technician. In October 2015, Mardi transferred to the Columbia, South Carolina, Myrtle Beach Resident Agency office as an Operational Support Technician, providing administrative support to the Myrtle Beach and Florence areas of responsibility. Since being in Myrtle Beach, Mardi has been promoted into a Staff Operations Specialist position where she provides tactical Intel support to the Myrtle Beach and Florence areas of responsibility.

MARTHA “MARTI” PETERSON is a retired Central Intelligence Agency officer, who has revealed some of her story in her memoir, The Widow Spy, published in February 2012. First joining the CIA as a secretary, she eventually became an operations officer and learned to recruit foreign agents for the CIA. Her first assignment was to Moscow, USSR, in 1975. One of the Soviet agents she handled, codenamed TRIGON, has been acclaimed as one of the most significant spies for the US during the Cold War. In July 1977, Peterson was ambushed by the KGB late one night as she attempted to make a drop to TRIGON. She was interrogated in Lyubianka Prison and eventually expelled from the USSR. In 1979 Marti remarried and elected to take her husband’s last name, which gave her built-in anonymity from her past. She continued to work for the CIA, raising two children with her husband in northern Virginia.

MICHELYN “MIKIE” PYLILO is an investigator with Coastal Carolina University, specializing in sexual assaults, stalking and harassment cases. Prior to moving to South Carolina, she was an Alaska State Trooper for 17 years, specializing in domestic violence-related crimes ranging from stalking to homicide. She has received expert level training in multiple fields to include, but not limited to, domestic violence, sexual assaults, child sexual abuse, crime scenes, accident reconstruction, interview and interrogation and the forensic interviewing of children. She is a Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) instructor and is currently working towards a master’s degree in criminal justice.

DANA RIDENOUR entered on duty as a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in November 1995 and retired April 6, 2016. During her career, she was assigned to four different FBI Field Divisions and had the opportunity to work a wide variety of cases. She was also a member of the FBI’s Evidence Response Team and traveled with her team to New York City in response to the 9/11 World Trade Center attack. In 2003, Dana passed the FBI’s prestigious undercover school, thus allowing her to work as an undercover FBI agent. She spent most of her career as an FBI undercover operative infiltrating various criminal organizations including domestic terrorism extremists in the Animal Liberation Front. Dana’s first novel, Behind the Mask, is fiction but based on her personal experiences working as an undercover agent. The book won numerous literary awards and was named one of the Best Indie Books of 2016. Dana released her second book, Beyond the Cabin, in August 2017.

MAEVE STEWART is a senior at Coastal Carolina University studying Intelligence and National Security Studies. She is a former analyst and current member of the Chanticleer Intelligence Brief (CIB), where she has conduced analysis on domestic terrorism. Her research on the topic of far-right terrorism will be published in a forthcoming special edition of the CIB’s journal, The Intelligence Review. Ms Stewart is also a member of Women in Intelligence and National Security and an alumnae member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority. She is scheduled to graduate in August 2018

RICHARD TROUT started his career as a civilian in Naval Intelligence, first as an analyst and later as a Division and Department head covering topics such as foreign ocean surveillance, technical analysis of communications, and surveillance and space systems. In 1992, he was detailed as the Office of Naval Intelligence representative to the Director of Central Intelligence’s (DCI) Arms Control Intelligence Staff. He assisted in the preparations for monitoring the START Treaty, and in 1994 became the senior analyst responsible for coordinating the Intelligence Community’s efforts to monitor the Treaty. In early 2003, he became Chief for Strategic Issues in the office of the DCI’s Treaty Monitoring Manager. Starting in 2007, he also served as the intelligence advisor to the head of US delegations led by Under and Assistant Secretaries of State under both the Bush and Obama administrations that were negotiating the follow-on treaty to the START Treaty. In August 2011, Mr. Trout retired from federal service.