Thomson Reuters hosts 3rd Annual Government Conference

On June 5, 2018, Thomson Reuters hosted its 3rd Annual Government Conference in Washington DC. Past years’ conferences have discussed issues such as: screening and due diligence, supply chain risks, insider threats, illicit finance, the impact of new technology on government operations, and how it can be leveraged to ensure agencies meet their mission objectives.

The conferences have been successful in providing government agencies a forum to discuss technology and intelligence challenges that could be addressed through enhanced public-private cooperation.

2018 Conference

​This year, Thomson Reuters invited government and industry experts to discuss three issues: Challenges facing Journalists and the Impact of Social Media on Public Perception, Supply Chain Risks, and Trade-Based Money Laundering (TBML). The conference was opened by Steve Rubley Managing Director of Thomson Reuters Legal Division and Government Sector, and CEO of Thomson Reuters Special Services.

The keynote address was given by Derek N. Benner, the Acting Executive Associate Director for Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). HSI is the investigative arm of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). HSI investigates all types of cross-border criminal activity, including but not limited to:

  • Financial crime, money laundering, and bulk cash smuggling
  • Intellectual Property Theft
  • Immigration, document and benefit fraud
  • International art and antiquity theft

The panel on the challenges facing journalists and the impact of social media on public perception was led by John Shiffman, a correspondent for the Reuters news agency. He was joined by his colleagues and fellow journalists Amanda Baker, John Walcott, and Yasmeen Abutaleb.

The panel on Supply Chain Risks was led by Andy Russell, the lead director of Department of Defense Programs for Thomson Reuters Special Services. He was joined by: Robert Handfield, Professor of Supply Chain Management; Emile Monette, Lead for the Cyber Supply Chain Risk Management Initiative of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Cybersecurity and Communications; and Chris Nissen, Director of Asymmetric Response within the MITRE corporation.

Finally, the TBML panel, led by Thomson Reuter’s Global Head of Threat Finance and Emerging Risks Jesse Spiro, brought in industry and government experts to discuss the challenges agencies face in identifying TBML. Panelists included: Marcy Forman, Managing Director of Citigroup’s AML Compliance’s Global Investigations Unit; Patrick Li, Director of Investigations and Trade Transparency Unit within the Department of Homeland Security’s National Targeting Center; and Kristin Reif, Director of the Illicit Trade Prevention Group within Phillip Morris International. 

Key Takeaways

CT Strategies attended the conference to identify potential industry solutions to many of the large supply chain security and trade facilitation challenges facing the U.S. Government today. Of interest was the discussion on leveraging data to better inform decision making and targeting within supply chain management. Many during the conference discussed utilizing this same approach in identifying TBML.

Regarding the conversation around data analytics to better target and identify risk, the government panelists provided an insightful discussion regarding their challenges and limitations in acquiring these tools. Ultimately, the need for dialogue and collaboration between industry and government was made clear. Without proper identification of government needs, leveraging advances in technology becomes increasingly difficult. What resulted from this conference was a greater understanding of industry capabilities, and government needs in the realm of supply chain security, and trade enforcement. 

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