Published: May 27, 2020  •  154 Views

Leading in Times of Crisis: Seeing Through the Fog

A Conversation with RADM (Retired) Tom Atkin

EVP and GM, Public Sector, Rick "Ozzie" Nelson interviews RADM (Retired) Tom Atkin about the challenge of leading in times of crisis and the role of data in seeing through the "fog of war".

Tom Atkin
Managing Principal, The Atkin Group

Tom Atkin is the Managing Principal of The Atkin Group, a consulting firm that provides strategic and operational advice on crisis management, incident response, continuity of operations, cybersecurity, homeland security, interagency coordination, and exercise management to senior government and corporate executives. Additionally, The Atkin Group provides mentoring, executive coaching and leadership development training for individuals, teams and organizations.

Most recently, Tom served as the Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Global Security. He was responsible for Department of Defense (DoD) strategy and policy on cyber, space, countering weapons of mass destruction, homeland defense, domestic antiterrorism, global force protection, continuity of government, mission assurance, critical infrastructure, defense support to civil authorities, and technology/equipment transfers to domestic agencies.  He also served as the DoD Domestic Crisis Manager, DoD Principal Cyber Advisor, and Executive Director of the Council of Governors.

Prior to joining DoD, Tom was a Director for Raytheon U.S. Business Development for Homeland Security. In this capacity, he was responsible for linking technological, engineering and service solutions to maritime, border, public safety and other security-related requirements in the domestic homeland security and international market.

Tom retired from the Coast Guard as a Rear Admiral (Upper Half) in June 2012 after more than 30 years of service in various operational and strategic roles. He has significant government experience, serving in roles at the White House National Security Council/Homeland Security Council, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Coast Guard, and U.S. Navy.

His senior leadership positions include: Assistant Commandant for Intelligence and Criminal Investigations; acting Assistant Commandant for Marine Safety, Security and Stewardship; Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Transborder Security on the White House National Security Council; Commander of the Coast Guard Deployable Operations Group; Deputy Principal Federal Official to the FEMA Gulf Coast Joint Field Office; and Chief of Staff to the Principal Federal Official for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. His Pentagon assignments were Chief, Maritime Homeland Security and Defense Policy, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Homeland Defense; and Chief, Counter-Terrorism Branch, Chief of Naval Operations (Deep Blue).

He is a graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematical Sciences and holds a Master of Science in Management Science from the University of Miami.

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