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VIRTUAL WIT.Connect: The State of Tech Capitalism
Thursday, June 18, 2020, 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM EDT
Category: WIT.Connect Programs

The last quarter of this century has witnessed the emergence of a new economic order. It marks the arrival of a new age — an age of artificial intelligence, robotics, space research, biotech, and environmental technology. To understand this evolution, this WIT Connect identifies the driving forces shaping the techno-capitalism realities of today and the potential impacts across policy, entrepreneurship, and modes of production.

Hear from:

  • Leilani Brown, Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at K12 Inc.
  • Carole House, Cybersecurity Policy Specialist, Department of Treasury/Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
  • Christina Monaco, Chief Ventures Officer, Office of Ventures and Innovation at National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)
  • Natasha Ahmed, Economist and Management Consulting Professional
  • Sheena D. Franklin, Founder and CEO, Well-Kept Beauty
  • Martha Laughman, Director of Workforce Channel Development & Veterans Programs at SmoothStack


WIT Members can view this event recording by logging into your WIT profile.


Leilani Brown
Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at K12 Inc.

Leilani M. Brown, Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at K12 Inc., has decades of marketing, brand, and communications experience. Ms. Brown leads K12's expanding development of public and private-sector partnerships, managing several cross-functional strategic initiatives including Job Shadow Week and K12’s strategic investment in Tallo—a career platform that connects high school students, college students and young adults to career and higher education opportunities.

Job Shadow Week connects students with professionals in diverse industries to ignite a curiosity for career paths in growing and in-demand fields. Through interactive workshops, professional development courses, networking opportunities and mentorship, Job Shadow Week will connect the next generation of business leaders with today’s experts in growing fields of business, health care services, information technology, and more. Kicking off on July 13, Job Shadow Week 2020 will be an entirely virtual experience.

Prior to joining K12, Ms. Brown served as Chief Marketing Officer of Starr Companies, a global insurance and investment organization. She has also held leadership roles at other major companies including the Economist Group, MetLife, and American International Group.

Ms. Brown is the author of From Campus to Cubicle: 25 Tips for Your First Professional Year, a career guide for young professionals and recent graduates. She serves on the board of Middlebury College, her alma mater; and the Executive Leadership Council, the premier membership organization for global black executives. Ms. Brown is also a graduate of New York University.

Carole House
Cybersecurity Policy Specialist, Department of Treasury/Financial Crimes Enforcement Network

Carole House has served as a Cyber and Emerging Technology Policy Specialist at the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network since 2018.  In 2019, she also supported the Center for a New American Security's Military, Veterans, and Society Program as an Adjunct Research Associate. Carole is a former U.S. Army Captain who served in chemical defense and military intelligence until November 2014, including a combat deployment to Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. She previously worked as a Presidential Management Fellow in the White House Office of Management and Budget’s Cyber and National Security Unit overseeing federal cybersecurity programs. During her fellowship, Carole served on a detail supporting the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on cybersecurity, supply chain risk management, and critical infrastructure protection policy issues. Carole holds a BA in international affairs from the University of Georgia and an MA in security studies from Georgetown University.    


Christina Monaco
Chief Ventures Officer, Office of Ventures and Innovation at National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

Ms. Christina Monaco joined the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) in April 2013 and since October of 2017 has served as NGAs Chief Ventures Officer.  In this role, she coordinates NGAs innovation initiatives with agency stakeholders, government partners, industry and academia, focusing on innovation and the incubation and adoption of new capabilities that create unique combinations of people, process, and technology to sustain NGA competitive advantage.  She also leads NGAs acquisition innovation efforts and strategy, chairs NGAs Venture Board, and manages relationships with the commercial sector.

Ms. Monaco has served in a number of positions within the intelligence community. Her federal career began in 1990 with the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) were she worked for several years in intelligence collection and foreign materiel programs. From 1996 to 1999, she served as the Foreign Intelligence Liaison Officer for the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Naval Forces Europe intelligence staff, based in Naples, Italy. In 2001, she moved to the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and there served in the Defense HUMINT Service foreign materiel acquisition program office and later the Executive Director’s staff. From 2003 through 2009, Ms. Monaco served in DIA’s Chief Financial Executive element in a series of assignments, including the Defense Intelligence Resource Management Office (General Defense Intelligence Program staff). She was appointed as a Defense Intelligence Senior Level executive in 2007 as the Senior Financial Expert for HUMINT Management, and in 2008 she was additionally appointed as the Deputy Chief Financial Executive for HUMINT and CI. She transitioned to DIA’s Office of Congressional and Public Affairs in 2009 as the Chief of Congressional Relations.  

Ms. Monaco joined NGA on a Joint Duty Assignment in 2013 as the Chief of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs, and later served as the Deputy Director of NGA’s Office of Corporate Communications. In 2015 she was permanently appointed to NGA as a member of the Defense Intelligence Senior Executive Service, and has served as the Deputy Director of NGAs Xperience Directorate and as Director of Corporate Assessment and Program Evaluation.

Ms. Monaco was born in Nashville, Tennessee, grew up in Ormond Beach, Florida, and currently resides in Alexandria, Virginia. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Russian and English. Ms. Monaco has also earned a Master of International Management degree with a concentration in International Commerce from the University of Maryland, and a Master of Science degree in National Resource Strategy from the National Defense University’s Industrial College of the Armed Forces, from which she graduated with highest distinction.


Natasha Ahmed
Economist and Management Consulting Professional

Natasha Ahmed is an economist and management consulting professional with policy expertise working in federal, state, and private sectors advising executive leadership and senior government officials. With a diverse background performing policy analysis and advising from many perspectives, Natasha has earned a unique view of what works in Washington, DC. During her time as a lead consultant to the VA through LTS, she was responsible for advising leadership on a breadth of technology issues that span everything from cybersecurity and technical operations, to oversight responses and external agency inquiries. Prior to her management consulting career, she was a policy and communications specialist at the Council on Foundations on impact-investing strategy and member policy communications for global non-profits. Her career started in government affairs for Toyota Motor North America, under the leadership of the Group Vice President of Government Affairs, supporting the Toyota Global Government Affairs program. She received her Master of Science (M.S.) in Applied Economics from Johns Hopkins University with a specialization in Macroeconomics. Her undergraduate degree is from University of Texas at Austin in Corporate Communications with a minor in Arabic.  

Though she currently resides in Washington, D.C. she will always be a Texan at heart.

Sheena D. Franklin
Founder and CEO, Well-Kept Beauty

Sheena D. Franklin is the Founder and CEO of Well-Kept Beauty, a digital dermatology and skincare clinic dedicated to women’s everyday health and wellness. Prior to starting WKB Skin Clinic, Sheena was a government relations and communications strategist for the retail and healthcare industries. She is a proud sneaker-head and vintage collection aficionado. She is a graduate of Clark-Altana University (B.A.) and The George Washington University (M.A.). Sheena lives in Alexandria, Va.


Martha Laughman
Director of Workforce Channel Development & Veterans Programs at SmoothStack

Martha specializes in creating pathways to cybersecurity, and holds a Master’s Degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology. Martha has worked for the Army TAPS program, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has served on the Board of Directors for ISSA Colorado Springs, volunteered as a Tedx Coach, and is a member of the National Cybersecurity Exchange Leadership Team.