Cyber Security & Cyber Warfare

9 Feb


Cyber Security & Cyber Warfare

Friday, April 28th at 7pm

Vice Admiral (Ret.) John M. “Mike” McConnell

 President George W. Bush named Vice Adm. McConnell to become the second Director of National Intelligence in 2007. In that role, he managed the 17-agency, 100,000-person national Intelligence Community, working closely with the White House, Cabinet, Congress, international leaders, and the business community. From 1992 to 1996, McConnell served as Director of theNational Security Agency (NSA). He led NSA as it adapted to the multi-polar threats brought about by the end of the Cold War. Under his leadership, NSA provided global intelligence and information security services to the White House, Cabinet officials, the United States Congress, and a broad array of military and civilian intelligence agencies. He also served as a member of theDirector of Central Intelligence senior leadership team. In 1996, McConnell retired from the Navy as a vice admiral after 29 years of service – 26 as a career Intelligence Officer. He holds the nation’s highest award for service in the Intelligence Community. Adm. McConnell also served as the Chairman of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance. He is currently Vice Chairman at Booz Allen Hamilton.

National Pollster Analyzes the Election

2 Feb

john-zogbyFor the third straight presidential election cycle, the Cazenovia Forum hosted top political pollster John Zogby to offer his analysis on the voting results and their implications for our country. Zogby delivered his presentation, “It’s Over. What Happened and What’s Next?” on November 11.

His takeaway:

  •  Nobody saw Donald Trump’s victory coming. 
  • Never in modern political history has a candidate spoken so plainly and convincingly to middle class voters, who feel left behind.
  • Voters will continue supporting Trump as long as he stays on message. 
  • Hillary Clinton was the wrong candidate for the Democrats; her email issues seriously damaged her.

A well-known political and social pundit, Zogby’s work has been featured in op-ed pages worldwide, valued in corporate boardrooms and considered “must read” at every level of America’s political landscape.  He has been interviewed by every major US news and cable network, and has served as an election analyst for the BBC, CBC and Al Jazeera, among others.

Cazenovia Forum Speaker Talks “Political Charisma”

11 Oct

By: Meghan Fellows

On September 23rd, more than 200 people crowded in to the ballroom at The Hampton Inn for the latest Cazenovia Forum lecture. The turn out for the forum was larger than usual, and with good reason.

With the presidential election quickly approaching, and the first Trump-Clinton debate just days away, the topic was popular and timely.

“Political Charisma, What Gets your Goat?” was the question presented to the audience. The evening’s speaker, Colgate University Professor Carrie Keating, got the audience’s attention with her opening line:

“I am an expert of knowing when people are lying,” Keating said, making the audience chuckle.

As head of the neuroscience program at Colgate, Keating has been studying non-verbal communication, and facial cues for many years.

“Humans convey dominance from facial features. Most of the time, you’re not aware of your own behavior,” she said.

Keating emphasized non-verbal communication has repercussions. Not realizing how you come off to other people can make or break a first impression. That’s way, she said, she “watches the political debates with the mute button on.”

Keating explained the concept of attention hierarchy; someone powerful just has to attract attention. Whether it’s good or bad attention doesn’t matter.

“Attention enables leadership.” Keating said, with the mention of Donald Trump. Trump portrays dominance, but also allows you to get a little close. This is where charisma comes into play. Keating defined it as one part closeness, and one part distance. Most charismatic leaders master this, and politicians hire professionals to help them do the same.

If a major public leader or politician establishes enough dominance, people who follow them will follow every word they say with more emotion than cognition, Keating said. This means that even when hard facts are established, emotion makes followers of the dominant figure resist new information, and discredit it.

“We tend to see what we already believe.” Keating said, describing a study she conducted. She compared information that was true with information that was opinion. Even after being shown actual facts, more people believed the opinion piece, based on prior knowledge from a public figure that had established dominance in their campaign.

Keating then compared the two presidential candidates in terms of social dominance, and how we recognize dominance within them.

“There are actual studies that show that the taller the candidate, the more likely they are to win. Also, most candidates in the White House, have blue eyes,” she said.

Keating said that we equate leadership with power and shrewdness; power is established with a lower voice and bushy eyebrows, and gender.

“There is a risk when a woman crosses into dominance. A woman can seem competent, but not well liked if she tries to take on a more male demeanor. Women tend to be more interdependent than men. They tend to think of other people before themselves.” This can make Hillary Clinton seem weak to some people; like she will not be able to be hardened enough to get anything done. Running for an office in which her only role models are male, Clinton tries to mimic men, when really she just needs to be herself, said Keating.

Keating said Trump is somewhat at an advantage with the way he is handling his campaign. He runs on fear- which makes a vote for him high risk, but possibly high reward.

“People are more likely to take a risk with a strong leader when the world seems to be “in trouble”” Keating says. Trump supporters have this notion that Trump will get things done. They go in with this mindset of “I don’t know what he’s going to do, but he’s going to do SOMETHING.”

Keating left the audience with this thought:

“Voting is driven by emotion. If we can realize that going into the polls, we can practice more mindfulness- being in the moment, and making your decision in the moment.”

The next Cazenovia Forum lecture, on October 14th at the Catherine Cummings Theatre, will feature former political operative Alan Raymond, on how the major parties rig elections.

After that, pollster John Zogby will round out the Forum’s political lineup, sharing his insights on election results on November 11th.


Meghan Fellows is a junior at Utica College majoring in Public Relations and Journalism.