Our Board of Directors
Dr. Donald R. Ponikvar — Chair
Dr. Donald Ponikvar has provided scientific, engineering and technical support to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy, the FBI, and to local First Responder organizations dealing with nuclear, radiological, chemical, and biological terrorism. He was co-author of the DHS Strategy for Improving the National response and Short-Term Recovery from a Catastrophic Chemical Attack, as well as the earlier DHS Strategy for Improving the National Response and Recovery from an IND Attack. He supported the annual Joint Field Trials conducted by the Department of Defense to assess the ability of biological agent detectors to respond to aerosol threats. He previously led efforts in modeling and simulation (for aerosol plumes), domestic counterterrorism support, and computer-based analysis. He established a private industry team providing software, ruggedized information technology hardware, and training to FBI bomb squads and more than 3,000 First Responders across the country who deal with nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) threats and with improvised explosive devices. He has provided support to First Responder tabletop and live exercises under the sponsorship of the former Office for Domestic Preparedness (ODP), part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He served as the focal point for an initiative to coordinate NBC modeling efforts across the DoD.
Dr. Ponikvar has more than 40 years of experience in military nuclear, biological, and chemical defense, military operations, and physics research related to National Defense topics. As a distinguished West Point graduate and career Army officer, he served in tactical assignments in Germany, where he was the NBC Defense Officer for a Cavalry squadron deployed near the East German border, responsible for all unit chemical defense and reconnaissance training. He was later assigned to the Department of Physics at West Point, where he helped establish a laser research laboratory. For several years, he worked on a large scale laser experiment under President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative. Based on that work, the novelist Tom Clancy has acknowledged him as the real life “Al Gregory”, the Army officer/laser physicist character of his book Cardinal of the Kremlin. His doctoral work was in experimental laser physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was a Hertz Foundation Fellow.
Dr. Ponikvar was a co-author of Jane's Chem-Bio Handbook (3d Edition), and is the author of the Quickseries Publishing guidebooks entitled Weapons of Mass Destruction, Preparedness and Response and Preventive Radiological and Nuclear Detection.
Dr. Ponikvar is a member of the International Association for Counterterrorism and Security Professional (IACSP), the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM), the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA), and the Law Enforcement Information Management Section of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). He developed and taught the IACP's WMD awareness course for police chiefs, and is the Chairman of the Emergency Interoperability Consortium (EIC), an educational government-industry organization chartered through the Department of Homeland Security.
Tom Fahy — Board Secretary
Tom Fahy is the EIC Board Secretary, serving in that capacity since 2009. He has almost two decades of experience in policymaking for broadcast communications, emergency alerting, weather forecasting and alerting, hazard mitigation, and in the workings of Congress. Tom’s consulting practice began with political campaign management, working closely with Members of the U.S. Congress and several Presidential Administrations.
Tom previously served as Director of Government & Public Affairs for the Maryland DC Delaware Broadcasters Association (MDCD), where he collaborated with three state emergency management agencies, regional inter-governmental organizations and state governors to upgrade the Emergency Alert System capabilities for the Mid-Atlantic States and the National Capitol Region, providing instantaneous emergency alert messaging to expedite severe weather warnings from the NOAA National Weather Service; aid law enforcement with AMBER Alerts, and posses a regional capability for All-Hazard alerts for homeland security – all in place before 9/11.
Tom introduced AMBER Alert immunity legislation for broadcast stations; helped development legislation for “Senior Alerts” to benefit Alzheimer & nursing home patients and was appointed by the Governor of Maryland to serve on a task force for program development on Silver Alerts. He served two years on the National AMBER Alert Advisory Board that made policy recommendations to the US Attorney General. Tom represented the broadcasting industry working on protocols and standards on how the broadcasters would participate with law enforcement in alerting the public on child abductions. He was instrumental to efforts in the establishment of the AMBER Alerts in Delaware, the District of Columbia, and Maryland and throughout Northern Virginia. He was recognized by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children for his work on the AMBER Alert Plan
Tom served as the Managing Director of the Broadcasters Summit on EAS & Emergency Communications and worked to establish the Summit as an annual policy forum. The Summit brought together homeland security advisors, state emergency management officials, state broadcaster association presidents, NOAA National Weather Service regional directors and the key federal officials responsible for alerts and warnings. In May 2005, the NOAA National Weather Service’s Weather Radio & All Hazards Radio Network presented him with its Mark Trail Award for his intergovernmental advocacy efforts to improve emergency warning capabilities and for strengthening ties with the broadcast industry. Later, his advocacy produced amendments that were included in the WARN Act legislation, signed into law by President Bush in 2006. The WARN Act created the Commercial Mobile Alert Service Advisory Committee at the FCC and later produced the Commercial Mobile Alert System managed by FEMA for the new Integrated Public Alert and Warnings System (IPAWS).
Tom has served as Senior Advisor to CellCast Technologies that provides processing systems for emergency messaging and point to multi-point mobile communications also known as Cell Broadcasting. The CellCast product suite provides for geo-located targeted alerts and its patented CellCast Aggregator Gateway™ provides for the aggregation, validation and distribution of messages to be delivered via point to multi-point technologies such as cell broadcast and IP to mobile handsets.
Tom works in Washington, DC on strategic planning solutions to advance legislative and public policy issues. Married; he lives in Arlington, VA. He and his wife have two rescue Labradors.
Over the course of a thirty year career, Mr. Walton has served as both a founder and a senior executive of large and small enterprises, including successfully starting and selling information technology companies; consulting with several hundred major corporations and co-founding and serving chairman and board member ofthe Emergency Interoperability Consortium (EIC). Mr. Walton has been a strong proponent of open data standards for two decades. In addition to his contributions to the EIC, he also served for two years as the chairman of the EmergencyInteroperability Member Section of OASIS. Mr. Walton also served on the board of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Air Cabin Environmental Research Council.
Mr. Walton currently serves as chairman of Fitscript, the first company dedicated to providing clinically validated exercise support to help diabetics (Pre, Type 1 and Type 2) to safely and effectively manage their diabetes. Prior to Fitscript, Mr. Walton served as a Director at Navigant Consulting, Inc. in the healthcare group helping clients to deploy and use Health Information Technology (HIT) to improve performance, outcomes, quality and efficiency.
Prior to Navigant, Mr. Walton was involved in the launch of several health care information technology companies. He served as CEO of SAMI Health, Inc., and led the development of its transformative software product called “Smart Access to Medical Information” or SAMI™. SAMI was the first health information technology product to use advanced Web index search technology to provide powerful, cross-platform access to data in Electronic Medical Record Systems (EMRs) regardless of the system of origin. SAMI was successfully sold to Navigant consulting in 2014. Mr. Walton was also one of the creators of Clinically Home, LLC which was the first company to successfully deliver acute medical care to patients at home using a remote central station with networked bio-metric monitoring equipment and two-way tele-video communications.
As General Manager of the Defense and Industrial Group of STERIS Corporation, Mr. Walton led the efforts of STERIS (the largest global supplier of sterilization chemistries and services) to diversify into new industries using advanced room and equipment sterilization technologies for healthcare, defense, food and beverage, and transportation.
Between 1998 and 2005, Mr. Walton founded, led and successfully sold E Team, Inc. which was one of the first companies to provide scalable emergency and event management products using the Internet for medical and homeland security emergencies. E Team’s Internet-based command and collaboration tools were used to manage some of the largest events of the last decade including 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the SARS and West Nile Virus outbreaks, and the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City and 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece.
Mr. Walton resides in Westport, Connecticut with his wife and son. He has a BA from Brown University and a MBA from Yale School of Management.