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Dr. Chris C. Demchak


Dr. Chris C. Demchak has a PhD from Berkeley (political science) with a focus on organization theory and systems, security studies, and surprise in complex technical systems across nations.  She also holds two masters degrees, respectively, in economic development (Princeton) and energy engineering (Berkeley). She has published numerous articles on societal security difficulties with largescale information systems to include cyberwar and cyber privacy (“theory of action”, “BIK behavior-based privacy”), security institutions (CT “Knowledge Nexus”) and new military models (“Atrium model” for joint forces), as well as a book entitled Military Organizations, Complex Machines in the Cornell Security Studies series.  An early member of the Intelligence and Security Informatics (ISI) research field, Dr. Demchak has taught undergraduate and graduate level courses on comparative security and modernized organizations, the institutional history of war and the state, the emerging global information systems, and the worldwide diffusion of defense technologies to include the use of game-based simulations in security analysis. A former US Army Reserve officer, Dr. Demchak has recently co-edited and contributed to an edited a book entitled Designing Resilience and has under review a another book manuscript entitled Wars of Disruption and Resilience: Cybered Conflict, Power, and National Security Conflicts. She is currently working on a new manuscript tentatively entitled Cyber Command: Ensuring Sovereignty in the Cybered Conflict Age. Her research focus is the evolution in organizations, tools, social integrations, and range of choices emerging in westernized nations’ cybersecurity/deterrence strategies, creations or adaptations of cybercommands or equivalents, and institutionalized organizational learning after experiences with cybered confrontations or attacks, especially designing organizations for resilience using game-based co-authored simulations operationally to prepare for surprise.


Games versus Exercises: Designing Surprise-resilient Organizations for a Cybered World

Complexity challenges organizational expectations and required precision in exchanges embedded in the large socio-technical systems that make up cyberspace.  Humans are surprised; machines or software act undesirably when circumstances do not meet the embedded cause-effect expectations or design tolerances.  Exercises are meant to prepare a largescale organization to operate well underforseeable circumstances; games prepare it to operate well enough under urgent surprising circumstances.  The question of this talk is how to design the necessary socio-technical mechanisms for resilience into large public security organizations in an increasingly, deeply cybered world.  In particular, How to set oneself to learn organizationally under urgent conditions when the likely conflict space does not look like anything modern militaries have ever been responsible for in the past?