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Defense & Intelligence Industry Digital Forum

On Demand

Microsoft Defense & Intelligence Industry Digital Forum
Driving a cloud-enabled defense posture

Amidst the ongoing response to COVID and the increasingly complex global security environment, one thing is clear - the need for defense and intelligence agencies to quickly adapt to change. Forces and defense organizations must make decisions quickly, and data is the lifeblood of every mission. The focus of military activity has not changed since the time of antiquity: if you can observe, orient, decide, and act faster than your opponent, you gain an advantage. That advantage is facilitated by data, and the ability to turn information into insights. Modern defense and intelligence agencies need the agility to adjust to rapidly changing situations, the ability to disrupt at speed and scale, and a data-driven posture in all operations and missions.

Join this webinar to learn how cloud technology can help empower militaries to innovate at speed, improve operations, and enhance national security.

Discussion topics include:

  • How does the cloud enhance security?
  • How has DevSecOps changed the game for the delivery of new mission capabilities?
  • How did COVID change the defense & intelligence landscape, and what were the impacts on digital transformation efforts? How has this accelerated the need for remote work and tactical edge?
  • How does cloud afford the opportunity to leverage synthetic training and mission planning?
  • What are you doing culturally (people and processes) to enable digital transformation?

Host: Kate Maxwell, CTO, Defense & Intelligence Microsoft Worldwide Public Sector


Brigadier Ian Langford, Director General Future Land Warfare, Australia Defence Force
Air Commodore Carl Nixon, CIO, New Zealand Defence Force
David Appel, Vice President, C2 Digital Solutions, Raytheon Intelligence & Space


Brigadier Ian Langford
Director General Future Land Warfare
Australia Defence Force

Brigadier Langford joined the Australian Army in 1992 and has held a range of command and staff appointments in the Army and Special Forces during his career. Brigadier Langford has served as the Commanding Officer, 2nd Commando Regiment, and has commanded multiple Special Operations Task Groups in Afghanistan, Iraq, and domestic counter-terrorism duties. He has served in Australia’s Joint Operations Command, Special Operations Headquarters, and as the Plans Officer in Army’s Forces Command Headquarters. Recently, Brigadier Langford led the Chief of Army’s Initiative Group and assumed the role Director-General of Future Land Warfare, Army Headquarters, in December 2018.

Brigadier Langford’s operational service includes deployments to Timor Leste Afghanistan, Bougainville, Solomon Islands, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and the South-West Pacific. For his service, Brigadier Langford has been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross on three occasions.

Brigadier Langford is a Distinguished Graduate of the United States Marine Corps Command and Staff College and the School of Advanced Warfighting. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Management, a Master of Arts, a Master of Defence Studies and a Master of Strategic Studies. He was conferred his Doctorate of Philosophy in November 2020.

Air Commodore Carl Nixon
Chief Information Office
New Zealand Defence Force

AIRCDRE Nixon joined the RNZAF in 1980 and trained as a navigator. He has accumulated over 8,500 flying hours primarily maritime surveillance aircraft, including the Nimrod aircraft during six years’ service with the Royal Air Force in the early 1990s.

In 2000 AIRCDRE Nixon was the Senior National Officer and Division Head of Projects in Bosnia-Herzegovina as part of NATO’s Stabilization Forces. He was made an Officer of New Zealand’s Order of Merit in 2001 for his leadership developing micro-business programs to encourage displaced people to return to their pre-war communities. In 2003 he led the deployment of aircraft, air and ground crews to the Middle East as part of New Zealand’s contribution to Operation Enduring Freedom.

AIRCDRE Nixon has also filled a range of command and senior military appointments including Aircraft Captain of a RAF Nimrod crew; Commanding Officer of No 5 Squadron; planning and development roles in Air Staff, Headquarters of Joint Forces New Zealand and Headquarters New Zealand Defence Force. He also spent three years as a Deputy Director at the Centre of Defence and Strategic Studies in Canberra. AIRCDRE Nixon has a Post-graduate diploma of Arts from Massey University, and a Master of Arts (Strategic Studies) from Deakin University.

AIRCDRE Nixon left the Defence Force in 2014 to become the first permanent Director of the Enterprise Portfolio Management in New Zealand Police. He re-joined the Defence Force in June 2017. Prior to his promotion and appointment to the NZDF’s Chief Information Officer he was the Director of the Special Inquiry Office, overseeing the NZDF’s participation in the government’s inquiry into Operation Burnham and related matters.

David Appel
Vice President, C2 Digital Solutions
Raytheon Intelligence & Space

David Appel is vice president for Defense and Civil Solutions, a product line within Raytheon Intelligence & Space. DCS is an integrated command and control, intelligence, space and weather portfolio across multiple domains. DCS includes programs that provide capabilities and solutions for DoD, federal, civil and international governments across the globe. David also leads RI&S’ digital innovation initiatives, that are seeking to integrate the latest artificial intelligence and commercial software development methods into our solutions.

With more than 25 years of Raytheon Technologies experience, David has a breadth of experience in program leadership, business operations, finance, business development and strategic planning. David held several senior leadership roles with the former Raytheon Company, a predecessor to Raytheon Technologies.

David is a qualified Raytheon Six Sigma specialist and a graduate of Raytheon Technologies’ Advanced Program Leadership and Executive Leadership Summit. He earned several Raytheon Technologies’ awards, including the 2008 Program Leadership Award and the 2015 Leadership Award – Competitive Advantage. David is an ex officio advisory board member of the Virginia Tech Hume Center for National Security and Technology.

Kate Maxwell
CTO, Defense & Intelligence
Microsoft Worldwide Public Sector

Kate Maxwell is the Chief Technology Officer for Defense & Intelligence in Microsoft’s Worldwide Public Sector, where she delivers on Microsoft’s mission to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more.

Maxwell is an accomplished technology leader and strategist with more than 15 years of experience supporting Defense & Intelligence customers around the globe. She is an internationally recognized expert in digital transformation, innovation leadership, and unmanned systems, and is an accomplished and sought-after public speaker, author, and innovator with multiple patent filings, publications and conference proceedings both domestically and abroad.

Prior to joining Microsoft, Maxwell held various technical and engineering leadership roles within Raytheon Intelligence & Space, including Technical Director of the Navigation & Modernization Solutions product line ($2.4B), Chief Engineer of the Product Support business ($700M), and Founding Director of the Raytheon Innovation Center – a global corporate innovation engine that inspires and empowers employees to innovate, across all levels and functions.

Maxwell was named #40 on the global list of the Top 100 Women in Tech by Technology Magazine in 2021. She was also honored with the Society of Women Engineers Work/Life Integration Award in 2011, the SWE Emerging Leader Award in 2019, and Indiana Business Journal Woman of Influence recognition in 2019.

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