4th Annual SOF Symposium

Applying Special Operations to Combat Global Security Challenges

October 26-27, 2015, Mary M. Gates Learning Center, Alexandria, VA

DSI’s SOF Symposium is designed as an educational and training “Town Hall” forum, where thought leaders and key policy-makers across military and civilian organizations can come together for actionable discussions and debate. The symposium will focus on utilizing SOF to stabilize regions and networks that present a threat to US national security interests.

This Symposium will emphasize the critical role of SOF as an instrument of US strategic power. SOF’s multi-faceted mission set will be discussed with an emphasis on training, readiness, and materiel to stabilize regions in conflict and ensure US and partner security against unconventional threats.


2015 SOF Symposium Keynote Speakers:

Michael Lumpkin

The Honorable Michael Lumpkin, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict


Lt Gen Thomas Trask, USAF, Vice Commander, United States Special Operations Command

Additional Speakers Include:

  • The Honorable James Jeffrey, Philip Solondz Distinguished Fellow, The Washington Institute, Former Ambassador to Iraq
  • MajGen Joseph Osterman, USMC, Commander, Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command
  • BG Christopher Burns, USA, Assistant Commanding General, SOCCENT
  • RDML Brian Losey, USN, Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command
  • Karen Lynn Williams, Deputy Coordinator, Counterterrorism Bureau, Department of State
  • COL David Maxwell, USA (Ret), Associate Director, Center for Security Studies, Georgetown University
  • Stephen Lennon, Director, Office of Transition Initiatives, USAID
  • Damon Stevens, Middle East Group Chief, NCTC

How You Will Benefit?

  • -Hear from SOCOM and SO/LIC Leadership on Critical Capability Requirements
  • -Learn how your organization can support SOF priorities
  • -Hear US Government priorities to enhance regional stability to support US national security
  • -Network and dialogue with your colleagues and leaders from SOF, the Foreign Service, and Partner Nations


  • DSI’s team specializes in the extensive research and development of our Summits’ content and focus areas, and we will assemble the most respected minds in the SOF community from operational leaders, intelligence providers, key policy-makers, as well as solution providers from Industry and Academia. Our non-partisan approach allows us to reach across all involved organizations bring together a truly holistic group of decision makers and solution providers.

2014 SOF Event Photos – 175+ Participants








ALL NEW for SOF 2015 Symposium:

  • Analysis of the global security environment and the role of SOF
  • Combatting the threat from violent extremist groups
  • Improving SOF access to ISR in support of mission success
  • Opportunities for industry to partner with SOF organizations to accelerate development and fielding of solutions to meet urgent operational needs
  • Re-purposing conventional platforms for SOF mission sets
  • Training and delivery of highly capable SOF from all services in support of National Security interests
  • Improving SOF Integration with the IC
  • Utilizing TSOC’s to create force multipliers through partnerships in regions of interest
  • Capability requirements and acquisition priorities necessary to respond to current and future missions

2015 Program Design & Goals:

  • The United States in 2015 faces the most complex security environment since World War II. Major security challenges include Russia, China, Iran, and Sunni Jihadism. The US must ensure SOF resources are applied effectively to support a strong global strategic security posture which protects US and allied interests.
  • This Symposium will emphasize the critical role of SOF as an instrument of US strategic power. SOF must be adequately resourced and trained to provide effective deterrence against unconventional threats. In order to be effective, SOF must build trust with allies and partner nations to ensure stability and to protect US interests. SOF’s multi-faceted mission set will be discussed with an emphasis on training, readiness, and materiel to stabilize regions in conflict. Discussions will also focus on COIN and counter terrorism operations, and perhaps most importantly the fight against global unconventional threats to US and partner interests.
  • DSI’s 2015 SOF Symposium will provide a forum for SOF, its partners including regional combatant commands, USAID, Department of State, the IC, partner nations, industry, and academia as well as other critical organizations to discuss strategic priorities and operational needs to meet national goals.

Exhibit & Sponsorship Opportunities: The 2015 SOF Symposium provides opportunities in exhibit space, round table discussions, product demonstrations, to luncheon receptions for industry leaders serving the special operations community to address technology and today’s most innovative solutions to current challenges. For more information on exhibit & sponsorship visit: Sponsors & Supporters Page.

  • DSI’s Symposium directly supports DoD priorities by providing a conduit for officials to efficiently reach audiences outside of their respective offices that directly impact their department’s mission success, at no charge to the government, and in an efficient expenditure of time.
  • DSI’s Symposium will provide a forum to address and improve internal and external initiatives, meet with and hear from partner organizations, disseminate vital capability requirements to industry, increase visibility within the larger community, and generally support their mission.
  • * The Summit is open and complimentary to all DoD and Federal employees and is considered an educational and training forum. (Industry and academia members are charged a fee of attendance)






Advisory Board
DSI strives to provide the most up to date, mission relevant, topics and discussion points for our meetings. In order to assure that we are providing the best subject content possible, our Advisory Board Members have volunteered to share their respective insight and expertise with us. We are truly grateful to have their support and guidance as we strive to continually create truly effective meetings and events for all. Learn more about our Advisory Board Members.