Mercyhurst University's Tom Ridge School Hosts Fourth Global Intelligence Forum

ERIE, Pa., Dec. 16, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- From public health challenges like Ebola to the effect of climate change on food safety in the coming decades, international experts in public health, higher education, business and traditional intelligence will gather in Dungarvan, Ireland, for the fourth biennial Global Intelligence Forum – The Dungarvan Conference July 12-15, 2015.

Sponsored by the Tom Ridge School of Intelligence Studies and Information Science at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania, the conference comes on the heels of highly successful summits that welcomed prominent intelligence leaders like Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, the first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security; former CIA Director Michael V. Hayden; former FBI Director Louis J. Freeh; and Europol Director Rob Wainwright.

Panelists for this year's expanded forum – "Intelligence-Informed Decision-Making to Build a More Secure Future" – will address how leaders can effectively establish intelligence practices to enhance decision-making as they address pressing global concerns.

Keynote speakers include one of the world's leading experts on cybersecurity, Howard Schmidt, who served as cyber advisor to Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush. He also held positions as vice president and chief information security officer for eBay Inc., and operated as chief security officer for Microsoft Corp. Currently, he is a partner with Tom Ridge in Ridge-Schmidt Cyber, an executive services firm that helps leaders in business and government navigate the increasing demands of cybersecurity.

Lewis C. Merletti, the 19th director of the United States Secret Service, and former vice president for security for the Cleveland Browns organization, headlines the event as well. Before becoming director of the Secret Service, Merletti served as assistant director in the Office of Training, where he was responsible for the curriculum, methodology and content of training for all Secret Service employees. He also served in the Presidential Protective Division under three Presidents: Reagan, Bush and Clinton.

An estimated 180 panelists and delegates are expected to attend the forum, said James Breckenridge, Ph.D., dean of the Ridge School. Besides the U.S. and Ireland, Mercyhurst expects representation from the United Kingdom, Australia, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Germany, Finland and the Netherlands, among others.

"Intelligence is a global enterprise and its application in decision-making is crucial if we are to effectively manage the myriad challenges our world faces today," Breckenridge said. "This forum, which has grown in scope and credibility through each of its previous sessions, provides the framework for an international approach to problem-solving."

The threat of terrorism, for instance, creates a serious concern for safety and security in the worldwide hospitality industry, particularly with large events like conventions and sports contests, noted panelist Rajeev Parikh, Ph.D., dean of the Walker School of Business at Mercyhurst University. "We expect experts from hospitality and event management to discuss how they deal with these challenges in their organizations and how they use sophisticated technology for these purposes. Additionally, we plan to discuss cybersecurity, the legal and financial impact of hacking, and how leaders can fortify their organizations against the resulting damage."

To learn more about the forum, its guest speakers, panelists and itinerary, please visit

The Global Intelligence Forum, hosted by the Tom Ridge School of Intelligence Studies and Information Science at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania, is an international assembly of leading intelligence practitioners from many disciplines, including national security, law enforcement, business, public health, technology and education, dedicated to capturing best practices and producing innovative strategies for addressing the world's intelligence challenges.

CONTACT: Debbie Morton (USA) (++1-814-824-2552)

Source:Mercyhurst University(formerlyMercyhurst College)