By Jimmy Drennan
CIMSEC officer roles are annually elected positions, and the elections are now open for the 2021-2022 term for officers, and 2021-2023 term for board members. Read the biographic and goals statements of the nominees for the five elected officer positions, and vote using the form below. Voting closes on December 14.
Christopher Stockdale, for President
My primary vision for the group and my aim as President of the organization is to put the ‘I’ into CIMSEC, but what does that mean? CIMSEC is an international focused organization and comprises of many chapters from across the world however I cannot help but think that in certain areas the group is still underrepresented and that much of the analysis and thinking is focused on the US and that the majority of our contributors are US based. This is great, the US is an important global actor and I want to build and expand on this whilst also getting more of our international colleagues involved. It is my aim to increase dialogue and discussion and to encourage more articles and podcasts from some of the ‘quieter’ and less represented regions. I believe that to give more the organization a greater sense of diversity and to further act as a knowledge sharing platform we need to build our relationships and expand our community and our audience. Attracting new members, new colleagues and new partners, is essential to the expansion of the group, its reach, its relevance and its presence within the forum of maritime security debate and discussion.
To expand CIMSEC also needs to improve and increase its financial base. To do this I purpose expanding on existing plans to launch a range of CIMSEC merchandise which will be designed and managed by an online company. This revenue stream will help us to raise finances for projects, meetings, sponsorship, prizes for competitions and a range of other areas that will help to expand and develop the group.
I further believe that CIMSEC needs to spend more time devoted to the establishment and management of its chapters. As a Chapter President I know how rewarding and how challenging this post can be and it is my belief that more has to be done to help our chapters grow and flourish. In 2020, I drafted a guide for Chapter Presidents illustrating how chapters can be established, what is needed, how to set-up and host meetings and who to contract with questions or difficulties. I aim to expand on this and give our Chapter Presidents greater support, advice and a specified point of contact that they can call on should they need to, I will also liaise with the Membership Director to determine the number and status of our chapters and personally connect with all our Chapter Presidents to get a full account of our global presence. I will also invite Chapter Presidents to record a brief presentation introducing themselves and giving information about their group and members as a way of reaching a wider audience and building a further connection with our core partners. I would like to establish a series of regular update meetings where Chapter Presidents present their news, details of events and/or meetings and where they can express concerns, present suggestions and feedback and exchange advice and experience in a friendly and cooperative environment.
CIMSEC is a great social, collaborative and informative platform and relies on its audience and community for its success. Since its inception it has achieved an impressive record and has reached a wide range of people, but I believe that this can be built upon and further expanded with the organization increasing its range and presence through the measures I have already outlined and more besides and I welcome the opportunity to lead the group as its next President.
Chris O’Connor, for Vice President
Chris O’Connor is a U.S. Naval Officer currently assigned to NATO. He has 16 years of experience in logistics and strategic planning, with four deployments to on a variety of platforms. He is a Graduate of the Naval Postgraduate School and the Naval Academy, and an alumnus of the CNO Strategic Studies Group and the CNO Rapid Innovation Cell. His work has been featured by CIMSEC, Small Wars Journal, Army Futures Command, and the Atlantic Council.
My goal is to further international maritime security discussion by increasing CIMSEC outreach to other organizations and attracting talented contributors for our written content and podcasts.
Dmitry Filipoff, for Director of Online Content
I have been CIMSEC’s Director of Online Content since 2015, and a Publications Coordinator with the American Foreign Service Association since 2016.
My goals for CIMSEC include maintaining a robust and consistent schedule of publications, calls for articles, interviews and other content forms. I will also grow and strengthen our new naval society, the Warfighting Flotilla, through regular off-the-record talks and other member engagement initiatives.
Christian Fernandez, for Director of Membership
I am a policy researcher assessing topics of public significance with the goal of providing facts and data about the scope and impact of the government’s different policies. My expertise includes conducting research, data analysis, and the development and implementation of research tools. I have a BA in Political Science from the University of North Texas at Dallas and will attend law school in the fall of 2022. Specific fields of interest include Infrastructure, Government Spending, and Public Opinion.
I am currently the Membership Coordinator and want to take on the responsibility of organizing membership events and providing members with programs and opportunities. Additionally, I want to work with the leadership team to accelerate membership growth and lead initiatives to expand our member outreach in order to maximize member engagement.
Ed Salo, for Director of Outreach
Edward Salo, PhD is an associate professor of history, and the associate director of the Heritage Studies PhD Program at Arkansas State University. I serve as the instructor for the Military History class for the university’s ROTC program. Before coming to A-State, I served as a consulting historian for cultural resources management firms for 14 years where I worked on over 250 projects across the world including an administrative history of the Corps of Engineers efforts to dispose of Iraqi munitions after the 2003 invasion, the preparation of histories of Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine installations across the globe including Japan, Cuba, and Guam, and the preparation of a document to support JPAC operations in the Hurtgen Forest to identify the location of the remains of MIA soldiers from the 28th Infantry Division.
In the field of outreach, I hope to:
- Continue to expand CIMSEC’s social media presence
- Build connections between our group and similar groups across the world
- Find exciting and new guests and authors
- Expand our connections to NROTC units
- Find support for projects from corporate, think tanks, and other donors
Michael DiCianna, for Treasurer
For the majority of my professional career, I have worked as a federal contractor supporting DoD and USIC operations in the intelligence field. Although my tenure has moved between counterterrorism and military intelligence, I have taken many opportunities to gain experience in the field of maritime security. Prior to contracting, I was an intern with the Hudson Institute, where I assisted fellows on projects such as enhancing American naval power, littoral combat, antipiracy, and the South China Sea. During my undergraduate education, I was invited to present at the 2015 Pittsburgh Asian Consortium Undergraduate Research conference on potential conflict in the East China Sea. Regardless of where my career has taken me, I continue to have a professional and personal passion for the study of maritime affairs.
Maritime affairs runs in my family. My father worked as design engineer for NAVSEA on several projects, including the Seawolf-class attack submarine. My mother is a ballast water compliance engineer, and a leading experience in the field of environmental technology for shipping.
Safeguarding peace and prosperity on the seas has never been more important to global security. As the international order seems poised to reassemble into a “multipolar” moment, it is important that experts—both scholars and practitioners—have organizations that can place the necessary emphasis on consideration of the maritime domain and all of its aspects. The Center for International Maritime Security can and shall be a unique and profound platform for the consideration of maritime affairs now and in the future. As CIMSEC treasurer, it will be my honor to ensure the financial affairs of CIMSEC are efficiently managed to ensure that its mission is operating at top capability. As a representative of CIMSEC, I would aim to increase readership, membership, scholarly participation, and financial contributions.
Jimmy Drennan is President of CIMSEC. Contact him at President@cimsec.org.