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Forge Institute Adds 2 to Advisory Board

2 min read

Forge Institute of Little Rock has announced the addition of Mark Cheng and Barbara Stevens to its advisory board.

Cheng has more than 40 years of experience in the field and at enterprise levels. He served at the U.S. Department of State where he focused on China. After joining the CIA in the late ’90s, he worked on China, South Asia, counterterrorism, covert action, intelligence community affairs and was the chief of the National Resources Division in the Directorate of Operations, the Forge Institute said in a news release.

He also recently served on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board (PIAB) as the deputy executive director, then as executive director.

Stevens currently serves as an independent board member for the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory and for Hexagon US Federal, and is a mentor for young women for the organization Spookstock. Most recently, she was the CEO of Exovera, a wholly owned subsidiary of the US Defense contractor SOSi.

Stevens is a retired senior executive leader with the CIA, where her last job was the chief of data science. She built and then directed data science programs and provided expertise in applying big data analytics to the intelligence community, according to the release.

“Stevens’ formidable expertise in cybersecurity and data science will be instrumental as we continue to elevate our national digital defenses,” said Lee Watson, chairman and CEO of the Forge Institute in the release. “Cheng has a rich background in strategic analysis and leadership, and is quite skilled at forging partnerships to advance business and national security objectives. We welcome their expertise in supporting our mission of keeping America one step ahead in cyber and data security.”

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