Discussions with DTRA

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Discussions with DTRA Podcast: Around the Microphone

DTRA, the premier agency for meeting the challenges of WMD and emerging threats.

The DTRA Podcast series provides agency members with a platform to discuss interesting mission-related, morale-boosting or special interest item topics. The goal of our program is to deliver cross-talk that educates and informs audiences in an effort to support employee engagement and target potential outreach opportunities. Listeners can anticipate hearing conversations that are agency director-supported, amplify agency's core functions and convey mission intent in segments that range from 20 to 40 minutes.

Episode 9: Science, Facts and Common Sense


Length: 33:13

Secret Ukrainian bio labs? Weaponized birds? Combat mosquitoes? Dr. Rebecca Dunfee, Chief Scientist of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s Biological Threat Reduction Program, sits down to speak science and show the ridiculousness of conspiracy theories coming from Russian officials. After earning her PhD in Virology from Harvard, Dr. Dunfee has committed her career to biological cooperation to bolster international public health.

With Russian officials and state media making inflammatory, incorrect claims about DTRA’s work in Ukraine, Dr. Dunfee goes on record to discuss all the positive, cooperative public health projects DTRA has undertaken in partnership with Ukraine. She also leverages her scientific expertise to display just how preposterous some of the fabrications from Russia really are. Tune in to hear more on DTRA’s cooperation with Ukraine and even how Russia used to be an eager partner with DTRA on a variety of programs.


Episode 8: Growing an AI-Ready DoD Workforce


Length: 28:19

In the field of national defense, having the right personnel with the right skills is critical to ensuring success. As the U.S government emphasizes the development of artificial intelligence, it is imperative that our workforce is prepared for the challenges and opportunities of this rapidly-evolving field. In the latest episode of Discussions with DTRA, Dr. Michael Howard and Dr. Diana Gehlhaus discuss the importance of growing an AI-ready Department of Defense (DoD) workforce.


Episode 7: The Impact of AI on Cybersecurity


Length: 28:19

DTRA Host Dr. Michael Howard, a Senior Program Manager in the Acquisition, Contracts and Logistics Directorate discusses with Dr. James Bret Michael , Chair of Computer Science at the Naval Postgraduate School, Cybersecurity and AI, Risks, Rewards and Frameworks in today's rapidly growing AI environment.


Episode 6: IMAAC TOOLS EXPLAINED - Hosted by The Hazmat Guys

The Hazmat Guys Website

Length: 35:46

The Hazmat Guys sat down with Dugger Kemp, Andy Grose and Brendan Zinn from the Interagency Modeling and Atmospheric Assessment Center (IMAAC). An exciting, no cost, service available which is led by FEMA in collaboration DOD (DTRA), DOE, EPA, HHS, NOAA, NRC. IMAAC is a federal interagency organization that produces and disseminates modeling products for major HAZMAT incidents in the U.S. Serving as the IMAAC Technical Operations Hub under an inter-agency agreement with FEMA, DTRA provides 24/7 hazard modeling and coordination for the IMAAC program.


Episode 5: Breast Cancer Awareness – Knowledge is a Life Saver


Length: 26:37

Join Ms. Claudia Ugaz, Director’s Action Group (DAG), as she and Dr. Pamela Fine, Family Nurse Practitioner and Michelle Humphries, Registered Nurse and Certified Wellness Coach, share a broad range of breast cancer awareness information. Listen as they explain what breast cancer is, its risk factors and its treatment options. They also add insight on the critical importance of support mechanisms available to the men and women who travel their journey from diagnosis through treatment. Listen, and then share the information – you may save a life


Episode 4: Responsible Artificial Intelligence Strategy and Implementation Pathway



In this episode, Michael Howard, DTRA's Chief, Acquisition Systems, Training and Support/PM/COR Acquisition Management Department sits down with Rhonda Maus, Professor of AI Software Engineering and Agile Coach Instructor at the Defense Acquisition University to discuss Responsible Artificial Intelligence Strategy & Implementation Pathway.


Episode 3: Artificial Intelligence, Challenges, and Advice


This episode discusses the challenges and advice for emerging practices associated with acquiring Artificial Intelligence. Also, it provides specific AI guidance for successful AI projects and the reasons some AI projects fail.


Episode 2: Agile Development at DTRA

Length: 25:59

DTRA is transforming how it acquires and manages the development of capabilities to keep up with quickly evolving technologies and warfighter requirements. This is especially true for software development and Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning/Data Science efforts. Acquisition, Contracts, and Logistics Directorate is taking the lead to facilitate adopting the agile mindset and culture change at DTRA.


Episode 1: DTRA Cleans Up Vozrozhdeniya Island's 12 Tons of Anthrax

Length: 28:00

This episode will cover the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program's Biological Threat Reduction Program's heavy involvement in Vozrezhdeniye Island, Uzbekistan, commonly referred to as Voz Island, where the CTR Program eliminated more than 12tons of weaponized anthrax that was abandoned on site. These are the personal stories and experiences of DTRA people who were on the ground as part of the clean-up crew.



DTRA provides cross-cutting solutions to enable the Department of Defense, the United States Government, and international partners to deter strategic attack against the United States and its allies; prevent, reduce, and counter WMD and emerging threats; and prevail against WMD-armed adversaries in crisis and conflict.  

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