Trump’s religious freedom conference creates awkward alliance

politico | July 14, 2019

Donald Trump has long been an easy mark for human rights activists, who regularly slam the president fondness for dictators, his hostility toward immigrants and his attacks on the news media. This week, however, the Trump administration is hosting an event promoting religious freedom that is uniting some of the president is fiercest human rights critics with his most fervent supporters. It is an area where even the president is detractors have said the Trump administration has produced tangible, if still limited, accomplishments.

Spotlight

The Great Repeal Bill, the UK Government’s draft legislation to implement in domestic law the UK’s departure from the EU, has been published. In this paper, we consider whether the Bill (now known as the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill) is the correct way to legislate for Brexit and whether it achieves the UK Government’s key overarching aim – that of maintaining legal certainty and continuity.

Spotlight

The Great Repeal Bill, the UK Government’s draft legislation to implement in domestic law the UK’s departure from the EU, has been published. In this paper, we consider whether the Bill (now known as the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill) is the correct way to legislate for Brexit and whether it achieves the UK Government’s key overarching aim – that of maintaining legal certainty and continuity.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

Qtrac and Strategic Communications Partner to Improve Customer, Employee Experiences in Government Offices

Strategic Communications | September 16, 2022

Qtrac® by Lavi Industries, a world-leading provider of virtual queue management and appointment scheduling systems, today announced it is partnering with Strategic Communications, a certified woman-owned business enterprise (WBE) and reseller to U.S. government agencies, to provide best-in-class queue solutions for local, state and federal government offices. "Qtrac identified Strategic Communications as a partner who had broad industry experience in IT, audio visual and cloud services deployments, and shared Qtrac's passion to innovate with a purpose by delivering the highest value in business solutions, Both Qtrac and Strategic Communications share a commitment to provide the very best products and excellent customer service to their clients, We look forward to expanding Qtrac's virtual queue platform to additional departments and services in Florida and across the country because of our partnership with Strategic Communications." -Steve Covate, VP of Sales at Qtrac. Since its founding, Qtrac has continually invested in its products and staff to deliver an ever-evolving solution and unsurpassed support to appeal to a broad and changing market. The partnership enables Qtrac to leverage Strategic Communications' extensive experience and knowledge in order to increase market share and build product awareness in the government, education, healthcare, and enterprise sectors. "Strategic Communications sought a partnership with Qtrac to support a variety of government agencies with a best-in-class queuing and appointment platform that can be configured to benefit a wide range of government agencies and manage the complexity within them." -Blake Kelly, cloud sales manager at Strategic Communications. The partnership is already helping residents in Florida who need WIC (women, infants, and children) assistance. Qtrac's queue management solutions are being deployed by the Florida Department of Revenue to give them the ability to schedule their appointments for a time most convenient for them. Because of information gathered from citizens at the time appointments are made, workers will be prepared to deliver necessary products and services, increasing staff efficiency and reducing the amount of time recipients spend collecting needed supplies. ABOUT QTRAC: Qtrac® provides virtual queue management systems to companies of all sizes and across many different industries around the world. Its virtual queuing technology enhances the customer experience by focusing on the way people interact with businesses in order to eliminate lines, increase sales and improve service. Qtrac was founded by Lavi Industries, the premier provider of public guidance and crowd control solutions. Building on Lavi's 40+ years of experience and success in helping the world's leading companies effectively guide people in, through and out of their facilities, Qtrac helps organizations improve their operations by improving the customer journey.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

DMI Announces the Acquisition of the Ambit Group

DMI | October 31, 2022

DMI, a global leader in digital transformation services, announced today that it has acquired the Ambit Group LLC ("Ambit"), a leading provider of data analytics, cybersecurity, and mission support services to the U.S. Government. The acquisition will further enhance DMI's comprehensive suite of digital services and expand its portfolio of customers and contract vehicles in high priority federal markets. Founded in 2004, Ambit delivers next-generation digital transformation services to federal agencies with wide-ranging missions across homeland security, regulatory, and civilian services. Ambit is known for its focus on mission performance improvement and brings vast experience serving clients within the federal financial, national security, and federal science communities including the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), among others. "Demand for IT modernization services leveraging the latest digital innovation and capabilities has never been greater, With this addition, we combine Ambit's comprehensive data management, analytics, and cybersecurity services with our cross-industry, digital transformation expertise to help drive the next generation of digital government." -Sunny Bajaj, founder and CEO of DMI. Founded in 2002 and based in Bethesda, Maryland, DMI provides enterprise consulting, transformation and managed services to government and commercial customers through an integrated suite of agile software development and next-gen engineering solutions that combine business strategy, domain specific knowledge, and technical expertise. "We are thrilled to begin the next phase of our journey as part of DMI, There is a strong cultural alignment to drive innovative, customer-centric strategies and programs for our clients along with a mutual commitment to our people-first philosophy and values of integrity, diversity, and teamwork. With Ambit's track record of success in this space, coupled with DMI's extensive experience and range of services, this pairing represents an unstoppable force." -Kim Hayes, co-CEO of Ambit. About DMI: DMI, a portfolio company of OceanSound Partners, is a global leader in digital strategy, design, transformation, and support services. We bring together an integrated set of industry and technology solutions that combine both public and private sector expertise to deliver human-centric innovation at scale. Born digital, DMI has been delivering secure, mission-critical technology solutions since 2002 for more than a hundred Fortune 1,000 enterprises, various state and local government agencies and all fifteen U.S. federal departments. DMI has grown to 2,100+ employees globally and has been continually recognized by top industry analysts as a market leader as well as named a Top Workplace in both regional and national categories. About Ambit: The Ambit Group designs, deploys, and delivers the next generation of government. Since 2004, Ambit has partnered with federal clients with wide-ranging missions across homeland security, regulatory, federal science, and civilian service to solve the toughest challenges at the heart of the nation's priorities. About OceanSound Partners: OceanSound Partners is a New York-based private equity firm that pursues control investments in technology and technology-enabled services companies serving government and enterprise end-markets. OceanSound employs a partnership approach, working closely with founders, entrepreneurs, and executives of middle market businesses to drive transformational growth.

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CYBERSECURITY

U.S. Department of Defense Awards Accrete Multi-Million Dollar AI Production OT Software Licensing Contract

Accrete | November 18, 2022

Accrete has secured a five-year multi-million dollar Production Operational Technology (OT) software licensing contract from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) for Argus™, Accrete's highly configurable, dual-use open-source threat detection AI software solution, worth tens of millions of dollars. The exact contract value and deal terms cannot be disclosed per government guidelines. Argus continuously analyzes the open-source web to predict anomalous and nefarious behavior hidden in plain sight. Argus performs work that would otherwise require thousands of intelligence analysts at an estimated cost of hundreds of millions of dollars a year in areas critical to national security such as supply chain risk management, vulnerability research, intellectual property theft, social media intelligence, insider threat detection, and anti-money laundering. Argus reads, understands, and learns from an exploding universe of dynamic, unstructured data, including news, blogs, think tank publications, strategy papers, social media chatter, financial filings, microprocessor manuals, and binaries in multiple languages. The AI software automatically extracts, normalizes, and maps relationships between entities, models influence, and surfaces behavioral anomalies indicative of potentially illicit activity that are too complex for humans to identify. "We are at the dawn of an entirely new type of conflict, driven by rapid advances in artificial intelligence. Whereas nuclear proliferation threatened entire populations, AI proliferation individualizes warfare by manipulating targeted groups through digital means. Using AI, bad actors can propagate disinformation to exploit ignorance and weaken civil society causing billions of dollars of damage to the U.S. economy, As a prime defense contractor licensing configurable dual-use AI software directly to the DoD, Accrete is in a unique position to scale its business with the Defense, Intelligence, and Special Operations communities, as well as other government and enterprise customers, and bolster national security as well as intelligence competitiveness in previously unimaginable ways." -Prashant Bhuyan, Founder, CEO, and Chairman of Accrete, Inc. In 2020, the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), which former Defense Secretary Ashton Carter established in collaboration with former Google CEO Eric Schmidt to strengthen U.S. national security by accelerating DoD adoption of commercial technology, awarded Accrete with an Other Transaction Authority (OTA) Prototype contract after Accrete outperformed 65 other companies in a competitive review. The DoD accepted the Argus prototype within 15 months, and Accrete worked closely with the DIU and the DoD to transition the OTA Prototype contract into a first-of-its-kind multi-year Production OT AI software licensing deal. William Wall, who leads Accrete’s federal sales subsidiary, Accrete AI Government, and formerly served as a U.S. Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel and with the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), said, "We are extremely excited to announce this award, especially as this is the first production OTA that our DoD customer has ever awarded. There are very few start-up technology companies that successfully navigate the extremely challenging OTA process through prototype acceptance and transition into a multi-year production OT software licensing agreement. Our success is a testament to the efficacy, scalability, and configurability of our AI technology and, more importantly, to our employees' relentless focus on providing solutions that are tightly aligned with end-user requirements. As we continue to scale, Accrete looks forward to providing its growing customer base with powerful dual-use AI solutions that not only drive efficiency through the automation of analytical work but also produce mission-critical insights beyond human capacity.” Zachary Smith, Accrete AI Government’s Program Manager and retired special agent who spent most of his 23-year Air Force career focused on countering human, technical, and cyber-based threats, observed, "Based on Argus' blazing speed and scale, in seconds, analysts will be able to research and visualize complex relationships that would have taken at least a month of steady research and annotation. Within the framework of the DoD's acquisition risk review process, Argus will enable supply chain risk analysis to be more efficient and effective while delivering enhanced value at a lower cost per insight." Accrete's continuously learning AI technology enables the templatization of analytical workflows. Templates such as Argus for Threat Detection learn from sparse data and are configurable for use cases including supply chain influence, social media intelligence, reverse engineering, and logistics disruption for both government and commercial customers. In addition to helping the DoD predict bad actors that may be intentionally obscuring identities to influence the supply chain, Argus has also been enabling the U.S. Air Force to reverse engineer binaries from microprocessor manuals to detect vulnerabilities in firmware. Accrete’s dual-use AI solutions have also been proven in industry, including media and entertainment companies automating talent scouting to predict emerging talent from social chatter; insurance brokers automating lead generation to find the shortest path to the hottest lead; private equity and venture firms automating pitch deck review through smart table extraction; and automobile dealerships automating the writing of marketing content. About Accrete: Accrete's mission is to create AI so powerful that it amplifies human reasoning and enables government entities and commercial enterprises to grow in previously unimaginable ways. Accrete, founded in 2017, delivers configurable dual-use AI solutions that automate complex analytical work for both government and enterprise customers with a focus on defense, intelligence, and cybersecurity. Accrete has 128 employees globally and is headquartered in Lower Manhattan with offices in Alexandria, Va. and Wellesley, Mass.

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