Robin Champ is the Chief of the Enterprise Strategy Division at the United States Secret Service (USSS), where she leads both foresight and strategic planning for the organization. Prior to joining USSS, Ms. Champ was the Chief of the Global Futures Office at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA).  Prior to joining DTRA, Ms. Champ worked at the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), Office of Strategic Planning and Enterprise Transformation (J-5), where she was the DLA Lead for the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review.  In addition to her official positions, Ms. Champ Co-Leads the Federal Foresight Community of Interest (see links below). She also is a guest lecturer on foresight at George Washington University’s “Mastering Strategy for the Public Sector” course.

In today’s podcast, Ms. Champ discusses women leading in national security, empowering diversity to think about the future, and how emerging technologies and trends will affect Secret Service missions.  The following bullet points highlight key insights from our interview:

Planning for the future involves analyzing trends and considering multiple alternate trajectories. Clearly communicating findings to leaders is essential to create actionable change, and particularly important when government agencies are tasked with ‘no fail missions.’

Generating foresight and creating strategy plans require the Government to fully leverage the nation’s diversity and talent. Recruiting and maintaining this workforce should be a priority for government agencies.

The Secret Service has a robust foresight program, providing newsletters, speaker series, and strategic plans to its members. This program enables the Secret Service to identify and mitigate its weaknesses that could be taken advantage of during critical decisive moments.  Readers and listeners can connect with the Federal Foresight Community of Interest at org and on their LinkedIn page.

Trends considered in futures forecasting are constantly in flux, necessitating that agencies prepare for multiple possible futures Embracing endless possibilities and establishing networks of partners at home and abroad will allow the United States to prepare a resilient long term defense strategy.

Though typically associated with the protection of the President, the Secret Service is also mandated with the protection of U.S. currency from counterfeiters.  This task has gotten increasingly challenging in the era of cryptocurrency, as criminal methods capitalize on this novel technology.  However, new technologies have also provided the Secret Service with new techniques to trace financial flows and protect the U.S. currency.

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