Key Insights and Answers from Identity Experts


King

Michael King

Associate Professor
Harris Institute for Assured Information, Florida Institute of Technology
Submitted: June 16, 2022

What is your role in the federal identity community?

Prior to joining the Academy, I spent nearly 15 years as a scientific research professional in the U. S. Government working to advance the state of the art of biometrics technologies for applications relevant to intelligence and defense operations. Since joining Florida Institute of Technology as an associate professor in the department of computer engineering and science, I’m enjoying the role of helping to prepare the next generation of bright minds that the government will depend on when seeking solutions to its most pressing scientific challenges as it pertains to biometrics and identity.


How does FedID help you succeed?

FedID provides a unique opportunity for the academic community to become informed of the Federal Government’s most pressing challenges as they pertain to identity, and in turn, provides USG stakeholders with the opportunity to learn of novel ideas in the early stages of development from academic scholars.


What are you most looking forward to at FedID?

I am really looking forward to reuniting with friends and associates that I haven’t been able to have an in-person conversation with for quite some time.


Would you encourage your students to attend?

In years past, I have encouraged my students to attend FedID, especially when it was within driving distance from Florida Tech. My students who have attended the event in the past have really enjoyed seeing the latest technology advancements related to biometrics featured during the expo.

Triplett

Ryan Howells

Principal
Leavitt Partners
Submitted: May 26, 2022

What is your role in the federal identity community?

I work at Leavitt Partners and we help lead the CARIN Alliance that is focused on getting consumers more digital access to their own health care information where, when, and how they want to achieve their goals. As part of that mission, we have been focused on establishing a digital identity framework leveraging the NIST 800-63 standards since 2017.

Currently, we have kicked off the largest digital identity federation proof of concept in history. It involves public sector partners, such as the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and the Office of National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), as well as more than 20 private sector partners such as Kaiser Permanente, CVS Health, and others. Our goal is to develop an open framework for how an individual can secure an IAL2 digital identity credential and use that single credential across multiple relying parties.


How does FedID help you succeed?

FedID is one of the best identity conferences of the year because it’s the only conference that is largely driven by the federal agencies working on digital identity solutions. It’s a great opportunity to network with others who are in the digital identity space and learn about new trends and issues that will continue to evolve the digital identity landscape.


What are you most looking forward to at FedID?

I am excited to further discuss how health care is developing a person-centric federated digital identity ecosystem that could be used by many other federal agencies and private sector entities.


What are some challenges you would like to overcome?

There is an increasing need to ensure that a person centric digital identity credential can be linked to a strong authentication event so that when a person authenticates into a system they can leverage their digital identity credential when they authenticate into the system.

Triplett

Erica Bombard

Unit Chief
Programs Research and Standards Unit, FBI
Submitted: May 25, 2022

What is your role in the federal identity community?

I am the Unit Chief for the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Programs Research and Standards Unit (PRSU) in the Global Law Enforcement Support Section with a mission to advance biometric and identity management capabilities through data science, research, and testing.


How does FedID help you succeed?

FedID offers an opportunity to network with identity and biometric experts from across government, industry, academia, and the public to gain an awareness of operational needs, technical advancements, and technology gaps. This collaboration influences operational processes and research priorities.


What are you most looking forward to at FedID?

I’m excited to have the opportunity to share the great work the FBI and DOJ is doing to advance biometric capabilities.


What are some challenges you would like to overcome?

As technology advances, data availability increases, and identification processes become more automated, there is an increased need for explainable artificial intelligence. Having the ability to explain what happens in a model from input to output and why operational decisions were made as a result is crucial for developing trust and transparency in biometric algorithms.

Triplett

Ryan Triplett

Management Analyst
Defense Forensics and Biometrics Agency
Submitted: May 25, 2022

What is your role in the federal identity community?

I serve as the standardization lead for the Defense Forensics and Biometrics Agency, a Field Operating Agency under the Department of the Army and component of the U.S. Army’s Office of Provost Marshal General (OPMG). My current responsibilities include leading the standardization efforts of the DoD Executive Agent for Defense Forensics and Biometrics Enterprises. I serve as the primary DoD voting member to INCITS M1 biometric standards development organization and chair of the INCITS M1 Human Language Technology Expert Group, U.S. representative to ISO/IEC SC37 biometric standards body, and U.S. representative to ISO TC 272 forensics standards body. I also serves as custodian of NATO Standardization Agreement 4715 Biometric Data Interchange as well as editor of the DoD Electronic Biometric Transmission Specification. Additionally, I serve as the DOD co-chair of the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) Biometrics Domain. I chair both the DoD Forensic and Biometric Standards Working Group and the DoD and IC Joint Enterprise Standards Committee’s Forensic and Biometric Technical Working Group. These efforts support DFBA's mission of coordination and collaboration of biometric and forensic standards across the Department of Defense and its Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental and Multinational partners.


How does FedID help you succeed?

The Federal Identity Forum provides an environment for the Defense Forensics and Biometrics Agency to foster new ideas and collaborate with colleagues at both a national and international level. This forum brings together stakeholders that our organization may not get the opportunity to meet with in person on a regular basis. By attending and participating in this conference we get to meet new members of partner offices or reconnect with old colleagues, which is valuable to moving enterprise projects forward.


What are you most looking forward to at FedID?

I think everyone is looking forward to finally being able to meet in person. I am looking forward to having engaging conversations with my colleagues and provide the community with updates on a wide array of biometric and forensic topics related to DoD initiatives. I am also excited about the line-up of speakers and hearing updates on the progressions and challenges the community has overcome since the last event.


Why should an organization attend FedID?

FedID has evolved over the years, but has consistently served as the U.S. federal governments primary event for biometrics. The forum has since expanded to include identity and forensics as part of its framework. Participation in this event demonstrates not only commitment to the community, but an opportunity for staff to build new relationships, foster existing relationships and further continuing education.

Turner

Kay Turner

Chief Digital Identity Advisor of FinCEN
U.S. Department of the Treasury
Submitted: May 9, 2022

What is your role in the federal identity community?

As Chief Digital Identity Advisor, I lead the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network or FinCEN’s efforts to advance the use of digital identity to support our mission to protect the U.S. financial system from illicit finance. FinCEN brought me into the Director’s Office last June because I had thought deeply about digital identity since 2017. I had the good fortune to work on India at Treasury and think about their digital identity system which is interoperable with their payment system. And sitting where I do now in FinCEN colors how I view the world. And the way in which I approach the three tasks that I was given:

  • build on this extraordinary team’s efforts to advance the use of digital identity using FinCEN’s levers,
  • develop partnerships across the federal bank agencies and the federal government to explore how digital identity could advance our mission, and
  • educate people about digital identity.

For context, identity is fundamental to the effectiveness of every financial institution’s anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism program. FinCEN’s regulations and our information collection authorities are driven by identity; they are designed to help financial institutions and law enforcement identify customers and the nature of their activity. Digitally native financial services, including digital assets, present challenges to a patchwork system of largely paper-based identifiers and credentials issued by a variety of different federal, state, and local entities. These static, analog forms of ID are better suited for in-person transactions.


How does FedID help you succeed?

To get financial services right, we need to get identity right. Getting identity “right” means implementing identity solutions that preserve privacy and security, promote financial inclusion, and protect the integrity of the financial system. It’s about building trust in the system. Getting identity in financial services “right” also requires collaboration between the public and private sectors. Events like FedID facilitate this collaboration. It will take the intellectual power and creativity of all of us to figure out how to further secure identities and prevent illicit actors from exploiting identity in financial crime.


What are you most looking forward to at FedID?

I look forward to the exchange of ideas and learning from my esteemed colleagues and the private sector.


What are the key takeaways from the recent FDIC FinCEN Digital Identify Tech Sprint?

I am grateful for the opportunity to share key takeaways from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) FinCEN Digital Identity Tech Sprint that ended in April.

We asked participants to focus on solutions to measure the effectiveness of digital identity proofing for digital financial services. This element is challenged by the proliferation of compromised personally identifiable information (PII), increasing use of synthetic identities, and presence of multiple, varied approaches to perform digital identity proofing. The response by applicants, and the energy and creativity dedicated by the 64 participants over 3 weeks was strong. We view collaboration across regulators and between the public and private sectors to be critical to solving our shared challenge of measuring the effectiveness of digital identity proofing.

More broadly, it is important to bring public and private sector minds together, to collaborate on the future of identity. We need to continue to cooperate in order to address vulnerabilities and emerging threats and to keep pace with technological innovation. We can benefit from each other’s experiences and knowledge to move toward building secure, privacy-preserving digital identity solutions.

Martin

Zack Martin

Senior Policy Advisor
Venable and the Better Identity Coalition
Submitted: April 8, 2022

What is your role in the federal identity community?

I work with a variety of different stakeholder in the digital identity community and help explain and navigate some of the different cybersecurity policies out there. One of my primary responsibilities is working with the Better Identity Coalition and helping advance policies that will improve the digital identity ecosystem in the U.S.


How does FedID help you succeed?

The ability to hear about the latest and greatest from federal agencies and technology providers is fantastic. To be successful in my role I need to be up to date on the latest policies and technology advances and FedID puts this all-in-one place.


What are you most looking forward to at FedID?

Connecting with people in person. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to be in the same room with many of the speakers and technology providers and I look forward to meeting with them face to face.


Best part of an in-person FedID?

The hallway conversations. You always learn a lot in the sessions and exhibit halls but the one-off conversations in the hallways sometimes yield the best information.

Nadel

Dr. Larry Nadel

Electronics Engineer
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Submitted: March 17, 2022

What is your role in the federal identity community?

Before joining NIST almost six years ago, I devoted more than 20 years to biometric systems engineering, technology assessment, and standards development. Since joining NIST, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) have been applied increasingly to advance biometric matching algorithms, and so I became interested in understanding more about how such approaches might impact biometric algorithm and system performance, and deployment. Currently, I am exploring how US and global approaches and guidelines for the ethical and trustworthy use of AI/ML technology can be applied to the measurement and understanding of biometric identification technology.


How does FedID help you succeed?

FedID offers an opportunity to network with identity community colleagues from across government, industry, academia, and the public to share the results of our work and maintain awareness of the latest technical advances and challenges, applications, and concerns. From an agency perspective, such interaction provides added insight into how NIST can best fulfill its mission to conduct independent and quantifiable science-based assessments to meet the needs of policy-makers, agency officials, and the broader identity community. Such engagements also help us to identify and better support community needs for new or updated standards and best practices.


What are you most looking forward to at FedID?

I am looking forward to the resumption of in-person interaction with colleagues from across the identity community and learning of their technological advancements, and new and enhanced ways they are applying identity technology to improve security, privacy, equity, and quality of life.


What advances in biometrics are you hoping to see at FedID this year?

It is always exciting to see improvements in biometric sensor technology, particularly with regard to such factors as speed, quality, size, and operating environment. Given the rapidly increasing use of AI to improve matcher and end-to-end system performance, I am hoping to see a significantly increased focus on and advances in the evolution and implementation of best practices for the trustworthy use of AI across product and application life cycles. This would include approaches to minimize, monitor for, and mitigate potential biases, both algorithmic and human; and maximize operational transparency and stakeholder confidence. The global community of technologists, standards developers, and policymakers have been working to this end across all applications of AI. The NIST AI Risk Management Framework currently under development should be a key resource in this regard as well.