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2019 Annual Meeting From Challenge to Solution


The BTI Institute is gathering key stakeholders to discuss ongoing and proposed solutions to identified challenges within U.S. Customs and Border Protection mission space.  

We seek collaboration amongst the following entities:

  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection Champions, to include
    • U.S. Border Patrol
    • Office of Trade
    • Office of Field Operations
    • Office of Policy
  • Academic/research professionals from the consortium
  • Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology
  • Other DHS Centers of Excellence
  • Other DHS border, trade, or immigration interested stakeholders

Online registration is closed. If you are still interested in attending please send an email to Dr. Abria Magee, Include your name, title, and organization. 

Event Details

Date: 26 JUNE 2019, 8:30 am to 4 pm
Location: Office of Training and Development, Room 7300B, 1717 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20006

Agenda (in brief)

After welcomes and introductions by the BTI Institute and DHS S&T OUP leadership, George Zouridakis, Ph.D., Chair of the Research Committee, will present an overview of the Institute's customer discovery efforts for Performance Year 4. Additionally, he will speak to some of the efforts in addressing the identified challenges. Following, the principal investigators for each project will present the status of their projects, including deliverables to date.  After lunch, the Institute staff will host Roundtables that will identify gaps and begin to develop research solutions under the themes of Migration, Technology, and Trade. 

Day 1 - Annual Meeting (Wednesday, 26 JUNE 2019)

Time Event Speaker(s)
0800-0900 Registration and Refreshments
0900-0905 BTI Institute Overview Anthony Ambler, Ph.D., Director
0905-0910 Welcome Remarks Theophilos Gemelas, Program Manager, DHS S&T OUP
0910-0920 Opening Remarks Michael Dougherty, Assistant Secretary, Border, Immigration, and Trade Policy
0920-0945 BTI Institute Stakeholder Perspectives

Paul Baker, Ph.D., Deputy Assistant Commissioner, DHS CBP Office of Training & Development

Melissa Herrera, Assistant Chief, US Border Patrol

Vincent Annunziato, Director, Business Transformation & Innovation, CBP

Matt Schneider, Director, Land Border Initiatives, Entry/Exit Transformation, CBP OFO

0945-1005 Customer Discovery and Curriculum Development George Zouridakis, Ph.D., Research Committee Chair
1005-1020 Break
1020-1050 Project: Transforming Trade and Ensuring Global Supply Chain Security with Blockchain and Smart Contracts Larry Shi, Ph.D., University of Houston; Eleftherios Iakovou, Ph.D., Texas A&M University; Vincent Iacopella, Trade Co-Chair, 14th Advisory Committee on Commercial Operations of Customs and Border Protection
1050-1120 Proposed: Operational Means for Forensic Characterization of Imported Crudes Ramanan Krishnamoorti, Ph.D., Chief Energy Officer University of Houston
1120-1150 Project: Exploring Homeland Security Applications for Unmanned Autonomous Systems at Maritime Ports Ben Rohrbaugh, Lantern UAS LLC
1150-1220 Project: Validating Deterrence Models for Scanning Technologies Dennis Wagner, ANSER
1220-1230 Break
1230-1300 Lunch (Catered)
1300-1400 Roundtable (Challenge Discovery and Solution Proposal)
1400-1430 Project: EDGE: The 'Eye in the Woods' Image-based Human Detection and Recognition System Ioannis Kakadiaris, Ph.D., University of Houston
1430-1500 Project: Venezuela and Nicaragua: Regional Migration Crisis in the Making Randy Capps, Ph.D., Migration Policy Institute
1500-1530 Proposed: The Impact of Indirect Remittances on Development Jeronimo Cortina, Ph.D., Faculty Senate President-Elect, University of Houston
1530-1600 Closing Remarks


Day Before or Day After - Customer Visits (Tuesday, 25 JUNE 2019 or Thursday, 27 JUNE 2019)

We encourage researchers to coordinate with their project champion(s) in order to visit their champions in their offices and meet other potential collaborators. If you need support in scheduling these visits, please contact the BTI Institute Research Manager at
Location: Various


Airport Suggestions: The Institute suggests using Washington Reagan (DCA), as this airport gives access to the DC Metro and is located near the meeting location and hotel.

Lodging Suggestions

Transportation Suggestions


If you have any questions, please contact Philip J Boedeker, Communications Manager, at or