ISL Corporate Leadership
Joseph Guerci, PhD
Dr. Guerci is an internationally recognized leader in the R&D and transition of next generation sensor and cognitive systems. In addition to authoring over 130 peer reviewed articles (https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=3CFHqvMAAAAJ&hl=en ), he is the author of several popular books including Space-Time Adaptive Processing for Radar (Artech House, 2003, 2nd Ed. 2014), and Cognitive Radar: The Knowledge-Aided Fully Adaptive Approach, (Artech House, 2010, first book on this topic, 2nd edition in preparation). Dr. Guerci is the recipient of the Warren D. White Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for “Excellence in Radar Adaptive Processing and Waveform Diversity” and is a Fellow of the IEEE for “Contributions to Advanced Radar Theory and its Embodiment in Real-World Systems”. He was the General Chair for the 2015 IEEE International Radar Conference (largest surplus in the history of the conference series) and been selected to serve as the Radar/EW Series Editor for Artech House publishers. Most recently, he is the recipient of the IEEE Dennis J. Picard Medal (2020) for “For contributions to advanced, fully adaptive radar systems and real-time knowledge-aided, and cognitive radar processing architectures”.
A graduate of NYU Polytechnic University (now Tanden School of Engineering) with a Ph.D.E.E, Dr. Guerci has held adjunct professorships in engineering and applied mathematics at The City University of New York, NYU Polytechnic University, The Cooper Union for Advancement of Art and Science, and Virginia Tech. Additionally, he has held senior engineer and scientist positions in industry and was Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for SAIC’s $2B+/year Research, Development, Test & Evaluation (RDT&E) Group. He is also currently a member of several industrial, academic, and government advisory boards.
Chief Operating Officer
Shearer was a senior presidential appointee at the Department of Energy, where he was the chief Environment, Safety, Health & Quality officer for the nuclear weapons, national laboratory, energy, and R&D complex, guiding corporate policy, compliance, performance assessment, and internal-investigation. Prior to that he was a senior appointee at the Department of the Army serving as the senior-most line manager of the $1.3B (annual) program that destroyed the Nation’s stockpile of chemical weapons, and as a senior manager in approximately $5.8B of Army housing and infrastructure recapitalization. Shearer practiced law with two AmLaw 100 / U.S. NEWS Best Law Firms; was environmental counsel to a nuclear-weapons-production facility; and served as a judicial law clerk to the Delaware Supreme Court and an Article I Federal appellate court.
Shearer is widely published in professional journals with two of his publications cited as annotations to the United States Code; is the co-author or contributor to many technical reports and studies; and has testified before an independent federal regulatory board. He was a member of the Department of Energy’s Operating Experience Council and the President’s Council on Modernizing the National Environmental Policy Act. Shearer’s awards include the Army Staff Badge, several Department of Energy citations, and the Department of Defense Citation for Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve. He is listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in American Law, and serves on the board of a New Orleans charitable and civic organization.
Shearer earned his legum magister degree in energy and environmental law from Tulane University School of Law, his juris doctor degree from Widener University School of Law, his bachelor of arts degree from Washington and Lee University. He has a certificate in nuclear-weapons design from Sandia National Laboratory and was a National Security Decision-Making Fellow in asymmetrical warfare at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.
Senior VP, Manager of Research, Development and Engineering Systems Division
Senior VP, Manager of Energy and Space Division
Vice President, Controller, and CFO
ISL Board of Directors
John E. Don Carlos
Chairman of the Board & Founder
John E. Don Carlos is the Chairman of the Board and Founder of Information Systems Laboratories, Inc. Mr. Carlos has designed, developed, evaluated and managed the acquisition of sophisticated information systems for both industry and government, and he has a background of quantitative systems analysis, signal design and processing, propagation research, systems integration and software management. These skills have been successfully applied to communications signal processing and sensor systems incorporating multiple propagation media from ELF through HF and VHF to millimeter waves and light. As a new graduate in 1958 at GTE Electronic Defense Laboratories, Mr. Carlos conceived, designed, and fielded the first bistatic non-cooperative HF radar while becoming the department manager (Geophysics Department) of a group of 70 scientists and engineers. In 1968 he was recruited by the US Navy to be the Technical Director of the Special Submarine Communication Project, which was formed to redress a critical deficiency in communications with the fleet ballistic missile submarine deterrent force. Several major new communication systems were developed and deployed under his technical direction. The project budget evolved to approximately $200M per year. He left the Navy in late 1977 to found Information Systems Group of JAYCOR, a new technology company then in its infancy. Departments in Intelligent Systems (AI), Health and Environment, Ocean Systems, and Communications were established and expanded within it. In 1982, he founded ISL to pursue the application of emerging information technologies to surveillance, communications, and intelligence. In addition to management and Board Chairman activities at ISL John has technically contributed to numerous innovative projects including foliage penetration radar, HF/VHF satellite radar, passive radar, simulation of terrain scatter and propagation as applied to ground and airborne radar signal and clutter, and design-development-test-and deployment of high resolution intercept sonar now in operational use. He is currently interested in application of AI deep learning to ISR – a now achievable outgrowth of his personal interest stemming from the 1970s.
Mr. Carlos earned a B.S.E.E. from Iowa State University and a M.S. (Statistics) from Stanford.
Board of Directors
Mr. Kipps has over 25 years of experience in providing transaction advisory and financial consulting services to leading defense and technology firms.
He is currently Managing Director of KippsDeSanto & Co., a leading investment banking boutique focused on mid-tier Aerospace/Defense and Technology firms. Prior to founding KippsDeSanto & Co., Mr. Kipps was a Managing Director in Houlihan Lokey’s Washington, DC office and a leader of Houlihan Lokey’s Aerospace∙Defense∙Government industry investment banking group. Mr. Kipps was also with Peterson Consulting and Tucker Alan where he advised aerospace/defense, engineering, construction and technology companies.
Mr. Kipps was recognized in 2007 as the Dealmaker of the Year – Investment Banker by the Association for Corporate Growth’s National Capital Chapter. He is on the Board of Directors of Information Systems Laboratories, Inc., Easter Seals of the Greater Washington-Baltimore Region, and a member of the Advisory Board for the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia. Mr. Kipps is a frequent speaker on mergers and acquisitions involving aerospace/defense and technology firms and is often quoted in publications including The Washington Post, GovConExec, The Washington Business Journal, USA Today and Washington Technology among others.
Mr. Kipps received his B.S. in Commerce, with distinction, from the University of Virginia. He is registered with FINRA as a General Securities Registered Representative and Principal (Series 7, 63, 24, and 79).
Prof. Lloyd Griffiths
Board of Directors
Lloyd Griffiths served as Dean of the Volgenau School of Engineering at George Mason University for 15 years starting on September, 1997. He is currently a faculty member in the ECE Department and teaches courses and conducts research in systems and signal processing, adaptive systems, and cyber-physical systems security.
Prior to joining George Mason, Lloyd was Chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Colorado in Boulder. He also spent six years at the University of Southern California where he held the title of Associate Dean for Research and Administration in the School of Engineering.
Dr. Griffiths’ undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering was awarded by the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. His M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering were awarded by Stanford University.
Dean Griffiths is a fellow of the IEEE and has been recognized with the IEEE Browder J. Thompson prize paper award.
Board of Directors
Gail Taylor-Smith is Vice President and Chief Technologist of Pristine Creations and CEO of TaylorSmith, LLC, and has more than thirty six years of technology and business development success in the aerospace and defense industry. She is a former executive of the Boeing Company and HRL Laboratories, LLC, with key accomplishments including leading a R&D organization responsible for $115M+ of internally and government funded technology programs; creating new processes for managing technology-development-program execution, which resulted in increased transition and higher government award fees; identifying and developing critical technical capabilities necessary to continue effective competition at the system level; and Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and Office of Naval Research (ONR) recognition for transitioning small business innovative research (SBIR) developed capabilities into Boeing products and services. Ms. Taylor-Smith received the Joe Sanders Leadership Award from Hughes Space and Communications for her technology-development leadership; Boeing Phantom Works recognized her excellence in engineering and technology development; and the Boeing Supplier Diversity organization awarded her the Executive Supplier Advocate Growth Educator Award for her efforts to transition SBIR into Boeing programs. Ms. Taylor-Smith’s received her B.S. in Engineering from UCLA and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from USC; she has additional training including the Government-Industry Program Managers Development Course, Business School training certificates from UCLA and USC, and Multidimensional Leadership training.
Dr. Fred Bernthal
Board of Directors
Fred Bernthal was President of Universities Research Association (URA) for 17 years until 2011, and continues to serve there as Senior Advisor to the URA Board of Trustees. A not-for-profit consortium of 88 research universities, URA engages in the planning, construction, and operation of large research facilities. Among its activities, URA for 40 years has been contractor to the U.S. Department of Energy for management and operation of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory west of Chicago.
Prior to URA, Dr. Bernthal served four years as Deputy Director of the National Science Foundation, where he was also for one year Acting Director. From 1988-1990, he was Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans, Environment and Science. He led the U.S. delegation to the first meeting of parties to the Montreal Protocol on Stratospheric Ozone, and chaired the 50-nation Response Strategies Working Group of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. From 1983-88 he was a Member of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. In the wake of the Chernobyl disaster, in 1987 he led a U.S. interagency delegation to the Soviet Union, where he negotiated and signed the first US-USSR nuclear safety protocol.
From 1970-80, Dr. Bernthal was a professor of chemistry and physics at Michigan State University. On being named a Congressional Science Fellow in 1978, he took a two-year leave of absence from MSU to join the staff of U.S. Senator Howard Baker, on whose staff he continued to serve until 1983.
Fred Bernthal received a B.S. degree in chemistry from Valparaiso University in 1964, and a Ph.D. in nuclear chemistry in 1969 from the University of California at Berkeley. He did advanced study at Yale University in 1969-70, and at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, where he was a NATO Senior Scientist Fellow in 1977.
Dr. Bernthal has served since 2006 as a director of Information Systems Laboratories Inc. He also was for 18 years a director of PPL Corporation until, in 2015, he became a director of the newly-formed Talen Energy Corporation. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a Member of the Cosmos Club of Washington.
William C. Ostendorff
Board of Directors
William C. Ostendorff is the Class of 1960 Distinguished Visiting Professor in National Security at the U.S. Naval Academy, teaching Nuclear Weapons Policy, Congress and National Security, Grand Strategy, and Law and National Security. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on three occasions to serve in senior administration posts in both Republican and Democratic administrations, first as the Principal Deputy Administrator for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) in the Bush Administration (2007-2009) and twice more as a Commissioner at the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (2010-2016) in the Obama Administration. From 2003 to 2007, Mr. Ostendorff was a member of the staff of the House Armed Services Committee. There, he served as counsel and staff director for the Strategic Forces Subcommittee with oversight responsibilities for the Department of Energy’s Atomic Energy Defense Activities as well as the Department of Defense’s space, missile defense and intelligence programs. Mr. Ostendorff was a United States Navy officer from 1976 until he retired in 2002 with the rank of Captain, having served on six submarines and commanded a nuclear attack submarine and a nuclear attack submarine squadron. Mr. Ostendorff earned a B.S. in systems engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy and law degrees from the University of Texas and Georgetown University. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas. He currently serves on the Advisory Council for the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations and on a National Academy of Sciences Committee on Plutonium Disposition. He received the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award of the US Nuclear Infrastructure Council.