Event Calendar

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Cancelled - Decoding the Spaceverse: Collaborating in a Hybrid Synthetic Environment

Start Date: 6/8/2023 8:30 AM EDT
End Date: 6/8/2023 10:15 AM EDT

Venue Name: Westwood Country Club

800 Maple Ave E
Vienna, VA  United States  22180

Organization Name: SECAF Events

Julia Nelson
Email: info@secaf.org
Phone: 703-574-1117

Updated June 1, 2023 - If you had previousely registered for this event, we will be processing refunds over the next few days.

For our last monthly briefing of the 2022-23 program season, we’re taking an exciting journey into the Space Force’s SpaceVerse.  Our panel of experts will discuss the Space Force’s efforts to develop its metaverse, called SpaceVerse, and the implications it will have across multiple dimensions, including data analytics, work force development, and cyber security.  The briefing will also address how small businesses can engage in and support the SpaceVerse initiative.

Moderated by: Sophia Moshasha - VP, DC Chapter of the VR/AR Association


  • Diana L. Burley, PhD - Vice Provost for Research and Innovation at American University
  • Joel Scharlat - CEO and Principal Consultant, IVEA Consulting
  • Michael Torres - Chief of Digital Infrastructure and SpaceVerse, US Space Force


Dr. Diana L. Burley is an award-winning global cybersecurity expert with over 25 years of experience leading multi-institutional, cross-sector teams to drive digital transformation and strategic innovation. She is a dynamic industry thought leader who advises global stakeholders on strengthening cybersecurity posture, implementing robust workforce development programs, diversifying the cybersecurity/high-tech workforce, and building an equitable global cyber community.

Diana is currently Vice Provost for Research and Innovation at American University (AU) where she is also a Professor of Public Administration and Policy and Professor of Information Technology & Analytics. As both the university’s chief research officer and chief innovation officer, and a member of the president’s council, she is responsible for establishing the strategic vision and executing against the research and revenue targets set by the board while also overseeing the university-wide research enterprise, developing the research brand, enabling global partnerships, and supporting faculty led scholarship across all disciplines. In addition, she holds cleared research appointments with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and the Idaho National Laboratory.

Prior to AU, Diana spent 14 years at George Washington University as a professor, administrator, and institute director. She led the Institute for Information Infrastructure Protection (I3P), a 26-member cybersecurity research consortium focused on critical infrastructure protection, managed a multimillion-dollar computer science education and research portfolio at the National Science Foundation. She has written more than 100 publications on cybersecurity, information sharing, risk, and digital transformation; including her 2014 co-authored book “Enterprise Software Security: A Confluence of Disciplines” and throughout her career, Diana has maintained an independent consulting practice focusing on digital transformation, cybersecurity awareness, and strategic innovation.

Diana holds a BA in Economics from the Catholic University of America; M.S. in Public Management and Policy, M.S. in Organization Science, and Ph.D. in Organization Science and Information Technology from Carnegie Mellon University where she studied as a Woodrow Wilson Foundation Fellow.

Sophia Moshasha is on a mission to accelerate the adoption of immersive & emerging technologies and is a driving force behind numerous initiatives designed to advance education and engagement with XR across all industry sectors.

As a producer and Virtual Red Carpet host of The Polys - WebXR Awards, Special Correspondent of the WebXR Summit Series and co-host of the VR/AR Association podcast, Sophia has interviewed hundreds of XR pioneers and innovators. Throughout her career, she has held various roles to sell and build impactful, news-worthy use cases of the technology for a variety of industries. Most recently, Sophia held a role on Meta’s Public Policy team leading metaverse strategies.   She has also served as Head of Partnerships for Brightline Interactive, XR Strategist for Virtual Reality Marketing, and as Senior Program Manager for AFWERX, the U.S. Air Force’s Innovation Investment Program. 

Since 2017, she has been active in the immersive technology community serving as Vice President of the DC Chapter of the VR/AR Association Washington, D.C. Chapter, the co-founder of XR women, a global collective dedicated to the advancement of female representation in technology, and co-founder for Ready Player Golf, the first annual Virtual Reality Charity Golf Outing, which has raised money for MSF (Doctors Without Borders),  XRSI (the XR Safety Initiative) and Children’s Cancer Research Fund (CCRF).

Sophia has been influencing global networks through many years of active engagement in the XR community. She is actively involved in helping policy and standards setting organizations, such as the VR/AR Association, Congressional Reality Caucus, Metaverse Standards Forum and the National Training and Simulation Association, understand the immersive technology landscape in order to better prepare for the growing interest in the utilization of these technologies. She has been featured on prominent media outlets such as Forbes, ABC, CGTN, American Dream TV series and more. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Joel Scharlat is the CEO and Principal Consultant for a Service Disabled, Veteran-Owned, Small Business. Focusing on extended reality (XR) and cybersecurity, Joel helps his clients bring innovative, secure XR-based technologies to market with over 25 years of leadership, management, and strategy development and execution experience. He is currently the Principal Investigator on a National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) grant leading a team to develop natural authentication methods for First Responders wearing Augmented Reality (AR) devices. Joel serves on the Board of Cyber Bytes Foundation where he was previously the Director of Operations, focused on building and growing a 501(c)(3) offering education, innovation, and outreach programs responsive to national security needs. Joel holds a Master’s degree from The Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. There, he wrote his Thesis on how immersive virtual environments can be used to influence people’s behaviors. He is a retired Marine Officer who served 20 years in both the Active and Reserve components.

Michael Torres is the US Space Force Chief of Digital Infrastructure and SpaceVerse with 25+ years of experience as multi-Disciplinary Strategist, Solutions Architect, and Educator. Mr. Torres has led organizational, technological, and data transformations cross all levels of government. Mr. Torres is currently a CyberCorps Scholarship for Service Doctoral Candidate pursuing a Doctorate of Education (Ed.D) in Human and Organizational Learning from George Washington University.
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  • $90 After 5:00 pm on June 5th

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