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Keynote Lineup for Virtual Commercial UAV Expo Americas 2020 Includes Leaders From FAA, CISA and The White House

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Portland, ME – August 12, 2020 – Steve Dickson, Administrator, FAA; Brian Harrell, Assistant Director, DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA); and Michael Kratsios, Chief Technology Officer of the United States, The White House, will deliver keynote presentations at Commercial UAV Expo Americas 2020 Virtual Event taking place September 15-17.  Additional keynote panels are Drone Delivery in the Era of a Pandemic; UPS Panel on Building a Drone Delivery Airline While Balancing the Gender Equation; and Expanded Operations, Regulatory Update and Lessons Learned from IPP.

For the first time, Keynotes will be free to attend for anyone with Virtual Exhibit Hall pass. In addition to accessing the keynotes, attendees will be able to chat with one another during the sessions and network with one another through a sophisticated AI-powered networking tool. Registration is available here:

“The need to come together has never been greater,” said Lisa Murray, Event Director. “We’re thrilled that these top UAS leaders have chosen Commercial UAV Expo as the platform for sharing critical updates and information during these extraordinary times.” 

Keynote Presentations

Steve Dickson, FAA

Steve Dickson, FAA
UAS Today and Onward

Over the past year, the industry and the FAA have made substantial progress related to UAS. Operators have received part 135 air carrier certification, the long-awaited remote identification rule was proposed and will soon be finalized, aircraft type certification efforts are underway, and emergency relief and public safety operations have expanded. But where is the FAA really on the path to full integration? This journey began and is progressing deliberately, with an absolute commitment to safety every step of the way. As technology has advanced; experience has been gained through real-world operations, such as those conducted under the UAS Integration Pilot Program. Regulatory efforts have progressed bringing the destination closer every day. In this keynote address, FAA Administrator Steve Dickson will discuss the state of UAS, today and in the future.

Brian Harrell, CISA

Brian Harrell, CISA
Assistant Director for Infrastructure Security, CISA

“Private industry does not own the airspace above generation facilities, above a transmission substation, above a water plant — so the overhead threat for attack is absolutely real today.”—Brian Harrell. In his Keynote address, Brian will provide an update on joint efforts of DHS, DOJ, HHS and other agencies to anticipate and mitigate threats, the risks posed by—and opportunities for use of – unmanned systems, the importance of investing in an insider-threat and other crisis mitigation programs, and resources available for industry including free workshops, training and webinars through the DHS CISA. The goal is protecting key infrastructure and other assets including the electric grid and water resources and preparing for worst-case scenarios.

Michael Kratsios, The White House

Michael Kratsios, The White House
Update from U.S. Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios

As President Trump’s top technology advisor, Michael has led the development and execution of the Administration’s national technology policy agenda since inauguration. Under his leadership, the White House launched National initiatives for artificial intelligence, quantum computing, 5G and broadband communications, autonomous vehicles, commercial drones, STEM education, and advanced manufacturing. Chief Michael will provide an update on the latest developments from the White House.

Keynote Panels

In addition to the Keynote Presentations, the program includes three Keynote panels:

Drone Delivery in the Era of a Pandemic

The successes of drones deliveries for sending medicine and organs to hospitals quickly, or delivering aid in disaster areas, has not only been a step forward for proof of concept, but the value proposition for drones in these situations is clearer than ever.  What are some of the early success stories and how have deliveries been progressing, particularly throughout the pandemic?  Going forward, what are some of the key policy, regulatory and technological hurdles and enablers that will allow drone deliveries to scale more broadly across the U.S. and what lessons can be learned from drone delivery in the era of a pandemic?   

Panelists include Lisa Ellman, Commercial Drone Alliance & Partner, Hogan Lovells, (Moderator); Bala Ganesh, UPS; Ed De Reyes, Sabrewing Aircraft Company, Inc with additional speaker announcements to come.

Building a Drone Delivery Airline While Balancing the Gender Equation

UPS Flight Forward Inc. has celebrated many things over the last year.  In this inspiring Keynote the women on the team will talk about their roles in the successful drone airline and how they’re advocating for women to hold leadership positions in this new industry.  Speaker announcements coming soon.

Expanded Operations, Regulatory Update and Lessons Learned from IPP

Jay Merkle will kick off the session with a regulatory update and will then engage panelists in candid discussion about their IPP experiences. He’ll focus on how these learnings and insights will inform the expansion of drone programs.

Panelists include Jay Merkle, FAA (Moderator); Katelyn McCauley, San Diego IPP; Cathy Cahill, University of Alaska IPP; Mark Blanks, Virginia IPP; James Grimsley, Advanced Technology Initiatives, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

About Commercial UAV Expo Americas

Commercial UAV Expo Americas, presented by Commercial UAV News, is the leading international trade show and conference for the commercial drone market. Its sixth edition, September 15-17, 2020 will take place virtually. For more information, visit

Commercial UAV Expo Americas and its sister event Commercial UAV Expo Europe are produced by Diversified Communications’ technology portfolio which also includes Commercial UAV News, GeoBusiness Show, International Lidar Technology Forum, SPAR 3D Expo & Conference, SPAR, AECNext Technology Expo & Conference and AEC Next News. For information on opportunities for vendors at Commercial UAV Expo Americas, contact Katherine Dow, Sales Manager, at [email protected] or +1.207-842-5497. For attending information, visit or email [email protected].

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