Keynote Speaker: Cathy Lanier


Success did not come without hard work and overcoming odds for Cathy Lanier, who will be one of our keynote speakers. Her life story is emblematic of our conference theme, “Transcend.” Lanier was the former chief of the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Colombia and is currently the senior vice president of security for the National Football League.

Over her celebrated 26 years in law enforcement and counter-terrorism, Lanier has come to be known for her game-changing leadership strategies as she rose through the ranks of the Metro DC police force, ultimately being appointed to chief in 2007. She is the first female police chief of the nation’s capital, the first commanding officer of Homeland Security and Counter-Terrorism for DC Police, was one of a small number of female chiefs in the nation and the longest serving chief on the DC force.

Credited for transforming the city once known as the “murder capital of the nation,” Lanier’s street-smart tactics of empowering citizens through better communication and trust, and providing the force with better technology and intelligence, resulted in a 53 percent reduction in homicides from 2008-2012. An expert in securing and managing large special events, she oversaw five Presidential inaugurations as well as several special events in DC including two state funerals and two Papal visits. In 2013, she led the efforts in response to the Washington Navy Yard mass shooting.

Lanier began her career as a junior high school dropout and single mom and went on to earn her GED and two masters degrees, all while working her way up the ranks within the DC police force.

Lanier will share insights on policing, risk management and security, leadership under crisis and the power of persistence in overcoming your own odds and achieving any goal.

Now, as the newly appointed senior vice president of security for the National Football League, Lanier ensures the security of all 32 NFL teams and their venues, working with federal, state and local law enforcement and handling security for the Super Bowl.


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