Potomac Forum The Forum of Choice for Government & Industry Training Since 1982

The Forum of Choice for Government & Industry Training Since 1982

Blockchain in Government Training Workshop II

Demystifying Blockchain: What You Need to Know, Current and Potential Use Cases and the Security Meet the Business Needs of Government

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Congressional Keynote Speaker


Congressman David Schweikert

Arizona, 6th Congressional District

Co-Chair, Congressional Blockchain Caucus


Government Speakers


A. Michelle White

Director, Shared Services & IT Products Contract Operations

Office of Information Technology Category (ITC)

Federal Acquisition Services (FAS)


General Services Administration (GSA)


Combiz Richard Abdolrahimi, J.D., LL.M., Esq.

Global FinTech & National Security Attorney

(Former Senior Policy Advisor & Project Manager, Department of the Treasury)


Anil John

Cybersecurity R&D Program Manager

Science and Technology Directorate

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)


Chris Robey

Blockchain and Procurement Consultant

(Former Procurement Analyst of U.S. DHS/U.S. Customs and Border Protection)


Bo Shevchik, MBA, CGFM, PMP


Association of Government Accountants (AGA), Blockchain Working Group


Paul Grassi

Partner and SVP of Cybersecurity

Easy Dynamics Corp.

(Previously, Senior Standards and Technology Advisor, Trusted Identity Initiative Group, NIST)


INVITED: Craig Fischer

Innovation Program Manager

Department of the Treasury

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Meeting Location: 
Willard InterContinental Hotel

Willard Intercontinental Hotel
1401 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Washington 20004
United States

Metro Center (Red, Orange, Blue Lines). Use the exit marked “12th & F Sts” to exit onto F St., then continue straight two blocks and cross 14th St.


Potomac Forum Blockchain I Workshop was a great success. Students requested a follow up Workshop in a Blockchain series.  This is the second Workshop in our Blockchain Series.


Commonly described as the "next great disrupter," Blockchain technology is the “new Internet”. While there are challenges associated with widespread use, its potential is drawing heavy interest and investment from both commercial and government leaders around teh world. Primarily known as the technology underlying Bitcoin, the strengths of Block's "distributed ledger" include increased transparency, speed, increased security.

Federal agencies are currently funding and building use cases to explore the potential of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies. Potential applications of the technology continue to expand as government moves toward adoption of the technology to increase efficiencies, trim costs, and increase transparency, and improve security in their operations.
Driven by the advantages of Blockchain and efforts for government transparency and the DATA Act, there are numerous Blockchain use cases that agencies are considering that touch many parts and processes of an organization, including:


·         Financial management and services

·         Procurement

·         IT asset and supply chain management

·         Smart contracts

·         Patents, Trademarks Copyrights, Royalties

·         Identity management and government-issued credentials like visas, passports, SSN and birth certificates

·         Federal personnel workforce data

·         Appropriated funds

·         Federal assistance and foreign aid delivery 


This Potomac Forum Training Workshop will provide you with practical explanations, “real world” examples and technical resources to help you understand the development of blockchain.

What You Will Learn: 

  • Fundamentals of Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology
  • Beyond the Basics – Steps in the Implementation
  • How blockchain works, and how it applies to government processes
  • Key opportunities to use Blockchain
  • Examples of blockchain use “outside the beltway” (including other Governments) and why
Why You Should Attend: 

  • Understand Blockchain and how it can be used in government
  • Improve your knowledge of an exploding technology
  • Be better equipped to support acquisition decisions
  • Build communities of interest in your agency and across agencies
  • Craft new strategies for improving business processes and government operations
Who Should Attend: 

  • Federal Government Executives, Managers and staff who are interested in learning about Blockchain and how it can be used in government
  • Government Executives, Managers and staff responsible for implementing Agency restructuring plans
  • Federal employees or members of employee affinity groups
  • Technology leaders and technology implementers
  • CXOs
  • IGs and Staff
  • State and local Government  Executives, Managers and staff
  • Industry Partners who support the government



Registration and Continental Breakfast

Art Chantker, President, Potomac Forum, Ltd.
Blockchain: Perspectives from Congress
Keynote Presentation 
Congressman David Schweikert, Arizona, 6th Congressional District, Co-Chair, Congressional Blockchain Caucus
Blockchain 101: What is Blockchain?
Background on Blockchain technology
How Blockchains are implemented
Blockchain uses in industry
Jim St. Clair, Founder, Institute for Healthcare Financial Technology
Refreshment Break

Government Panel: Uses of Blockchain in Government

How Blockchain Can and Should be Used in Government to meet business needs 
and security
- Paul Grassi, Partner and SVP of Cybersecurity, Easy Dynamics Corp. (Previously, Senior Standards and Technology Advisor, Trusted Identity Initiative Group, NIST)
- Anil John, Cybersecurity R&D Program Manager, Science and Technology Directorate, Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
- A. Michelle White, Director, Shared Services & IT Products Contract Operations, Office of Information Technology Category (ITC), Federal Acquisition Services (FAS), General Services Administration (GSA)


Why Blockchain: What is the value?
1. Characteristics of blockchains for Executives, Managers and Staff
2. Cryptocurrency: the first blockchain use case and why that is important to other use cases
3. Recognized and theorized value and challenges and why important for Agencies
George Taggett, Director, Security & Defense 
(Leader, Intelligence Community Portfolio), Grant Thornton

Building the Business Cases for Blockchain   

-          Getting Started

-          Developing the Business Case

-          Measuring Results


INVITED: Craig Fischer, Innovation Program Manager,

Department of the Treasury



Hosted Working Luncheon and Discussion at Lunch Tables


Based upon the morning’s Blockchain presentations, students will be asked to think about possible Blockchain use cases at their organization and discuss the possible use cases with others at their lunch tables



The Implications of Blockchain

  • Where did blockchain originate?
  • Why is blockchain important and what are its implications?
  • Where is blockchain headed?


Aftab Hossain, Senior Manager, Security & Defense/Strategy and Performance Improvement, Grant Thornton


Refreshment Break



Blockchain and Smart Contracts  


Chris Robey, Blockchain and Procurement Consultant

(Former Procurement Analyst of U.S. DHS/
U.S. Customs and Border Protection)



Blockchain in Government – A Perspective

Report from the Chair of the Blockchain Users Group of the Association of Government Accountants 


Bo Shevchik, Co-Chair, Association of Government Accountants (AGA), Blockchain Working Group



Blockchain and Perspectives for Use in Government

  • How potential regulation may affect the Agencies
  • What government could be doing

Combiz Richard Abdolrahimi, J.D., LL.M., Esq.

Global FinTech & National Security Attorney

Former Senior Policy Advisor & Project Manager, U.S. Department of the Treasury


4:30pm Wrap Up
4:45pm Workshop Adjourns


Registration Information: 

  Early Bird Registration Fee Registering after Feb. 16th
Government Employees:
(Federal, State or Local Government Issued ID)
Special Reduced Rates in Support of Government Budget Reductions
Team Rate for Government: Send a government team to learn together. Register two government employees from the same office at the same time and the third person registers at 50% of the current government rate.
Industry and Contractors:
(Including contractors on-site and in direct support of government agencies).

Registration Includes: Presentations, Workshop Notebook, Continental Breakfast, All Day Refreshments and Hosted Luncheon

Keynote Speaker: 

Congressman David Schweikert

Arizona's 6th District

Co-Chair, Blockchain Caucus

U.S. House of Representatives

David Schweikert is serving his fourth term in the United States Congress. He holds a seat on the Ways and Means Committee, having previously served on the Financial Services Committee. He also sits on the bicameral Joint Economic Committee, Co-Chairs the Valley Fever Task force with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and is the Republican Co-Chair of the Blockchain Caucus, the Tunisia Caucus and the Caucus on Access to Capital and Credit.


Among his legislative accomplishments, David was instrumental in authoring and passing the JOBS ACT into law. The bill was signed by the President in April 2012.


A national leader on tribal policy, David draws on a unique background working with Arizona’s tribal communities on important priorities.


As a strong advocate for efficiencies in the 21st Century economy, David collaborates with entrepreneurs and innovators in Arizona and around the world on ways to increase trade and drive economic growth. David has long championed technological innovations as the solution to the problems of over-burdensome government regulations.


David holds a seat on the Government and Oversight Subcommittee and the Social Security Subcommittee on the House Ways and Means Committee, where he is able to use his expertise in finance and tax policy to lend his voice towards pressing issues such as meaningful tax reform and reducing trade barriers for U.S. businesses.

Guest Speakers: 

Jim St. Clair

Chair, Education Committee

Government Blockchain Association

and Co-lead of the HIMSS Healthcare Blockchain Working Group

Jim is a senior professional with over 20 years combined experience in risk management, technology and cyber security for numerous organizations in various industries, emphasizing healthcare and public sectors.


Given the dramatic changes in technology and healthcare delivery, Jim recently founded the Institute for Healthcare Financial Technology, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the healthcare value chain to reduce costs and streamline access and delivery of healthcare. IHFT builds on the innovations of financial, insurance and healthcare technology, especially in such concepts as distributed ledgers, blockchain, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).


Jim is also the chair for the Education Committee for the Government Blockchain Association, and co-lead of the HIMSS Healthcare Blockchain Working Group.


He is currently supporting Grant Thornton LLP in several technology efforts, to include Blockchain in government. Previously, Jim has worked with large and small companies focusing on Agile development and project management, cyber security and healthcare information technology. Prior to that, Jim was Senior Director for Interoperability at HIMSS, a cause-based, not-for-profit organization exclusively focused on providing global leadership for the optimal use of information technology (IT) and management systems for the betterment of healthcare.

Craig D. Fischer

Program Manager

Office of Financial Innovation and Transformation (FIT)

Bureau of Fiscal Service


Craig Fischer is a Program Manager in the Office of Financial Innovation and Transformation (FIT) within the Bureau of Fiscal Service. Craig leads FIT’s innovation portfolio, where he and his team identify and pursue emerging trends and technologies that may have applicability to the financial management community. Prior to FIT, Craig held positions with Deloitte, the Chief Financial Officer’s (CFO) Council, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

A. Michelle White

Director, Shared Services & IT Products Contract Operations

Office of Information Technology Category (ITC)

Federal Acquisition Services (FAS)

General Services Administration (GSA)


Ms. White has more than thirteen years of federal information technology procurement experience and is currently the Director of Shared Services and Information Technology Products Contract Operations in the Information Technology Category in the Federal Acquisition Services at GSA. She previously served as a contracting officer for multiple IT and telecommunications contracts at GSA and IRS.


Ms. White graduated from N.C. State University in Raleigh, North Carolina and Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She recently supported the acquisition of a proof of concept for blockchain technology to automate the IT Schedule 70 FAStLane proposal review process.

Anil John

Cybersecurity R&D Program Manager

Science and Technology Directorate

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

Anil John is the program manager for the identity management project in the Cyber Security Division of the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA) in DHS S&T. The Identity Management project help government program managers with the public and private sector research and development expertise and resources needed to enhance the security and trustworthiness of their programs. In cases where such technologies do not exist or under development, the project makes the necessary investments in applied research, advanced development and technology transition to ensure their availability to the Homeland Security Enterprise.


Prior to joining CSD, he was the Technical Lead for the Federal Identity, Credential and Access Management (FICAM) Program at the General Service Administration's Office of Government-wide Policy, working on identity, credential and access management initiatives that impact the security and privacy of Citizen-to-Government, Business-to-Government and Government-to-Government digital interactions. With a career spanning the private sector as well as academia, John brings design and development expertise from architecture and implementation, internet scale deployment, and operational expertise at the network, host and application levels. John graduated from the University of Maryland with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a master’s in electric power engineering.

Chris Robey

Blockchain and Procurement Consultant

(Former Procurement Analyst of U.S. DHS/U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

Chris Robey, CPCM, Fellow, is a member of the Washington DC Chapter of NCMA, as well as a member of the Association of Government Accountants (AGA) and is a Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM).. With 40 years of contractor and Federal procurement experience, he has represented U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on both the OFPP Front Line Forum and the FAR Finance Team. He recently retired from the Customs and Boarder Patrol.

He holds an MBA from Long Island University and an MPP from Georgetown University.

Combiz Richard Abdolrahimi, J.D., LL.M., Esq.

Global FinTech & National Security Attorney

Former Senior Policy Advisor & Project Manager, U.S. Department of the Treasury

Combiz Richard Abdolrahimi is a national security lawyer, banking and financial services, public policy and strategic regulatory expert, and until recently, he served as Senior Policy Advisor and Project Manager at the United States Department of the Treasury. In this role, he developed and coordinated financial regulatory reform and policy development and analysis in several areas including new and emerging technologies (FinTech), identity, innovation, financial inclusion, de-risking, risk management, big data, privacy, and payments. Combiz is a recognized authority in the policies, laws, and regulations of FinTech, RegTech, cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.

He currently serves as Deputy Chair of the ACT-IAC Blockchain Forum, which is one of the largest public-private outreach and collaboration-building events with the blockchain community. He co-authored the blockchain primer on how blockchain can enable innovation in the U.S. Federal Government, the FinTech primer on how new and emerging technologies can improve transparency and accountability, and has held roles on various inter-agency working groups on FinTech/RegTech, regulatory reform, government modernization, and policy development. He currently serves as the Special Advisor to the Co-Chair of the Planning Committee for the Federal Identity Forum & Expo (FedID), having previously served as Treasury’s first Representative to FedID. In this role, he is responsible for bringing a unified voice to key identity issues important to Treasury – and national – priorities.

Combiz has served continuously in the U.S. Federal Government for eleven years since he was 19 years old; and he has worked on public policy, domestic and international financial regulatory, legislative, government relations, and political matters as well as global engagement. He joined Treasury after serving in the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs for PSI. Prior to joining Congress, Mr. Abdolrahimi worked in The White House Office of Political Affairs, and spent four years as a Program Specialist at the U.S. Department of State, interfacing with senior foreign government officials from over 90 countries and receiving commendations from Republican and Democratic leadership.

Born in Fort Worth, Texas, the son of immigrants, Mr. Abdolrahimi’s first job was working the cash register for his family’s small business—at the age of 12. He is a graduate of UCLA; American University of Beirut in Lebanon; and Georgetown University Law Center, receiving his B.A., J.D. and LL.M. in national security law with a focus on IHRL, economic sanctions, and anti-money laundering. Mr. Abdolrahimi speaks several languages critical to U.S. interests, such as Turkish, Persian, Arabic and Spanish. He aspires to follow in the footsteps of an American hero and his mentor, Ambassador Col. Charles W. Hostler, USAF (ret.), and serve as a United States Ambassador to the MENA region.

Paul Grassi

Partner and SVP of Cybersecurity

Easy Dynamics Corp.

(Previously, Senior Standards and Technology Advisor, Trusted Identity Initiative Group, NIST


Paul Grassi is the SVP of Cybersecurity for Easy Dynamics Corp. Mr. Grassi is responsible to helping clients mature effective cybersecurity programs via an appropriate mixture of policy, process, technology, and operations. Prior to joining EDC, he was the Senior Standards and Technology Advisor and Lead for Digital Identity at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). His portfolio included NIST 800-63, leading contributions to NIST 800-53 and the Cybersecurity Framework (CSF), multiple identity projects in the National Cyber Security Center of Excellence, and leading USG activity in various standards orgs, namely FIDO, IETF, and X9.


Mr. Grassi has a broad background of technology and management consulting, and significant experience developing enterprise security strategies and systems, having served a range of Fortune 500 companies, as well as domestic and foreign governments. 


George Taggett

Director, Security & Defense
(Leader, Intelligence Community Portfolio)
Grant Thornton

George has 35 years of experience in the intelligence community as an active duty Navy intelligence professional and as a leader in government advisory practices with several firms. He has extensive experience in all-source intelligence analysis, structured and predictive analytic methodologies, targeting, and counter terrorism.


He has significant experience in training development and has built and/or led a number of large tradecraft training practices and efforts in the intelligence community. George has also led several innovation teams and makes regular presentations on emerging technologies and their impact on government and intelligence issues, such as blockchain and biometrics, as well as other topics.


George also has extensive experience in leadership development, counter threat finance and anti-money laundering. He has a Bachelors of Science Management, Park University and MS Strategic Intelligence with Specialization in Middle East Studies, Joint Military Intelligence College

Aftab Hossain

Senior Manager, Security & Defense

Grant Thornton


Aftab leads Grant Thornton’s Organizational Effectiveness Practice where he works with clients to develop new business / operating models and transforming their organizations to meet the needs of the future. He has led major transformation efforts at organizations such as the World Bank, US Customs and Border Protection, US Special Operations Command, NASA, and many others. His experience includes applying emerging technologies and adapting organizations’ business models, organizations, and workforces to make full use of them.


Aftab holds a Bachelors of Government and a Master in Public Policy from the College of William and Mary.

Cancellation Policy: 

Confirmed registrations who cancel within 3 business days of the program will be subject to a $250 cancellation fee. Registrations cancelled after the program starts are subject to the full registration fee. Substitutions can be made at any time. In the event a particular training workshop is cancelled, the liability of Potomac Forum, Ltd is limited to refund of any prepaid registration fee.

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