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Our Team


Akmal Ali, Principal
As a principal at Catalyst Partners, Akmal Ali supports domestic and international clients in working with the federal government and business development, with an emphasis on technology growth. With more than four years of SAFETY Act experience, Ali most recently fulfilled the duties and responsibilities of a deputy director at the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of SAFETY Act Implementation, and offers extensive knowledge of public-private partnerships, private sector preparedness and resiliency and risk management. More »

David M. Olive, Principal
David M. Olive has more than 30 years’ experience in business, politics, law and public affairs. As former chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR3) and a former staffer for US Senator Jim Allen (D-AL) Mr. Olive understands that very few things get done in Washington without approaching them in a bi-partisan manner. More »

Randy Beardsworth, Principal
Randy Beardsworth brings over 30 years of strategic and operational experience, with expertise in maritime security, maritime domain awareness, border and transportation security, law enforcement, and immigration policy. In his current capacity as a Principal at Catalyst Partners, he helps clients with strategic planning and business development. More »

Richard Cooper, Principal
Richard “Rich” Cooper is a Partner with Catalyst Partners, LLC, a government and public affairs practice in Washington, D.C., that focuses on homeland and national security matters. In this role, Cooper offers client advice and strategic planning support on matters relating to emergency preparedness and business continuity leadership, public-private partnerships, homeland security policies and programs as well as science and technology development and deployment. More »

François P. Bégin, Principal
François Bégin brings 28 years of extensive experience in both domestic and international markets. Mr. Bégin has spent his entire professional career accessing and optimizing public and private sector opportunities, both as a consultant and as a senior executive. As a Partner of Catalyst Partners, (formerly known as Olive, Edwards, & Cooper), Mr. Bégin continues to identify opportunities, build critical relationships, and provide access and guidance to a variety of small and large businesses to help them broaden their footprint. More »

L. Vance Taylor, Principal
L. Vance Taylor has worked to advance the mission of homeland security on Capitol Hill and in the private sector. One of only a handful of people in the nation with a Master’s degree in Homeland Security, Mr. Taylor combines his specialized education with real-world experience and advanced professional training to leverage successful outcomes for his clients and their stakeholders. More »

Kelly Woods Vaughn, Principal
Ms. Woods Vaughn joined the InfraGard National Members Alliance (INMA) May 2012, as the Managing Director. In this role, she works closely with the InfraGard Members Alliances (IMA) the FBI Public – Private Alliance (PPAU), other Government Agencies, Industry and Private Sector Partners to facilitates cross communication and outreach to promote the InfraGard Program. More »

Courtney A. Stadd, Management Advisor
Mr. Stadd has over 35 years experience in working at the intersection of the Federal government and private sector high tech markets. Mr. Stadd was founder and President of Capitol Alliance Solutions, LLC, a Washington, DC, area based management consulting services firm established in 1993 with a diverse range of public and private sector clients in aerospace (space and ground-based), satellite imagery and navigation, and other high technology initiatives. The firm assisted with shaping policy and legislative initiatives; as well as executing business development strategies for clients to capture greater market in both the federal and private sector markets. More »

Chris Schmidt
Chris Schmidt is a highly accomplished senior business executive with extensive experience in governmental, transportation and media industries. During his more than 35 year career, Mr. Schmidt has served as Senior Advisor to the Deputy Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), as Chief of Staff to the Orange County, Fla., Mayor, as news director and general manager at three television stations, and as the head of operations at Orlando International Airport (MCO). Mr Schmidt has a proven ability to successfully manage revenue, expenses and staff in challenging, fluid environments. He has successfully established working relationships with senior business and community executives as well as government leaders at the federal, state and local levels. More »

Jeffrey J. Faszcza
Jeffrey J. “Jeff” Faszcza brings more than 32 years experience in managing multidisciplinary projects that encompass broad strategic issues and require precise technical execution to his position as a Principal at Catalyst Partners. Jeff has direct management experience in government relations, business development, program management, manufacturing and finance, having applied and honed his skills in both the domestic and international space, defense, aeronautics and homeland security markets. More »

W. Rish Wood
As Southeast Business Development Manager , Rish brings over 35 years of management, marketing, advertising , telecommunications , broadcasting and public relations experience to Catalyst. More »

Abraham Smith
Abraham Smith comes to Catalyst with a wealth of international leadership experience. His experience leading companies abroad has enabled him to develop personal and business relationships in the Middle East, the Indian Sub-Continent, Russia and Central Asia. He has led multicultural teams in difficult environments and understands the importance of creating strong local relationships to ensure business success. At Catalyst, Abraham assists clients in developing and executing their strategy for international growth, as well as providing clients expert advice on communications technology issues. More »

Steven Krause
Steven Krause holds 35 years experience in business development and government relations, creating new ventures and capturing new business in aerospace, defense and security markets around the world. Formerly with The Boeing Company, Krause has worked across numerous defense and business development projects, including international growth strategy, border security, and military and civilian aviation contracts. More »

Gerry Brown
Gerry Brown joined Catalyst Partners in 2008 to support the firm’s growing homeland and national security consulting practice. Gerry is responsible for overseeing the firm’s business development efforts in the Southwest region of the country. In particular, she is helping businesses that are seeking assistance with navigating the rigorous SAFETY Act application process by collaborating with Catalyst Partners. More »

Kevin McCarthy
Kevin McCarthy is a Homeland and National Security practitioner experienced in transportation security and operations solutions, resilience and other aspects of critical infrastructure protection. With over 33 years experience flying commercial and U.S. Air Force aircraft including C-130s and a range of commercial airliners. He was selected as one of Delta Airlines first captains of the new Boeing 777. During this time he also served as an expert advisor on aviation and operations security to the U.S. government and the airline industry. As a senior official in the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) he founded the National Center for Aviation Security and directed the industry’s first Office of Intelligence & Emerging Threats. In this role he worked to enhance information sharing among ALPA’s 65,000 members, U.S. government agencies, and the intelligence community. More »

Latest Blog Posts

catalyst - January 22, 2015

This morning, Tom Temin interviewed DHS Inspector General John Roth about the report his office issued, which severely criticizes the DHS CBP Office of Air & Marine’s use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for border surveillance purposes.

catalyst - January 15, 2015

The recent fire in the Washington, DC, subway system that killed one passenger and injured more than 80 others reveals ominous signs for the Nation’s Capitol. Most concerning are reports that the Fire & Rescue Services radios did not work and did not allow them to communicate with one another and other emergency services. This is an outrage.

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