Principal & CTO
Paul Benda is a Principal and the Chief Technology Officer of GSIS where he helps clients integrate new technologies and use risk-based approaches to achieve effective security solutions that are cost-efficient and minimize the impact on operations. He currently co-leads the Security Assessment and Business Continuity practice at GSIS and has helped clients examine and optimize internal procedures and practices dealing with executive protection, campus and travel security, employee workplace safety, and operational resiliency to mitigate risks in a cost-effective manner that are also sensitive to institutional cultural norms. For example, he led the development of fan screening procedures for a professional sports league that were accepted as the league standard and resulted in the implementation of new security procedures at sporting venues across the country.
Mr. Benda uses his background as the former Director of the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA) where he was the head of Research and Development (R&D) for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and as a Program Manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to aid clients in their efforts to expand their work with the Federal Government’s R&D enterprise and help them position their technologies for transition both in the Government’s Homeland Security and the commercial markets. He has helped clients develop strategic approaches for commercial and government opportunities as well as tactical assistance with proposals that has enabled clients to increase their capture efficiency and revenue generation.
Mr. Benda also leads the SAFETY Act practice at GSIS. He has successfully helped clients gain approval of their SAFETY Act applications by leveraging his security and R&D experience and background as the former DHS decision authority on SAFETY Act applications. During his tenure at DHS, he approved nearly half of all current SAFETY Act awards including those for the New York Yankees, Willis Tower and New York Stock Exchange. His previous experience also includes serving as the Acting Deputy Under Secretary and Chief of Staff of S&T as well as positions in the Department of Defense where he worked in the Pentagon Force Protection Agency and oversaw the design, implementation, testing, and commissioning of all security systems at the Pentagon Reservation.
Mr. Benda started his career as an Active Duty U.S. Air Force officer working at the Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome, NY and transitioned from military life to the private sector and worked as a consultant for Booz Allen for five years before he returned to government service.