The Silicon Review
“Innovation is not what we do, it’s what we dare.”
IDEMIA National Security Solutions (NSS) is the result of the merger between two great companies: Oberthur Technologies and Safran Identity & Security, which have joined forces to form the new leader in Augmented Identity for an increasingly digital world. IDEMIA is a wholly-owned and FOCI mitigated IDEMIA affiliate, providing the U.S. National Security and Public Safety sectors with leading solutions and services for Comprehensive Facility Security, Identity-driven Situational Awareness and Secure Credentialing. IDEMIA NSS is the industry’s foremost video surveillance technology provider, offering predictive, preventive, and investigative analytics. Its best-in-class identity solutions are top-rated by NIST for speed, accuracy, and reliability. For over 60 years, IDEMIA’s extensive hardware and software product portfolio has driven consistent results for its clients.
IDEMIA was incorporated in 2017 and is headquartered in Alexandria, VA. It has additional office locations in Long Beach, CA; Morgantown, WV; Huntsville, AL.
Q. Why was the company set up? And how did you expand your company and its offerings over the years?
IDEMIA NSS has a rich legacy of working closely with National Security organizations on matters of identity – DoD, FBI, Dept. of State, and the Intelligence Community. Most of our senior executives come from these government organizations which provide an unparalleled understanding of their evolving needs and requirements. We have a deep (and growing) body of intellectual property in the areas of pattern recognition, artificial intelligence, and machine learning that enables us to address many of these unique requirements through state-of-the-art technology.
Q. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful CEO?
Ability to focus – The world is full of good ideas and expert advice – much of it conflicting or confusing. Successful leaders choose a path and don’t stray.
Perseverance – I am a firm believer in the adage that success is a marathon and not a sprint – it’s often about the long game.
Building winning teams – It’s always about the team – creating much more than the sum of its parts. A successful leader learns quickly the importance of forming high performing teams.
Q. There is nothing more important for a successful small business than a well-defined mission and vision statements. Can you explain your M&V statements in brief?
As an affiliate of a multi-billion-dollar company like IDEMIA, we have the benefit of a well-defined value proposition but the challenge of articulating a mission and vision that we can build our own high performing team around. I am proud of what our leadership team has developed but what’s more important is that we revisit this regularly to ensure we stay focused on big-picture opportunities to make a real and lasting difference.
Mission: At IDEMIA NSS, we aim to protect the world from known and suspected terrorists, wanted criminals, and persons of interest by being the trusted leader in detecting threats immediately and verifying identity indisputably.
Vision: To provide best in class identity solutions across the continuum of the national security and public safety communities:
Q. What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage to overcome the same?
Given our focus on the U.S. Federal Government sector, we are acutely attuned to the political roller coaster that affects our national priorities through appropriations, budget allocations, and contracting cycles. We know from experience: our fear that one or more of our major business opportunities could evaporate overnight is real. To address this, we have developed an agile approach to business development – we work hard to identify potential risk factors –many of which are completely out of our control–and respective mitigation strategies.
Q. What are your three biggest accomplishments?
Q. What do you think is the most memorable moment in your career?
Sept 11, 2001, and the weeks that followed; following the harrowing events of that sunny morning in September, I accepted the opportunity to support the FBI’s daunting challenge of identifying victims at the morgue in NYC. This was truly humbling as we sifted through incredible amounts of human remains, many just fragments. One day, I identified the hand of a missing victim. Later that same day, I witnessed a call from the victim’s family asking for news about their father and husband. Helping that family to find answers and some sense of closure still lives with me.
Q. If not a business leader/CEO, what else you want to be?
A Politician –As much as our politics are overly polarized these days, I spend much of my day as a politician, listening, and responding to various constituents. My goal continues to be to maintain the integrity and a sense of vision so that I can continue to advocate for the greater good. This often means disagreeing with constituents, but I have learned to do that with integrity and an appropriate amount of empathy – trying to understand others’ needs, experiences, and perceptions without losing sight of my goal. Whenever possible, I try to create win-win outcomes, but when that’s not possible, I work to preserve the constituent’s respect through open communication.
Scott Swann: A Charismatic Leader
Scott is the IDEMIA NSS President and CEO, leading the identity service offerings for federal government agencies and drawing from his executive experience at MorphoTrak and his 18-year tenure at the FBI. Scott has extensive experience working across all government domains including the FBI, DHS, DoD, and many state and local law enforcement and civil agencies. As an FBI Unit Chief, he played a central role in the FBI’s Next Generation Identification Program, responsible for research, development, test, and evaluation of biometrics technologies and services.
Scott served as Special Assistant to the FBI’s Executive Director of the Science and Technology Branch as well as the Identity Intelligence Lead for the Intelligence Community, supporting the Director of National Intelligence. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in business management from Salem-Teikyo University and a Master’s Degree in software engineering from West Virginia University.