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Mr. F. Austin Branch

Mr. F. Austin Branch

CEO, Crescent Bridge LLC
Austin Branch formed Crescent Bridge in early 2023 to meet requirements for a host of clients needing consulting and services for Cognitive Security, Communications, and Information related missions. Additionally, Austin serves as a Professor of Practice at ARLIS to help support the evolution of the Defense and U, S. Government Operations in the Information Environment (OIE) enterprise. Previously, Austin served as OIE Technology & Strategy at Secretary of the Air Force Directorate for Concepts, Development and Management (Exec IPA) after several years in the private sector at COLSA Corporation as the Executive Director for Information Strategies and Programs (2015-2021) after serving 30 years in Federal service as an Army Officer and Senior Civilian. He was commissioned as an Infantry Officer in 1986 from The Citadel, Charleston S.C., and went on to serve in multiple Command and Staff positions in conflict and in peace, becoming the Army's first Information Operations Officer. Austin pioneered military operations in the information environment in key leadership positions in the Army, Joint Special Operations Command, Joint Staff, EUCOM, and deployed Joint and multinational Task Force Organizations across the globe. Upon retirement from the Army, Austin joined the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence as the Deputy Director and Chief of Operations for the Defense Policy Analysis Office, overseeing National special plans and technical operations. In 2008 was selected as a Defense Intelligence Senior Level as Senior Advisor for Defense Information Operations focused on oversight, policy and support for Service and Joint Information Operations, and associated Special Access programs. In 2010, Austin was selected by the Secretary of Defense to lead the Information Operations and Military Information Support Defense Enterprise as the first Senior Director for this mission area in the Office of Policy and Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict. In this capacity, Austin was the DOD's senior representative for IO and special program oversight, policy, and assessments. In 2013, Austin was selected by the Director for the National Counter-Terrorism Center and the DNI to establish and lead a new organization to address Domestic Counter Terrorism, Counter Violent Extremism, and Counter Terrorism Cyber Strategy and Policy in support of the National Security Council. In this capacity, he also served as the National Co-lead for countering ISIS propaganda and influence and associated IPC lead strategist for the National Security Council. Austin is also one of the founders of the newly formed Non-profit, Information Professionals Association (IPA). IPA is a professional organization established to serve the interests of the broader Information community worldwide and for issues related to Cognitive Security. Austin also served on the Defense Science Board summer 2019 study focused on great power competition in the Information Environment and was recently selected to join the University of Maryland Advanced Research Laboratory for Intelligence & Security (ARLIS) to help lead the development of their Cognitive Security & Information Portfolio. He also serves on various Advisory Board(s) and professional associations. Austin and his wife, Carol, live in Blufton, SC, and have three children. They have two serving in active duty in the Army and one in Medical School at Icahn School of Medicine, Mt Sinai, NY.

  • We are extremely excited to convene the community at SOF Week 2024. This convention for U.S. and International SOF will include a diverse slate of programs, to include professional development sessions, interactive discussions about the future of SOF, and an up-close view of some of the best tech available to our warfighters. GSOF looks forward to working with USSOCOM to make SOF Week 2024 an impactful event.
    Stuart Bradin
    President and CEO, GSOF


Co-sponsorship of this event does not imply endorsement of GSOF, its services, or products by the United States Government, the Department of Defense, or U.S. Special Operations Command.