Our close-knit team taps into deep industry experience and innovation acumen to collaboratively tackle complexities within your organization.
Managing Partner and Founder
Ken is a recognized international leader in strategy development and government relations for promoting cutting edge transportation technologies. He is a Senior Fellow at the George Washington University Center for Cyber and Homeland Security. He has advised both the US Department of Defense (DOD) and Fortune 500 companies on deploying autonomous vehicles, including airspace management, avionics equipage, and specialty payloads. Ken has advised investment bankers in evaluating UAV capabilities and airworthiness certification. He has also represented the airline industry to the FAA on the integration of manned and unmanned aircraft. He has served on numerous government technology development and human factors committees including: FAA ADS-B Out, FAA ADS-B In, FAA Pilot Fitness, ICAO, ECAC, and RTCA.
For more than a decade, he led many of the global airline industry’s key technology development programs and government affairs activities relating to airports, passengers, cargo, and security. As the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Director of Government Affairs, he formulated global strategies and managed relationships with key government officials in the transport industry. Previously, as IATA’s Global Director, Security and Travel Facilitation, he was responsible for planning and executing the security strategy of the Association on behalf of 240 global airlines and managing global government relations teams.
Ken has been a leader in developing information sharing and critical infrastructure protection programs. He launched and guided the Checkpoint of the Future program for IATA. He has testified on global security issues before the United States Congress and Canadian Parliament. Ken is the Vice-Chairman of the Department of Homeland Security’s Aviation Security Advisory Committee (ASAC). He has also served as the Vice-Chairman of the Air Line Pilot Association's (ALPA) National Security Committee. He holds a M.A. in National Security Studies and B.A. in Government both from Georgetown University. Ken has logged thousands of hours as both a commercial airline and military pilot.
Principal Catalyst Partners
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.
Upon leaving Capitol Hill, Mr. Olive oversaw the aviation, antitrust, telecommunications, and information technology practice group as senior vice president of the public affairs firm, Powell Tate. In 1999, he left Powell Tate to develop a government relations practice built around helping businesses interact with federal and state governments.
Before coming to Washington, Mr. Olive served as president of Care First Inc., a nursing home management company in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He also directed the legal division of the Donrey Media Group, a multi-state publishing, real estate and advertising firm. He served on the board and was president of the Fort Smith Rotary Club, the Fort Smith Boys Shelter and helped start Leadership Fort Smith.
Prior to moving to Arkansas, Mr. Olive practiced law as a partner in the Birmingham, Alabama, firm of McMillan & Spratling. There he had a general civil practice, specializing in news media, risk mitigation, employment law and insurance defense.
Mr. Olive clerked for U.S. District Judge Clarence W. Allgood after earning his juris doctor at the Cumberland School of Law. His bachelor’s degree is from Samford University. He has taught at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, University of Montevallo, and Webster University-Fort Smith.
In 2005, The Hill named Mr. Olive one of the top Homeland Security lobbyists in Washington, D.C. He established and currently serves as the moderator of The Washington Homeland Security Roundtable and is a frequent contributor to Security Debrief, a homeland security blog.
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’ experience within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of SAFETY Act Implementation, Mr. Ali fulfilled the duties and responsibilities of the Deputy Director, providing him extensive experience with public-private partnerships, critical infrastructure resiliency and risk management.
During his time at the Department of Homeland Security, Mr. Ali was integral in both strengthening the office’s private sector relationships and evaluating hundreds of successful SAFETY Act applications involving technologies ranging from biological and chemical detection equipment, venue security, aviation-related technologies and standards-based knowledge product applications.
During his tenure with DHS, Mr. Ali represented the department in numerous speaking engagements before the homeland security industry. Mr. Ali has led collaborative projects with the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, the DHS Private Sector Office, Transportation Security Administration, the Office of Infrastructure Protection, Customs and Border Protection, Department of Justice, Department of State and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, among others.
Before his time with DHS, Mr. Ali served at the Institute for Defense Analysis, a federally funded research and development center, where he assisted in revamping the economic and insurance modeling process used for determining risk and insurance requirements for SAFETY Act awardees.
Mr. Ali earned a J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law, where he received distinguished honors as a member of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism. He and his wife reside in Arlington, Virginia.
Israel Stol is a leading management transformation author, lecturer, and corporate business process consultant. He is also a professional welding development engineer and holds numerous patents including those for advanced torpedo propulsion, welding processes, and even candy dispensers. He is a founder of Always-βeta, LLC.
Israel has over 35 years of experience as a Welding Engineer in applied R&D and implementation of relevant technologies to production. During his career, which includes time with SpaceX, he has been a technology transfer manager, leader of welding technology development and consultant in welding and assembly to his corporate clients, and a major innovator in his and other engineering fields. He has developed the seminar on Organizational-Creativity, based on his insights derived from three decades long experience with and observations of the Creative process as an engineer and inventor. He presented his seminar on “Creativity and its Practice” to the British Welding Institute (TWI) in the UK, to the graduate students of the Applied Research Laboratory (ARL) of Pennsylvania State University (PSU) in State College, PA, graduate and undergraduate students of the Welding Engineering department of the Ohio State University (OSU) in Columbus, Ohio, 2 DARPA sponsored symposia on Added Manufacturing, at ARL of PSU, in State College, PA, graduate students of CMU’s Engineering & Technology Innovation Management (E&TIM) department, in Pittsburgh, PA and a local PDMA chapter in Pittsburgh, PA.
As a welding engineer, he has initiated and led multidisciplinary teams on programs aimed to solve weld production problems, as well as development and demonstration of his own inventions. His career spans involvement with the nuclear & power-generation, defense, marine, automotive & transportation and Oil & Gas industries, in which he consulted and carried out R&D work on welding and design for manufacturability. He has experience with welding non-ferrous (e.g. aluminum, titanium, copper) and ferrous (e.g. steels and stainless steels) materials with fusion based welding processes (e.g. GMAW, GTAW, LBW and Submerged Arc Welding) and solid state based processes (e.g. IFW and FSW). He holds BSc and MSc degrees in Welding Engineering from Ohio State University. He authored and co-authored 45 US and international patents.
He is an elected 2007 Fellow of the American Welding Society (AWS), was a six years member of the annual AWS Fellow selection committee, a recipient of three national welding awards (2 Lincoln Electric and AWS' A.F. Davis) and two corporate merit awards.