New York -- March 6 --  Homeland and cyber security professionals gathered at St. John’s University College of Professional Studies to discuss the intersection of technology and academics in combating terrorism and cybercrimes. The panel discussion of academic, government and private sector experts detailed how scenario building and simulation technologies can be used to educate the next generation of security professionals, and how Game Theory and its practice can hone critical thinking in this fast-paced environment, thereby protecting people, property, and businesses.

But it was the Welcoming Remarks by GNY’s General Counsel Thomas Hughes that showcased how important a collaborative approach is to mitigating the dangers of terrorism.  Mr. Hughes, who is a 1974 graduate of St. John’s, and who worked as an Investigative Specialist for the FBI in the Bureau’s foreign counterintelligence Division before practicing law, thanked GNY’s Chairman of the Board and former CEO Warren Heck, and GNY’s current President & CEO Elizabeth Heck, both of whom were in attendance at the event, for their refusal to abandon the Manhattan commercial real estate market in the aftermath of Sept. 11th attacks.

In highlighting the importance of collaboration between academia, the government, and the private sector, Mr. Hughes told the gathering of 70 law-enforcement and private-sector professionals that Mr. Heck, by his testimony before Congress on four separate occasions, was among the leading industry advocates of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), a statue requiring the federal government to pick up the costs of a terrorism event if it exceeds a specific monetary threshold. Mr. Heck helped convince Congress that terrorism is largely unpredictable and therefore uninsurable.

Mr. Hughes also told the gathering that Ms. Heck was slated to deliver an address at the invitation of a Federal agency on an issue of significance to the insurance industry, and noted as well that she had recently introduced numerous cyber-insurance policies as part of GNY’s basic coverages.

“It is vitally important that there be close collaboration between Academia, government, and industry in the fight against terrorism and cyber-security breach,” Mr. Hughes said in citing Mr. Heck’s and Ms. Heck’s work and introducing the panel. “Collaboration helps ensure that the right balance is reached between theoretical solutions and their practicability and affordability.”