DEF2019: DEF’s Annual National Conference

27-29 September, 2019
Spire Events
750 First St NE, Washington, DC 20002


Venue Access

The venue, Spire Events, is located at 750 First St NE, Washington, DC 20002. Parking is available for approx. $20 per day at an underground garage with entrance on First St. The venue is also across the street from Union Station, which is on the Red Metro Line. Enter at the corner of First St NE and G Pl NE. Our registration tables will be in the ground floor lobby; please check in at the table and then proceed to the top floor conference space.



Our agenda is 100% crowd-sourced from the DEF community, from the speakers to the topics! View the schedule, speaker profiles, showcases, sponsors/partners, and more:

The Sched platform is an in-browser and in-app experience that allows you to connect with the content and attendees! When you buy your ticket, you’ll get an invite to create a profile or sign-in with an existing profile. The Sched app is available for both Android and iOS.  


Pitch Event at DEF2019

On Friday afternoon, 27 September, we will hold a pitch event in partnership with CyberWinter Studios, showcasing talented, dual-use ventures from throughout the national security ecosystem. Up to five entrants will have the opportunity to make a 10-minute pitch and take 5 minutes of Q&A from the audience and judges. A judging panel of up to five experts from the public and private sector will make the final decision about which start-up will receive a $5,000 grand prize!



Early Bird, General Admission, and Single Day Only tickets have all sold out for DEF2019. We are still selling tickets to the happy hours on Friday and Saturday nights, via our Eventbrite (link at top of page).

At this point, it is unlikely we will be able to release any further tickets to the waitlist. If you have any questions, please let us know at



We will be live-streaming DEF2019 via Zoom! Find the details below:

On the web

One tap mobile
+16465588656,,159116085# US (New York)
+16699006833,,159116085# US (San Jose)

Dial by your location
       +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
       +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
Meeting ID: 159 116 085
Find your local number:

Join by SIP

Join by H.323 (US West) (US East) (China) (India) (EMEA) (Australia) (Hong Kong) (Brazil) (Canada)
Meeting ID: 159 116 085

Theme: Engaged & Empowered

The conference’s theme, “Engaged & Empowered,” will guide our formulation of the agenda and topics and unite the essence of the conference, while remaining general enough for the participants to explore many different tangents and facets. It ties closely to our core mission statement (Inspire, Connect, Empower) and the organization’s current evolution (referred to as “DEF 3.0”).

Further, it carries on the logical next step from previous conferences: where first DEF inspired a movement and then connected people into a community, now we seek to focus on empowering that community to effect good change. No coincidence that this correlates with the national conference’s first meeting in the nation’s capitol–the seat of many forms of power from a national security perspective!

DEF 2018 focused on “Ideas to Action”… this year we take the next step, engaging with the landscape and empowering ourselves and each other! If you know someone who would be great in the DEF 2019 line-up, please nominate them for consideration. This is a time-honored tradition of DEF national conferences–we want to hear from the DEF community!


Looking for Other Ways to Get Involved?

As a 501(c)(3) with an all-volunteer team, DEF events are only made possible through a combination of ticket sales, donations, hard work, and generous sponsors and partners. You can view our prospectus to read more about the DEF story and the sponsorship offerings we have for DEF 2019.


Would you, or an organization you know, consider supporting this year’s annual conference?