About Us

Our Corporate Mission and Ethos

The Center for Applied Innovation (CAI) is a Department of Veterans Affairs registered Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business dedicated to changing the future through applying innovation to solve the most difficult problems encountered by public and private sector customers—from individual companies to sovereign nations. We accomplish this by establishing and maintaining a continuous and productive dialogue with our customers, our experts and teaming partners. (1)

The CAI maintains a standing Institutional Review Board registered with the Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure our Our Data Collection, Analysis and Research Plans as well as all of our data collection and related services comply with the National Research Act at 42 U.S.C. Sections 289 et seq., “Protection of Human Subjects,” 49 CFR Part 11, 32 CFR 219; Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 45, Part 46; Code of Federal Regulations, Title 32, Part 219; and DoD 3210.6-R.

CAI also holds a hold a U.S Department of State, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs Exporter Registration (ITARS).

Our corporate ethos is to bring together human ingenuity and technology, from any source, to solve the most complex problems.

Our COMMITMENTS …to our customers and each other is that we will:

  • Provide our clients with the best-value solutions with high Return on Investment
  • Be creative and innovative in all matters
  • Work together proactively
  • Communicate openly and honestly
  • Encourage imagination, creativity, innovation, and excellence
  • Respect and support each other
  • Give recognition, celebrate success, and reward achievement
  • Provide an enjoyable and challenging work environment
  • Protect each others Intellectual Property

As a part of our social responsibility commitment, a portion of the CAI’s private sector profits support the charitable work in local communities through Partners International Foundation and it's Helping the Heroes project local communities.

(1) The term dialogue is specifically chosen to set the tone and the environment for the effort. By definition, dialogue means "flow of meaning" while discussion has the same root as concussion and percussion - literally "to shake apart" or argue the pros and cons. Dialogue is "inquiry-oriented, or listening-oriented" while discussion is "advocacy-oriented." This behavior is key to the organization’s approach of free and open discussion where participant’s shed their parochial baggage in favor of contributing toward the best solution regardless of source.

Meet our Core Team

The CAI core team guides the day to day operations. The group consists of highly qualified experts dedicated to the CAI’s values, objectives who embody the innovative spirit on which the CAI was founded

Mr. Bob Morris
Founder and President

Bob_SMLThe founder and President of the CAI is Robert C. Morris, Jr. He is Six Sigma Blackbelt trained with over 36 years’ experience in Strategic to Tactical level military operations, international programs, public-private program management, quality improvement, organizational development, process improvement, and risk management honed in a myriad of public and private sector programs. In these capacities, he participated in and managed development and administration of federal, state and private sector surveys; conducted survey samplings; collected and analyzed statistical data; determined survey weights and stratified samples; and employed multiple survey response methods for long-term surveys.  His experience includes conducting statistically valid surveys, Delphi Groups, and sampling methodologies of both military and civilian populations. This includes Transition Assistance Program (TAP) Studies, Surveys, Analysis, Data Collection, and Recommendations for the United States Army and State Level Directors of Veterans Affairs through the National Association of State Directors for Veterans Affairs (NASDVA). He has over 30 years’ experience managing and directing technical, program, cost, technology, operational, and organizational risk in complex programs and combat including program management for a myriad of Enterprise Level programs with budgets exceeding $350 Million.  Mr. Morris currently works with Transitioning Service Members (TSM) through CAI and his pro bono charity work supporting surveys, analysis, programs and recommendations for the National Association of State Directors for Veterans Affairs and numerous Veterans Service Organizations (AMVETS, IAVA, BVA, etc.). He is a member of the CAI’s Office of Human Research Protections and Food and Drug Administration Federally Registered Institution Review Board (IRB) that ensures in full compliance with 45 CFR 46.111(a)(7) and 21 CFR 56.111(a)(7) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidelines and policies. In his previous 31 years on active military service in the U.S. Army Infantry, Mr. Morris achieved the rank of Colonel. 

Bob Morris is the winner of multiple 2009 Global Six Sigma and Business Improvement awards, including Deployment Leader of the Year; Best Initiative in Six Sigma; and Platinum Award for Best Six Sigma Project Improvement. 2010 IPQC Best Six Sigma Innovation Award (2d Place), National Performance Review Hammer Award for Quality Improvement Winner. Mr. Morris is the Inventor, copyright and Trademark holder of the “Five So What” Analysis tool.

Ms Debora Hansen
Facility Security Officer and Government Relations

Ms. Hansen brings more than 30 years of management and leadership skills in the areas of security, facilities, government contracting, human resource management experience with the Executive and Legislative branches of government, and the private sector. Ms. Hansen has 15 years as a DoD Certified Facility Security Officer for Top Secret Level Facilities and 14 years in Federal Service. She has demonstrated the ability to direct multi level projects simultaneously in a trusted facility environment, and has been responsible for the supervision and direction of security measures necessary to implement the National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual (NISPOM). Through Ms. Hansen’s leadership, she has sustained an outstanding security record with the Department of Defense, having achieved an “Excellent” rating for Possessing Facility and “Commendable” rating for Non-Possessing Facilities during Industrial Security Inspections spanning 2000-2014 and secured a nomination for the Cogswell Award for a former employer.

In addition to Security, Ms. Hansen has an in-depth understanding of the business side of government contracting and can provide advice on and perform necessary business functions. She brings experience in Corporate Registrations,  CCR now SAM, E-Verify, Vets-100, CPARS Representative, WAWF, Government contracts, NDA’s, Teaming Agreements and has served as a Contracts Manager and Subcontracts Administrator for Two Small Veteran Owned Companies while performing the FSO Function for both companies.  Ms. Hansen was instrumental in advising and executing the necessary documents required for two startup companies with classified contracts, one is a Veteran Administration certified SDVOSB and is familiar with government contracting vehicles.

Dr. Brooke Schaab, PhD
Research Analyst and Human Factors Expert

Dr. Brooke Schaab is a research scientist with over 20 years postdoctoral experience in conducting research as a civilian employee in the U.S. Army, U.S. Coast Guard, and higher education settings. Dr. Schaab, as a member of the U.S. Army Research Institute, led the Scientific Coordination Office (U.S. Joint Forces Command, Suffolk, VA), serving as chief, senior scientist and subject matter expert on research design and analysis. Responsibilities included formulating basic and applied research designs and empirical experiments to provide evidence for decision making. Research included collaborative efforts with multinational military personnel and Interagency to conduct research and apply finings to develop training/education. In addition, Dr. Schaab worked to identify competencies needed for Stability Operations in a JIIM environment in collaboration with the US Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute; conducting interviews with multiple partners to determine where/if these competencies are being taught; and providing recommendations on how they can be integrated into the curriculum. In addition, Dr. Schaab conducted research studies with Spanish, Finland, and Swedish military to develop and evaluate programs to train military and civilian personnel on interagency collaboration/cooperation for Stability Operations, including Humanitarian Assistance. Dr. Schaab developed a research and analysis process for Interagency-Shared Situational Awareness Experiment in collaboration with USJFCOM. Findings and products were used in Afghanistan. Dr. Schaab developed and implemented research plans to determine how the U.S. military might assist West Africa, including conducting interviews on health needs throughout Ghana and translating these findings into written and oral reports to JFCOM leadership. The NGO led team was comprised of African NGOs with expertise in health issues and academics from the University of Ghana to ensure that findings accurately reflected the culture of Ghana. Bonus-the team independently developed a plan for sustainable livelihoods. Dr. Schaab served as subject matter expert in reviewing training needs for USCG, including the role of distributed training.

Dr. Alan Spiker, PhD
Applied Psychologist


Dr. Spiker is an Analyst for the Center for Applied Innovation and serves as senior investigator with a focus on Human Factors and associated data collection and analysis. He is a licensed engineering psychologist and human factors professional who held a Secret Security Clearance for over 30 years.  He has extensive experience conducting contract research in the private sector, with proven project leadership and technical skills in designing cognitive training systems, implementing data collection capabilities, and conducting field studies of human performance and cognition.  Demonstrated ability to produce timely high-quality technical products in a fast-paced, high pressure, budget-constrained environment.  Managed large and small teams in a collaborative style. Created innovative qualitative and quantitative methodologies to measure system-wide and smaller-scale processes in operational, training, and management systems.  Throughout his 32-year career at Anacapa Sciences, he held the positions of Vice-President and Principal Scientist.

Dr. Spiker is the author of more than 300 publications—journal articles, book chapters, conference papers, and technical reports.  He is an expert in the development of quantitative models of human workload, with extensive training and experience in the application of statistical methods to the analysis of experiments, evaluations, and field studies.  Throughout his career he has specialized in the design of advanced military and commercial avionics systems, quantitative studies of human performance, development of computer-based training systems, and evaluation of user functional requirements.  He is a licensed engineering psychologist in state of California (PJ 9936), Certified Human Factors Psychologist (BCEP #120), and Certified in the US Army's MANPRINT Manager's Course (June, 1987).  Dr. Spiker is a co-recipient of the 1991 Alexander C. Williams Award of the Human Factors Society, co-recipient of the 2006 Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) Best Training Paper Award, Co-recipient of the 1997 Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) Best Paper Award, and Co-recipient of the 2010 Modeling and Simulation Team Training Award, National Training System Association, for the Border Hunter Research Project.

Ms Katie Morris
Media, Public Relations and International Coordination


Ms. Morris is an experienced Journalist with over 50 published articles, features, and interviews at the college newspaper level, 2 nationally published poems. An award winning writer, and journalist with over 4 years of proven track record in print, internet, film, and broadcast media. Ms. Morris has extensive experience in operations, writing, proof reading and editing, file management and organization, customer service, client intake, document management, handling of Personally Identifying Information (PII) and Personal Health Information (PHI), Operational Security (OpSec), physical and cyber-security, document drafting and creating forms, use of Microsoft Office, observing protocol in regards to document security, tracking metrics, making and reconciling regular reports. She serves as a Survey Administrator for the CAI’s projects involving interviews, multi-methodology surveys, Delphi, and related data collection, analysis and reporting. She is a member of the CAI’s Office of Human Research Protections and Food and Drug Administration Federally registered Institution Review Board (IRB) that ensures in full compliance with 45 CFR 46.111(a)(7) and 21 CFR 56.111(a)(7)  and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidelines and policies.  Her proven writing and oral communications skills informed by a broad education and life experiences. Demonstrated command of contemporary and historic events, and ability to thrive in fast paced, high pressure environments. Success working with a myriad of public-private partners including the military and international organizations from direct experience in these areas.

Dr. Wayne Walls
Technology Innovation Partnerships

Dr. Walls is a cognitive psychologist with twenty-five years experience, specializing in human-computer interaction, human performance evaluation, and design through rapid prototyping. Common-sense approaches to improving usability, decision-making, and human error by focusing on people, their tasks, and their environment. A diverse set of experience in basic research (memory & cognition), commercial applications (automotive & medical), life-science research (protein biochemistry), military applications (training), simulation (automotive & aviation), and software development (design, programming, & implementation). He is the lead for project R&D and information technology enablers.


Chief of Police (Ret.) David J. Peck
Security, Policing, Leadership, Law Enforcement


. Peck has over 30 years law enforcement and first responder experience starting as a Patrol Officer graduating from the Connecticut Police Academy culminating as Chief of Police of the Fairfield, Connecticut Police Department, a department of 260 sworn and non-sworn members with a $16.0 million annual budget. Mr. Peck enjoys a National and International reputation as a strategic visionary with keen abilities to build consensus for shared objectives. He is known for building highly productive teams by developing relationship management skills, building collaborative partnerships with bargaining units, superiors, peers and subordinates at all levels.

Mr. Peck holds a B.S. degree in Police Administration from the University of New Haven which is the home of The Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences. Mr. Peck also received an Associate of Science degree in Law Enforcement from the Housatonic Community College (nominee for the 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award). He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy; past President of the Connecticut Chapter of the FBI National Academy Associates; graduate of the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar Program, recipient of the Connecticut Police Academy Training Officer Award, American Red Cross International Good Samaritan Award 2009, and Elks Club Citizen of the Year 2009.

Dr. Gerald Gahima
International Rule of Law, Trade, and Business Development (Africa and Latin America)

Gerald Gahima is an accomplished professional with proven record in private legal practice, government service, international development and global business. He practiced commercial law in Kenya before joining public service in Rwanda, where he served in various senior level positions, including Deputy Minister, Attorney General and Deputy Chief Justice. Gerald Gahima’s time of service in the Rwandan government coincided with the beginning of the process of reconstruction of the country following the war and genocide. This experience provided opportunities to develop skills in a very wide range of areas, including assessments of institutional effectiveness, policy development, institutional development and reform, legislative drafting, strategic planning, project design, human resource management and development, capacity building strategies, resource mobilization, donor coordination, monitoring and evaluation of program implementation, providing strategic advice to government institutions and establishment of networks and constituencies to support reform processes.

He has extensive experience in collaboration and working with UN bodies and donor agencies, both at international and national levels. Since leaving government service, Gerald Gahima continues to work, both as a practitioner and as a scholar, on issues relating to governance in transition societies. He was involved in the establishment of the War Crimes Chamber of the Court of Bosnia Herzegovina, has worked for the Australian Agency for International Development in their Asia Pacific programs and done consulting work for the United Nations on these issues. He is familiar with policies and approaches of most donor agencies on support for promoting democratic governance, access to justice, security sector reform, and rule of law and promotion of respect for human rights. He has intimate knowledge of trends and best practices in rule of law and access to justice programming. He frequently lectures, makes public appearances and is interviewed by the media on matters relating to transitional justice and post-conflict reconstruction. Gerald Gahima’s professional experience provides an exceptional blend of expert knowledge and practitioner experience on issues relating to transitional justice, rule of law, security sector reform, human rights promotion, public sector reform, conflict resolution and development in general in transitional societies. Gerald Gahima is a graduate of the law school of Makerere University (Uganda), holds an LLM degree of the University of London and has recently completed a PhD program with the National University of Ireland (Galway). He is a former Visiting Scholar/Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace, Washington DC.

Hon. Dr. Theogene Rudasingwa
Africa Affairs


Hon. Dr. Theogene Rudasingwa is a solutions-driven global thought leader, physician and accomplished diplomat. Visionary leader who implements innovative systems and processes in complex, uncertain, ambiguous and risky situations in emerging markets to yield, social, business and economic results. Tenacious innovator in various aspects of nation building, encompassing reconciliation, state capacity strengthening, governance, democratization, and inclusive socio-economic development. Excellent communicator who forges private-public partnerships, builds highly effective teams, and articulates global concerns while initiating grassroots empowerment to achieve sustainable impact.

A coalition builder, systems integrator, and leader who inspires and nurtures leadership at all levels in business, government and civil society. A skilled negotiator, Theogene Rudasingwa is currently CEO and Founder of Haradali.org, a social enterprise that promotes the wellbeing of women and children. Previously he has been Vice President at Pangaea Global AIDS Foundation, Lecturer and Visiting Scholar at Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, Chief of Staff to the President of Rwanda, Ambassador of Rwanda to the United States, and a leader in the movement that stopped the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. He holds a Masters Degree in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, USA, and a Medical Degree from Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.

Dr. Jerome Mafeni , MPH, MDSc, FMCDS, FWACS
Public Health Policy, African Public-Private Partnerships and West Africa

Jerome Mafeni

Dr. Jerome Mafeni is currently CEO at ACHAP (African Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Partnerships), Botswana where he charged with business development and growing ACHAP’s portfolio in Botswana. Prior to this appointment he was the Snr. Technical Advisor for the Center for International Health, RTI International. Previously the Executive Director of AHNi. Prior to that he served as FHI Nigeria's Director of Health Policy and Systems Management from October 2009 while simultaneously working as Executive Director in situ of Achieving Health Nigeria Initiative (AHNi). He was effectively named substantive executive director of AHNi in December 2009 and later in April 2010 relinquished his position as FHI Nigeria’s Director of Health Policy and Systems Management.

Jerome was Chief of Party for the USAID Nigeria Bilateral ENHANSE project between 2004 and 2009, where he was responsible for the overall management of a large health and education enabling environment project in Nigeria. The project addressed issues of HIV/AIDS, family planning and reproductive health, child survival, and basic education. In 2006, Jerome was elected chairman of the Country Coordinating Mechanism of the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM), where his vision and leadership restored major grants exceeding US$250 million to Nigeria. He led Nigeria to present a US$1.8 billion proposal for the Global Fund Round 8 version for all three diseases, which resulted in approval of over $800 million in grants for five years to address health systems strengthening and scale up of malaria programs for all of Nigeria. Jerome is a fellow of the prestigious West African College of Surgeons (FWACS) in dental surgery (2003) and holds a master's degree in pediatric dentistry from University of Melbourne, Australia. He brings over 15 years of outstanding leadership qualities in HIV/AIDS management to this effort.