Our Team is designed around a multi functional model, facilitating the the cross-pollination of areas of expertise. Below are some of the members of our staff:
Mark Childers - Senior Consultant
A former Human Intelligence Collector for the US Army, out of Tampa, FL., Mark has supported both conventional and special operations organizations and task forces within the Department of Defense. Aside from conducting hundreds of field and detention-center interrogations in support of the Global War on Terror, Mark has extensive experience in building source networks from scratch, conducting regional site-assessments for the deployment of HUMINT operations, as well as conducting strategic debriefings for a west-coast domestic Counterintelligence field office, where he liaised with State, Federal, and foreign intelligence and law enforcement agencies. Mark holds an Associates of Applied Science in Intelligence Operations and a Bachelor's with a combined concentration in International Affairs and Economics.
As an instructor, Mark has trained US and allied personnel in applied psychology, as it related to deception, interpersonal dynamics, non-verbal communication, and predictive behavior in intelligence operations. Mark's expertise has led him to consult for combat-zone negotiations, as well as command investigations downrange.
Richard Boone, PhD - Director of Behavioral Sciences
Dr. Boone earned his Bachelors in psychology at Ohio University, and later his PhD in Psychology at Biola University. Having served first in the Navy, and then in the Army, he retired from service as a Lt. Colonel, after multiple deployments. He then deployed again as a civilian social scientist with the DoD Human Terrain System, where he provided analysis and guidance to the highest echelons of combatant command. Dr. Boone has facilitated some of the most delicate of negotiations and engagements under the most austere of circumstances. Dr. Boone is enjoying a semi retired life as a college professor, and consulting for The Culper Group.
JP Russ, MBA - Business Consultant
JP enlisted in the US Army after graduating from UT Austin, and served in Iraq as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne. He also led a Company Intelligence Support Team (CoIST) during the integration of the CoIST into the light infantry framework. After leaving the Army, JP worked as an analyst for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office before returning to UT to complete an MBA. He then entered the private sector as a management consultant for a major firm, before joining The Culper Group.
Wali Hassan - Technical Consultant
Wali is an intelligence analyst with an operational background spanning from signal intercepts to human influence, from airborne surveillance platforms, to the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), to human behavioral and cultural analysis in the field of Influence Operations. Wali’s technical expertise in using static data to isolate tactical deception and misinformation is the basis for one of the pillars of the Culper Group’s approach.
Jeffrey Padberg, PhD
Dr. Padberg is a professor of Neuroscience, and provides The Culper Group with invaluable insight into the science of how we think, and how our minds work. Research in the field of FMRI imaging allows scientists to see how our brains respond to stimuli and stressors, in real time. His expertise is invaluable in distinguishing pseudo science from science, and ensuring that our methodology and approaches are grounded in evidence and sound practices.
Salil Puri - Senior Consultant
Salil has an extensive academic and professional background in human behavioral analysis, deception, persuasion, influence, and strategic communication. A Psychological Operations Sergeant, Salil has experience across the spectrum of conflict. Working in non permissive and semi permissive environments, applying influence and rooting out deception on the ground in combat zones, consulting for US and allied commanders during tense multiparty negotiations, and shaping the cognitive domain in a Task Force size battlespace, he has regularly been selected by name to provide his expertise. As an instructor, training soldiers in the art and science of psychological operations, Salil has worked on doctrine and training development at the US Army Special Warfare Center and School, on subjects such as face to face engagements, targeting, and Unconventional Warfare.
A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, he quadruple majored in four fields (Psychology, History, Middle Eastern Studies, and Government). With his Masters including significant research in Disinformation, Deception, and Influence, Salil fuses practical military training and experience with academic rigor, and a passion for unraveling human deception.
Blake Whitaker, PhD - Research Director
The OSS, the predecessor to the Army’s Psychological Warfare program, once described their ideal recruit as a PhD who can win a bar fight. Unfortunately, this paratrooper was born several decades too late. Dr. Whitaker has studied the art of tactical and strategic influence academically, culminating in a PhD from Texas A&M, and as a PSYOP officer has specialized in Deception and Unconventional Warfare through work and training at the Army’s Special Warfare Center and School, as well as the Joint Special Operations University. With experience and expertise spanning the globe, from Europe to Africa to Southeast Asia, Dr. Whitaker provides research guidance and consults for our priority clients.
The Culper Group draws from a large talent pool of Intelligence Professionals, Special Operations soldiers, including Psychological Operations and Special Forces, as well as a few members of the Law Enforcement Community. We ensure that the team training your group has the background and experience that most suits your needs.