Former NYPD commish Kelly joins Applied DNA

Recommissioned: Former NYPD Police Commissioner (among other things) Ray Kelly brings half-a-century of law-enforcement experience to Applied DNA's Strategic Advisory Board.

Another household name has joined the Applied DNA Sciences advisory board, this time to bulk up the biotech’s law-enforcement vertical.

Former New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, currently vice chairman of New York City-based cyber-intelligence firm K2 Intelligence, has joined the company’s Strategic Advisory Board, Applied DNA said Tuesday. Kelly, the first person to serve two terms as NYPD commissioner and the longest-serving commissioner in department history, brings a wealth of domestic and international law-enforcement expertise to the proceedings, according to Applied DNA CEO James Hayward.

“Ray Kelly is recognized internationally for his expertise in policing tactics and administration,” Hayward told Innovate LI, citing the 47-year New York cop’s service as police director of a 1993-1996 United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti, commissioner of the U.S. Customs Service and vice president of Interpol, among other domestic and international accolades.

James Hayward: Kelly’s hero.

“And that’s in addition to administering the New York Police Department for so long,” Hayward noted. “He is extraordinarily well-respected.”

The only person to rise from NYPD cadet to commissioner, Kelly – a Vietnam combat veteran – is a U.S. Marine Corps reserve colonel who served as undersecretary for enforcement of the Treasury Department under the Clinton administration. In 2014, the best-selling author and ABC News consultant was named president of risk management at New York City commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield.

But “what I enjoy most,” Hayward noted, “is he’s a contemplative man.”

“For someone with his breadth and depth of experience, he is a superb listener and a synthetic thinker,” the CEO said. “He can formulate new ideas.”

That will be key to strengthening Applied DNA’s law-enforcement market, a cornerstone vertical for the Stony Brook-based supply-chain, anti-counterfeiting, anti-theft and product-authentication specialist and its flagship SigNature DNA product.

“He can guide us in the way we interact with large law-enforcement communities and how we can ensure that our products service their needs,” Hayward said, including international law-enforcement communities, “a market where we already have a toehold, but would like to grow.”

In a statement, Kelly said his focus on the Strategic Advisory Board would be global.

“I look forward to contributing to the company’s business priorities during a time of heightened security threats both nationally and internationally,” the former police commissioner said.

Kelly’s is the latest in a series of heavy-hitting advisory board appointments, each made with a specific vertical market in mind. In October 2016, Applied DNA announced that former KeySpan and National Grid U.S. Chairman Bob Catell would chair the strategic board, while helping to strengthen the company’s national energy-infrastructure security portfolio.

Also among the first board members was Gunther Faber, former vice president of sub-Saharan Africa for GlaxoSmithKline, who lends more than 30 years of pharmaceutical-industry experience to Applied DNA’s attempts to secure pharmaceutical supply chains.

And earlier this month, the company announced PepsiCo Vice Chairman Mehmood Khan was joining the board to help Applied DNA surge into the food production, packaging and delivery markets.

Kelly fits perfectly into that professional pantheon, according to Hayward, who said Applied DNA’s goal is to assemble a guiding council of “people who have a firm grasp of this changing and, in many ways, uncertain world.”

“What’s remarkable about our platform is that we provide certainty with a single molecule,” the CEO said. “We need visionaries who see more than the foreground.”

The Strategic Advisory Board is not done growing. Hayward suggested plenty of potential verticals for the company’s DNA-based authentication and security products – he particularly noted the importance of “interfacing” with the finance and insurance industries, and SigNature DNA’s potential to ultimately lower premiums – and just as many potential advisors with strategic insider knowledge.

“We’re looking for masters, both male and female, of the universe,” Hayward said, and that absolutely defines Kelly.

“He has demonstrated a keen sense of urgency, which we share, regarding the need to protect and serve the community and our nation’s critical assets,” the CEO added. “We are honored to have him join our SAB.”

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