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Savos Training Associates

About Savos Training Associates

Dr. Chris Savos, President

For 22 years I served as an executive manager, leader, and analyst with the Central Intelligence Agency. I ran regional analytical units that followed high-profile issues in the Middle East and South and East Asia. As Deputy Director of the Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation, and Arms Control Center, I helped drive Agency analysis of foreign weapons of mass destruction, conventional weapons, and technology development programs. I also served several years in the Directorate of Operations.

At the Agency I also worked in training and personnel development. I ran leadership and management training within the Directorate of Analysis (DA) and created and taught a key leadership course for DA managers. At the end of my career I was the DA’s first Lead Talent Officer. I also ran several large analyst recruiting efforts and was a frequent lecturer on campuses, where I developed close relationships with professors and students at several schools.

A few years ago I decided it was time for new challenges, so I left the Agency for the private sector. My first foray was as principal at a homeland security consulting company, which exposed me to the ins and outs of the contracting world and subjects ranging from cyber security to risk analysis. My second leap was even further out of my comfort zone, as I became Director of Operations for a big data analytics software company in the Middle East.

When I came back to the States, I did some soul searching and realized helping others develop their leadership and management skills was my true passion. I drew on my successes and failures as a supervisor and created my Leadership and Management Development Program, which I’ve delivered over the past four years to the public and private sectors. Along the way I created my Presenting With Purpose Workshop to teach professionals a better way to convey information orally. More recently I’ve added professional writing instruction to the mix.

After a brief detour co-founding, building, and selling an online training company, I’ve expanded my training efforts with Savos Training Associates.  I’m partnering with other former Agency analysts to provide my material to audiences around the country and, eventually, the world.

When I’m not working, I’m enjoying life in Virginia with my wife, who is a sculptor. We have three adult children and two cats. Before coming south to work for the Agency, I spent my entire life in New England. I earned my BA in government at Dartmouth College and my PhD in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Sheila Neidert, Vice President

I am passionate about teaching, coaching, and mentoring professionals and teams. During my 15 years in the public and private sectors, 10 of which I spent pursuing my dream career in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), I honed my skills in people, communication, presenting, analysis, and leadership. My career was never traditional. I had the pleasure of working in multiple disciplines, and the breadth of experiences I gained allows me to appreciate and reflect on the lessons I am committed to passing on to others.

At CIA I served in both the Directorate of Analysis and Directorate of Operations. I spent almost half of my Agency career as an executive briefer, serving as one of 16 President’s Daily Briefers before dual-hatting as the Chief of the Research Branch and CIA Director’s briefer for an operational unit. As a counterterrorism analyst, I wrote dozens of strategic and analytic papers for the president and senior policymakers and interacted with multiple international liaison partners. I enjoyed a unique relationship with the US military while serving as a CIA military liaison officer and had the privilege of traveling all over the world, to include a combat zone. 

In 2016, I left the Agency to gain experience in the corporate sector and grow a family. From 2016 to 2020, I led the executive office for Mayo Clinic, an international healthcare organization, and developed a first-ever intelligence function while assisting with the design and build of a Global Security Operations Center. I also served as faculty for a leadership training program teaching best practices in executive briefing, effective communication, and executive presence. It was not until I started teaching that I knew I had found my true passion.

In 2020, I decided to pursue training and coaching full time. I enrolled as a Master of Professional Studies graduate student in Penn State University’s Psychology of Leadership program before joining Chris as Vice President of Savos Training Associates in 2021.

I grew up in Los Angeles, California, and attended Washington State University, where I earned my BA in Criminal Justice, Sociology, and Psychology. Having grown up on the West Coast, started my career on the East Coast, and now cemented my family roots in the Midwest, I truly love exploring all corners of the US and diverse cultures throughout the world. My husband and I have two young children and live in Rochester, Minnesota. We are an active family that loves to bear the below-freezing temperatures on cross-country skis or sleds in the winter and spend the summer hiking, running, and cycling. We are also committed to growing as dedicated members of and volunteers in our community.

Dr. Philip Baxter, Associate

Philip Baxter teaches all of our courses in the Open-Source Methods and Analytics and Modeling, Simulations, and Scenarios Programs. He is the Managing Director of Hatteras Solutions, LLC, a small business consultancy focused on providing open-source analytics to public and private sector clients on emerging security risks. Phil is an expert in international security, geopolitical analysis, and open-source intelligence (OSINT). He has nearly two decades of experience in the international security domain, having worked in the public sector, for non-profits, and in academia. He is currently an Assistant Professor with the Intelligence Analysis Program at James Madison University. He received his PhD in International Affairs, Science, and Technology from the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology.