Who We Are

Board of Directors

John Mears

Mr. Mears is a Leidos Vice President and Tech Fellow, responsible for technology advocacy, independent R&D, strategy development, operational technology insertion, new business, and STEM / academic relationships. 

Previously, Mr. Mears was a Senior Fellow and prior Director of Biometrics and Identity Management. Research initiatives included the rapid DNA identification program, advanced latent print imaging, and genomic forensics.  His current focus is cloud-based national scale biometric systems, biometric entry/exit, border security, immigration reform and transformational technologies.

Mr. Mears began his career with the IBM Corporation in Gaithersburg, Maryland, where he held a number of increasingly responsible technical and management positions, including lead engineer for the world-wide satellite tracking stations of the Global Positioning System (GPS). 

Mr. Mears holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Florida.  He is an Associate Member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, member of the Biometrics Institute, and a Director of the International Biometrics and Identity Association (IBIA).  

Michael W. DePasquale
Vice Chairman

Michael W. DePasquale, has served as Chief Executive Officer of BIO-key International since January 3, 2003, and Chairman of the Board since January 29, 2014. Mr. DePasquale has more than 30 years of executive management, sales and marketing experience in the technology space. Prior to joining BIO-key Mr. DePasquale served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Prism eSolutions, Inc., a Pennsylvania-based provider of professional consulting services and online solutions for ISO-9001/14000 certification for customers in manufacturing, healthcare and government since February 2001. From December 1999 through December 2000, Mr. DePasquale served as Group Vice President for WRC Media, a New York-based distributor of supplemental education products and software. From January 1996 until December 1999, Mr. DePasquale served as Senior Vice President of Jostens Learning Corp., a California-based provider of multimedia curriculum. Prior to Jostens, Mr. DePasquale held sales and marketing management positions with McGraw-Hill and Digital Equipment Corporation. Mr. DePasquale earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He serves on the Board of Directors and as Treasurer of the International Biometrics and Identification Industry Association.

Raffie Beroukhim
Director and Secretary

Raffie Beroukhim is Vice President and head of the Biometrics Solutions Division, NEC Corporation of America (NEC). In this capacity, Mr. Beroukhim leads the product development, systems integration, service delivery and support as well as the go-to-market organizations of the NEC Biometrics Solutions Division. He is responsible for growth of NEC’s biometrics portfolio in North America, including law enforcement, federal, civilian and commercial applications. His duties also include management of NEC’s office in Rancho Cordova, California. This office supports some of the largest Multi-Modal Biometrics Identification Systems in North America with state-wide installations in Texas, California, Illinois, Michigan and Pennsylvania among others. 

Mr. Beroukhim has extensive experience in biometrics and security markets having been in this field since 1984 when he joined then Printrak International Inc. as a software engineer. In 1994, as a Program Manager, Mr. Beroukhim lead the development and installation of the largest integrated biometrics solutions in the state of Louisiana connecting the state’s criminal history, fingerprint, photo, drivers license and archive databases to more than 100 Live Scan booking stations across the state. Since then, he has held multiple leadership responsibilities including Vice President of Global Biometrics Sales at Motorola. 

Mr. Beroukhim holds an Executive MBA from the Paul Merage School of Business, University of California Irvine and graduated from California State University Long Beach with a Bachelor’s of Science and Engineering degree.

Donnie Scott
Director and Treasurer

Donnie Scott has more than 15 years as a top-producing executive leader in the technology services industry. He has lead high-achieving teams to record growth (8%+ CAGR) in declining or flat market conditions. Mr. Scott is  renowned as a high-energy, passionate and charismatic leader with strong acumen for operational leadership at executive level. Across U.S. Public Sector and Intelligence Community (IC), He is recognized as a bold, strategic leader that has demonstrated the ability to turnaround underperforming teams and inspire greatness.

Ramsey Billups

Mr. Billups is Thales Vice President North America Biometrics Digital Identity & Security.  

Mr. Billups has served as Cogent Federal Systems Vice President and Program Manager of Integration, Operations & Maintenance for Cogent's portion of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) OBIM Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) operations. OBIM (formerly known as US-VISIT) has a long reputation for being one of the largest and most successful AFIS installations in the world.

Mr. Billups has prior fingerprint and face recognition biometrics experience as Technical Director of Biometrics with Raytheon where he served as Raytheon’s program manager for the DHS predecessor organization - Immigration Naturalization Service (INS) IDENT AFIS border control program. He also had project management and integration responsibility and partnered with Visionics for the face recognition pilot program at Boston Logan airport in 2001 and 2002.

Mr. Billups previously worked for IBM Federal Systems on FAA programs and as a civilian for the Department of Defense at the Armament Research & Development Center where he had technical leadership responsibilities for embedded weapon systems software development.

Mr. Billups has a Bachelor of Science degree in Data Processing within the Computer Science department from the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio and is an IEEE Certified Biometrics Professional (CBP) and board member for the International Biometrics Identification Association (IBIA).

Howard Kass

Howard Kass is the Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs for CLEAR. In this role, Kass oversees the airline/airport commercial practice, Washington strategy and relationships, policy development, and serves on the company’s senior leadership team. Since joining CLEAR in March 2018, Kass had led a restructuring of numerous business practices at CLEAR and is building a Washington presence for CLEAR. Kass joined CLEAR after 14+ years at American Airlines/US Airways. In his last role at American, he was Vice President – Regulatory Affairs. In this role, Kass oversaw American’s regulatory compliance, policy development, corporate security, and international affairs and worked closely with regulatory authorities in Washington, D.C., and around the world. Kass joined US Airways in 2003 as a director and associate general counsel and became vice president, legal and government affairs for the airline, and later played a leading role in the 2013 merger between US Airways and American. Prior to joining US Airways, Kass worked for the Transportation Security Administration (“TSA”), where he held deputy director and director positions. Before TSA, Kass was a senior associate with the management consulting firm Booz, Allen, Hamilton in McLean, Va. He was also a consultant with GKMG Consulting Services where he advised airport and transportation industry clients on Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration regulations. Previous to that, Kass practiced law at the Washington firm of Garland, Kharasch, Morse, and Garfinkle. Kass holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Michigan State University, a Juris Doctor from Case Western Reserve University School of Law, and an MBA from Johns Hopkins University

Chip Merrill

Leads all aspects of the HID Global biometrics business for U.S. Federal, State, Local and Canadian markets

including go-to-market strategies and execution, program capture and revenue goal achievement, industry

association engagement and government affairs strategies.


Mohammed Murad

Mohammed Murad is the Vice President of Sales and Business Development and a Board of Director for Iris ID Systems. Highly accomplished international business and technical leader with exceptional decision-making skills; able to take charge to facilitate directives that achieve strong, sustainable results. Offer a unique combination of market knowledge and leadership experience within global identity management industries. Extensive experience providing strategic solutions to multinational commercial and government clients. Involved in establish and implement company’s strategic plan, build alliances with major business partners and large systems integrators, manage sales, software product development, and marketing. Develop and execute company’s management strategy with focus on developing biometric identity solutions for emerging markets. He has been directly involved in secure and implementing some of the largest iris biometric business system in the world. 1. Andhra Pradesh, India, 60 million people welfare program 2. India, 1.2 billion people UIDAI program 3. Mexico, 110 million people National ID program 4. Qatar Immigration and border control, 20 million plus Additionally, Mr. Murad serves as an advisor on the Secutronic board, the fastest growing security firm in Saudi Arabia. Having received a degree in Computer science and mathematics from the College of New Jersey, he has garnered extensive experience in technology on all ends, from development to product management, including over twelve years of experience with Iris Biometric Technology.

John K. Schneider

Dr. Schneider graduated from the University of Buffalo in 1990 with a Ph.D. in electrical engineering where he pioneered the use of high frequency ultrasound as a superior method for live scan fingerprint identification.  He received over 110 patents in this field and has authored several papers and text books related to biometrics and fingerprint identification.   In August, 2012, Dr. Schneider’s sensor technology received FBI certification, with this new sensor having the distinction of being the first and only non-optical 4-finger fingerprint sensor technology to receive such certification in the history of the industry.  In 2013, he was elevated to Biometric Fellow by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers for his pioneering and leadership work in the field of ultrasonic imaging.    In 2014 he was recognized as a Distinguished Alumni for the University of Buffalo, and awarded the Small Business Innovative Research Hall of Fame award for lifetime achievement which he received at the White House. 

In 1989, he founded Ultra-Scan Corporation and for the next 24 years, served as its President and Chief Technology Officer deploying biometric solutions into a variety of applications ranging from health care, physical and logical security, financial services and border crossing applications..  Ultra-Scan was acquired by Qualcomm in February of 2013.

Walter Hamilton
IBIA Chairman Emeritus

Mr. Hamilton is Chairman Emeritus of the International Biometrics + Identity Association (IBIA), a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit trade association that advocates the use of technology to determine identity and enhance security, privacy, productivity and convenience.  Prior to his retirement from the IBIA board, he completed seven terms as Chairman and President of IBIA and six terms as Vice Chairman and member of the Management Committee.  Mr. Hamilton is currently a Senior Consultant with Identification Technology Partners (IDTP), a consulting firm in the identity management field.  He is a recognized industry authority and subject matter expert on biometric technology.  Mr. Hamilton has been committed to advancing biometric use and is an advocate for the adoption of open standards, crucial for industry development.  Mr. Hamilton is actively involved in supporting government clients in implementing biometric and identity technology in the maritime and aviation transportation sectors.  Prior to joining IDTP in 2006, Mr. Hamilton served as Vice President and General Manager; Biometric Solutions for Saflink Corporation.  Prior to joining Saflink in 1995, Mr. Hamilton completed a distinguished 30-year career with Unisys Corporation.


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