"I'm an active member of the (informal) Highlands community, and it is a wonderful thing. The Forums are an opportunity to meet with high-level military officials in a meaningful way. As a civilian and a pretty skeptical one, I'm impressed with the practicality of the operating military. They are not sitting around making policy; they work on the ground to make things happen. It's definitely worth helping them to be more effective and accountable, which is the goal of Highlands."
Esther Dyson, Chairman, EDVenture Holdings
"Dick is an amazingly talented individual and tremendous "connector" in terms of bridging between the public and private sector. Through the Highlands Forum I have had a chance to establish productive, long-term relationships with individuals in defense and intelligence communities, with influential individuals in NGOs, with fascinating authors and independent thinkers, and with other notable figures from the commercial world. Highlands' approach to catalyzing relevant conversation and high-level connection is, in my viewpoint, unique and uniquely valuable".
Ray Ozzie, Chief Software Architect, Microsoft
"The Highlands Forum is a unique operation. It examines key topics and brings together the people who really understand what's happening. Dick has a unique ability to frame the questions and bring the right people together. He does a lot of homework, he has a huge network of very smart people, and he's amazingly poised and comfortable with high egos. I have attended quite a few Highland Forums and always find they hold my attention and teach me things I didn't know. The Highlands Forum started as a unpublicized operation within the Defense Department many years ago, and blossomed into one of the most enduring and useful forums for assembling specialists on technology of every sort. It's a real treat to attend."
Steve Crocker, CEO of Shinkuro
"Dick is one of the rare breed of people who's network you'd actually pay to join. However, his connections are so special that the entry fee cannot equate to money (it's priceless!) it depends on knowledge, intelligence, integrity and willingness to engage and share with others. In short, he 'collects' very smart people, all of whom value him more than they value working with anyone else. His natural enthusiasm, charm and wit, disguise a keen mind and supreme intellect and also ensures that if he wants to get you involved in a project he's hard to turn down. To top it all, as one of my former colleagues said, "He's one of the nicest people on the planet!"
Ken Lyon, Founder and Chairman of Sourceree (UK)
"Dick O'Neill and his team, in putting together the Highlands Forum, convene one of the more thought-provoking gatherings I've attended".
Dan Gillmor, founding director of the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication
"One of the great privileges in my life has been to get to know Dick and to be an occasional participant in the Highlands Forum gatherings. In meaningful ways, the Forum embodies Dick's character -- generous, inquisitive and curious, civil and empathic towards all, and oriented towards understanding what matters in the world today. His ability to discover and bring together into an ongoing dialogue other indivduals of unusual qualities who can make a difference is something rare and special in these times".
Robert Gehorsam, President of Forterra
"Highlands Forum is still in a class by itself. Keep up the good work".
George Heilmeier, Chairman Emeritus of Telcordia Technologies (formerly Bell Communications Research, Inc.), Director of MITRE Corp.
"What an incredible reading list (the Highlands year end reading list for 2007). I re-read all the reviews over the weekend and prioritized a shopping list. While a few subjects will not be easy to bear, all seem quite important. My B.A. was in Humanities; Friday night it struck me that this is "Advanced Humanities." It may be advanced citizenship, as well".
Kitty Wooley, Office of Management, Department of Education
"I am reading some of the content of your latest forum. It is fascinating!!! Congratulations on another innovative meeting and the excellent reading material that comes out of it".
Thomas Dunbar, CISM, CISSP, Global IT Chief Security Officer, XL Global Services
"I've had the honor to work with Dick in the context of his work at The Highlands Group during my tenure as Director of the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study. Dick has a unique ability to bring together talented individuals from disparate corners of academia, business and the government who, together, add value by dint of collaborating in Highland Forum events, such as workshops. His professional network of such individuals may be the finest I've seen in Washington DC area".
James Olds, Director Krasnow Institute for Advance Study and Professor of Neuroscience, George Mason University
"Upon meeting Dick in preparation for Strong Angel III, I knew this was an incredibly talented individual in listening and recommending valuable suggestions to an organisation that is in a constant state of flux - which Strong Angel III is - by design. During the actual Strong Angel III event, Dick created unique forums of social discussion groups that could immediately grasp the nature, intent and capabilities of the event. The forums and dialogue that he created during the event were extremely valuable for the attendees and contributor / volunteers at the event. A true statesmen and facilitator, I would gladly work with Dick on any project he desires".
Doug Hanchard, Executive Committee, Strong Angel III
"Dick is truly one of the smartest and most capable professionals I've ever known. Through his work at Highlands, he has had extraordinary impact on national policy".
Christopher Michel, Founder and Chairman, Military Advantage, Inc. (Military.com)