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National Security Collaboration Center at UTSA convenes its first Advisory Council

National Security Collaboration Center at UTSA convenes its first Advisory Council

NOVEMBER 18, 2021 — The UTSA National Security Collaboration Center (NSCC) has created its first Advisory Council. The group—comprised of accomplished professionals from industry, military, nonprofit and research institutions, both locally and nationally—will convene in person today to kick off a review of UTSA’s research enterprise in various disciplines pertaining to national security. Topics will include expanding the center’s membership model and opportunities for students and graduates, as well as exploring new avenues for expanded research funding.

Currently operating on the Main Campus, the NSCC ecosystem includes more than 60 federal, academic and industry partners collaborating on research, education and workforce development in all things cyber, national security and their intersection with biosciences, policy and data sciences.

“We looked for visionary and passionate professionals who could help propel the NSCC to the next level.”

San Antonio is the nation’s largest cyber hub outside of Washington, D.C., and the new council’s meeting coincides with the Alamo Chapter of the AFCEA event, which has been focused on current developments and challenges in cyberspace, military cyber, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations battlespace.

Brigadier General (ret.) Guy Walsh, executive director of the NSCC, assembled the Advisory Council and is leading the first briefing.

“In selecting this esteemed group of leaders, who have years of experience and leadership in industry, academia and government service, we looked for visionary and passionate professionals who could help propel the NSCC to the next level: expanding our transdisciplinary research, particularly applied research; creating value for our existing and new partners; and training the next generation of cyber warriors,” Walsh explained.

“The NSCC Advisory Council will play a pivotal role by building research and development opportunities within this powerful ecosystem of collaborators,” added Bernard Arulanandam, vice president for the UTSA Research, Economic Development, and Knowledge Enterprise Division, to which the NSCC reports. “We are honored to have such high caliber leadership willing to advise the NSCC and to assist UTSA in maintaining its upward trajectory among peer research institutions across the United States.”

NSCC Advisory Council members include:

Reginald Brothers, the chief executive officer of BigBear.AI, which brings together leading-edge data management, analytics, artificial intelligence, cloud technologies and cybersecurity and computer network operations to deliver advanced decision support solutions to government and business leaders. He is a Distinguished Fellow at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology and has served as under secretary for science and technology at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Robert J. Butler, the co-founder and managing director of Cyber Strategies LLC and a senior advisor to The Chertoff Group, which focuses on technology, intelligence and national security. With more than 40 years of experience in both the public and private sectors, he has consulted as a special government expert to the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense, the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board and others in the fields of cyber security and enterprise risk management. He also serves as a fellow at the Center for New American Security and is a member of the Texas Cybersecurity Council.

Retired Army Major General Tony Cuculo, the president and CEO of Professional Contract Services Inc, a Texas-based national non-profit company. He co-founded the National Security Innovation Council, a nonprofit initiative to optimize national security problem solving through the development of an innovation base in Texas and remains their senior military advisor. Cuculo developed a $35 billion equipment program for the U.S. Army and currently serves as a senior executive with The University of Texas System.

Andrew Higgins, the senior director of products and services at CPS Energy. His areas of expertise include leadership, strategy development, product management, data architecture, data monetization, innovation, digital transformation, agile process management and customer experience and user centered design.

Retired Air Force Marc Jamison, the owner of Cyber CheckMate Consultants, which provides council about cyber security, strategy and operations for more than 30 industry partners. He also serves on the board of directors for the Association of Old Crows’ Cyber Security Forum Initiative and on the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce’s Cyber Industry Council.

Dale E. Klein, the associate vice chancellor for research in in the Office of Academic Affairs for the UT System. Klein holds a doctorate in nuclear engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia, has published more than 100 technical papers and reports, and has co-edited a book. He has made more than 400 presentations on energy and has written numerous technical editorials on energy issues that have been published in major newspapers throughout the country.

Retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Betsy J. Pimentel, a senior advisor and previous vice president of defense programs at Stellar Solutions Inc, a woman-owned small business supporting the aerospace industry. Pimentel’s background combines strong hands-on technical expertise with broad experience in defense and national policy, program management and in-depth knowledge of customer and contractor relations.

Retired Air Force Colonel Colonel Edward O. Rios, a strategic partner in Atlanta-based private investment management firm Battle Investment Group. He supports the firm’s strategy and planning for its investment activities within the cybersecurity, intelligence and space markets. Rios is also the CEO of Computer Access Technologies LLC, a data analytics systems integration company headquartered in Colorado Springs.

Retired Army Major General Charles G. Rodriguez, the director for the capital campaign for the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. He has served in various leadership roles, including as business continuity and resiliency manager for Rackspace and as chief of staff and vice president for Texas A&M University-San Antonio.

Retired Navy Vice Admiral Timothy ‘TJ’ White, founder and CEO of One Network Connection LLC. White has served on the staff for the Chief of Naval Operations and as the program resources director for the Military Intelligence Program.

Retired Air Force Major General Sheila Zuehlke, president of Z-Cube LLC, a cyber security and intelligence consulting firm in San Diego. Zuehlke previously served as a member of the Office of Secretary of Defense Reserve Forces Policy Board, an independent adviser to the Secretary of Defense on strategies, policies and practices designed to enhance the capabilities, efficiency and effectiveness of the military reserve components.

The NSCC will soon be co-located with the UTSA School of Data Science, a new world-class $90 million research and education center and the first new building in a series slated as part of UTSA’s Downtown Campus expansion. The building is scheduled to open in summer 2022 and will feature 72,000 square feet of innovation space, laboratories and research facilities, serving as a hub for government, university and industry in support of national security and bolstering the city’s national standing as Cyber City USA.

UTSA is the nation’s only Hispanic Serving Institution with three National Center of Excellence designations from the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Sarah Hada

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