US Defense Intelligence Chief leads Cyber Security Initiative

AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Lt. Gen. Ron Burgess, a
38-year U.S. Army veteran who spent much of his career in the upper
levels of military intelligence and security, will join Auburn
University as senior counsel for national security programs, cyber
programs and military affairs. His appointment begins Dec. 1.

A 1974 Auburn graduate, Burgess served as director of the U.S.
Defense Intelligence Agency from 2009 until July 2012, prior to his
retirement from the Army in September. At Auburn he will work in
coordination with the university's Office of the Vice President for
Research, providing guidance, direction and support to a broad range of
interdisciplinary research initiatives.

“Gen. Burgess is a heavyweight player in
the defense intelligence arena,” said David Umphress, associate
professor of computer science and software engineering. “We are looking
to him to help us develop a big-picture perspective of how the software
cyber security research being conducted by the finest students around
can be shaped to the benefit of the nation.”

Burgess will be an integral part of the Auburn University Cyber
Initiative, and his office will be located at the new cyber training and
laboratory facilities in the Auburn University Regional Airport.

“Having Gen. Burgess at Auburn will give us a strong voice in
national and homeland security policies and cue our cyber research
toward major national contributions,” said Drew Hamilton, professor of
computer science and software engineering.

Working with faculty and research staff, Burgess will specifically
promote and advance Auburn University's technical expertise and
leadership in cyber education and training; open source intelligence and
analysis; and cyber security to include information assurance,
intrusion detection and critical infrastructure protection.

“Gen. Burgess' strategic vision is to grow our research enterprise,
foster economic development and create opportunities for Auburn experts
by matching their capabilities with business and federal agencies at the
highest level,” said John Mason, Auburn associate provost and vice
president for research. “He will interface with federal, state and
commercial entities on national security interests, cyber programs and
military concerns.”

Today, the United States, its military and intelligence communities
face a mounting array of unconventional and unique challenges ranging
from reduced budgets and force levels, to subtle and unforeseen cyber
threats to financial systems, infrastructure, energy resources and even
the security of the food supply. At the same time, increasing numbers of
volunteer forces who have sacrificed much over the past decade are now
entering the workforce as veterans seeking civilian employment in a
highly competitive and increasingly complex and technical job market.

In response to these needs, Auburn University is continually seeking
ways to strengthen and expand its partnership with the U.S. military;
focus research efforts on finding solutions to these demanding security
challenges; and develop programs and training that can assist veterans
as they transition from the military to the civilian workforce.

The Auburn University Cyber Initiative fosters interdisciplinary
research programs. In 2012, the Alabama State Legislature issued a joint
resolution recognizing AUCI for its support of economic development in
the state of Alabama. In an effort to provide further resources to this
critical initiative, AUCI will now have access to Burgess' world-class
expertise in intelligence.

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