CCI Blueprint Working Groups

The Blueprint for the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative was developed by experts from higher education, business, and industry. Together, they mapped the next steps for the initiative. In the first phase, they organized into working groups to design the programmatic goals and operational dimensions of CCI.

Each working group was co-chaired by a member of the Executive Committee and a representative from Virginia Tech. These include: Research and Technology Commercialization; Educational Programs and Experiential Learning; Partnerships and Investment; and Finance and Government Relations.

Research and Technology Commercialization

The Research and Technology Commercialization working group identified and prioritized strategic partnerships with industry and federal agencies that enable research and cultivation of an entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem to support technology commercialization.

  • Charles Clancy (Co-Chair)
    Director, Hume Center for National Security, Virginia Tech
  • Deb Crawford (Co-Chair)
    Vice President for Research, George Mason University
  • Simone Acha
    Owner, Simone Acha Consulting
  • Chip Filer
    Associate Vice President for Economic Development, Old Dominion University
  • Carl Elks
    Assistant Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Todd Estes
    Director of Career and Education Programs, Virginia Community College System
  • Gabriel Galvin
    Executive Director, The MITRE Corporation
  • Keith Holland
    Associate Professor and Assistant Head, Department of Engineering; Interim Vice Provost, James Madison University
  • Mitch Horowitz
    Principal and Managing Director, TEConomy Partners LLC
  • George Hsieh
    Director, Center of Excellence Cybersecurity Research, Norfolk State University
  • Steve McKnight
    Vice President of the National Capital Region, Virginia Tech
  • Rob Merhige
    Assistant Vice President for Commercialization and Compliance, University of Virginia
  • Mark Mykityshyn
    Executive Chairman and CEO, Tangible Security
  • Michael Papay
    Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer, Northrop Grumman
  • Ed Swallow
    Senior Vice President of Civil Systems Group, The Aerospace Corporation
  • Thomas Weithman
    President and Chief Investment Officer, MACH37; Managing Director and Vice President, Center for Innovative Technology

Educational Programs and Experiential Learning

The Educational Programs and Experiential Learning working group evaluated the current landscape and assets, and explored opportunities for talent development program growth across the Hub and Spokes.

  • Cyril Clarke (Co-Chair)
    Interim Executive Vice President and Provost, Virginia Tech
  • Brian Payne (Co-Chair)
    Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Old Dominion University
  • Sherif Abdelwahed
    Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Scott Bevins
    Associate Provost for Information Services, The University of Virginia’s College at Wise
  • Isabel Cardenas-Navia
    Director of Emerging Workforce Programs, Business Higher Education Forum
  • Liza Wilson Durant
    Associate Dean, Strategic Initiatives and Community Engagement, George Mason University
  • Samy El-Tawab
    Associate Professor, Department of Integrated Science and Technology, James Madison University
  • Sandra Fourney
    Engineering Director, Center of Excellence, Northrop Grumman Corporation
  • Jonathan Graham
    Director, Information Assurance-Research Education and Development Institute, Norfolk State University
  • Chad Knights
    Provost for Information and Engineering Technologies, Northern Virginia Community College
  • Christopher Kreider
    Computer Science Instructor, Christopher Newport University
  • Henry Light
    Council Secretary, State Council of Higher Education for Virginia
  • Keith Mellinger
    Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Mary Washington
  • Charles Reiss
    Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Virginia
  • Mary Sandy
    Director, Virginia Space Grant Consortium
  • John Savage
    Director, Cybersecurity Programs, Virginia Community College System
  • Jennifer Thornton
    Director of Workforce Initiatives, Greater Washington Partnership

Partnerships and Investment

The Partnerships and Investment working group established best practices for partnerships relevant to the CCI. Topics included: What makes an enduring, successful partnership? What are barriers to engaging in partnerships? What are the largest opportunities for CCI?

  • Tracy Gregorio (Co-Chair)
    President, G2 Ops Inc.
  • Brandy Salmon (Co-Chair)
    Executive Director, LINK, Virginia Tech
  • Jenny Carter
    Director, Workforce Partnerships, Virginia Community College System
  • Dean Evasius
    Associate Vice President for Research Development, University of Virginia
  • Bill Hazel
    Senior Advisor for Strategic Initiatives and Policy, George Mason University
  • Mary Ann Hoppa
    Associate Professor, Computer Science, Norfolk State University
  • Sharon Simmons
    Professor and Head, Department of Computer Science, James Madison University
  • Eric Weisel
    Interim Director for Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center, Old Dominion University
  • Chris Whyte
    Wilder School of Government, Virginia Commonwealth University

Finance and Government Relations

The Finance and Government Relations working group outlined how CCI will leverage public funds with matching resources from participating institutions and industry partners. In addition, they will provided a mechanism that assured that expectations of key government stakeholders were met.

  • Bobbie Kilberg (Co-Chair)
    President and CEO, Northern Virginia Technology Council
  • Dwight Shelton (Co-Chair)
    Vice President for Finance and CFO, Virginia Tech
  • Matt A. Conrad
    Executive Director of Government and Board Relations, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Betsey Daley
    Associate Vice President for State Government Relations and Special Assistant to the President, University of Virginia
  • Ben Delp
    Director of Research Development and Promotion, James Madison University
  • Ellen Davenport
    Asst. Vice Chancellor, Governmental Relations, Virginia Community College System
  • Elizabeth Hooper
    Director of State Government Relations, Virginia Tech
  • Paul Liberty
    Vice President for Government and Community Relations, George Mason University
  • Annie Morris
    Director of Government Relations, Old Dominion University
  • John Leonard
    Executive Associate Dean and Professor, College of Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Chris Whyte
    Government Affairs Manager, University of Mary Washington
  • Aurelia T. Williams
    Director, Cybersecurity Complex, Norfolk State University