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>  News Releases >   2001 >   March

Dartmouth appoints Director of Institute for Security Technology Studies

Posted 03/20/01

Michael A. Vatis has been appointed Director of the Institute for Security Technology Studies (ISTS) at Dartmouth. Established in December 1999, ISTS is a principal academic center for national security technology research, development and assessment with particular focus on cybersecurity and the protection of telecommunications and information infrastructures. Vatis will begin at ISTS this month.

Vatis comes to Dartmouth from Washington, D.C., where he served most recently as founder and first director of the National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC), an interagency organization responsible for detection, warning and response to cyber attacks. Under Vatis' leadership, NIPC developed the federal government's principal capability for warning of and responding to computer intrusions, viruses, cyber terrorism and computer-based espionage.

"Michael Vatis is a leader in the evolving field of cybersecurity," said Dartmouth President James Wright. "The vision and experience he brings to Dartmouth will enhance the academic mission of the Institute and strengthen its role as a vital national center for research in infrastructure protection. I am delighted that he will be joining us in this important effort."

An attorney with extensive experience in national security issues, Vatis also served as Associate Deputy Attorney General and Deputy Director of the Executive Office for National Security with the U.S. Department of Justice from 1994 to 1998. He advised the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General on matters of high-tech crime, encryption, intelligence, counter-terrorism, foreign policy and infrastructure protection. He was also a special counsel in the Department of Defense, and served as law clerk to the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg when she was a U.S. Court of Appeals Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Dartmouth's ISTS is a principal national center for research in the rapidly developing field of cybersecurity technology. It is supported with funds from the U.S. Justice Department's National Institute of Justice, Office of Science and Technology. Its primary research agenda addresses attacks on information infrastructure in all forms with a particular focus on security information and technology, including best practices and the development of innovative tools and techniques. The Institute plays a significant role in defining a national research agenda in these areas, helping the Justice Department and other government agencies identify priorities and strategies.

"I am thrilled to be joining the Dartmouth community and look forward to working with its talented faculty, staff and students. I am confident that, together, we will build on the superb ongoing work of the Institute, and continue to broaden its role as a national resource that will help combat some of the principal national security threats of the 21st century," said Vatis.

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