Former US Defense Intelligence chief to lead Auburn’s cyber initiatives

4 Dec

Lt. Gen. Ron Burgess (second from left) and Auburn students Katie Wright and Alan Millington demonstrate the software capabilities in the university’s new cyber and security training center to Alabama Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard and Sen. Tom Whatley. Larry Fillmer (right), executive director for program development, looks on. The lawmakers toured the center, which also includes an open-source intelligence research laboratory, to learn more about the interdisciplinary program that promotes and advances Auburn’s expertise and leadership in cyber and security.

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, has joined Auburn University as senior counsel for national security programs, cyber programs and military affairs. His appointment began 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 be working 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.”

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