NASA's Jerry Davis to be commencement speaker at Capitol Technology University
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Jerry Davis, chief information officer and head of the Information Technology Directorate at NASA’s Ames Research Center, will address the graduating class at Capitol Technology University’s commencement ceremony on May 13, 2017.
A 2003 alumnus of Capitol’s master’s program in network security, Davis has been instrumental in protecting information and digital assets at NASA and other federal agencies.
“I’m very pleased that Jerry has the time and interest to join us at Commencement this year,” said Dr. Michael T. Wood, president of Capitol Technology University. “He’s a dynamic, motivated, passionate speaker – very committed to his initiatives in cybersecurity for US space missions.”
“I think that our students, faculty, and guests will really appreciate what he has to say about the opportunities that await them and some of the challenges that lie ahead for not only our graduates but for the U.S. space program,” Wood said.
Davis has held leadership roles in IT and cybersecurity at several institutions and agencies over the course of his professional career. From 2007 to 2010, he was NASA’s Deputy Chief Information Officer for IT Security and Privacy, serving as principal advisor to NASA administration on all IT and information security matters that could impact space missions.
He then moved to the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, serving as deputy assistant secretary for information security before returning to NASA to take on his current role at Ames.
In a 2014 interview, Davis noted Capitol’s status as an NSA and DHS Center for Excellence, saying this designation had been a major factor in his decision to enroll at the Laurel-based university.
“My feeling was that if you really wanted to move up in the world of security, having the Center of Excellence credentials behind your name was key,” Davis said.
He also praised the university’s approach to technology education, which stresses practical experience and application in conjunction with classroom learning.
“One of the things I love about Capitol – and which I put to use during both the time I was at Capitol and afterwards – was the hands-on experience,” Davis said. “It’s not just writing papers. Actually going out and building networks and then building the security aspects, documenting your work, and doing research on that and then turning it in – this was of phenomenal help.”
“You have practical experience [after graduation], and you know it’s not just something you’re theorizing about.”
Capitol offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in cybersecurity, as the network security field is now known. In 2010, it launched the nation’s first doctorate in the field. Capitol’s program has continuously maintained the Center of Excellence designation, awarded by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency to a select group of institutions.