Texas A&M professor of practice and former undersecretary of defense for intelligence to lead Texas A&M System cybersecurity initiative

May 16, 2017
| By: Aubrey Bloom

As demonstrated over the weekend with the global WannaCry "ransomware" cyberattack, which infected 300,000 machines in 150 countries, threats to cybersecurity have reached a crisis stage. The global cost of cybercrime continues to increase and is estimated to reach $6 trillion by 2021, according to an analysis by Cybersecurity Ventures. The Texas A&M University System is stepping up to address this critical challenge by creating a system-wide initiative on cybersecurity education, research and outreach led by the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES). 

Associate Vice Chancellor and Engineering Professor of Practice Dr. Stephen A. Cambone has been appointed to lead the system-wide cybersecurity initiative. Cambone is the former U.S. Department of Defense Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and founder of Adirondack Advisors, LLC.


“Steve Cambone is one of the most respected and knowledgeable leaders in cybersecurity and I cannot underscore enough the magnitude of expertise he brings to the system,” said Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp. “We have breadth across multiple disciplines and enterprises throughout the system and under Steve’s leadership, we are well-positioned to elevate our cybersecurity initiatives to the next level.”

Cambone will engage thought leaders from government, industry, academia and not-for-profit organizations to develop transformational cybersecurity capabilities that support the United States’ mission of protecting against and combatting large-scale cyberattacks.  

“The broad vision of the Texas A&M System cybersecurity initiative is intriguing, seeking to bring together the fields of research, technology development, engineering, policy and workforce development to improve cybersecurity,” said Cambone. “There are few other organizations with such a wealth of resources to bring to bear. I’m excited and eager to help in realizing the vision.”

The assets of the Texas A&M System’s 11 universities and seven state agencies will be leveraged to maximize cybersecurity research and education, and strengthen its impact in addressing cybersecurity threats.  

“The Texas A&M System currently has world-renowned experts, education programs, facilities focused on cybersecurity research and 18,000 engineering students providing a unique opportunity to develop an elite cyber corps,” said Texas A&M Engineering Vice Chancellor M. Katherine Banks. “With Dr. Cambone leading this initiative, we are well-positioned to move to the forefront of this critically important area.”

In addition to associate vice chancellor for cybersecurity initiatives, Cambone will remain jointly appointed as a professor of practice in the Texas A&M University College of Engineering and will also be involved in the education programs at the George Bush School of Government and Public Service.

“Bush School faculty and students are particularly interested in the complexities of cybersecurity policy. Dr. Cambone combines great experience in national security policy at the highest levels with a detailed understanding of the cyber domain. His leadership and the A&M System’s strong relationships in the field put the A&M cyber team in a magnificent position to lead in this critically important arena,” said Mark A. Welsh, dean of the George Bush School of Government and Public Service.

In 2003, Cambone was appointed as the Pentagon’s first undersecretary of defense for intelligence and served from 2001-06 in the Department of Defense (DOD). In that position, Cambone was responsible for the oversight of DOD's intelligence policy, activities and budgets, and its relationship with the director of national intelligence and the broader Intelligence Community. Cambone was awarded the DOD Distinguished Public Service Medal by the secretary of defense, and the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal by the director of national intelligence. 

“The significance of cybersecurity to our homeland defense is only increasing as our government’s secrets, our industry ideas and our citizens’ information are being held and transferred electronically. A field that defies tradition by nature, cybersecurity, needs a combination of experience and innovation to guide policy into the digital era,” said Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX), chairman of U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security. “Steve Cambone brings just that. Steve is an esteemed leader with both government and private sector experience who will guide Texas A&M’s cybersecurity initiative to the forefront of the emerging field and help engage conversations across industries and develop a new generation of cyber workforce experts.”

As founder of Adirondack Advisors, LLC, Cambone has been an independent consultant advising start-up technology companies and public and private companies that service the national security market. From 2007-12 he served in senior corporate positions for QinetiQ North America (QNA), including the senior and later executive vice president for strategic development, as well as the president of QNA's Mission Solutions Group. 

Prior to joining the DOD in 2001, Cambone was a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and director of research at the Institute for National Security Studies at the National Defense University. He is a member of the advisory boards of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance and Volgenau School of IT and Engineering at George Mason University. Cambone received his Ph.D. and master's degrees in political science from Claremont Graduate School and his bachelor's degree in political science from The Catholic University of America.

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