RIT selects endowed executive director for new Global Cybersecurity Institute

Steve Hoover, former CTO of Xerox and CEO of PARC, assumes new role Sept. 15

A. Sue Weisler

Steve Hoover, former chief technology officer of Xerox and chief executive officer of the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), has been named endowed Executive Director of RIT’s new Global Cybersecurity Institute.

Steve Hoover, former chief technology officer and senior vice president at Xerox and former chief executive officer of the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), has been named to the newly created position of endowed Executive Director of Rochester Institute of Technology’s Global Cybersecurity Institute.

Hoover will lead the Global Cybersecurity Institute, a new state-of-the-art facility that will help RIT become a nexus of cybersecurity education and research. The institute aims to tackle and solve cybersecurity problems around the world, while addressing the critical workforce needs in cybersecurity.

The institute will open in Fall 2020, on the RIT campus. It will allow the university to educate more future cybersecurity professionals, conduct groundbreaking research and offer professional training and development in cybersecurity.

As endowed executive director of the Global Cybersecurity Institute (GCI), Hoover will bring together expertise from across RIT to expand research and student-focused programs, while creating more opportunities for industry and government collaboration. Hoover assumes the new role Sept. 15.

“I’m very excited about this opportunity and honored to be selected,” said Hoover. “Universities—and especially RIT—play a key role in preparing students and the technologies that we use to provide the security we all expect from our infrastructure, information and data. I think there is great opportunity to tightly integrate RIT’s specialties in cybersecurity research and education, while expanding its impact out in the world.”

In his time at Xerox, Hoover held a variety of roles in both product development and research. He oversaw the global research centers including the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), the Xerox Research Centre Canada and the Xerox Research Centre Europe, as well as Xerox’s globally distributed product development and engineering capabilities.

Hoover joined PARC in 2011 after serving as vice president of the Xerox Research Center of Webster. He helped transform PARC from Xerox’s flagship research laboratory to a world-class research and development organization in the business of open innovation, providing technologies and custom innovation services to enterprises, start-ups and government agencies.

“Steve’s experience at PARC is impressive and his reputation as an innovator is unparalleled,” said RIT Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Ellen Granberg. “We are very excited to welcome Steve to RIT.”

Hoover earned his doctorate degree and master’s degree in engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Cornell University. He also holds seven patents and currently serves on the dean’s advisory council of the College of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon. Hoover formerly served on RIT’s Board of Trustees.

“Steve’s strength is in being able to see connections, oversee and direct teams and then pulling it all together to enact change,” said Anne Haake, dean of RIT’s Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences. “He has a lot of background in both hardware and software, which is crucial in seeing the big picture with cybersecurity.”

RIT is creating GCI to help meet the worldwide demand for computing security and artificial intelligence professionals, while developing future technologies, protocols and human understanding needed to address the global cybersecurity crisis. According to nonprofit IT security organization (ISC)², there are nearly 3 million cybersecurity positions open and unfilled around the world today.

The institute will be housed in a three-story, 45,000-square-foot facility, connected to RIT’s Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences. The Department of Computing Security—which houses RIT’s undergraduate and graduate degrees in computing security—and the Center for Cybersecurity will move their headquarters to the GCI.

GCI will bring together a host of academic disciplines – computing, liberal arts, engineering, business and others – to allow experts to conduct more interdisciplinary sociotechnical cybersecurity research. The facility will include a cyber learning experience center, simulated security operations center, five research labs, and several student lounges, instructional labs and faculty offices.

The institute is being made possible in part with designated funding from a donation made by 2009 RIT alumnus Austin McChord and a $5 million grant from New York state, awarded competitively through its Higher Education Capital Matching Grant Program.

For more information about the Global Cybersecurity Institute, go to rit.edu/computing/cybersecurityinstitute.

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