Business Matters

Mason leads Congressional staff briefing on DHS Centers of Excellence

George Mason University’s Anthony Stefanidis recently used his role as the director of Mason’s Criminal Investigations and Network Analysis Center (CINA), a Department of Homeland Security Centers of Excellence (COE), to lead a briefing of congressional staffers on Capitol Hill.

Stefanidis, who was also the former chair of Mason’s Department of Geography and Geoinformation Science, served as head of a group of directors of other COEs who sought to better inform lawmakers of the important role the centers play. The CINA program is the only university research program dedicated to fighting networked criminal activities in both the physical and cyber spaces.

“We wanted to communicate the tremendous benefits the government gets through its collaboration with the designated COEs,” Stefanidis said. “Universities help the government accelerate its pace of innovation. The briefing went well and the reaction was very positive.”

The program helps to advance America’s technical capabilities across a variety of topics, ranging from protecting against terrorism and securing the nation’s borders, to responding to natural disasters and (as is the case with CINA) advancing our ability to investigate and thwart networked criminal activities. The COEs bring together universities, industry and public agencies to generate basic and applied research that can be rapidly developed into innovative technologies for the homeland security community. The centers also serve as training grounds for the current and next generation of homeland security experts.

U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-Va., arranged the briefing, in coordination with Mason’s director of federal government relations Kerry Bolognese. Mason Rector Tom Davis opened the session.

For more information on Mason’s CINA Center, please visit the center’s website.