Mason welcomes new Cybersecurity Eminent Scholar

August 27, 2019   /   by Martha Bushong

Jonathan Katz

Jonathan Katz joins the faculty of the Volgenau School of Engineering as a Cybersecurity Eminent Scholar.

Professor Jonathan Katz joined the faculty of George Mason University’s Volgenau School of Engineering this fall as professor of computer science and Eminent Scholar in Cybersecurity. 

Support for Katz’s Eminent Scholar position was provided through a competitive award of $125,000 from the Commonwealth’s Center for Innovative Technology, an organization that invests in Virginia economic growth, and $200,000 generously provided by Lockheed-Martin to support Katz’s appointment and additional cybersecurity-related projects.

In the near term, Katz hopes to grow the computer science and cybersecurity departments at Mason by attracting new faculty as well as strong students, postdocs, and researchers. He also wants to contribute to building a cybersecurity curriculum that will produce outstanding Mason graduates in that field.

“I see a tremendous opportunity for computer science in general, and cybersecurity in particular, in Northern Virginia and specifically at Mason,” says Katz. “I am very excited by the possibilities opened up by the recently announced School of Computing at Mason, as well as the new cybersecurity department within the Volgenau School of Engineering.”

During his 17 years at the University of Maryland, the last six of which he spent as director of the Maryland Cybersecurity Center, Katz has had the opportunity to interact with cybersecurity professionals in academia, government, and industry.

Katz views the huge investments being made in the region, both by the Commonwealth of Virginia and companies such as Amazon, as an accelerator of future growth and plans to take advantage of these incredible circumstances to help Mason enhance its leadership role in cybersecurity.

“George Mason University and the Volgenau School of Engineering have a long history of excellence in the area of cybersecurity dating back more than 30 years,” says Art Pyster, associate dean for research at the Volgenau School. “The addition of an eminent researcher will elevate our programs to the next level.”

Katz has served as the co-program chair for the annual Crypto conference and is currently serving as co-program chair for the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security as well as an editor of the Journal of Cryptology. He was a founding member of the steering committee for the IEEE Cybersecurity Initiative and also chair of the education subcommittee for the State of Maryland Cybersecurity Council.

Katz is a recipient of a Humboldt Research Award as well as the University of Maryland Distinguished Scholar-Teacher Award. He was recently named an International Association for Cryptologic Research Fellow in recognition of "his broad contributions, especially in public-key encryption and cryptographic protocols, and for dedication to service and education."