Former Homeland Security chief to work at Stevens University hires Lawlor for security initiatives

With Stevens Institute of Technology perched on top of Castle Point with a clear line of sight to downtown Manhattan, it’s little wonder the engineering school has a vested interest in homeland security concerns, especially in finding out how technology can be used to develop security precautions.

In the past two years, the private university developed initiatives for wireless security, port security (see sidebar), environmental security and cyber-security.

Last week, the school announced the hiring of Maj. Gen. Bruce M. Lawlor to head Stevens’ Homeland Security initiatives.

Lawlor most recently held the position of chief of staff of the nation’s newest and largest civilian agency, the Department of Homeland Security. In this key role, he worked closely with Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge. This past week, the Department of Homeland Security marked its one-year anniversary.

Known for years as one of the nation’s top experts in security issues, Lawlor was one of the first people posted to the White House to join Ridge shortly after 9/11. A lawyer with a distinguished military career, Lawlor also earned a doctorate in engineering management from George Washington University, where he focused on security issues.

Service began

The general’s military service began in 1967. After service in Vietnam from 1971 to 1973, he received a Direct Commission in 1974 as an intelligence officer. Also in the military, he has served as brigade commander in the 86th Brigade.

Starting in 1998, Lawlor organized National Guard teams to respond to weapons of mass destruction threats and incidents, a major project that resulted in the creation of teams for every state. In 1999, the Army posted him to the U.S. Joint Forces Command to create and organize a joint task force headquarters that would provide command and control of Department of Defense assets during a major attack on the United States.

Shortly after the 9/11 attacks, Lawlor was assigned to the White House to directly advise the president on national security issues.

At the White House Office of Homeland Security, he served as senior director for protection and prevention. He helped create many of the homeland security policies adopted by the Bush administration and was an architect of the legislation proposed by Bush to create the Department of Homeland Security.

After Congress passed legislation creating the Department of Homeland Security, Lawlor joined Ridge as one of the first of the new department’s senior leaders.

Technology and security

According to Stevens’ officials, Lawlor sees his transition to Stevens as a next opportunity to be "present at the creation," as the nation begins to develop major new capabilities, many in the private sector, for protecting against terrorist attacks.

"I am excited about joining an institution like Stevens that is committed to searching for solutions to homeland security challenges," Lawlor said. "For me, this is the most important work one can do for the nation. Because of the nature of the terrorist threat and the complexity of making the nation safe, many solutions will require great science, engineering and management."

"These are three things Stevens excels at," he added. "It’s the right place for me to continue my life’s mission."

In his new role, he will join two others with major national security experience: Dean Jerry MacArthur Hultin, former under secretary of the Navy and now dean of the Howe School of Technology Management, and Dr. Fernando Fernadez, former director of the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) and now director of technology initiatives at Stevens.

Lawlor added that whatever homeland security solutions are developed, technology will play a vital role and companies in the private sector will be involved. "There are many new technologies that can be developed by the private sector," said Lawlor. "Just as in the past, when scientific and business ingenuity led to major breakthroughs in building the American economy, now that same combination will help create the breakthroughs needed to protect the nation."

Stevens’ president Dr. Harold J. Raveché welcomed Lawlor to the university. "General Bruce Lawlor is an outstanding choice both to lead the homeland security initiatives that Stevens is already pursuing and to develop new ones," said Raveché. "Bruce was ‘present at the creation’ each time America needed a new response to the threats of global terrorism. We’re excited that Bruce has chosen Stevens as the university where he will apply his know-how to cutting-edge initiatives."

Stevens hosts workshop on port security

In November, Stevens’ Howe School of Technology Management Dean Jerry MacArthur Hultin and 10 Stevens faculty members joined with top officials who have direct interests in port security for a workshop, "Network-Centric Operations Applied to the Campaign Against Terrorism: Port Security in the Port of New York and New Jersey."

The workshop was called to develop integrated approaches to provide security at the New York area ports. The New York/New Jersey Port is the 10th biggest in the world.

Stevens Institute of Technology received $150,000 in private funding for a research project that will develop a common framework for integrating public and private resources across the local, state and federal levels to deal with crisis response and prevention.

The researchers will use port security as the case study. They will draw on techniques to coordinate operations used by businesses, the U.S. Navy and the New York Police Department.

At the workshop, Hultin and faculty from all three schools at Stevens – technology management, engineering, and sciences and arts – collected input from officials from a variety of organizations.

"I’m excited by the fact that this project has captured the intense interest of these principal players in port security," said Dr. Michael Pennotti, industry professor of Systems Engineering at Stevens and, with Hultin, co-principal investigator for the study.

The outcome of the first workshop was a list of possible research topics from which research teams will develop abstracts for consideration and feedback from the participants. The abstracts will lead to the development of research projects, which are scheduled to be completed by March 2004.

Ten, a second workshop will be held to present research findings and determine conclusions and further work. By May 2004, the research teams plan to write and publish a monograph that will share the conclusions of the research.

Besides Hultin and Pennotti, who are the project’s principal investigators, project leaders included the following from Stevens: Dr. Rashmi Jain, professor of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management, as investigator; Dr. Harlan Ullman, distinguished visiting scholar of technology management, as senior consultant; and Leslie Stevens, program director of the Center for Global Technology Management, as study director. – Tom Jennemann


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