Former chief technology officer for the Federal Communications Commission Eric W. Burger is joining the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative (CCI) and Virginia Tech as a research professor, effective July 1.

Burger will be part of CCI’s leadership team working closely with CCI Executive Director Luiz DaSilva on the research investment strategy for the CCI network, which includes 41 Virginia institutions of higher education and 350 researchers. 

"Eric's expertise and vast experience in telecommunications policy is a great complement to CCI's research strengths and aligns perfectly with our research theme of Securing Next G,” DaSilva said. “Eric is also an entrepreneur and widely recognized as a technology leader. We will be working closely to map out areas of research investment by CCI. We are thrilled to attract Eric back to the commonwealth!"

Burger has extensive experience in telecommunications policy, having served as chief technology officer for the Federal Communications Commission and assistant director for the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House. His current role as technical director of the Next G Alliance complements CCI's research focus on securing the next generation of mobile networks. He is currently a research professor of computer science at Georgetown University. Burger also will be affiliated with Virginia Tech’s School of Public and International Affairs as a research professor.

By joining CCI, Burger said he’ll be well-positioned to help shape the direction of secure mobile wireless networks. “I have been spending the past year at the Next G Alliance working to enhance the research and manufacturing base in wireless and communications markets,” he said. “This is an opportunity to jump-start and amplify academic research and its transition to practice. The commonwealth has some of the best researchers and facilities in the nation, particularly in the wireless realm.” 

Workforce development, a priority for CCI and the state, is also a focus for Burger.

“CCI is not just about creating new crops of Ph.D. graduates," Burger said. "The workforce needs engineers, designers, business people, lawyers, technicians, operators, installers, and so on. CCI has the unique position of not being solely tied to a single high research volume PhD.-granting institution. We can draw on our many university partners, minority-serving institutions, and community colleges, many of which are some of the best in the nation in their category. That also helps with transitioning new discoveries into practice and creating new jobs and wealth in historically disadvantaged communities.” 

There’s a lot to accomplish, and Burger has a plan. 

“I have a number of goals. Personally, for the past 35 years I have been working to bring the world closer together through inexpensive, ubiquitous, secure communications. The current and future directions of CCI-sponsored and CCI-housed research are in this direction," he said. "Moreover, having started, turned around, and sold five companies, the opportunity to turn research into practice is something I have done myself and am looking forward to helping my colleagues from all of the CCI institutions succeed in the market.”

Share this story