Anthony Tongen, chief research officer and vice provost of James Madison University, has joined the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative’s Technical Advisory Board. 

“I'm grateful for the opportunity to serve on the CCI Technical Advisory Board,” Tongen said. “As one of the seven original Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense designated by the National Security Agency, James Madison University has a long history of cybersecurity and infosec education and research.” 

CCI, unique in the nation, is a statewide consortium of more than 40 Virginia universities and colleges, and includes a number of  industry and government partners. Its interlocking mission lines — research, workforce development, and innovation — focus on cybersecurity. The CCI Hub, which coordinates the entire network, and the CCI Southwest Virginia Node are based at Virginia Tech.

“Dr. Tongen is a fantastic addition to the CCI Technical Advisory Board,” said CCI Executive Director Luiz DaSilva. “His expertise will help guide our growth and direction. Board members advise us on everything from our 2030 strategic plan to new research opportunities, all with the goal of making Virginia a global leader in cybersecurity.”

In its first four years of operation, CCI has far exceeded expectations. The initiative has brought in $192 million in external funding, contributed to the creation of 2,517 jobs, helped generate $196 million in labor income, and added $367 million to Virginia’s Gross Domestic Product, according to a 2023 economic impact study. 

“Virginia is home to world-class educational institutions, a wealth of national security assets, and thousands of open cybersecurity jobs, creating an ideal environment for Virginia to lead, innovate, and develop the next generation of cyber professionals,” Tongen said. “I look forward to growing JMU's relationship with CCI and our partners in higher ed, industry, and government.”

Tongen joins members of the CCI Technical Advisory Board in bringing a wealth of expertise to their roles. They include:

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