A New Critical Infrastructure Leadership Role for SIA

If you consider yourself to be a leader in offering solutions to protect our nation's critical infrastructure, you will be interested to know more about the involvement of the Security Industry Association (SIA) with a new DHS Center of Excellence known as the Critical Infrastructure and Resilience Institute (CIRI).

Funded through a $20 million, five-year grant from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is leading and managing CIRI's program to support research projects that improve government and private sector understanding of how to enhance the resilience of our nation's government facilities, ports, dams, transportation systems, energy facilities and other components of critical infrastructure.

Recently, I was asked by the University of Illinois to serve on the CIRI External Advisory Board together with a broad representation of thought leaders and experts from the critical infrastructure protection domain.

SIA is part of an exemplary panel of Board members that includes:

  • Daniel Gallington, Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Illinois
  • Shaun Gleason, Director of Computational Sciences and Engineering Division, Oak Ride National Laboratory
  • Peter Grandgeorge, National Security and Resiliency Programs, MidAmerican Energy
  • Major General Richard Hayes, The Adjutant General, Illinois National Guard
  • James Joseph, Director, Illinois Emergency Management Association
  • Francis McCormick, Manager, Security and Preparedness, American Water Works Inc.

CIRI's aim is to fund research and education to enhance the resiliency of our nation's critical infrastructure and the businesses and public entities that own and operate those assets and systems.

Through this role on the External Advisory Board (EAB), I will represent the perspective of SIA Members toward CIRI's priorities as well as help to identify emerging issues and recommendations for contribution by the Institute. Each quarter, I will be sharing updates about CIRI's work with our membership and asking for input into the key proposals being considered and evaluated by the EAB.

The EAB will evaluate and provide perspective toward a variety of research proposals consistent with four main themes:

  • Understanding resilient critical infrastructure systems.
  • Gaining insight into how different critical infrastructure sectors are connected and the implications for risk management sharing strategies.
  • Understanding how businesses that own critical infrastructure make decisions regarding security at various stages around a catastrophic event.
  • Identifying projects that can have a dramatic impact on how resiliency can be designed in the future.

Through collaboration with CIRI, SIA members could submit proposals for federally funded projects developed jointly with government, academia, and other businesses to help the Institute fulfill its mission of strengthening the resilience of our nation's critical infrastructure.

For more information about CIRI, visit http://appliedresearch.illinois.edu/programs. You can also let CIRI know of your interest in this program by filling out the online form at http://go.illinois.edu/CIRI_form.

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