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Seminar:  Analytic Modernization for the National Security Agency and the Intelligence Community

Date:March 31, 2014 
Talk Title:Analytic Modernization for the National Security Agency and the Intelligence Community
Speaker:Dr. Patrick Dowd, Chief Technical Officer and Chief Architect, NSA/CSS
Time & Location:12:00pm - 1:00pm
CIC Building, Pittsburgh


Consider the brittle nature of our networks – the classic situation of crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside.  How can we create an environment that is still operate-able while under attack?  How can we be certain our data is used according to our legal authorities?  Analogous to aircraft spread between many airfields, we create enclaves to segregate data thinking this will help.  We think firewalls help.  We think intrusion detection/prevention systems work.  Is this defense in depth?

This talk will outline a shift in our analytic operating model that was motivated by the desire to improve our analytic product and the security of our environment.  And it also saved money.  The Intelligence Community has now embraced this approach (ICITE) to support the associated federal agencies and is the model that inspired the Joint Information Environment (JIE) across the services within the Department of Defense.  The fundamental pivot will be explained along with some of the technical underpinnings.  We will discuss the progress so far and some areas of concern that may need additional research.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Patrick Dowd is the National Security Agency/Central Security Service (NSA/CSS)’s Chief Technical Officer and also serves as Chief Architect. He recently transitioned to this role after serving as Deputy Director of Mission Capabilities within the Technology Directorate of the National Security Agency.

Dr. Dowd joined the Research Directorate of NSA in 1996, and is co-founder of the Laboratory for Telecommunications Science (R4). He moved from Research to the SIGINT Directorate in 2004, where he directed projects to unify Computer Network Operations (CNO) and developed technical strategies to integrate CNO, SIGINT, and Defense. He then became the Deputy Directorate for Modernization within the Information Technology Directorate in 2006 to execute his work and build out the world-wide operational environment of NSA at scale.

Prior to joining NSA, Dr. Dowd worked for General Electric and IBM and served as a faculty member in the Department of Computer Science and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the State University of New York at Buffalo and at the University of Maryland at College Park.

Dr. Dowd received his B.S. degree in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Syracuse University. His areas of expertise are in system security, computer architecture, big data analytic systems and networking. He has authored over 100 refereed technical papers and has been active on editorial boards of scientific journals and professional societies.

Dr. Dowd received the Tau Beta Pi Teach of the Year Award in 1994, NSA Scientist of the Year in 1998, the NSA Exceptional Civilian Service Award in 2002, and the Distinguished Presidential Rank Award in 2004.