National Security Higher Education Advisory Board Confirms 7 New Members

Published: October 6, 2007

WASHINGTON – Today the National Security Higher Education Advisory Board (NSHEAB), created in 2005 by FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III, held its quarterly meeting at FBI Headquarters. During the meeting, seven new Board members were confirmed.

The NSHEAB was designed by Director Mueller as a forum for discussion of national security issues to foster a spirit of cooperation and to promote understanding between higher education and the FBI and other federal agencies, such as the National Science Foundation, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Defense. The NSHEAB is chaired by The Pennsylvania State University President Graham Spanier and includes university presidents and chancellors from around the U.S. who represent universities with significant research and development programs.

During today’s meeting, members were briefed by Joel F. Brenner, National Counterintelligence Executive, and Steven D. Nixon, the Director of Science and Technology, Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Members also received a briefing regarding the Animal Liberation Front and other extremism groups from FBI Headquarters personnel.

The new members who were confirmed today are as follows:

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  • Association of American Universities President Robert Berdahl
  • Arizona State University President Michael Crow
  • Rice University President David Leebron
  • University of Colorado-Boulder Chancellor G.P. “Bud” Peterson
  • New York University President John Sexton
  • Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon
  • Cornell University President David Skorton

These new members now join the current Board, which includes:

  • The Pennsylvania State University President Graham B. Spanier (Chairman)
  • Carnegie Mellon University President Jared L. Cohon
  • Iowa State University President Gregory L. Geoffroy
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Susan Hockfield
  • The Johns Hopkins University President William R. Brody
  • University of California – Los Angeles Chancellor Albert Carnesale
  • University of California – San Diego Chancellor Marye Anne Fox
  • University of Florida President J. Bernard Machen
  • University of Maryland – College Park President C. D. Mote, Jr.
  • University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill Chancellor James (Charles) Moeser
  • University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann
  • University of Washington President Mark (Allen) Emmert
  • University of Wisconsin – Madison Chancellor John D. Wiley

Three charter members, Purdue University President Martin C. Jischke, West Virginia University President David C. Hardesty, Jr., and Texas A&M University President Robert M. Gates have recently retired from NSHEAB service.

The mission of the NSHEAB includes the promotion of the understanding of the unique culture, traditions, and practices of higher education, including the culture of openness and academic freedom and the importance of international collaboration. The NSHEAB also serves as a means to open the doors of understanding and cooperation with leaders in higher education on matters related to national security, terrorism, counterintelligence, cyber threats, and certain criminal matters.

Since its inception in 2005, the NSHEAB has been successful on many fronts. For instance, members were able to engage in a meaningful dialogue with the Department of Commerce regarding the potential negative impact of new regulations on research and development advancements of universities and colleges. As a result, the Department of Commerce formed a committee to determine the best way to balance security needs and the importance of free exchange of scientific research. The NSHEAB has also served as a platform for the FBI Cyber Division to inform many universities of cyber threats and the importance of infrastructure protection. In December 2006, a group of scientists from NSHEAB member institutions visited FBI Headquarters to discuss the importance of effective communication between the FBI and the scientific community. Feedback provided during this working group meeting has led to specialized training for FBI special agents who conduct outreach to ensure that the information provided meets the needs of the scientific community. Most importantly, the NSHEAB has established an ongoing dialogue about national security issues between higher education institutions, the FBI, and other federal agencies.


FBI Oct. 3 press release

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