Dartmouth IT Security Institute Gets New Leadership

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Professor of Computer Science Sean Smith is assuming the leadership of Dartmouth’s Institute for Security, Technology, and Society (ISTS). The institute is dedicated to pursuing research and education to advance information security and privacy throughout society.

Sean Smith

New ISTS Director Sean Smith examines a cantenna, a device used for extending or probing a wireless local area network (WLAN). (Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)

The torch has been passed to him by Denise Anthony, associate professor of sociology and director of ISTS since 2008. “I can move on from my position as director knowing that it is in Sean’s capable hands,” says Anthony. “Sean is a leading thinker in computer security and privacy research, and he is also an excellent teacher and collaborator who embodies the mission of ISTS.”

Anthony is embarking on a nine-month sabbatical and will continue to be involved in collaborative research projects through ISTS focused on privacy and healthcare IT as well as efforts to promote STEM education and career opportunities for women and minorities.

“An integral part of ISTS since its inception, Professor Smith’s research spans a wide variety of subjects, from protection of the power grid to health care information technology (IT) security to the psychology of misperception and how it relates to IT security,” says Dartmouth Interim Provost Martin Wybourne. “His efforts always have been at the leading edge of security research. I am extremely pleased that Professor Smith has accepted the directorship of ISTS.”

A computer scientist with extensive expertise in information security, Smith came to Dartmouth in 2000 from IBM. He has been working in information security since before there was a Web. In graduate school, he worked with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service on postal meter fraud and then served at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, performing security reviews, analyses, and briefings for a wide variety of public-sector clients. He subsequently joined IBM, leaving the computing giant in 2000 for Dartmouth. “I was convinced that the academic education and research environment is a better venue for changing the world,” he says.

Smith says he is excited about his new role. “I have benefited greatly from my connection with ISTS for many years now,” he says. “Through its interdisciplinary nature, I have been able to develop strong collaborative relationships with colleagues from across all schools at Dartmouth and from experts in disciplines outside of CS beyond Dartmouth as well. I look forward to helping ISTS grow and diversify.”