Advisory Board

Comprised of internationally recognized leaders from the information sciences, informatics, cybersecurity, homeland security, emergency preparedness, and library sciences fields, the Advisory Board provides guidance on CEHC’s strategies for enrollment, academic programs, experiential learning and research. As advocates for the College, they also offer our students internships, trainings and career opportunities.

 

Chris Albert

Chris Albert, Esri

Chris Albert is Esri’s Director for Public Safety Business Development.  He leads a team responsible for sales and business development support to national, state and local government public safety organizations globally.  His team is also responsible for private sector security and business resilience sales. 

Mr. Albert has been with Esri since 2003, supporting a broad range of customers in the defense, intelligence and public safety communities.  He has also served in various technical, sales and management roles during his tenure at Esri. Prior to joining Esri, he worked as a GIS Analyst and Project Manager at an engineering firm in Buffalo, New York. 

Mr. Albert holds a master’s degree in Geography from the University at Buffalo and a bachelor’s degree in Biology from SUNY Fredonia.

 

Avinash Bachwani

Avinash Bachwani ’17 MD, Community Health Systems (CMS)

Avinash Backwani ’17, MD, is the VP and Associate Chief Medical Information Officer for Community Health Systems (CHS) in Franklin, TN that owns, leases or operates 83 affiliated hospitals and 1,000 outpatient sites in 16 states.

Prior to joining CHS, Dr. Bachwani served as the VP, Chief Physician Executive and Chief Medical Information Officer at Ellis Medicine where he was also working as a physician in the emergency department since 2006. At Ellis, he was instrumental in implementing Cerner Millennium, an enterprise-grade Electronic Health Record System and led efforts to apply information and technology to deliver healthcare services across the organization and in the community.

Dr. Bachwani completed his residency at Ellis' Family Medicine Residency Program in 2005 (former St. Clare’s Hospital). He was board certified in Clinical Informatics in 2013 with the first batch of physicians across the country. He earned his Ph.D. in Information Science from the University at Albany with a primary specialization in Health Informatics and secondary specialization in Decision and Policy Sciences.

He was named a Fellow of the American Medical Informatics Association in 2021.

 

Olivia Benaoumeur

Olivia BenAoumeur ’24, UAlbany Informatics Student

Olivia BenAoumeur ’24 is a student in the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity at the University at Albany.

She previously worked as an instructor and camp counselor at Code Ninjas in 2019 and 2020 in Clifton Park, where she taught local elementary and middle school students the foundations of programming through block-based code by building video games.

This background helped prepare her for Peer Education at UAlbany, where during Fall 2021 she taught alongside Professor Lenore Horowitz CINF 108, Programming for Problem Solving, using the Python Language to teach the foundations of programming to her peers.

Currently, Ms. BenAoumeur serves as the Community Manager Intern at the UAlbany Innovation Center under the Office of Community and Economic Development at UAlbany. The UAlbany Innovation Center is one of several incubators part of Innovate518 located in the Capital Region looking to connect, mentor, network, and grow entrepreneurs, founders, and startup companies in the area.

Ms. BenAoumeur is also a member of the University at Albany Honors College, and is pursuing a BS in Informatics with a Software Development concentration and a double minor in Computer Science and Art.

 

Alan Bersin

Alan Bersin, BorderWorks Advisors LLC

Alan Bersin is Principal of BorderWorks Advisors LLC, an organization specializing in cross-border trade, travel and security.

He formerly served as the CBP Commissioner for Covington & Burling LLP, Assistant Secretary for International Affairs and Chief Diplomatic Officer for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Policy, Vice President of INTERPOL for the Americas Region, and Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Mr. Bersin was also Superintendent of Public Education in San Diego and served as California’s Secretary of Education, as well as a member of the California State Board of Education. Prior to this service, he served as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of California for nearly five years and as the Attorney General’s Southwest Border Representative.

Mr. Bersin received his AB in Government from Harvard University. He attended Balliol College at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. He received his JD from the Yale Law School. Mr. Bersin was awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws (Honorary) by the University of San Diego, by California Western School of Law and by the Thomas Jefferson School of Law.

 

Alexis Bhagat

Alexis Bhagat, Friends & Foundation of the Albany Public Library, UAlbany MSIS Grad Student

Alexis Bhagat is a writer and cultural producer based in Albany, NY. He is currently the Executive Director of the Friends & Foundation of the Albany Public Library.

He joined the Library in 2016 after serving in a variety of artistic and literary consultant capacities both in the Albany, NY and New York, NY regions. He has contributed to numerous exhibitions, readings, performances and publications as both a curator and organizer over the past 25 years.

Mr. Bhagat holds a BA in Liberal Arts from Goddard College in Vermon and is currently pursuing a Masters in Library and Information Sciences (MLIS) at UAlbany.

 

Steve Derrick

Steve Derrick, Blizzard Entertainment

Steve Derrick is the Director of Organizational Development for Blizzard Entertainment in Albany.

In this position, Mr. Derrick is focused on supporting Blizzard Entertainment's talent base with professional training and development programs.

Mr. Derrick worked in film and advertising, creating storyboards and illustrations before taking a position in at Vicarious Visions as a Texture Artist in 1999. As a video game developer over the past 22 years, he has held many positions, including Lead Artist, Art Group Manager, Chief of Staff.

He holds a degree in Painting and Drawing from the University of Utah, a degree in Computer Animation from the Art Institute of Phoenix.

Mr. Derrick also serves as the community liaison and has established strong relationships with regional and national education institutions such as the Chamber of Commerce, school business advisory councils, Boces, the NY Game hub, and organizations that help build a STEM ecosystem in the Capital Region, as well as with higher education institutions.

 

Mike Eisenberg

Michael Eisenberg ’71,’73, Information School at the University of Washington

Michael Eisenberg is Dean Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of the Information School at the University of Washington and was the founding dean serving from 1998 to 2006. He was a key player in the information field as one of the five founders of the information school’s movement and iSchools organization. 

Known as an innovator and entrepreneur, Dr. Eisenberg’s work focuses on information & technology literacy, virtual worlds, and library information and technology programs, K-20. He is co-author of the “Big6 approach to information problem-solving” – the most widely used information literacy program in the world. A prolific author (nine books and dozens of articles and papers), he has worked with thousands of students—pre-K through higher education—as well as people in business, government, and communities to improve individual and organizational information and technology access and use. 

Dr. Eisenberg holds both a BA and an MLS from the University at Albany, a CAS in Information Science and a PhD in Information Transfer, both from Syracuse University.

 

Jagdish Gangolly

Jagdish Gangolly, University at Albany

Jagdish Gangolly served in a variety of faculty roles at the undergraduate, graduate and Ph.D. levels at the University at Albany from 1979 – 2011. Most notably he served as the Vincent O’Leary Associate Professor Emeritus of Informatics and the Director of the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in Information Science at UAlbany.

During his years as a professor, he was also involved in curriculum development and led the creation of the academic concentration in Accounting Information Systems within the MS Accounting Program, the graduate program in Forensic Accounting and oversaw the accreditation of the University’s curriculum in Information Assurance by the National Security Agency.

An accomplished researcher and author, Dr. Gangolly holds a degree in Mathematical Statistics from the Faculty of Commerce at the University of Bombay, India; a master’s degree in Operations Research from the Indian Institute of Management in Calcutta, India; and a Ph.D. in Operations Management from the Indian Institute of Management in Calcutta, India; and a Ph.D. in Accounting & Quantitative Methods from the Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh.  He is also a Certified Internal Auditor.

 

Robert Greenberg

Robert Greenberg, G&H International Services Inc.

Robert Greenberg is the Founder and CEO of G&H International Services Inc., based in Washington, DC.

He has been working with federal, state and local governments to support the emergency management and first responder community for more than three decades. He has devoted his career to developing and implementing strategies and programs, conducting enterprise and technology assessments, developing and implementing technical solutions and building partnerships and working with decision makers at all levels of government to enhance community resilience. Among his initiatives, Mr. Greenberg helped develop the National Institutes of Justice Technology Assistance Center program and helped lead the National SAFECOM program to improve communications interoperability and the national Virtual USA information sharing initiative. Under Mr. Greenberg’s leadership and guidance, G&H has won numerous awards for their innovations to enhance situational awareness, information sharing and decision support, including from federal, state and local governments.   

Mr. Greenberg has served as an advisor to many federal government organizations and several law enforcement agencies including the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, the National Institutes of Justice, the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC), the Consortium for Emergency Services Technology (CEST), and the National Public Safety Telecommunications Consortium (NPSTC), among others. He has received recognition for his services from DHS S&T, the U.S. Secret Service, the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the International Association of Fire Chiefs, among others. 

Mr. Greenberg is a lifelong learner having attended, but not graduated several Universities including the University of Wisconsin, Madison; George Mason University (where a study of his was used as part of the post-cold-war intelligence assessment overseen by Robert Gates), the University of Washington and the University of Wisconsin again.  He is devoted to his family – his wife Freyda, daughter Sara, son-in-law Nick and Shiba Inu Kangi. Among his outside achievements Mr. Greenberg co-led an effort to create the Women's Professional Soccer League which is the forerunner of the current professional league and several not-for-profit organizations dedicated to helping at risk youth.

 

Heather Hage

Heather Hage, Griffiss Institute

Heather Hage is president and CEO of the Griffiss Institute (GI), a leading national nonprofit talent and technology accelerator for the United States Department of Defense.

In her position, she leads the expansion of the GI’s portfolio of international talent and technology development programs, and the standup of Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate’s new “over the fence” R&D and incubator facilities at Innovare Advancement Center in Rome, NY.

Prior to joining the Griffiss Institute, Ms. Hage served the State University of New York for 17 years, where she oversaw innovation and partnerships for the SUNY System.

A graduate of Hamilton College and Albany Law School, where she was managing editor of the Journal of Science and Technology, her professional background includes media relations, telecommunications, IP management and corporate transactions.

An adjunct faculty member at Albany Law School and SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, Ms. Hage is the recipient of various honors and awards, including SUNY’s 2015 Woman of Excellence award for outstanding service, exemplary support of women in leadership, and a distinguished career.

 

Reg Harnish

Reg Harnish, OrbitalFire Cybersecurity

Reg Harnish is CEO of OrbitalFire Cybersecurity.

A nationally recognized cybersecurity veteran, investor and advisor, Mr. Harnish oversees OrbitalFire’s vision, strategy and growth for simplifying automating and solving security challenges for small businesses.

Prior to his current role, Mr. Harnish has served in a variety of capacities as the Founder and former CEO of GreyCastle Security, the CEO of Slingshot Cyberventures, an Executive Vice President at the Center for Internet Security, and the CTO of Autotask.

A fellow in the National Cybersecurity Institute, a member of the Forbes Technology Council and a board advisor to numerous cybersecurity start-ups, Mr. Harnish has been in the field for nearly two decades. He is a nationally recognized speaker, accomplished author and his expertise has been featured in media outlets such as Time, Forbes, The Washington Post, CBS Nightly News and CIO Magazine.

 

Robert Mayer

Robert Mayer ’75, US Telecom Association

Robert Mayer is Senior Vice President of Cybersecurity & Innovation with the US Telecom Association (USTelecom) with responsibility for leading cyber and national security policy and strategic initiatives. He is the current Chairman of the Communications Sector Coordinating Council (CSCC), which represents the broadcast, cable, satellite, wireless and wireline industries in connection with the DHS and public-private partnership activities across the U.S. government.

Mayer also serves as co-chair of the Department of Homeland Security’s ICT Supply Chain Risk Management Task Force, which is now in its third year and focuses on developing strategic and operational best practices to manage supply chain risk. He also co-leads the Counsel to Secure the Digital Economy (CSDE), which consists of 15 global ICT infrastructure providers who have joined forces to drive solutions that enhance the cyber resiliency of the global digital ecosystem.

Mayer was appointed to the FCC Communications Security Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC V), after having led a 100-person team of cybersecurity professionals that produced a landmark report to adapt the NIST Cybersecurity Framework to the broadcast, cable, satellite, wireless and wireline industries.

Prior to US Telecom, Mayer served as the top telecommunications official for New York State as Telecom Director of the New York Public Service Commission. In that capacity, he led several major initiatives including regulatory reform efforts and he created a new agency department that focused exclusively on network reliability and public safety matters. Prior to this appointment, Mayer was the lead regulatory practitioner in the Telecommunications and Cable Group at KPMG Consulting and was a consultant with Deloitte Consulting. Before that, Mayer worked as an analyst in the international telecommunications divisions of Chase Manhattan Bank and JP Morgan.

Mayer served in the US Air Force supervising intelligence and communications operations at NATO Headquarters, Southern Europe in Italy. He received his BA from University at Albany, his MA in Information Management from Central Michigan University, his MBA from Boston University, and his JD from New York Law School.

 

Jennie Meeker

Jennie Meeker, IFF

Jennie K. Meeker is Head of Regulatory Business Operations (RBO) for Global Regulatory Affairs (GRA) at IFF.

Ms. Meeker is a seasoned regulatory affairs, policy and operations professional with multi-industry experience spanning food & beverage, animal health & husbandry, and pharmaceutical applications. In her current role, she leads a team that develops and maintains performance and productivity infrastructure for GRA.

Prior to its merger with IFF, Ms. Meeker served as RBO Leader at DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences and was previously responsible for the global food enzymes and animal nutrition regulatory program within DuPont’s Industrial Biosciences.  Before joining DuPont, she held positions of increasing responsibility for several multinational pharmaceutical companies, including Virbac, Novartis Animal Health, AstraZeneca, and Schering Plough Animal Health. Ms. Meeker began her career in Washington, DC working on behalf of the animal production and food industries.

Ms. Meeker holds a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from Colorado State University, a Master of Science in Animal Science from The Ohio State University, and a Master of Public Administration from Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

 

Rick Parimi

Rick Parimi '00, Alexis Networks

Rick Parimi, is Founder and CEO of Alexis Networks. His organization uses an AI Service platform to help companies with predictive insights. Alexis

Networks has customers across cyber security, biotech / pharma, healthcare, telematics, and insurance.

He also currently serves as President of Arushi Ventures in New Jersey and has played the role of technology strategist in the M&A transactions of two large Private Equity firms. Prior to this he held executive leadership roles at IBM, Mount Sinai Health System, and Cognizant Group. 

Mr. Parimi holds a BS from Amravati University, India; an MS from IIT-Madras; an MS in Computer Science from the University at Albany; an MBA from New York University; and a Fellowship from Harvard School of Public Health. He received a Fellowship from the Harvard School of Public Health and is currently an advisory board member and adjunct professor at Rutgers University.

 

Jonathan Rochelle

Jonathan Rochelle ’85, LinkedIn

Jonathan Rochelle is the VP of Instructors at LinkedIn.

An entrepreneur and technology product manager, he is currently the VP of Instructors at LinkedIn.

Most recently Mr. Rochelle consulted in the field and worked with Zapier, a workflow automation company. Prior to that, he spent 14 years as Director of Product Management at Google where he launched the Google Apps for Education product team, as well as Google Classroom, Google Expeditions, Google Forms & Quizzes, and Jamboard.

Prior to joining Google in 2005, Mr. Rochelle co-founded and sold two technology start-ups - ITK Solutions, a technology consulting firm, and 2Web Technologies, a software product company. He also spent 15 years as a software engineer and engineering team manager, primarily at JP Morgan & Co., across a broad set of financial service businesses.

Mr. Rochelle earned his BS in Computer Science from the University at Albany.

 

Thomas Ruller

Thomas Ruller ’86, ’90, NYS Education Department

Thomas Ruller, ’86, ’90, is the Assistant Commissioner and State Archivist at the New York State Education Department. He has held this post since November 2015. Prior to serving as the State Archivist, he held various positions within the State Archives and the State Education Department, beginning in 1988 when he was initially hired as a Senior Archivist in the State Archives.

Prior to his service with New York State, Ruller worked as an Archivist at the Alabama Department of Archives and History where he had the privilege of visiting every county courthouse in the State as part of a team that developed records management guidance for local governments across Alabama.

He is proud of his service as a local government historian, serving as the Deputy City Historian for his hometown of Gloversville, NY in the late 1970’s through 1983.

He received a BA in History and an MLS in Information Science, both from the University at Albany. 

 

Abebe Rorissa

Abebe Rorissa, University of Tennessee

Abebe Rorissa is a professor and the Director of the iSchool at the University of Tennessee.

Prior to joining UT, he was Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Faculty Development at the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity at the University at Albany. Between 1988 and 2005, he worked in four countries as a lecturer and practitioner.

He was named president of the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) in 2021.

Dr. Rorissa’s research interests focus on organization and retrieval of information; adoption, use and impact of information and communication technologies; and human information behavior.

He holds a PhD in Information Science and a CAS (Certificate of Advanced Studies – Post Master’s) in Digital Image Management from the University of North Texas, and an MS in Information Science and a BS in Mathematics from Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia.

 

Jeffrey Stern

Jeffrey Stern, FEMA

Jeffrey D. Stern currently serves as superintendent, Emergency Management Institute at FEMA.

Previously he led the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, where he was responsible for disaster and homeland security preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery efforts across the Commonwealth.

For more than three decades Dr. Stern served in local, state, and federal government positions, in the private sector, and in academia, including presidential appointments as a White House Fellow at the Department of the Interior and the White House Homeland Security Council, and as Executive Director of the Homeland Security Advisory Council, the advisory board to the Secretary of Homeland Security.

Dr. Stern received a BA in Government from the College of William and Mary, an MPA from the American University School of Public Affairs, and a PhD from the Virginia Tech Center for Public Administration and Policy. He also attended the Naval Postgraduate School Executive Leaders Program, is a Certified Emergency Manager, a National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer, and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. 

 

Tina Tarquinio

Tina Tarquinio ’99, IBM

Tina Tarquinio is Director, IBMZ Platform Product Management. Under her leadership, the team has introduced new offerings leveraging the strengths of the multi-billion-dollar annual business platform, addressing new client demands and markets, and fueling innovation for the world’s most critical systems.

In her time at IBM, she has held both technical and leadership roles, across multiple offerings and disciplines. A certified Product Manager and IT specialist, she has authored industry publications around high-performance computing, and received patents for her work.

An IBM Corporate Service Corps Alumni, she participated in a highly selective program performing pro-bono consultancy work in Krakow, Poland in 2017. She is an active volunteer in local schools, and loves encouraging students at all levels to study sciences, including her role as an advisory board member for two colleges focused on STEM degrees.

Ms. Tarquinio graduated from the University at Albany with a double major in Mathematics and Computer Science, and in 2020 completed a specialty program at Wharton Business School.

 

Mozelle Thomson

Mozelle Thompson, Thompson Strategic Consulting

Mozelle Thomson is CEO of Thompson Strategic Consulting providing innovative legal, policy and business advice to innovative companies like Facebook, Samsung, Disney and many startups.

Mr. Thompson’s distinguished public and private sector experience has made him an international leader and trusted adviser to presidents, heads of state, governments and corporations. Mr. Thompson was a Team Leader of the Obama/Biden Transition and served as a Commissioner on the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Prior to the FTC, Mr. Thompson worked for Treasury Secretaries Lloyd Bentsen and Robert Rubin, serving as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Policy. Before going to Washington, Thompson worked for Governor Mario Cuomo, serving as Acting Executive Director, Secretary and General Counsel of the New York State Housing Finance Agency, (HFA), the State of New York Mortgage Agency, (SONYMA), New York Medical Care Facilities Finance Agency, (MCFFA), and their sister agencies.

Mr. Thompson is a graduate of Columbia College and Columbia Law School and received his MPA from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs.

 

Tony Ventura

Tony Ventura, UAlbany EHC Student

Tony Ventura is an undergraduate student studying Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security, and Cybersecurity at the University at Albany. He's also pursuing a minor in Japanese language and another in Chinese. He is currently a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps Inactive Ready Reserve. 

Prior to enrolling at UAlbany, he spent 10 years on active duty. Aboard Camp Lejeune, NC, he managed the security and disposition of U.S. Government funds as a member of Combat Logistics Regiment-27. He also instructed Marines in combat marksmanship for Weapons Training Battalion.

In 2018, Mr. Ventura transferred to the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force in Okinawa, Japan. There, he was the Finance Lead on an NCIS fraud operation targeting the theft of government funds in the Pacific region. Additionally, he instructed Marines in advanced water survival for amphibious combat environments.

In 2019, he deployed to Darwin, Australia with Marine Rotational Force-Darwin. As a Disbursing Chief, he was responsible for the security and optimization of USDoD financial assets in support of joint military exercises in Oceania.

Mr. Ventura was promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant in 2020. He left active duty in 2021 and enrolled at UAlbany to pursue a career in federal law enforcement.

 

Monique Wade

Monique Wade ’21, PwC

Monique Wade started her professional career at PwC in their Cloud& Digital practice but recently pivoted into talent acquisition. She currently serves as a Talent Acquisition Associate for PwC's entry-level talent identification team.

She is also the Education Lead for PwC’s Cloud & Digital practice's Functional and Industry Application Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Network. 

Ms. Wade has participated in several prestigious programs including Google's Computer Science Summer Institute and the Harvard Business School's Virtual Venture in Management Program.

She is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University at Albany ’21 with a BS in Informatics, a concentration in Data Analytics and a minor in Leadership. She was a Spellman Scholar and the recipient of the President's Award for Leadership’s Outstanding Senior Award.

While at UAlbany, she held several leadership positions including serving on the executive board for the United Nations Association and the Student Philanthropy Council as well as serving as a Purple and Gold Ambassador with the Alumni Association. She is a member of two honor societies, the Chi Alpha Epsilon Honor Society and Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society. Ms. Wade pays-it-forward by mentoring UAlbany students and speaking about potential career paths and opportunities.