Our talented and experienced faculty members are some of our greatest resources.

The faculty for the MS in Cyber Security Operations and Leadership program are experienced instructor practitioners, who hold advanced degrees in the fields of Computer Science, Engineering, Information Technology, and Information Assurance/Cyber Security.  All of the instructors have extensive industry experience in working in contested cyber environments to mitigate advanced persistent threats.  Many have developed solutions for high stakes systems that protect the lives and prosperity of the nation, and have been recognized as pioneers and leaders in the domain.

Michelle Moore, PhD Academic Director and
Professor of Practice
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Michelle Moore, PhD

Faculty

Degree Program

  • Master of Science in Cyber Security Operations and Leadership

Dr. Michelle Moore is the Director of the Graduate Cyber Security Operations & Leadership and professor of practice with the University of San Diego. She has over two decades of experience as a Cyber Security Professional and over ten years of experience as a professional educator, where her work has supported both national and international defensive cyber strategies.

Within the field of technology, she specializes in governance policies, disaster recovery protocols, physical security defenses, cyber crime legal aspects, and academic matters relating to the protection of critical infrastructure that supports the interests of the nation’s defensive posture in cyberspace. As an educator, Dr. Moore has a broad range of instructional experience on the subjects of business, management, and cyber security at both the undergraduate and graduate levels with various universities.

Dr. Moore holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy Administration with a concentration in Homeland Security, a Master’s degree in the Management of Information Systems, and an Undergraduate degree in Business Administration. Her research topics are dedicated to the on-going progression of cyber law, cyber-crime, national and international cyber policy, and disaster recovery efforts.

 

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Al Ajrawi, PhD Professor of Practice Read More

Al Ajrawi, PhD

Faculty

Degree Program

  • Master of Science in Cyber Security Operations and Leadership

Dr. Al Ajrawi has held many teaching positions starting from 2005 as full time at Coleman university. She has held positions as adjunct faculty at San Diego State University, University of California San Diego, University of San Diego, Alliant International University, University of North Texas, CMU, MiraCosta college, Grossmont, and Miramar college. Her research interest lies in Brain Computer Interface Application and includes Wireless Network Communication, Artificial Intelligent, Advanced Signal Processing, Machine Learning, and Cybersecurity.

Dr. Al Ajrawi earned her Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of San Diego and San Diego State University (JDP). She has also received her M.S. from the New York Institute Technology University in 2009. She earned her bachelor’s degree in 2005 from the University of Technology.

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Danny T. Barnes, D.Sc. Adjunct Professor Read More

Danny T. Barnes, D.Sc.

Adjunct Professor

Degree Program

  • Master of Science in Cyber Security Operations and Leadership

Danny T. Barnes is a professor of Cyber Security, Data Science, CIS and Mathematics while serving as a Cyber Security/IT Consultant for a few small businesses.

Former Navy Lieutenant Commander O-4, Barnes was born in Hahira, GA on December 27, 1964 and grew up in Lakeland, GA. He attended Berrien County High school in Nashville, GA and enlisted in the Navy as a Nuclear Machinist Mate in April 1982.

Once enlisted in the Navy, he was selected for the Broaden Opportunities for Officer Selection and Training (BOOST) Program. During this program, he earned a Naval ROTC scholarship to Hampton University. Barnes major was Applied Mathematics with an emphasis in Nuclear Engineering. His received a commission in the Navy as an Ensign in May 1988.

In August 1988, Barnes was transferred to San Diego, CA, was stationed aboard several different vessels, and deployed to various places in the southern Pacific Ocean and the Persian Gulf for Desert Storm. After three years in California, he was transferred to Norfolk, VA in 1992; Barnes was then stationed aboard another vessel and deployed to the Mediterranean Sea, Somalia, and back to the Persian Gulf. During that last tour, he applied to Hampton University for a graduate program in mathematics. In January of 1994, he began the graduate program in applied Mathematics with an emphasis in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Aero-dynamics. He was a graduate assistant, student instructor, and research student in the CFD Branch of NASA Langley while working on his Master’s degree.

Barnes completed the MS program in December 1995 and became a Navy Cryptologist. In June 1999, he was transferred to Naval Security Group Activity Fort Meade as a Cryptologic Mathematician and began teaching at UMUC and the Census Corporate University. In March 2001, he was medically discharged from the Navy and took a break from work until 9/11. In September 2001, Barnes began working in the defense industry. In 2007, he earned a Doctorate of Science (D.Sc.) in Information Systems and Communications. He has taught and managed in various academic institutions, industry and the federal government sector.

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Nikolas Behar Adjunct Professor Read More

Nikolas Behar

Adjunct Professor

Degree Program

  • Master of Science in Cyber Security Operations and Leadership

Nikolas is a Security Consultant and educator focused on advanced adversary simulation, penetration testing, and vulnerability management. He has vast experience across many information security domains such as cyber-defense, cyber-risk, security strategy, offensive security, security awareness, and security operations. In addition, he teaches in the University of San Diego’s Master’s in Cybersecurity Leadership and Operations program. He has also sat on several information security panels and appears on local news outlets to discuss information security-related issues.

Donald Beidermann, M.S. Adjunct Professor Read More

Donald Beidermann, M.S.

Faculty

Degree Program

  • Master of Science in Cyber Security Operations and Leadership

Don Biedermann joined the USD Center for Cyber Security Engineering and Technology as an adjunct professor in August 2016. A retired United States Marine Corps Communications and Information Technology Officer, Biedermann now works for the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) as a Program Manager and the West Coast Cyber Security Lead. He supports the Navy’s Information Assurance Technical Authority (IATA) within the US Naval Space and Warfare System Command (SPAWAR). Biedermann has been working communications and information technology, along with communications and information security for over three decades. After receiving an undergraduate degree in Economics for the University of Southern California, Biedermann was commissioned and started his career as a Communications Officer. As information technology grew, Biedermann transitioned to computer systems management and ultimately became the Chief Information Officer for the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego and the Marine Corps base at 29 Palms, California. Upon joining SAIC after retirement, Biedermann was placed in the Navy and Marine Corps Internet (NMCI) program with SPAWAR, where he worked as part of the Navy team implementing the huge network. His transition to information assurance and cyber security over 15 year ago was a natural move with his background in communication and information security. Biedermann obtained his Master’s degree in Information Technology and Cyber Security with distinction. He is a Program Management Professional (PMP) and Certified Chief Information Security Officer (C|CISO). Biedermann brings with him a deep expertise in Information Technology Operations and Management, Personnel Management, Cyber Security Operations and Management, Systems Engineering, and Program Management.

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Penelope Brooks, PhD Adjunct Professor Read More

Penelope Brooks, PhD

Faculty

Degree Program

  • Master of Science in Cyber Security Operations and Leadership

Penelope is a proud veteran, with Air Force (AF) jobs ranging from programming to enterprise-level policy writing. After 12 years in the AF, she held key management positions at several large, public companies. Penelope’s collegiate career began at the University of Maine, graduating with a BA in Computer Science. While in the AF, she was selected for full-time graduate school twice, for her MS in Computer Science at the AF Institute of Technology and then for her PhD at the University of Maryland. Penelope’s research in GUI testing has been extended to web and vulnerability testing, and has other applications as well.

Penelope’s forté is Project Management. Early in her career, she led complex scheduling and coordination involving multiple organizations and hundreds of employees. Having a mix of technical and management skills, Penelope is a successful Project Manager in a technical domain.

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Michael Decker, M.S. Adjunct Professor Read More

Michael Decker, M.S.

Faculty

Degree Program

  • Master of Science in Cyber Security Operations and Leadership

Michael Decker has diverse cyber security expertise that includes international penetration testing, embedded software programming, and security engineering. He was the lead programmer for a nuclear materials monitoring safeguards device used by the IAEA, and has extensive enterprise applications encryption expertise with SSH and SSL. Mike is currently a security engineer with ViaSat, focusing on strengthening enterprise defenses, threat hunting, and penetration testing. He earned his Master’s degree in Information Security and Assurance from Western Governor’s University, and his Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Computer Science from University of New Mexico. He holds multiple professional certifications including Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), GIAC certified penetration tester, and forensics analyst (GPEN and GCFA).

Ron Fulton Adjunct Professor Read More

Ron Fulton

Faculty

Degree Program

  • Master of Science in Cyber Security Operations and Leadership

Ron Fulton is a senior consultant, speaker, instructor and certified APMG trainer focused on cybersecurity, data privacy and protection, information security, cloud technologies, application security and data lifecycle management, risk management modeling, IoT/IIoT and Blockchain, DR/BCP, and training methodologies.

Ron enjoys a global career spanning over 25 years supporting information security operations, critical infrastructure and enterprises in State and Federal markets, the Intelligence Community (IC), Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in addition to private sector Telecommunications, Healthcare, Biotech, Manufacturing and Pharmaceutical industries. His professional expertise includes business strategy, data analytics, information systems audit, regulatory compliance, project/program management, agile development and DevSecOps, security operations, computer forensics and cybersecurity disciplines.

Mr. Fulton has an undergraduate degree in Computer Technology, an MBA with a concentration in Finance as well as a Master’s degree, MAS, in Public Safety – International Terrorism. He also has earned numerous industry certifications including Certified Chief Information Security Officer – C|CISO and Certified Hacking Forensics Investigator – C|HFI, Certified Ethical Hacker – C|EH, Certified Information Systems Manager (CISM), Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified Blockchain Professional – C|BP, Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP), PMI Project Management Professional (PMP), GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH), Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK), and agile Certified Scrum Master (CSM) and ACP credentials along with a Master Certificate in ITIL Service Management. He maintains active memberships in ISACA, the Project Management Institute (PMI), International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC²), International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), DRI International (DRII) and SANS.

 

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Mark Heckman, PhD Professor of Practice Read More

Mark Heckman, PhD

Faculty

Degree Program

  • Master of Science in Cyber Security Engineering
  • Master of Science in Cyber Security Operations and Leadership

Mark Heckman has worked in the field of information security for over 30 years as an engineer, researcher, practitioner, and educator. His wide-ranging career has spanned many areas of information security, including research and development of very high-assurance, multi-level secure systems for use in government and the military, research and development of intrusion detection and security event management systems, and general IT security and compliance for commercial organizations in the financial and health industries. Heckman earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science at the University of California, Davis and is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA). He is currently a Professor of Practice and teaches in the Cyber Security Engineering and Technology program at the University of San Diego.

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William Hess, PhD Adjunct Professor Read More

William Hess, PhD

Faculty

Degree Program

  • Master of Science in Cyber Security Operations and Leadership

Dr. William Hess has spent the last 18 years operationally employed in the field of information technology and cybersecurity in support of the United States Marine Corps and the Department of Defense. His specialty areas include incident response, certification and accreditation, validation, compliance, and host and network security controls. He served as the director of the Marine Corps Cybersecurity School where he was responsible for the curriculum development and training of both cybersecurity technicians and managers to support defensive missions. William received a B.S. from Colorado Technical University Online, a Master of Science in Cyber Systems and Operations from the Naval Post Graduate School, and a Ph.D. in information technology with an emphasis in cybersecurity and information assurance from Capella University.

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