Director, Information Networking Institute
Carnegie Mellon University
Dena Haritos Tsamitis leads initiatives in graduate education, curriculum design and distributed education and champions cybersecurity initiatives at Carnegie Mellon University. She is the director of the College of Engineering's Information Networking Institute (INI), which offers advanced studies in information networking, information security, mobility and software management. Under her direction since 2004, the INI has spanned globally to offer programs in Greece, Portugal and Japan and has led the innovative design of bicoastal programs offered at the Silicon Valley campus. As the INI's associate director from 2002-2004, Dena established a master's program in Athens that was the first Carnegie Mellon degree to be earned in its entirety at a global location. Dena earned a doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania. The research from her dissertation on the influence of institutional practices in the context of distributed programs and transnational partnerships has informed the framework and delivery of numerous degree programs at the university.
Dena co-founded the Women@INI (WINI) student organization in 2005, in response to a scarcity of women involved at the INI. Today, WINI has strong membership support and women make up roughly one-third of the INI student body. In 2008, she guided students to found Graduate Organization@INI (GOINI) and works with GOINI members to instill an ideal blend of professional values and social networking skills in student life. In 2010, she engaged with alumni to form the INI Alumni Leadership Council to gain insight on achieving departmental goals.
Dena is the principal investigator on two grants funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the CyberCorps® Scholarship for Service (SFS) and the Information Assurance Capacity Building Program (IACBP). The SFS program provides full scholarships to highly qualified students in cybersecurity. The IACBP is an intensive summer program that helps to build up information assurance education and research capacity at minority-serving colleges and universities. Dena is also the principal investigator on the Information Assurance Scholarship Program (IASP) funded by the Department of Defense.
Dena is a founding director of Carnegie Mellon CyLab, for which she spearheaded efforts in cybersecurity education, training and outreach. She established the MySecureCyberspace initiative to raise "cyberawareness" in Internet users of all ages through a portal, game and curriculum.
Dena is a member of the College of Engineering's Online/Technology-Enhanced Education Committee and the Global Programs Executive Committee, and she is co-chair of the college's Global Campus Integration Initiative. She has served on Carnegie Mellon University's strategic planning committee for Globalization and International Initiatives, the faculty-led International Committee and the campus Fulbright Committee.
As a guest speaker, Dena has presented on the topics of cybersecurity and transnational university partnerships at numerous events and conferences. Dena has served on several advisory councils, including the Education Advisory Council for the U.S. Air Force's Cyber Innovation Center and the Advisory Board for the Master of Software Assurance Curriculum, and was a founding member of the Advisory Board for the Executive Doctorate at University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education.
Carnegie Mellon honored Dena with the 2012 Barbara Lazarus Award for Graduate Student and Junior Faculty Mentoring in recognition of outstanding contributions by faculty. The European Art Center bestowed her with an award and honorary membership in 2009 for her contribution to education in Greece. She earned the 2008 Women of Influence Award, presented by Alta Associates and CSO Magazine, for her achievements in information security and education.