Press Release

Michael Connelly Elected Vice Chair of Research Centers Security Council

Wed, 03/27/2024 - 16:05

Michael Connelly, the chief strategist for classified policies and programs at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, has been elected vice chair of the FFRDC/UARC Security Council.

“I am honored to have been elected to serve such a pivotal role on the FFRDC/UARC Security Council,” said Connelly. “This position presents a unique opportunity to foster communication and collaboration among 20 organizations and nine different working groups to advise government stakeholders on addressing the complex security challenges faced by research and development centers.”

Federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) and university affiliated research centers (UARCs) are instrumental in ensuring the United States remains at the forefront of technological advancements in engineering, science and mathematics, essential for maintaining the nation’s strategic interests. As trusted agents of the U.S. government, these centers operate free from commercial conflicts of interest, focusing solely on the advancement and maintenance of technologies critical to national priorities.

APL, founded in 1942, is the nation’s oldest and largest UARC.

The FFRDC/UARC Security Council addresses the unique challenges of providing security services within research and development environments that serve government agencies. Its mission is to share information and best practices across all security disciplines, promote effective and efficient risk management, and serve as an influential voice in the creation and modification of security policies and guidelines. By fostering leadership, sharing technological applications and increasing threat awareness, the council plays a crucial role in safeguarding the integrity and confidentiality of sensitive information and operations.

Connelly joined APL in 1997 as a computing systems programmer. Over the last 27 years, he has held roles of increasing responsibility and is now considered a national expert in information security and classified systems management. Today, he provides strategic thought and insight into developing broad information systems security solutions to help shape broader government requirements. He also supports APL’s chief information officer and chief security officer by providing guidance on information assurance and policy direction for classified systems security programs.

A longtime member of the Security Council, Connelly has served on the board of directors since 2020 and as co-chair of the council’s Information Systems Security Working Group since 2017. As the organization’s new vice chair, he said he will leverage his extensive experience to help further the Security Council’s objectives, including the development of professional leadership, the dissemination of security policies, and harnessing the collective talent of the community to partner with the government to influence security requirements.