Retired Maj. Gen. Bruce M. Lawlor, of Alexandria, Va., has been named director of the newly formed Center for Technology, Security, and Policy at Virginia Tech, effective immediately.
Based in the National Capital Region, the center will conduct academic research, enhance existing related graduate programs in the area, and develop new educational courses and executive-focused programs related to national and homeland security.
Lawlor will be responsible for developing the educational, research, and outreach programs of the center; which includes establishing internal and external advisory boards, hiring adjunct professors, and promoting the center both in the region and nationally. He joins Virginia Tech from the Centuria Corp., a homeland security holding company with service and technology subsidiaries, where he served three years as chairman and chief executive officer.
Lawlor’s experience in U.S. government homeland security policy has spanned the most senior levels. He was one of five senior White House staff members who wrote the plan to create the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. As the Department of Homeland Security’s first chief of staff, he managed the department’s policy decision-making process, coordinated department operations, and provided oversight for implementation of the Secretary’s decisions.
While a member of the Homeland Security Council staff, he directed the development of U.S. government strategic plans and policies, provided oversight of interagency coordination on inter and intra governmental programs, and provided policy input to senior government officials concerning a broad range of homeland security-related issues including medical and public health, transportation, border security, critical infrastructure, nuclear power, and aviation.
Lawlor also has expertise in the design; stand-up; organization; and operation of large, complex organizations. He was the first commanding general of the Department of Defense Joint Task Force Civil Support, a standing joint task force assigned to the United States Northern Command. The task force mission is to plan and integrate the department’s consequence management support to civil authorities following a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or high-yield explosives event within the United States, its possessions, or territories.
“Virginia Tech, as a leading research institution, has a responsibility to show leadership in addressing large-scale problems,” said Charles W. Steger, president of Virginia Tech. “We are particularly interested in applications of new technology to security issues, and that is what we are doing with this center. It will focus on security issues from the global scale to the community level and, while based in the National Capital Region, it will have strong ties back to our main campus in Blacksburg.”
“We welcome Dr. Lawlor to our homeland security program,” said James Bohland, vice president and executive director of Virginia Tech, National Capital Region Operations. “His extensive experience in this critical area will significantly expand the university's ability to make major contributions to security issues at the global, national, and community level; and help position Virginia Tech as a leader in the arena of global security policy.”
Lawlor will be joined by affiliated faculty from within Virginia Tech and outside the university to help develop the center’s research and educational portfolios.
Lawlor holds a doctor of science degree in engineering management and a juris doctor degree in law, both from George Washington University, and a masters degree in national security studies from Norwich University, Vt. He is a Harvard National Security Fellow and a Senior Fellow at the George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute. He has served as an instructor at the U.S. Army War College and as distinguished service professor at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J. Lawlor is also a member of the Bar Associations of Vermont, Massachusetts, and Florida.
Virginia Tech has fostered a growing partnership with the greater metropolitan Washington, D.C. community since 1969. Today, the university’s presence in the National Capital Region includes graduate programs and research centers in Alexandria, Arlington, Falls Church, Leesburg, Manassas, and Middleburg. In addition to supporting the university’s teaching and research mission, Virginia Tech’s National Capital Region has established collaborations with local and federal agencies, businesses, and other institutions of higher education. Virginia Tech, the most comprehensive university in Virginia, is dedicated to quality, innovation, and results to the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.