Public Release: 

SMU cyber warrior Fred Chang receives annual 'Security 7' award

Director of SMU's Darwin Deason Institute for Cyber Security recognized by Information Security Magazine for education leadership

Southern Methodist University

DALLAS (SMU) - SMU's cyber warrior, Fred Chang, has been named an Information Security Magazine "Security 7" award winner, which annually spotlights information security leaders at the top of their profession.

Chang, who is former research director for the National Security Agency (NSA), joined the SMU faculty in September 2013 as the first Bobby B. Lyle Centennial Distinguished Chair in Cyber Security. He was named founding director of the Lyle School of Engineering's Darwin Deason Institute for Cyber Security at the announcement of its creation in Jan. 2014.

"The Security 7 award recognizes security professionals who are making important contributions to their organizations and the security community," said Kathleen Richards, features editor for Tech Target Information Security Magazine and "Frederick Chang is one of this year's winners because he has served the industry in government, commercial and research capacities and is now tackling one of the security industry's greatest challenges - educating the next generation of security specialists."

"I am proud to be recognized by Information Security Magazine for work that I am passionate about," said Chang. "Building a bridge between industry and education through a tangible science of cyber security is vital to securing our nation's commercial, government and military assets. Additionally, we must address the 'skills gap' problem - there aren't nearly enough cyber security professionals entering the workforce, and this shortage is affecting our ability to adequately defend enterprise networks and systems.

"In addition to the important courses taught on college campuses, I'm increasingly convinced that we must extend our student outreach," Chang said. "I intend to reach out to students as early as middle school to demonstrate that learning the science and math that arm you to fight the cyber bad guys is ultimately pretty heroic. My goal is to train cyber warriors."

Winners of the Security 7 awards are nominated by their peers, and include professionals across seven industries, including financial services/banking, telecommunications, manufacturing, retail, government/public sector/non-profit, education and healthcare/pharmaceutical markets. Find more information about all seven awardees at

Chang is committed to an interdisciplinary approach to teaching cyber security science and, in addition to his leadership role in the Lyle School, serves as a senior fellow in the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies in SMU's Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. Chang also is a Distinguished Scholar in the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law and a Research Fellow at the Applied Research Labs at the University of Texas at Austin.

Previously at the University of Texas at Austin, Chang was an associate dean in the College of Natural Sciences and director of the Center for Information Assurance and Security. He has been Professor and AT&T Distinguished Chair in Infrastructure Assurance and Security at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Chang is the former director of research at the National Security Agency. In the private sector he was most recently the president and chief operating officer of 21CT, Inc., an advanced intelligence analytics solutions company. Earlier, he was with SBC Communications, where he held a variety of executive positions including, president - Technology Strategy, SBC Communications; president & CEO, SBC Technology Resources, Inc.; and vice president, Network Engineering and Planning, SBC Advanced Solutions, Inc. He began his professional career at Bell Laboratories.

Chang has been awarded the National Security Agency Director's Distinguished Service Medal. He has served as a member of the Commission on Cyber Security for the 44th Presidency, and as a member of the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board of the National Academies. Chang recently served as an expert witness at a hearing on cybersecurity research and development convened by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology - Subcommittees on Technology and Research.

He received his B.A. degree from the University of California, San Diego and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Oregon.


SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls approximately 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools.

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