From Virginia Business By

Old Dominion University has named Daniel Takabi to direct its School of Cybersecurity.

Takabi joins the school from Georgia State University, where he worked for four years and served as an associate professor of computer science, according to his LinkedIn account. Takabi started in his new role July 25; the university announced his new role Aug. 11.

In addition to leading ODU’s cybersecurity school, Takabi will serve as the Batten Endowed Chair of Cybersecurity and professor of electrical and computer engineering. In his new role, he will collaborate on cybersecurity research and initiatives across campus, including the Center for Secure and Intelligent Critical Systems and supply chain cybersecurity. He will also work with other universities on cybersecurity research and will participate in the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative, a state program that aims to develop public and private partnerships to build an ecosystem in Virginia for cybersecurity, autonomous systems and data research. 

“Dr. Takabi has the exact background and skills the School of Cybersecurity needs as we move into the future,” Brian Payne, vice provost for academic affairs at ODU, said in a statement. “He is a teacher and scholar who brings together a passion for teaching and an arsenal of research skills. We are fortunate to have him leading our School of Cybersecurity.”  

Takabi has a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh and previously served as the founding director of the Information Security and Privacy: Interdisciplinary Research and Education (INSPIRE) Center at Georgia State. While at Georgia State, he led efforts resulting in the university’s designation by the National Security Agency as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Research and a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense. He also served as program director for the university’s cybersecurity programs, managed the federal cyber scholarship program and developed a graduate program in trustworthy artificial intelligence systems.

Takabi’s research focuses on cybersecurity and privacy, and he served as principal investigator for more than 25 projects from the National Science Foundation, the National Security Agency, the Department of Defense and industry. 

Cybersecurity is the fastest-growing academic program at ODU, the university said in a news release. As of the fall 2023 semester, about 1,300 students are enrolled in cybersecurity degree programs.

ODU’s School of Cybersecurity is designated by NSA as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations and a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense.