Jan. 5, 2015

Contact: Amy Hewes

Cal Poly Appoints Parsons Vice President to Serve Two-Year Term as Visiting Cybersecurity Center Director

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Cal Poly and Parsons today announced that William J. “Bill” Britton, Parsons vice president for Cyber Strategy, will serve as the visiting director of Cal Poly’s Cybersecurity Center. In this role, Britton will be responsible for leading Cal Poly’s cyber initiative into a nationally prominent center that includes educational, research, outreach, and partnering activities.

“Parsons is pleased that one of our top cybersecurity experts will be partnering with Cal Poly surrounding its initiative to become the leading supplier of cybersecurity professionals,” said Chuck Harrington, Parsons’ chairman and CEO. “Bill has more than 30 years of national security experience within both government and industry, and his sole purpose for the next two years will be to focus on Cal Poly’s cyber initiative and to help move it into the future.”

The goals of Cal Poly’s cyber initiative—which includes hardware and software, facilities, and curriculum development—are to produce qualified graduates in computer science with a cybersecurity specialization as well as to educate them in advanced engineering, science, and business applications of cyber technologies and systems. The initiative is also aimed at preparing students for service in support of the national defense industry and intelligence community as well as for advanced study and applied research.

Debra Larson, dean of the Cal Poly College of Engineering, stressed the timeliness of Britton’s appointment. “Both private and public sectors in the world today conduct business via the electronic highway,” Larson said, “but we are confronted daily by news of cyber-attacks that are disruptive to our economic health and security.

“With Bill’s help as the Parsons Visiting Director of the Cybersecurity Center, we will foster the talent and create the workforce to help ensure the safety of cyber space. In fact, the active cooperation between Cal Poly and Parsons signifies a new model for university/industry relations in which we work shoulder-to-shoulder to advance education opportunities. Parsons is literally putting their expert in our wheelhouse, and we are grateful.”

In late 2013, Parsons pledged $100,000 to Cal Poly’s cyber initiative. The funds are being distributed over a two-year period, which began in 2014. Parsons is also a member of the Cal Poly Cybersecurity Council, a group of leading industry experts and faculty whose strategic advice will help ensure that the university’s cyber graduates align with industry needs.

About Parsons
Parsons, celebrating 70 years of growth in the engineering, construction, technical, and professional services industries, is a leader in many diversified markets with a focus on defense/security, industrial, and infrastructure. Parsons delivers design/design-build, program/construction management, and other professional services packaged in innovative alternative delivery methods to federal, regional, and local government agencies, as well as to private industrial customers worldwide. For more about Parsons, please visit

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