UAH selects new vice president for research; Mississippi State administrator to join campus

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (March 22, 2013) – Rayford Vaughn has been named the new vice president for research at The University of Alabama in Huntsville, President Robert A. Altenkirch announced on Friday, March 22.

Dr. Vaughn has been the associate vice president for research at Mississippi State University since 2010, and is a distinguished professor of computer science and engineering.

“Ray brings a wealth of experience to our campus in areas that are crucial to this community and our research partners,” Altenkirch said. “The knowledge he possesses in research and academia makes him the ideal candidate to provide vision and continued growth to our research enterprise.”

Vaughn joined Mississippi State in 1997 teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in software engineering and computer security, and was promoted to full professor in 2004. Prior to his appointment as associate VP of research, he was department chair of MSU’s Computer Science and Engineering Department.

"I am very excited by the opportunity offered to me to lead the research enterprise at UAH,” Vaughn said. “I was extremely impressed with the research activities ongoing at the university, the faculty and staff that I was able to meet with, and the potential for growth. The environment and the leadership team at UAH will provide the necessary foundation to achieve continued growth and I look forward to being a part of it. My wife and I are anxious to join the Huntsville community and the family at UAH.”

Vaughn has three degrees in computer science. His undergraduate degree is from the University of Southern Mississippi, while his master’s and Ph.D. were from Kansas State.

Rayford Vaughn

Rayford Vaughn

During his career at Mississippi State, he was the founder and director of the Critical Infrastructure Protection Center (CIPC). The center was under sponsorship from the Department of Homeland Security as an outreach effort to operators of the nation’s critical infrastructure. The center supports training activities and research, which is primarily focused in the area of industrial control system security.

Vaughn was also director of the university’s Center for Computer Security Research. He was responsible for research oversight, growing the center’s research activities, and maintaining its teaching, research, and service activity.

Prior to joining Mississippi State, Vaughn was vice president of military integration systems for Electronic Data Systems Corporation in McLean, Va., and he was also vice president of integration services for the Defense Information Systems Agency.

Vaughn retired as a colonel in the U.S. Army following a 26-year career. Most of his service was as an Army software engineer and computer scientist with high level leadership responsibility.

While on active duty, he had a three-year assignment with the National Security Agency's National Computer Security Center. At the secret cryptologic intelligence agency, he wrote national-level computer security guidance, among other duties.

Dr. Vaughn commanded the Army’s largest software development organization, created and managed a new organization chartered by the Deputy Secretary of Defense to centrally manage all communication and information systems for the Pentagon, and was a senior computer security scientist at the National Security Agency conducting information assurance research.

Caron St. John chaired the search. She said: “We are delighted that Dr. Vaughn has chosen to join us. He will be a great fit with the university and the Huntsville community.”

Dr. Vaughn has written more than 100 publications and is an active contributor to software engineering and information security conferences and journals.

For more information
Jim Steele


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