Noopur Davis
Noopur Davis, 2022 UAH Alumni of Achievement Honoree for the College of Science.
Courtesy Noopur Davis

Alumna Noopur Davis (M.S., Computer Science, 1988) has been selected as the 2022 Alumni of Achievement award winner for the College of Science (COS) at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), a part of The University of Alabama System.

Davis is the Executive Vice President, Chief Information Security and Product Privacy Officer, at Comcast Corporation and Comcast Cable. In this role she is responsible for overseeing the cybersecurity and product privacy functions for all Comcast Cable businesses, including all products and services delivered to the company’s residential and business customers.

“I am very fortunate to work for a company like Comcast, which takes cybersecurity and privacy very seriously,” the honoree says. “It is very important for the company to honor the trust our customers place in us as they live their digital lives on and through our products and platforms. Just as important are our teammates and our partners. Comcast operates at a huge scale, with complex infrastructure, product and operational capabilities. My team works alongside our network, product and technology teams to ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of our products, services and infrastructure.”

The alumna joined Comcast from Intel, where she served as Vice President, Global Quality, for the Intel Security Group. Previously, she was a Visiting Scientist and Senior Member of Technical Staff at the Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute and held various leadership and technical positions in Fortune 500 companies such as Chrysler and Intergraph.

Her current day-to-day responsibilities at Comcast make for a daunting list, running the gamut from overseeing product security and privacy, security and privacy controls, privacy engineering and operations, data protection, security architecture and engineering and security operations, to incident response, threat hunting, security intelligence and analytics, identity management, technical fraud and the Legal Response Center.

“I do wear multiple hats!” Davis says. “As a senior leader, a mentor, a champion of technical women, a board member, member of advisory councils, wife, mother, sister, aunt, and dog-mom. I travel a lot for work. A typical day may involve strategy sessions, design and architecture reviews, one-on-one meetings with my directs, participation on a panel or speaking engagement, a Comcast TechWomen event, engagement with legal and government affairs teams, policy and standards definitions, operations reviews, budgets and finance, product and project reviews, incident handling and dashing to or from an airport.”

She is a proud supporter of women in technology and serves on the Advisory Board of Comcast/NBCUniversal TechWomen. She is also the recipient of the WICT/SCTE•ISBE/Cablefax Women in Technology and WeQual 2021 awards, and has been included on the Cablefax 100, Cablefax Diversity, Cablefax Most Powerful Women and Top Women in Technology lists multiple times. Davis is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT).

“I am passionate about justice and fairness and about women in technology,” she says. “Technology is the future, and the fact that women represent only about a quarter of this workforce should be concerning to everyone. Tech careers are fun, financially rewarding, interesting and always changing. They offer tremendous flexibility. Women should be at the table to participate, contribute, learn, grow and lead in this field. Women are still so under-represented in technology roles, which is a shame because technology jobs pay well, have great growth potential because this is where the future is, are challenging and motivating and provide flexibility of work hours and times – all things women value. There is also a shortage of technology workers in our country. Bringing more women into the technical workforce will benefit not just women, but companies who value a diversity of thought and opinion, as well as our nation.”

As Executive Champion of TechWomen, Davis played a key role in helping to build a group that has gone on to bloom into a movement spanning countries.

“Comcast TechWomen started several years ago, organically, when some of our technical women got together and decided to build a community,” she says. “Today, there are a couple of thousand members, in more than a dozen chapters, across three countries. Our vision is to position Comcast as the destination for women technologists by supporting the recruitment, development and advancement of women technologists at all career levels. Our mission is to provide a forum for women technologists and their allies to connect with one another and grow, contribute to the development of talent and the technology community and inspire each other and the communities we reach. I am really proud of how Comcast TechWomen and our allies come together to make our purposeful vision and mission come true.”

The alumna’s teams are performing groundbreaking work in the use of blockchain security, building streaming security data integration platforms, and in using machine learning to construct models for early threat detection. Her background in STEM and science activities has deep roots, going well back into childhood, she notes.

“I have always been interested in math and science, and read a lot from an early age,” the UAH alumna explains. “I think that made me a curious person. There was never a master plan – just an openness to new opportunities, even though sometimes that meant lateral or even downwards moves in terms of compensation or title. The first third of my career was as a software engineer – I probably spent more than 10,000 hours writing code and then leading software development teams. Then I started to get interested in how to develop better software with engaged and motivated teams, which took me to Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute. That was the second third of my career. And it was there that I got pulled into cyber security – I found it fascinating, and that is now the third part of my career.”

These days Davis is a leader performing vital functions that help advance one of the most important fields in society today when it comes to security and privacy.

“Cybersecurity has never been more important, as threats and attacks grow in sophistication and size,” she says. “There is a renewed focus on privacy – at state, federal and international level. So yes, it does feel like we are doing important and meaningful work that directly impacts our customers, employees and our communities.”

When asked who inspired her to become the person she is today, Davis is quick to point to a particularly special family member.

“My role model is my grandmother,” she says. “She was an amazingly strong woman who fought in the Indian independence movement, and was even jailed briefly! She encouraged her daughters and daughter-in-law to study, and all those years ago my aunts and my mother became professors and teachers with advanced degrees. She was a slight woman of diminutive stature, but her influence was tremendous!”

The alumna’s husband, Darryl Davis, is also a UAH masters in computer science graduate, and they have been married for more than 30 years. “We have one son, who has a degree in Information Science and Technology from Penn State, and is now gainfully employed. The most important member of our family is Ms. Marie, our two-year old ShihPoo,” Davis says with a smile. “She is named in honor of Marie Curie, because my husband thinks she is super smart. No one has the heart to shatter his illusions.”

Seeking out the novelty of new experiences in everyday life is something Davis treasures as the heart of her daily explorations. “I love new experiences, so travel is my favorite thing to do. I also love to read and love British mysteries. I almost exclusively watch British television on Acorn TV or BritBox. I play Scrabble, walk my dog and my husband and I started salsa dancing recently – but we dance like two engineers! We have fun, but anyone who sees us dance politely averts their gaze.”

The alumna says some of her favorite memories at UAH “are the AI courses I took back then – I especially remember a course in Cognitive Computing that I loved. My other favorite memory is learning to scuba dive with my husband in the UAH pool one semester, and then driving through the night to Florida for our certification test in the ice cold Crystal Springs.”

Having already accomplished so much, Davis still looks to the future with an eye to furthering the mission she has been on ever since learning to approach the world with an ever-flowing well of curiosity – while remembering the rewards of serving others.

“My current role provides lots of opportunities and enough challenges to keep things interesting,” she says. “Comcast is a wonderful company, and I am privileged to lead a team of awesome cybersecurity professionals. The mission of our team is to protect the technology and platforms that connect millions of people to the moments that matter. What a purposeful mission, which has never been more relevant than in the last two years during the pandemic as work, entertainment, education, medicine and so much more shifted online. Comcast made sure our services met the challenge of a lifetime, and my team played a role in that. So I am going to continue with my current passion. In the future, I do want to get further involved with organizations that focus on food and sustenance for our communities – because no one should go hungry in a country as blessed as ours.”

When asked to share one piece of advice for a current UAH student in her field, Davis offers wisdom that has served her well all her life.

“Enjoy the journey! This time that you have to study and learn and grow is precious – don't rush through it!"

Looking back on her school days, Davis is proud that her alma mater has continued to have such a positive impact on the state of Alabama and beyond.

“UAH is so perfect for the community it serves, whose history is rooted in space, defense, automotive electronics and other technical employment, and whose future is built on those foundations along with a focus on biotechnology. About half of UAH graduates are engineers or scientists – what a wonderful way to serve the community! Another way in which UAH serves the community is with its special focus on adult education. A lot of engineers and scientists and others already working in Huntsville want to continue their education.

“Both my husband and I took advantage of those opportunities as we completed our graduate degrees in computer science at UAH while we were working full time. We also took advantage of all the other opportunities UAH provides to the community – sports, arts, music and other community events. My husband was a member of the Judo club. I joined the French club – and quit in ignominy when I found out how bad I was at French. But the point was that all these opportunities were open to the community.”



Kelly Myers

Russ Nelson