Barbara Lazarus Professor in Information Networking
Director, Information Networking Institute, Carnegie Mellon University
Founding Director, Education, Training and Outreach, Cylab
Dena Haritos Tsamitis has led the College of Engineering's Information Networking Institute (INI) as director since 2004. Her efforts have prepared the next generation of information networking, security and mobility professionals at Carnegie Mellon University. She joined the university in 2000, serving first as the INI's associate director in 2002 before assuming the role of director in 2004. A student advocate and mentor of women in technology, Dena is passionate about increasing diversity in STEM fields. In 2005, she and Dr. Chenxi Wang co-founded the student organization, Women@INI (WINI), to address the unique challenges faced by women in the male-dominated field of engineering.
Under Dena's leadership, Carnegie Mellon earned three distinct cybersecurity designations from federal agencies as a National Center of Academic Excellence for its merits in information assurance and cyber defense, research and cyber operations. Dena is the principal investigator of the National Science Foundation (NSF) CyberCorps® Scholarship for Service (SFS) program, which funnels the next generation of analysts and hackers directly to government service. She is also a founding director of Carnegie Mellon CyLab, for which she spearheaded efforts in cybersecurity education, training and outreach. In 2005, Dena established the MySecureCyberspace initiative to raise "cyberawareness" in Internet users of all ages through a portal, game and curriculum that reached over one million people in 167 countries.
Currently, Dena is a member of the American College of Greece Board of Trustees. She also serves on the board of advisors for the Executive Women’s Forum, RedMarlin, Inc., Prime Tech Partners and the Norfolk State University Information Assurance Research, Education and Development Institute. Carnegie Mellon honored Dena with the 2012 Barbara Lazarus Award for Graduate Student and Junior Faculty Mentoring and in 2017, she was named as the first recipient of the Barbara Lazarus Professorship in Information Networking. She also received the 2008 Women of Influence Award, presented by Alta Associates and CSO Magazine. Dena holds a doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania.