About

My career has focused on the development, application and management of information technology and analytical methodology to all varieties of problems and opportunities.  The problems and opportunities have been in government and industry:  I’ve addressed them from academia, government, my own consulting companies, a global insurance and financial services company, a public venture operating company, private equity venture funds, and as an angel investor.

My government consulting experience began at Decisions & Designs, Inc., a company that designed and developed interactive computer-based resource allocation, forecasting and decision-making systems for the federal government.  It was at Decisions & Designs that I implemented an interactive system for monitoring the interactions among nations, a system that was originally funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) as part of my Ph.D. dissertation research, and whose output was eventually published in President Ronald Reagan’s daily briefing book.

I was the Director of the Cybernetics Technology Office (CTO) at DARPA where I managed a $50 million program of research and development that led to a number of scientific and technological advances in the broad-based information, decision and computing sciences.  While at DARPA, I funded the development of spatial data management and multimedia systems, decision support systems, computer-aided simulation and training systems, and intelligent technology-based command & control systems.  I funded MIT’s Architecture Machine Group, which evolved into the truly amazing MIT Media Lab.  The CTO program also contributed to the development of the ARPANET (today’s Internet), interactive training simulations, such as SIMNET, and a whole host of artificial intelligence-based applications.  I have consulted with the National Academy of Sciences, the National Science Foundation, and various offices and agencies of the US Department of Defense.  I was a charter member of the U.S. government’s Senior Executive Service (SES) and received several awards for my work at DARPA, including the Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Award.

I was the Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President for Technology Strategy at CIGNA Corporation, a global insurance and financial services company, where I was responsible for the enterprise information architecture, computing standards, the technology research & development program, data security, as well as the overall alignment of enterprise information technology investments with CIGNA’s multiple lines of business.

I was the Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President of Safeguard Scientifics, Inc. (SFE) where I was responsible for identifying technology trends, translating that insight into the Safeguard investment strategy, and leveraging trends analyses with the Safeguard partner companies to help them develop their business and marketing strategies. While at Safeguard, I worked closely with many companies at all stages of their development; I was also the primary Wall Street contact for Safeguard, frequently interacting with the analysts that covered SFE and the partner companies.  I participated directly in raising nearly $1 billion for Safeguard and its companies.  At its peak, the value of Safeguard and its companies exceeded $100 billion.

I founded International Information Systems (IIS), Inc., which designed interactive systems for a variety of corporate and government clients.  IIS specialized in requirements analysis and prototyping, the design of user-computer interfaces, and software systems evaluation.  I also co-founded The Acentio Group, a company that provides consulting around technology optimization (www.acentio.com).

I am formerly a (tenured, full) Professor of Information Systems & Electrical & Computer Engineering at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where I conducted applied research in information and software systems engineering, principally through the Center for Multidisciplinary Information Systems Engineering, which I founded and directed.  The Center generated over $5 million in external funding from industry, the federal government and foundations.  While at Drexel (and with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation) I designed and implemented the nation’s first totally on-line masters program in information systems (MSIS).  The program was featured in the nationally broadcasted PBS Special “net.learning.”

I was a (tenured, full) Professor and Chairman of the Department of Information Systems & Systems Engineering at George Mason University where I held the George Mason Institute Endowed Chair.  The ISSE department was home to 30 professors and had an annual external sponsored research budget of over $5 million.  Several research centers were established in the department during this time including the Center for Computer Security, the Center for Software Engineering and the Center for Command, Control, Communications & Intelligence (C4I).

Some of my 30+ books include Interactive Computer-Based Systems Design and Development (Petrocelli Books, Inc., 1983), Microcomputer Decision Support Systems (QED Information Sciences, Inc., 1985), Applications in Artificial Intelligence (Petrocelli Books, Inc., 1986), the Sourcebook of Applied Artificial Intelligence (McGraw-Hill, 1992), a (co-authored with Len Adelman) book on user interface technology for Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. entitled Cognitive Systems Engineering (1995) and a book for McGraw-Hill entitled Managing Systems Requirements:  Methods, Tools & Cases (1996).  I have published articles in the Communications of the AIS, the Communications of the ACM, the Journal of Cases in Information Technology, the Journal of Information Technology Research, the Journal of Information Technology Education, IEEE IT Pro and the Cutter IT Journal.  I have published over 500 articles, monographs, reports and book chapters.  I was also a monthly columnist for Datamation Magazine on business technology convergence for nearly a decade.  My recent (co-authored) books – Avoiding #Fail:  Mitigating Risk, Managing Threats & Protecting the Corporation in the Age of Social Media and Social Business Intelligence:  Reducing Risk, Building Brands & Driving Growth with Social Media (both for Ascendigm Press, 2013), explore the growing role that social media listening and analysis plays in corporate strategy.  Business Insider featured a long post on Avoiding #Fail  where  “12 Brands That Could Have Avoided Being Embarrassed All Over The Internet” were featured.  Region’s Business recently published my perspective on venture capital in the Philadelphia region.

IT’s All About the People (Auerbach, 2011) was named the #4 Best Book in IT-Business for 2011 by CIO Insight MagazineTechnology Due Diligence:  Best Practices for CIOs, Vendors & Venture Capitalists was published in 2009 by IGI Publishing.   Best Practices in Business Technology Management was published by Auerbach Publishing in 2009; The 2nd Digital Revolution:  Candid Conversations About Business Technology Convergence was published in 2005 (IGI Publishing).

My most recent book – Ready Technology:  Tracking, Piloting & Deploying New Business Technologies (Taylor & Francis, 2014) – describes a new approach to technology adoption based on the maturity of current “emerging” technologies and ubiquitous cloud delivery.

I am listed in numerous directories of “Who’s Who,” received the US Department of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Award and was a Charter Member of the US Senior Executive Service (SES).  I served on the Industrial Advisory Board of the ABET (the Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology), as a member of LaSalle University’s Advisory Board on Computer Information Science, and a member of the Industry Advisory Board of the First Industrial Realty Trust Corporation, among other corporate and university assignments.

I received the Information Technology Exhibitions & Conferences (ITEC) Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Information Technology and an Honorary Doctorate from LaSalle University.

In addition to the government clients mentioned above, some of my corporate and academic consulting clients have included General Electric, Magnavox, CIGNA, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Merck & Co., Computer Sciences Corporation, Shire Pharmaceuticals, Air Products & Chemicals, Coriell Life Sciences, LiquidHub, GlaxoSmithKline, the Software Productivity Consortium, Drexel University and AFCEA, among others.

I serve on a number of corporate boards, including LiquidHub, the Acentio Group, ListenLogic and Akuda Labs; I served on the board of the Ben Franklin Technology Center of Southeastern Pennsylvania for nearly ten years.

I received my BA from LaSalle University in Philadelphia, PA and my Master’s and Doctorate degrees from the University of Maryland at College Park, MD.  My master’s and doctoral work were supported by a National Defense Education Act Fellowship.  My Ph.D. dissertation was funded by DARPA.

My current activities include teaching at Villanova University, primarily in the MBA programs.  I teach several courses including Emerging Business Technologies, Value Creation Through Technology, Technology as a Strategic Lever and Innovation & Entrepreneurialism.  I conduct applied research on technology management best practices, social media listening and modeling, cloud computing and technology organizations.  I am networked with several local companies and organizations, including ListenLogic, Akuda Labs, LiquidHub, Coriell Life Sciences, the Ben Franklin Technology Partnership and Prudential Fox Roach/Trident.  At Villanova, I proudly hold the Thomas G. Labrecque Endowed Chair in the Villanova School of Business.

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