diana burley


Diana Burley image - American University Faculty

Dr. Diana L. Burley is an award-winning global cybersecurity expert with over 25 years of experience leading multi-institutional, cross-sector teams to drive digital transformation and strategic innovation. She is a dynamic industry thought leader who advises global stakeholders to strengthen their cybersecurity posture, implement robust workforce development programs, diversify the cybersecurity/high-tech workforce, and build an equitable international cyber community.


Diana is Vice Provost for Research and Innovation at American University (AU), a Public Administration and Policy Professor, and an Information Technology & Analytics Professor. As both the university’s chief research officer and chief innovation officer and a member of the president’s council, she is responsible for establishing the strategic vision and executing against the research and revenue targets set by the board while also overseeing the university-wide research enterprise, developing the research brand, enabling global partnerships, and supporting faculty-led scholarship across all disciplines. In addition, she holds cleared research appointments with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and the Idaho National Laboratory. 


Before AU, Diana spent 14 years as a professor, administrator, and institute director at George Washington University. She led the Institute for Information Infrastructure Protection (I3P), a 26-member cybersecurity research consortium focused on critical infrastructure protection. She managed a multi-million-dollar computer science education and research portfolio at the National Science Foundation. She has written more than 100 publications on cybersecurity, information sharing, risk, and digital transformation; including her 2014 co-authored book “Enterprise Software Security: A Confluence of Disciplines” and throughout her career, Diana has maintained an independent consulting practice focusing on digital transformation, cybersecurity awareness, and strategic innovation. 


Board service includes current positions with the U.S. National Academies Board on Human Systems Integration, CyberEd, and the Cyber Future Foundation. She was formerly the board secretary for OpenMind, Inc., a digital learning start-up. As a board member of Goodwill Industries International (2011-2016), she served on the board development, risk, international and audit committees. Goodwill is a $6B social enterprise with a network of more than 115 independent organizations across 17 countries. Current advisory boards include Cyberize, Vigitrust, and the ACM Education Council. 


Named one of SC Magazine’s Eight Women in IT Security to Watch in 2017, Diana is a sought-after global keynote speaker who has spoken in venues including the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland; the Gulf Information Security Expo & Conference in Dubai, UAE; and the US State Department TCTP in Singapore. She has testified before Congress in open and closed sessions and regularly advises global executives on managing cybersecurity risk. Her honors include 2016 Woman of Influence by the Executive Women’s Forum in Information Security, Risk Management and Privacy; 2017 SC Magazine ReBoot awardee for educational leadership in IT security; 2014 Cybersecurity Educator of the Year; and a 2014 Top Ten Influencer in information security careers. She is the sole recipient of both educators of the year and government leader of the year awards from the Colloquium for Information Systems Security Education. She has been honored by the U.S. Federal CIO Council. 


Diana holds a BA in Economics from the Catholic University of America, an M.S. in Public Management and Policy, an M.S. in Organization Science, and a Ph.D. in Organization Science and Information Technology from Carnegie Mellon University, where she studied at a Woodrow Wilson Foundation Fellow.