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GTRI Names New External Advisory Council Members

Published: August 3, 2011

The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) announces five professionals to fill the vacancies on its External Advisory Council.

New members of the council include former Georgia Tech College of Engineering Dean Don Giddens, Dr. Dorothy Huston with Technology Management Training Group Inc., retired U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Betsy Hight, former Batelle executive vice president Bill Madia and former NSA senior executive Dick Schaeffer. The members fill the vacancies created by the rotation of Susan Coughlin and Ben Dyer off the council, the emeritus status of Glen Robinson and Jack Welch, and the death of Bill Oakes.

“Our five newest members are an exceptionally experienced and distinguished group,” said GTRI Director Bob McGrath. “They bring strength to the council in all aspects of our work in defense and national security, including electronic warfare and our growing portfolio in cyber security. In addition, they strengthen our ability to explore new opportunities with industry, in energy and sustainable research, and health care informatics.”

The External Advisory Council advises GTRI on strategies and programs which will help the organization meet future challenges while carrying out its mission and meeting its goals. Proven national and local leaders in industry, research, government and academia comprise the council membership. The next meeting for the GTRI External Advisory Council is scheduled for Oct. 19 and 20, 2011, in Atlanta.

New GTRI External Advisory Council members


  • Don P. Giddens—Dr. Giddens earned his undergraduate, master’s and doctorate from Georgia Tech, and joined the Tech faculty in 1968. In 1992, he was named dean of the Whiting School of Engineering at The Johns Hopkins University. He returned to Georgia Tech in 1997 to establish the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, a joint project between Emory University and Georgia Tech. In 2002, he was named dean of the Georgia Tech College of Engineering, until his retirement in 2011. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and is a founding Fellow for the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). He chaired an NAE project that developed a report “Changing the Conversation: Messages for Improving the Public Understanding of Engineering.”

  • Rear Adm. (Ret.) Elizabeth A. Hight—Hight is currently vice president of Cybersecurity Practice with the Hewlett-Packard Co. She joined the Navy in 1977, as the High-Frequency Receiver Site Division Officer. From April 2007 until her retirement, she served as vice director of the Defense Information Systems Agency, a global agency of more than 6,600 military and civilian personnel responsible for planning, developing and providing interoperable, global net-centric solutions for the President, Secretary of Defense, Joint Chiefs, and other Department of Defense components. She joined HP in 2010 as director of the U.S. Defense Command and Control Infrastructure Practice, designed to assist U.S. defense clients with transforming IT environments.

  • Dorothy W. Huston—Dr. Huston is president/CEO of Technology Management Training Group Inc., an information technology, management and training solutions provider. With more than 30 years of experience in research administration, student development, fundraising and educational program outreach, Huston provided the vision and leadership necessary for the establishment of the Alabama A&M University Research Institute in 1999. She served as vice president for Research and Development for seven years, directing the institute’s growth in research funding and contracts.

  • William J. Madia—Dr. Madia, who currently serves as vice president and chairman of the Board of Overseers for the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory at Stanford University, has been a leader in research, development and deployment of energy systems for nearly 40 years. Madia retired from Battelle in 2007 as executive vice president for Mergers and Acquisitions. During his 33-year tenure at Battelle, He has served as laboratory director of both the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He is a recipient of the Secretary of Energy’s Gold Award, the Department of Energy’s Distinguished Associate Award and the Warren Medal from the U.S. government.

  • Richard C. Schaeffer Jr.—Schaeffer is a former senior executive with the National Security Agency (NSA), primarily in the area of information security and intelligence. He has more than 40 years of U.S. government service, including 15 years as a member of the Defense Intelligence Senior Executive Service. After retiring from the NSA in 2010, Schaeffer established a private consulting firm, Riverbank Associates LLC, to provide clients in the areas of cyber and intelligence consulting.