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Winnie L. Callahan, Ed.D.

Director of the University of San Diego Center for Cyber Security Engineering and Technology

Winnie Callahan joined the University of San Diego in June of 2015 as the founding director of the University of San Diego Center for Cyber Security Engineering and Technology. In this role, Callahan works with both the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering and the School of Professional and Continuing Education to build a world-class Cyber Security program through academic degree opportunities, certificate programs, service, and associated research.
Prior to joining USD, Callahan served as the Director of Innovation for the University of Southern California’s Information Sciences Institute and the founding Associate Director of Informatics at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, with responsibility for building partnerships, spearheading initiatives and identifying opportunities for growth that would enhance economic expansion and promote the nation’s future. One key aspect of this role was launching the Masters of Science in Cyber Security Engineering degree, and developing industrial research partnerships, including membership in the prestigious Northrop Grumman Cyber Security Research Consortium. During her time, Callahan was involved in millions of dollars of sponsored industry and government research, and Informatics launched four Master’s degrees.
From 1997 to 2008, Dr. Winnie Callahan served as Executive Director of the University of Nebraska’s Peter Kiewit Institute (PKI), a unique partnership between two colleges within the University of Nebraska system and industry and governmental agencies. As the founding director of the Institute, Callahan helped develop a sixteen building complex, consisting of a business park, incubator center and student housing along with the state-of-the-art Kiewit Institute, which was nationally recognized as the best model in the country for immersing business, engineering and technology. She was instrumental in establishing partnerships with over 1,000 entities, including nearly a hundred Fortune 500 companies, and developed a unique scholarship program that annually recruited from the top two to three percent of student scholars from around the country.
During her tenure with PKI, she also served as Assistant Vice President of the University of Nebraska Foundation, a role which enabled the acquisition of gifts totaling more than $300M. These contributions allowed expansion of the Institute and the creation of one of the most robust infrastructures and super computer facilities found in any higher education institution in the nation.
Additionally, Callahan helped in the establishment with USSTRATCOM of the Global Innovation and Strategy Center and the development of an accredited graduate certificate program in Information Operations, also in conjunction with USSTRATCOM. She has worked extensively with the CIA, FBI, NSA, NASA, the Federal Reserve and the United States Departments of Education, Housing and Urban Development and Commerce.
Callahan’s professional career began as an elementary teacher for the Department of Defense, teaching first at Ft. Bragg and then Quantico Marine Base. She also taught in Maryland and Georgia as her husband (an Army officer) received new duty assignments. In 1973, she joined the Omaha Public Schools where she was a teacher, a school principal, an assistant superintendent and also taught both graduate and undergraduate courses as an adjunct for the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s College of Education.
Callahan holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Winthrop University in South Carolina, and a Master’s and Doctorate from the University of Nebraska in Educational Administration. Through the years, Callahan has presented frequently at the national level, has several publications to her credit, served as a consultant to Disney, and has many recognitions to include installation in the Aksarben Court of Honor. She was named the YWCA’s Woman of Distinction in 1994, and made an Admiral in the Great Navy of Nebraska by then Governor Ben Nelson, an honor given to those making exceptional contributions to the state. In 2007, Callahan was named the West Point Society’s Citizen of the Year, recognizing her leadership, community participation, and patriotism.



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