Dr. Dena Haritos Tsamitis
Barbara Lazarus Professor in Information Networking
Director, Information Networking Institute
Founding Director, Education, Training and Outreach, CyLab
Carnegie Mellon University
Dena Haritos Tsamitis has led Carnegie Mellon’s Information Networking Institute (INI) as director since 2004. Her efforts have prepared the next generation of information networking, security and mobility professionals equipped to be the movers and shakers of the tech industry. Under Dena’s direction, the INI expanded globally to offer programs in Greece, Portugal, and Japan. She led the design of bicoastal programs offered at the CMU Silicon Valley campus and her research on transnational university partnership programs has influenced the framework and delivery of numerous degree programs offered through innovative delivery models.
By forging relationships with government and industry organizations, Dena has secured financial support for aspiring technology leaders to advance their education at Carnegie Mellon. As principal investigator on the NSF CyberCorps® Scholarship for Service (SFS) and the Department of Defense Information Assurance Scholarship Program (IASP), she has been awarded approximately $23M in federal scholarships for students who serve our nation.
A student advocate and mentor of women in technology, Dena is passionate about increasing diversity in STEM fields. In 2005, she co-founded the student organization Women@INI (WINI) to address the unique challenges faced by women in the male-dominated field of engineering. To extend WINI’s influence beyond the INI, she established a partnership with the Executive Women’s Forum (EWF) on Information Security, Risk Management, and Privacy that provides scholarship and mentorship opportunities.
One of Dena’s innate talents is the ability to nurture entrepreneurial ideas into reality. She is dedicated to mentoring the INI’s students and alumni and has facilitated funding opportunities for successful start-ups. 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. 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.