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NNSA Hosts Cybersecurity Consortium Members Following White House Announcement of $25 Million in Grants to 13 HBCUs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) hosted a roundtable today with 13 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to discuss new funding that will strengthen American cybersecurity expertise.

A five-year, $25M grant will support a partnership between the HBCUs, Charleston County School District, and two NNSA laboratories; Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratory in California and New Mexico. Vice President Biden and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz highlighted DOE/NNSA’s Cybersecurity Workforce Pipeline Consortium at a Norfolk State University ceremony on Thursday of this week.

“This undertaking by NNSA is an important investment in the future,” said DOE Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz. “It will help ensure a sustainable pipeline of cybersecurity experts to protect the information systems that are a critical part of our Nation’s nuclear security infrastructure.”

The cybersecurity consortium was established by DOE/NNSA’s Minority Serving Institutions Partnerships Program (MSIPP), and allows participating schools to open doors to DOE sites and facilities to student members of the consortium. The partnership will strengthen & expand MSI institutional capacity and research in DOE/NNSA missions and increase participation of MSI faculty in DOE/NNSA activities; such as collaborative research, technical workshops, expert panel reviews/studies, and competitive processes, as well as drawing DOE scientists and engineers into the MSIs for curriculum development, teaching, mentoring and research.

The 13 HBCUs will receive the first allocation of the $25 million award in FY2015. The grants will help NNSA to institute a partnership with the next generation of future leaders and increase the number of minority students pursuing cyber security careers, and support NNSA in meeting its cyber security demands.  The grants will also help to attract minority graduates for employment within NNSA laboratories and plants.

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Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science in the nation’s national security enterprise. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; reduces the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad.