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UMBC-Faculty-Rick FornoRichard F. Forno, Ph.D.

Richard Forno directs the University of Maryland Baltimore County’s Graduate Cybersecurity Program and is the Assistant Director of the UMBC Center for Cybersecurity. His twenty-year career spans the government, military, and private sector, including helping to build the first formal cybersecurity program for the U.S. House of Representatives, serving as the first Chief Security Officer for at Network Solutions (operator of the InterNIC), and co-founding the Maryland Cyber Challenge. Forno was also one of the early thought leaders on the subject of “information warfare” and he remains a longtime commentator on the influence of Internet technology upon society.

In addition to teaching cybersecurity at UMBC, Dr. Forno has lectured on information security, information warfare, and infrastructure protection at American University, and the National Defense University in Washington D.C.  He is an affiliate of the Stanford Center for Internet and Society (CIS) and from 2005-12 was a Visiting Scientist at the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, serving as an instructor for the CERT Coordination Center (CERT/CC).

His interdisciplinary research and professional interests include information age conflict, cybersecurity operations, risk communication, and the social shaping of technology -- specifically, contextual issues related to resiliency and autonomy in networked societies. In addition to many articles and commentaries over the years, he is the co-author of O’Reilly’s Incident Response (2001). Forno holds a Ph.D. in Internet Studies from Curtin University of Technology in Australia.


Robert W. Clark, J.D.

Robert Clark is currently the Cyber Operations Legal Advisor with the U.S. Army Cyber Command at Fort Belvoir, VA. Through this position, Dr. Clark advises Commander and staff on all legal matters relating to full spectrum cyberspace operations and information operations. Prior to this position, he worked in the Department of Homeland Security in the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications and the National Protection and Programs Division, and with the Department of the Navy as the Chief Information Officer.

Mr. Clark received his J.D. at the Michigan State University College of Law. He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, the U.S. Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.

Dr. Clark has received many Military Awards and has presented at conferences and summits across the nation.


William Pickard, M.S.

William Pickard Cybersecurity InstructorWilliam Pickard has been teaching with UMBC since 2012. As a Principal at Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., Mr. Pickard’s current business focus is providing Cyber expertise to the Department of Defense (DOD) His primary clients are the United States Cyber Command (USCC), the Navy’s U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. Tenth Fleet which includes Marine Forces Cyber Command (MARFORCYBER), and the Army’s ARCYBER/2nd Army.  Previously, he was a Special Technical Operations Planner in support of the Joint Task Force for Computer Network Defense (JTF-CND) at the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and assigned to the Information Operations Technology Center (IOTC) at Fort Meade. Mr. Pickard also has over 22 years of operational experience in the United States Army.

Mr. Pickard holds a Master of Science in Information and Telecommunications Systems from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Arts in International Politics from The Pennsylvania State University. He has taught at Loyola College and conducted training seminars with NSA and Booz Allen.

You can view Mr. Pickard’s public LinkedIn Profile here.


Jonathan Powell
Graduate Faculty

MBA, University of Maryland
B.S., Systems Engineering, U.S. Naval Academy

Jonathan Powell, a Senior Program Manager for CACI, has over two decades of leadership experience both in industry and through service in the U.S. Navy. In his current position, he leads large complex software development efforts for the U.S. Army. Previously, Mr. Powell was a Project Executive for IBM’s Corporate Global Pandemic Strategy Task Force. His other assignments at IBM included leadership roles on software implementations for various Federal Civilian and Classified organizations. During this time he also achieved IBM certifications as a Senior Project Manager and Java Platform Enterprise Edition (J2EE) Designer. As an officer in the Navy, Mr. Powell was a Nuclear Submariner as well as a Regional Director for Admissions at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Mr. Powell received his Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy and his M.B.A. from the University of Maryland. He also holds several advanced certificates, including a Master’s Certificate in Project Management from George Washington University, Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM), and the Cyber Security credential Security+. Mr. Powell’s written work has been featured in numerous publications, including the magazines PM Network and Contract Management, respectively, as well as the journal CrossTalk.

You can view Mr. Powell’s public LinkedIn profile at:

Robert Romano, Ph.D.

Robert Romano is a seasoned professional with nearly 40 years of professional experience and 30 years of teaching experience, knowledgeable in government, industry, and academia.  Most recently, Dr. Romano was the Environmental Affairs Specialist at Coca Cola Enterprises where he was contracted to develop company policy and guidance on waste water management plans, water resources, and petroleum & ammonia spills mitigation. Prior to that position, he was an International Academic Advisor for the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, Manager of Regulatory Affairs for The Gillette Co., a Regional Advisor at the Pan American Health Organization, and an Associate Director at the Chemical Manufacturer’s Association. With over twenty years of experience with nuclear and chemical industries, Dr. Romano’s research interests have fallen into environmental science and engineering, engineering management, systems engineering, and cybersecurity.  Dr. Romano received his Bachelor of Science in Biology and Chemistry from Texas State University; an M.S. in Aquatic Systems and an M.S. in Environmental Health Management at the University of Michigan, and his Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Engineering from Purdue University.   Dr. Romano also teaches at Montgomery College, The University of Maryland University College, American University, and George Washington University.


Ben Shariati, M.S.

Behnam "Ben" Shariati serves as UMBC’s lecturer and Assistant Director of the Graduate Cybersecurity program at the Universities at Shady Grove in the Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering (CSEE).

Professor Shariati is a Ph.D. (ABD) candidate in Information Assurance/Cybersecurity at George Washington University. He has received his M.S. in Information Systems/ Engineering Management at George Washington University.  In addition, he was an adjunct professor in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at George Washington University for many years.

Professionally, Professor Shariati’s focus is cybersecurity and he has worked with the federal government, international organizations, and the private sector for the last 20 years. In the last 12 years, he has been the Director of Cybersecurity for SEATEC, Inc. His experiences include: Lead Enterprise Security Architect at the Federal Reserve Bank, Cybersecurity Advisor with many private sectors, and Technology Advisor and Cybersecurity Architect for United Nations. In these roles, he provides executive leadership and is responsible for all aspects of strategic IT planning, implementation and support worldwide as an integral component of each organization’s business plan.


Mike Stone

Mike Stone is a senior security analyst at the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The NCCoE collaborates with members of industry, government and academia to build open, standards-based, modular and practical example reference designs that address cybersecurity challenges in key economic sectors. The center benefits from formal partnerships with market leaders including several Fortune 50 companies.

Since starting at the NCCoE in August 2013, Mike has been the program manager for the center’s activities involving the financial sector. Mike collaborates with members of the financial sector and security vendors to develop solutions to complex cybersecurity problems.

Mike has been working in cybersecurity since 2000 and in other computer related fields since 1989. He has held positions in management, development, testing and support. Mike has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in Telecommunications and Computers from the George Washington University. Mike has focused on wireless network security since 2003 and has tested devices, written software, developed architectures and installed components.


Don Tobin

Don Tobin is a Senior Security Engineer at the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.  Don’s primary roles are to work with private industry in the transportation sector to identify their major cybersecurity challenges, and work with NCCoE partners to formulate solutions to those challenges.

He previously led the NOAA Security Operations Center (SOC) to a 24/7 operations work center in support of NOAA’s Cyber Security Center.  He was also a professor at Fairmont State University for 10 years where he created a computer security undergraduate major and developed coursework for 9 upper-level courses.  He is also a retired USAF officer.  Don holds bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Texas at Arlington and a master’s degrees in computer science from Boston University, and has published several papers in the information security and intrusion detection areas.


Ashley Waters
Program Coordinator
(301) 738-6081