UMUC lauds DC3 Executive Director

  • Published
  • By Wayne Amann
  • Air Force OSI Public Affairs
As many successful leaders will attest, the people they lead are the key to their success. For Steven D. Shirley, executive director of the Defense Cyber Crime Center, it's a mindset that makes DC3 a premier organization in the Air Force and the federal law enforcement community.

The University of Maryland University College is commending Shirley's team-first leadership style with its Leadership Award in Cybersecurity. Since 2011, at two year intervals UMUC has conferred the Leadership and Pioneer Awards in Cybersecurity.

The UMUC honorary award selection committee includes nationally recognized figures in information technologies and cybersecurity plus well known Maryland elected officials.

"This really recognizes the exceptional team at DC3," Shirley said. "I'm lucky to be the head coach for 420 talented and passionate people who do great things."

As DC3 executive director, Shirley initiated discussions with defense contractors about aggressive intrusions, targeting company networks for the Department of Defense and company information designed to lessen the U.S. technological lead in weapons systems and capabilities.

This effort led to creating a DoD public-private sharing model to exchange cyber threat data with defense contractors to strengthen their network security.

Shirley, who has been in his present position since April 2004, was a key figure in the concept and structuring phases of what eventually became the National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force.

He led DC3 in developing capabilities as the operational hub providing nearly 300 defense companies with actionable cyber threat data and analysis.

The former Air Force Office of Special Investigations vice commander built a highly-regarded analytical group to support DoD law enforcement and counterintelligence organizations such as  AFOSI and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service in cyber investigations and operations with mission partners including the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the NCIJTF.

"Seldom is a hard problem solved by one person," Shirley said. "Almost always it's the result of a committed and energetic team. That's the case with everything we do at DC3."

Shirley will be presented his leadership award during UMUC's third Cyber Gala Sept. 12 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md. The black tie event celebrates the work being done in cybersecurity by recent graduates and current students.

Editor's Note: The Defense Cyber Crime Center contributed to this story.