Nadya T. Bliss is the executive director of the Global Security Initiative at Arizona State University. In that capacity, she leads a pan-university institute-level organization advancing research, education, and other programming in support of national and global security. GSI serves as the university’s main interface to the Department of Defense (DoD), Intelligence Community (IC), and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). GSI is home to the Center for Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics, Center for Human, Artificial Intelligence, and Robot Teaming, DHS Center for Accelerating Operational Efficiency, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Working Group. GSI’s team includes approximately 150 faculty affiliates and 30 staff. GSI core research programs contribute approximately $30M to ASU’s annual external research expenditures.
Bliss is an experienced leader of S&T organizations with almost two decades specifically in DoD and security related sectors. She has proven expertise in growing mission focused research organizations, strategic planning, and organizational design, deep knowledge of the technology transition pipeline, and significant experience identifying advanced research capabilities to address mission and application needs.
Prior to leading GSI, Bliss spent time as an assistant vice president, research strategy at ASU and a decade in various positions at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, most recently as the founding group leader of the Computing and Analytics Group. In that role, she oversaw all of the laboratory’s high-performance computing, along with a portfolio of programs focused on advanced analytics and computer architectures for DoD and IC mission needs.
Bliss is a professor of practice and graduate faculty in ASU’s School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering. She is a senior sustainability scientist in the Global Institute of Sustainability and Innovation and a senior fellow at New America.
Bliss is actively involved in advisory boards and national committees, and currently serves as an Executive Committee member of the Computing Community Consortium. She has also served on the DARPA ISAT (Information Science and Technology) study group where she co-chaired studies on Macro-Economics and Cyber Security and Science and Engineering of Functional Networks. In the summer of 2020, she will begin her term as DARPA ISAT Vice Chair.
In 2011, Bliss was awarded the inaugural MIT Lincoln Laboratory Early Career Technical Achievement award for her work in “parallel computing, computer architectures, and graph processing algorithms and her leadership in anomaly detection in graph-based data” (presented annually to two employees under 35). She is also the recipient of the R&D100 award (2011) for her work on PVTOL: Parallel Vector Tile Optimizing Library. She has over 80 publications, two patents, and is a frequent invited speaker. She has appeared on Arizona PBS, KJZZ (NPR), and in the Christian Science Monitor, Phoenix Business Journal, and CIO Review. Bliss received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science from Cornell University and a PhD in applied mathematics for the life and social sciences (Complex Adaptive Systems Science) from Arizona State University.