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May 23, 2012—Matt Gaston, director of the Software Engineering Institute’s (SEI) Innovation Center, has received a 2012 Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) Meritorious Award for Service to the Intelligence Community. This AFCEA award honors intelligence professionals who are making significant contributions at the tactical, intermediate, or national levels.
AFCEA International, established in 1946, is a nonprofit membership association serving the military, government, industry, and academia as an ethical forum for advancing professional knowledge and relationships in the fields of communications, IT, intelligence, and global security. AFCEA comprises 35,000 individual and 2,000 corporate members. Candidates for this award must demonstrate a track record of accomplishments in the intelligence arena and professionalism that serves as an inspiration for others. Nominees do not need to be AFCEA members.
In making the award, the government and industry members of the AFCEA Intelligence Committee recognized Gaston for the innovative and high-impact contributions he has made to the intelligence community throughout his career. Most recently, these include his leadership in the establishment and growth of the SEI Innovation Center. The Innovation Center works side by side with the intelligence community, identifying, demonstrating, and evaluating leading-edge, data-intensive, scalable computing technologies. It then works to apply these technologies to the government’s toughest computing, IT, and cyber-related challenges.
Prior to joining the SEI, Gaston was the director of research at Viz, a business area of General Dynamics C4 Systems (GDC4S). At Viz, Gaston led the research activities for the Battle Management System Division, including a research portfolio that spanned command and control, intelligence analysis, information interaction and visualization, and cyber situational awareness. He also served as a member of the External Advisory Board for Sandia National Laboratory’s Network Grand Challenge (NGC).
Gaston’s tenure at Viz was preceded by a 10-year career at the National Security Agency (NSA), where he developed and applied mission-focused analytics. He served as the technical director of the Advanced Analysis Laboratory (AAL) at the NSA, leading numerous efforts to bring new technology and innovation to the process and practice of intelligence analysis. Among his numerous accomplishments at AAL, Gaston developed and applied advanced analytics, led the development of a massive-scale network analysis system, and cofounded the Institute for Analysis.
“I am very honored to have received an AFCEA Award for Meritorious Service to the Intelligence Community,” said Gaston. “AFCEA is a large, prestigious organization and I am truly flattered by, and grateful for, this recognition. I am proud to have served the intelligence community for nearly 15 years within the government, industry, and academia.”
In addition to his work at the SEI, Gaston participates in the Leadership Pittsburgh program. He is also is a founding trustee of Awesome Pittsburgh, a chapter of the Awesome Foundation. The chapter grants money each month to people with brilliant ideas.