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Donald J. Welch (University of Michigan-Ann Arbor)

Donald J. Welch
Chief Information Security Officer

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Membership Information



Donald Welch, Ph.D. is the University of Michigan Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). As CISO, Don is responsible for the university's information assurance (IT security, privacy, IT policy, compliance, and enterprise continuity) program, including Ann Arbor, Flint, Dearborn, and the Health System. His charge also includes direct responsibility for ITS Information and Infrastructure Assurance.

Don's background includes executive positions in a wide range of industries, including retail, pharmacy, manufacturing, transportation, and IT services. Since 2006, Don was the president and CEO of Merit Network, a nonprofit organization governed by Michigan's public universities that provides a research and education network computer and related services. He has also been a leader in many national higher education organizations, including the Michigan Governor's Cyber Security Advisory Council and the higher education cybersecurity advisory council to the FBI. In addition, Don was CIO and taught on the faculty at West Point, where he started the Academy's information security program.

During his time at Merit, Don won many awards. In 2010 he was named the "Grant Thornton/Lawrence Tech Leader and Innovator of the Year" as well as one of Michigan's Top CEOs by Corp! Magazine. In 2012 he was honored by the White House as a "Champion of Change" for leading one of the best infrastructure projects funded by the Recovery Act. In 2013, Merit won the 21st Century Achievement Award from the Computerworld Foundation.

Don served for 25 years in the U.S. Army, attaining the rank of Colonel and earning the Legion of Merit for his service. During his time, he has earned the Army's Ranger Tab and Paratrooper Wings.

Don received a B.S. from the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, a M.S. in Computer Science from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and he earned a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, College Park.

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