January 10, 2020
Contact: Tracy Mason
Criminal Investigations and Network Analysis (CINA) Center of Excellence Appoints Jim Jones as New Director
Washington, D.C. – George Mason University appointed Jim Jones as the new Director of the Criminal Investigations and Network Analysis (CINA) Center, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Center of Excellence. At the CINA Center, Jones will work with DHS stakeholders to develop CINA’s strategic vision, outreach program, and research portfolio. Jones replaces CINA’s founding director, Tony Stefanidis, who is still affiliated with CINA research efforts after relocating to the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA earlier this year.
“CINA’s mission is to be at the forefront of criminal network analysis, forensics, and investigative processes in order to solve the hard problems of today and to forecast and address the problems and challenges of tomorrow.” Jones said. “We work closely with DHS components to understand current needs and operational environments, turning problems into ideas and fielded solutions.”
Established in 2017, CINA serves as a strategic innovation partner for the Science and Technology Directorate, supporting current homeland security needs, anticipating emerging challenges and opportunities, while also developing the current and future homeland security enterprise workforce through research, outreach and workforce development activities.
“Jones brings a strong background into this leadership role for the CINA Center,” said Deb Crawford, PhD, Mason’s Vice President for Research, Innovation, and Economic Impact. “The lead university in the CINA consortium, Mason is a top-tier research institution with a strong commitment to advancing research with significant societal impact. Our proximity to Washington D.C. also allows us to connect our robust research enterprise and student workforce pipeline to a full range of industry professionals, DHS components, and preeminent researchers from government agencies,” Crawford explained.
The CINA Center, currently in year three of its 10-year, multimillion-dollar grant cycle, leverages a core science committee as well as a nationwide network of partners and colleagues throughout academia, industry, and law enforcement to assess emerging technologies and potential solutions. Jones has served as a member of CINA’s Science Committee since the center was established, was a principal investigator of one of the center’s first funded projects and placed its first CINA scholar interns.
“The CINA Science Committee helps guide and inform our research portfolio in which our partners and colleagues are developing tools and technologies, as well as innovative educational and training solutions, to advance our nation’s abilities to counter transnational criminal activities,” added Jones, who has been a cyber security and digital forensics practitioner, researcher, and educator for more than 25 years in various industry, government, and academic roles. Jones has most recently been an Associate Professor in Mason’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.
“Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) are complex, dynamic, and ever evolving,” Jones said. “I look forward to continuing our collective mission, to help DHS successfully address today’s current threats while working to stay ahead of the homeland security challenges of tomorrow.”