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TIER Community Contributor Spotlight: Bill Thompson, Lafayette College

Aug 25, 2016, by Michael Zawacki
Tags: TIER

Bill Thompson has been working in higher education information technology for more than 15 years. In 2003, he led the implementation of uPortal and CAS (Central Authentication Services) at Rutgers University. In 2005 he was a principal in the architecture and design of the widely deployed CAS 3 and continues to serve on the CAS Project Management Committee. During his time with Unicon, Bill was the director of the identity access management practice, where he helped numerous schools deploy and support open source IAM solutions such as Shibboleth, CAS, and Grouper. Bill now serves as the Director for Digital Infrastructure for Lafayette College. In this role, he leads teams of professionals responsible for a number of services including compute platform, network, data center, security, and identity and access management.

Bill's involvement in the higher education middleware community can be traced back to the early days of uPortal and CAS. He has participated in various efforts since then including OSIdM4HE and CIFER which ultimately led to Internet2 TIER program. Bill participates in a number of TIER working groups and his current focus is working with the community to distill diverse Grouper deployment examples into specific TIER guidance and recommendations. The intent is to help new TIER schools achieve IAM capabilities faster with more consistent deployments, making it easier to share experience and work together.

As more and more services migrate to the cloud Bill sees identity management and the work of TIER as becoming increasingly critical. "More than ever our ability to quickly and securely onboard and manage access to new services is critically dependent on our IAM architecture and capabilities," Bill says. "Identity (and access management) truly is the new perimeter."