ANN ARBOR, Mich. - January 31, 2011 – Internet2 today announced the appointment of Mark Johnson as Interim Executive Director of the United States Unified Community Anchor Network (U.S. UCAN) project effective immediately.
Johnson brings over 25 years of leadership experience in the management, engineering, and operations of Internet technologies and will serve as the first Executive Director of U.S. UCAN – a new project intended to help connect the 200,000 U.S. community anchor institutions like public libraries, schools, community colleges, research parks, public safety and health care institutions across the country to next-generation Internet-based applications.
The U.S. UCAN project will provide these services through the Internet2 Network, which recently received over $62 million in stimulus funding from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) to significantly upgrade its national network for this purpose.
Johnson is on short-term assignment from his role as Chief Technology Officer and Vice President for Operations and Infrastructure at MCNC – the regional research and education network serving the State of North Carolina‘s K-20 Public and Private Education Institutions. MCNC has received two BTOP awards that are helping to create a robust middle-mile network throughout rural North Carolina.
Internet2 president and CEO H. David Lambert said, “Mark’s success in building advanced networking communities in North Carolina made him the logical choice to lead our initial efforts in building the coordinating body necessary to support community anchor institutions nationwide. We are grateful to our regional partner, MCNC, for enabling Mark to take on this important opportunity for 2011 for which our entire community will benefit.”
In collaboration with several assigned Internet2 staff, Johnson’s primary responsibilities will include strategic business planning, community building and engagement, and development of the necessary outreach programs in support of deploying a sustainable business model for U.S. UCAN.
“I am honored to take on this role as executive director of U.S. UCAN and look forward to replicating the success we’ve been fortunate to have in North Carolina on a national scale. I am confident we have all the right pieces in place, and I look forward to this opportunity” said Johnson.
Johnson will also work extensively with the newly developed Taskforce on Community Anchor Network Economic Models – led by Mike Roberts who was the organizer and first director of Internet2 and one of the founders and the first executive director of the Internet Society (ISOC). This taskforce was created with the purpose of developing an economic model(s) that will assist community anchor institutions and partner regional and national R&E networks in addressing the programmatic, operational and financial challenges contained within the federal Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP).
The search for a permanent U.S. UCAN Executive Director will continue concurrently to Johnson’s term.
Internet2 is an advanced networking consortium led by the research and education community. An exceptional partnership spanning U.S. and international institutions who are leaders in the worlds of research, academia, industry and government, Internet2 is developing breakthrough cyberinfrastructure technologies that support the most exacting applications of today—and spark the most essential innovations of tomorrow. http://www.internet2.edu.
MCNC is an independent, non-profit organization that employs advanced Internet networking technologies and systems to continuously improve learning and collaboration throughout North Carolina's K-20 education community. MCNC provides advanced communications technologies and support services that enable access to 21st century learning applications and offers the opportunity to improve teaching, learning, research and collaboration among North Carolina’s education community. For a more than a quarter century MCNC has operated a robust, secure, exclusive communications network that has connected the institutions of the University of North Carolina System, Duke University and Wake Forest University to each other and through advanced research networks such as Internet2 and National Lambda Rail, to the world. Visit www.mcnc.org.