Dr. George O. Strawn

As the National Science Foundation's Chief Information Officer (CIO), Dr. George O. Strawn guides the agency in the development and design of innovative information technology, working to enable NSF staff and the international community of scientists, engineers and educators to improve business practices and pursue new methods of scientific communication, collaboration and decision-making.


Since joining the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 1991, Dr. Strawn has served NSF in numerous roles. He has been CIO since 2003. Prior to his appointment as CIO, Dr. Strawn worked for four years in the 'front office' of the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), serving three years as the Executive Officer and one year as the Acting Assistant Director. From 1995 through 1998 he was Director of the CISE Division of Advanced Networking Infrastructure and Research where, among other things, he led NSF's efforts in the Presidential Next Generation Internet Initiative, an initiative that created the first national high performance network testbed.


Dr. Strawn was NSFNET Program Director from 1991 to 1995.  (NSFNET was the 'bridge' network between the ARPAnet experiment and the global commercial Internet that we know today.)   He supervised the progression of the NSFNET backbone network from 1.5 megabits per second to 45 megabits per second, which was ultra-high performance in 1991.  From 1993 to 1995, he was involved with defining and deploying the 'new' (privatized) Internet architecture which directly led to today's Internet.


Dr. Strawn has served as co-chair of both the interagency Large Scale Networking Working Group and the international Coordinating Committee for Intercontinental Research Networks. He also served as co-chair of the interagency Federal Networking Council.  He currently serves as co-chair of a group of science agency CIOs seeking to create faster uptake of new IT products and services created by government supported research.


Prior to joining NSF, Dr. Strawn was a computer science faculty member at Iowa State University (ISU) for a number of years. He also held several administrative positions there, having served as Director of the academic Computation Center, and as Chair of the Computer Science Department.


Dr. Strawn has held several positions in the computer industry and has worked as an information technology consultant in both private industry and government. He holds a PhD in Mathematics from Iowa State University and an undergraduate degree from Cornell College.