Alumni Development Board
For more than a decade, the Volgenau School of Engineering Alumni Development Board has reached out to alumni and graduating students to foster engagement with the school and the university. Members of the board act as ambassadors and promote the school in our professional and personal relationships.
Hadi Rezazad, Chair, MEng ’03, PhD Information Technology ’09
Hadi Rezazad is co-founder and CEO of Orchid Technologies, an information technology solutions provider company established in 1992. He has more than 30 years experience in IT, with more than 23 years leading Orchid. In addition to his Mason degrees, Rezazad earned a master’s in computer science and a bachelor’s in three majors — Computer Science, Statistics, and Applied Mathematics — from American University. He has received such industry certifications as Project Management Professional and Certified Data Management Professional. Dr. Rezazad is the Chairman of the Alumni Development Board, as well as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board of Volgenau. He has coached youth sports for years and is a professionally licensed soccer coach.
Paul B. Anderson, Vice Chair, PhD Information Technology, '93
Paul Anderson has more than three decades of hands-on experience in creating system architectures, systems software, and applications software design and development. He started his career in scientific programming with a large-scale liquid-cooled parallel, pipelined computer. He worked on numerous Department of Defense projects as designer and developer in orbital mechanics, digital cartography, and massively parallel processing, then on public safety projects for the Department of Justice, FBI, and several states. In 2000, he co-founded PNL Associates, where he has continued his hands-on work in biometrics and public safety applications. He has been involved with the Alumni Development Board for about 10 years.
David P. Brown, Vice Chair, PhD Information Technology, '04
Dave Brown served for more than 22 years in the Navy and has more than 15 years experience as systems engineer, educator, and technical manager. He is a graduate of the Naval Academy, the Navy Test Pilot School, the Naval Postgraduate School, the Naval War College, and the Defense Systems Management College. He holds certifications in Program Management, Systems Engineering, and Test and Evaluation. He earned his PhD in Information Technology from Mason in 2004. The experienced consultant completed projects for the Office of Naval Research, the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, IRS, Department of Health and Human Services, and NASA. He helped facilitate and write a Systems Engineering Policy Instruction for NASA, and has also been a consultant in formulation of the acquisition plans for the Constellation Program. He was selected to the elite Scientists Helping America to assist in bringing technology to bear in the war on terror after the 9/11 attacks. He has completed curriculum development projects for the Defense Acquisition University, including Systems Engineering, Technology Management and Program Management courses. He received recognition for contributions to systems engineering with an individual award from the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, and a Team Award from the Chief Engineer of NASA. He currently is a Senior Principal Analyst for Innovative Decisions.
Mariana Cruz began working for Defense Sciences in August 2013 as an Analyst/Structural Engineer in the Technical Reachback Division. She has been involved with high-explosive modeling, blast effects, and structural vulnerability assessment.She helped provide modeling support for chemical, biological, and nuclear hazards to a variety of DoD and federal clients. In January 2016, she became a Shift Lead for the Reachback team, and has taken on the responsibilities of helping manage a team of highly skilled scientists and engineers through day-to-day operations. Cruz received a Master's in Civil Engineering with a concentration in Structural Engineering from the University of Delaware in 2014. Her graduate work focused on structural reliability and probability assessment, and was presented at the International Conference for Structural Safety and Reliability in 2013. She was honored with the George Mason University Alumni Association's Senior of the Year Award and currently serves in the Alumni Association Board, the VSE Advisory Board, and the Golden Quill Society.
Pete Farrell is a faculty member and course coordinator for Senior Design Capstone courses in the Information Sciences & Technology Department. Since graduating from Mason, he's served in many volunteer roles for the university, including as Chair of the Annual Fund Committee, Member of the Leadership Committee for the 2005 Capital Campaign, President of the Mason Alumni Association, and currently, as a member of the Volgenau School Alumni Development Board. He has been working at Mason for eight years, initially as Alumni Relations Director, now, as a member of the faculty. Farrell returned to Mason after military service and a career in commercial and government IT consulting. He's had roles as a business analyst, vice president of finance, vice president and general manager, and senior vice president of IT consulting. During the summer, he volunteers as a sailing coach for Special Olympics.
Jeff Fissel co-founded KZO Innovations in 2007, and serves as Vice President of Solutions. He also served as Vice President of Business Development. Fissel plays a key role in select strategic accounts and corporate development activities at KZO. He is an expert with interactive streaming media technologies and was a member of the development team for KZO technology. Prior to KZO, he founded KZO Webcasting and produced hundreds of global webcasts ranging from events in the White House for President Bush to film festivals in Hollywood. Fissel has a B.S. in Information Technology with a concentration in Information Security and Network Administration from Mason.
Andy Goldin has worked in various roles across the information technology industry. Goldin, a graduate of the College of William and Mary with a Bachelor's in Comparative Literature, was an analyst with a defense contractor in Alexandria, Virginia. While employed at Calibre Systems, he attended Mason’s School of Information Technology and graduated with a Master’s in Information Systems in 1998. In the course of his career, he has worked at companies ranging in size from his own one-person company to startups and large international corporations, including contracts at Microsoft, UUNET, CSC, and others. He has served in a variety of IT-related positions, including analysis, software testing, system development and design, installation and deployment, on-site support, consulting, and sales engineering. In addition to his IT career, he has more than 20 years of service in the Army National Guard, with tours in Bosnia, Afghanistan, and most recently, at the Army’s Cyber Command in Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
James Ogletree is director of Command and Control Services for Northrop Grumman’s Technology Services. Before that, he managed the Navy-Marine Corps cyber-business line for Northrop Grumman. Before joining Northrop Grumman in 2002, Ogletree served as a communications officer in the Marine Corps, and is currently a lieutenant colonel in the Marine Reserve. He earned a Bachelor’s in history and a Master’s in telecommunications from Mason, as well as a graduate certificate in Information Security Management from the University of Virginia. He has been a member of the George Mason University Alumni Board.
Matthew Slaight is Business Unit Vice President at CSRA. Previously, he was Director & Industry General Manager at Computer Sciences Corp.; before that, he was Director of Software, Systems and Security at NES Associates. He has held a variety of positions with Northrop Grumman, including Director, Cybersecurity Strategy and Planning and Department Manager, Cybersecurity Solutions. He was a Systems Administrator with Sprint, and an Environmental Scientist with LAW Engineering & Environmental Services. He is a Certified Information Security Manager and a Systems Security Certified Practitioner. In 2013, he was honored with the Volgenau School of Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award.
Rob Walters is a Senior Management Consultant for Quality Technical Services. Previously, he was Chief Technology Officer at CXI, Partner and Director of Business Performance Management at IndigeTech, Chief Technology Officer of STR Software, and Senior Software Engineer at FairPoint Technologies. Rob serves as the President of Bon Air Youth Basketball League and the Mason Alumni Richmond Club (MasonRVA), in Richmond, Virginia.