James Holloway, University of New Mexico president and executive vice president for academic affairs, has named Dr. Jim L. Novak as the new director of the Global & National Security Policy Institute (GNSPI).
Novak brings strong credentials to the program having served in the United States national security community for nearly 30 years in a variety of fields, including research, development and application of cyber, nuclear and manufacturing technologies. Novak, who started on July 18, fills the post vacated by Dr. Emile Nakhleh, who retired earlier this summer.
“I am delighted Jim Novak has joined UNM as Director of Global and National Security Programs,” said UNM Provost James Holloway. “Dr. Novak has had a distinguished career addressing global security issues, including both high-level technical work and leadership roles managing various multidisciplinary teams. He brings to UNM an understanding of the multidimensional nature of global security issues and an entrepreneurial vision to promote interdisciplinary collaboration to strengthen our graduate and undergraduate programs.
“I am honored to have been appointed Director of GNSPI where I can contribute to national security in a policy-driven environment that leverages my technology background,” Novak said. “I am excited to build the Institute as we deliver on UNM’s commitments to student education and faculty scholarship to national and global security.”
Reporting to the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Global and National Security Policy Institute brings together courses, research, and programs related to global and national security at the University of New Mexico into a cohesive whole under a same umbrella to serve the whole institution – students and teachers – on its various campuses. Global and national security policy studies examine a wide range of security issues, including nuclear weapons, non-proliferation and nuclear security, natural resource management, humanitarian concerns, health issues and risks of cybersecurity.
“GNSPI taps into the roots of New Mexico’s national security in our people, our institutions, and our economy. The Institute addresses global and national existential issues facing humanity and the United States by bringing together interdisciplinary faculty and diverse student perspectives from across the UNM campus to innovate research and education in policy,” Novak said. “GNSPI broadens the educational experience of students to enhance their career opportunities, enriches interdisciplinary faculty research, and has the potential to extend New Mexico economics to global and national security policy analysis. “
At Sandia National Laboratories, Novak led the Cyber Intelligence Research program which developed and applied strategic cyber capabilities through collaborative partnerships. He previously led programs leveraging Sandia’s unique expertise in nuclear weapons and microelectronics. Previously, he led ES&H policies that ensured worker safety, protected the environment, and ensured regulatory compliance in the conduct of scientific research. Always a champion of diversity and inclusion in the accomplishment of national security missions, he received the 2021 Heart of Diversity Award from Sandia National Laboratories, recognizing his career-long commitment to action and getting results.
Novak’s leadership experience includes roles in the private sector, most recently as a consultant to the US government, academia, and the private sector on strategic cybersecurity policy. He founded two tech startups in New Mexico and received the 2010 UNM Anderson School of Management Hall of Fame Award for his contributions to the Albuquerque business community.
He currently serves on the board of the UNM Alumni Association and previously chaired the UNM Anderson School of Management alumni council. His nonprofit board experience includes serving as a member and president of the United Way Community Impact Council, People Living Through Cancer, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central New Mexico.
Novak holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from UNM Anderson School of Management. As a robotics and microelectronics researcher, he has synergized concepts in established basic science specialties through innovation and has over 24 open publications and holds 11 US patents and 2 international patents. He has completed several national fellowships, including MIT Seminar XXI and Sandia’s National Security Leadership Development Program.
For more information on UNM’s Global & National Security Policy Institute, visit GNSPI.