Center for Homeland Defense and Security Interim Director Jodi Stiles has a couple of key goals as she takes over as caretaker in the wake of longtime Director Glen Woodbury’s retirement and as the search for a long-term Director is underway: continue the excellent work of the Center and help ensure the search for a new Director bears fruit.
“Under Glen’s leadership, CHDS is on a great course; it’s my job to steer that course until the search for the long-term Director is complete,” Stiles said. “Fortunately, because of the great work of so many dedicated faculty, staff, and alumni, CHDS’ course is one that can stay straight while still responding dynamically to all change inherent in the homeland security arena. Our students, faculty, and experts are looking at new threats, emerging technologies, and new policy implications every day. It’s an exciting time to be at a place like CHDS where a culture of innovation and inquiry has always been a driver. Secondly, I am committed to making sure the search for a long-term Director is successful.”
Serving as CHDS’ Chief Information Officer, Stiles’ appointment as interim Director by Naval Postgraduate School Provost Scott Gartner took effect on Aug. 13. She assumes all fiscal, supervisory, and other oversight responsibilities during the length of her appointment.
The search for a long-term Director is expected to take about six months, more or less.
Woodbury, whose last day at CHDS was Aug. 31, called Stiles an “integral part of our leadership team,” praising her “total dedication to CHDS and its mission” as “beyond question” and adding that her “sound judgement and stellar management skills will guide the Center as a national search is conducted.”
“We all greatly appreciate Jodi’s willingness to serve in this important position,” he said in a message to CHDS administrators, faculty, staff, and alumni. “Please give her your utmost support.”
Stiles has worked with CHDS for 18 years, starting as CHDS Project Director for Information and Web Services for contractor Military Personnel Services Corporation in 2005 and then as CHDS Faculty Associate and Director for Learning Support Systems starting in 2011.
As CIO, Stiles was responsible for technology, information management, and digital content at CHDS, including oversight of the Center’s many websites and its learning management and support systems. She also directs the Homeland Security Digital Library project and is responsible for content management and organization across the Center.
Stiles works closely with faculty, students, and university administration, and is responsible for information assurance and security of program data.
Before working at CHDS, Stiles was a web developer and website manager for Virginia Tech’s distance learning program when her family moved to Monterey, CA, and she said she saw a similar professional opportunity at CHDS.
“I have been involved in higher education both as a teacher and as an IT professional since the late ‘90s, so [the Naval Postgraduate School] was a natural fit,” she said. “When I started, CHDS didn’t have much of a digital footprint, and it has been a joy to see our online resources and abilities expand over the years. Being able to share so much knowledge beyond the limits of the classroom has been the challenge of my career. That, and being able to work with so many amazing educators, is what has kept me at the Center for such a long time.”
Asked if she had a message for CHDS administrators, faculty, staff, and alumni, Stiles said, “As always, I look forward to working with you in the next months. Thank you for all you do to keep the nation safe and prepared. Thank you for recognizing what a critical role education plays in our ability to address threats and complex problems. And thank you for taking the time to make that education happen.”
In addition to her work at Virginia Tech, Stiles also worked as a Web and Database Developer for start-up ArborQuest.com, Inc., and as a Secondary School Teacher in Science for the Peace Corps in Fiji.
She earned a Master’s degree in Ecology from Virginia Tech and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Indiana University, Bloomington.