Making the World a Safer Place

James Curtis, PhD

James Curtis, PhD

Dr. James (Jim) Curtis has made a career of making the world a safer place. Curtis grew up in Gilman, Illinois, and studied at Texas State University before joining the U.S. Military. Curtis dedicated 25 years of service in the Air Force, including a tour in the White House as a communications officer for President Bush (41) and Clinton. During his service, Curtis furthered his education earning a Master’s of Public Administration at the University of Oklahoma, a Master’s in Computers and Information Management at Webster University, and a PhD in Public Policy at Saint Louis University.

Jim spent a lifetime’s career in the Cybersecurity field at the federal and private levels, “even before it was called Cybersecurity” he notes. He now devotes his full time efforts to teaching skills he knows to be highly valuable to national and personal security as a new addition to the Walker School as Assistant Professor of Cybersecurity and Computer Science.

The position as White House communications officer took Curtis “all over the world,” and allowed him to participate in many historical moments including: having dinner in the Queen’s Throne Room in Buckingham Palace, riding in Air Force One, viewing the signing of the START II nuclear treaty by President Bush and President Gorbachev, witnessing Clinton nominate Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the Supreme Court, and Michael Jackson singing at Clinton’s Inauguration. His military experience includes spending 2,000 hours in EC-135 “Looking Glass” aircraft and serving in the Gulf War.

After Air Force retirement, Curtis worked at A.G. Edwards until the events of 9/11. His calling to support the U.S. once again led him to SRA International as a Vice President where he worked on government defense contact for thirteen years until the transition to full-time professorship.

Curtis sits on the Board of Directors Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA,) and spoke at the Association’s last conference on the topic: 7 Elements of Risk Management for Cyber Security. In the previous year, he has also spoken at the Gateway Cyber Conventions on “Preparing Cyber Warriors, How Academia Is Embracing Cybersecurity” and at Ball State University on “Doxxing,” made recent appearances on KMOX to discuss Cybersecurity, and the threat to national security, and promoted the Cybersecurity Program with Webster University President Stroble on Fox2 News.

His experiences have given him the ability to integrate real Cybersecurity experiences and scenarios into his curriculum. He is enthusiastic about the importance of the program and its high career projections. Curtis believes that academia is a crucial component to private and public partnerships to unite for the common goal of cybersecurity in America. “It is not a matter of have you been attacked by a cyber-attack, but when it will happen to you and how devastating it will be to your life.”