CIS Team Members Honored with ISI Meritorious Service Awards

April 17, 2018

ISI Computing and Information Services (CIS) team members Amir Hashmani, Jerry Li and Ken Johnson have been recognized with ISI Meritorious Service Awards for their extraordinary efforts in executing an important government- mandated cybersecurity compliance project.

This project will have a significant and enduring impact on ISI’s operations, as National Institute of Standards and Technology (or NIST) compliance is expected to become an increasingly common requirement for receiving government awards.

ISI’s new NIST-compliant infrastructure includes improved data center facilities, new firewalls and network components, and a dedicated virtual machine (VM) cluster. The primary design and implementation activities were completed in 2017, with ongoing review and audit activities in early 2018.  

The project required months of technical planning and coordination with ISI researchers, vendor engineering teams and USC auditors to ensure successful completion. Hashmani and Li led the design and implementation of several crucial project systems. Johnson, a computer services consultant, played a key role bridging the gap between ISI’s legacy systems and the roll-out of the new infrastructure.

The awards were presented by ISI’s Michael Keston executive director Prem Natarajan during a ceremony at ISI’s headquarters in Marina del Rey on April 13, with more than 50 ISI researchers, staff and students in attendance.

“Amir, Jerry and Ken exemplify passion, engagement and innovation at ISI,” said ISI’s chief information officer Derek Lazzaro, who leads the CIS team.

“They worked tirelessly, including many late nights and weekends, to established a state-of-the-art network infrastructure and manage various phases of development, deployment and maintenance. Throughout this process, they demonstrated tremendous patience and tenacity while managing a multitude of challenging technical issues.”