U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson tours UWF Center for Cybersecurity

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson visited the University of West Florida Pensacola campus on Friday and toured the Center for Cybersecurity with UWF President Martha Saunders.

On his tour, Nelson (D-Florida) interacted with Dr. Eman El-Sheikh, UWF Center for Cybersecurity director, and cybersecurity students and faculty. The National Security Agency recently named UWF as the National Center of Academic Excellence Cybersecurity Regional Resource Center for the Southeastern region.

“It’s a new world,” said Nelson, the ranking member of the Cyber Subcommittee on the Armed Services Committee. “Everything we do is affected by cybersecurity and the University of West Florida is doing some amazing things to train the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.”

The CAE-Cyber Defense Program Office named six CAE institutions as CAE Regional Resource Centers. As the Southeastern region hub, the UWF Center for Cybersecurity will support new and existing CAE institutions and provide leadership to advance cyber defense education among institutions of higher education in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Puerto Rico.

“We ​were honored to have Sen. Bill Nelson visit the UWF Center for Cybersecurity to explore our efforts to advance cybersecurity ​across our state and region and address the critical national need for qualified cybersecurity professionals,” El-Sheikh said. “As the NSA/DHS CAE Regional Resource Center for the Southeast, we are working on establishing a strong and vibrant cybersecurity community and expanding the number of CAE designated institutions across our region. We truly appreciate the support and efforts of our state leaders to advance our nation’s cybersecurity expertise.”

In May 2016, the NSA and the Department of Homeland Security designated UWF as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education. The National Centers of Academic Excellence program seeks to reduce vulnerability in the nation’s information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in cyber defense and increasing the number of professionals with cyber defense expertise.

For more information about the UWF Center for Cybersecurity, visit