A Conversation with Dr. Robert D. Childs

August 27, 2011

On March 5, 1999, Dr. Childs was selected as Senior Director of the Information Resources Management College (iCollege), and has recently been named Chancellor. Under his leadership the college has become the international leader in providing graduate-level educational services and learning experiences in Information Assurance, Chief Information Officer, “E” Government, and strategic leader competencies to government employees; and was designated as a “National Center of Excellence in Information Assurance Education.” The college has earned numerous awards while becoming recognized as one of the leading corporate universities in America during his tenure.

Setting the vision and strategic direction for the College, Dr. Childs significantly increased the college’s reach and impact by actively collaborating with government, private sector, and international leaders to establish dynamic programs, relationships, and partnerships. He has worked with such diverse groups as the London School of Economics, Royal Defence College, Armed Forces Communication and Electronics Association (AFCEA), Decision Sciences Institute, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Industry Advisory Council/American Council for Technology, Google, IBM, Cisco, General Dynamics, VMWare, TIBCO, Corporate University Xchange, various government agencies (FAA, EPA, GAO and OPM), and international governments (Australia, Sweden, New Zealand, Switzerland, Romania, Singapore, Bulgaria, Japan, Iraq, Taiwan, South Korea and China) regarding the strategic use of information, information technology, information assurance, organizational models, cyber security, and building educational programs.

Dr. Childs became Dean of Faculty and Academic Programs at the Information Resources Management College on October 1, 1991. As Dean he spearheaded the upgrading of college faculty and programs, conceptualized and implemented a 10-month Information Warfare and Strategy program, and guided development of the Chief Information Officer Program. He established the first industry chair at the National Defense University and developed procedures to allow the first industry students to attend the IRM College. Later he expanded the number of partnerships with institutions offering cooperative masters and Ph.D. degrees and significantly increased interagency and international participation in programs.

Commissioned into the Air Force, his first assignment was Chief, Instructor Training, at the School of Applied Aerospace Sciences-Denver, Colorado. Later he participated in the early founding of the Community College of the Air Force and served as Director, Associations and Institutions of Higher Education. Selected for the Air Staff Training Program (ASTRA), he later served as Director, Precommissioning Programs, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Personnel Policy. During 1976, he became the Director of Plans and Program Analysis at the Air Command and Staff College. In 1978 he was selected as Commandant, Air Force Systems Command Noncommissioned Officers Academy and Leadership School where he initiated a major redirection of the curriculum to strengthen managerial responsibilities being given to noncommissioned officers.

In 1980, he was selected as a Senior Research Fellow at National Defense University and in 1981 graduated from National War College. From 1981 to 1983, he served as Director of the Air Force Leadership and Motivation Branch, where he initiated the first major review of the enlisted professional military education system. He became the Director of Academic Plans and Policy, National Defense University, where he authored the DoD Wide Joint Professional Military Education Curriculum and Standards and managed the reorganization of the University. Selected for an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellowship in 1989, he served as the assistant to the President and Provost at George Mason University.

Most recently he led the college in crafting a new vision guiding the iCollege to become “The global hub for educating, informing and connecting information age leaders.” Under his direction the iCollege has undertaken conducting a series of international conferences covering education on social media, critical infrastructure protection and cyberSecurity. These conferences are aimed at bring the private, international and US government communities together in collaborative efforts.

He serves, and has served, on a number of Committees and Boards: Industry Advisory Council/ American Council on Technology Program Committees; the American Council on Education’s Council of Fellows; Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies Board of Visitors; The Information Resource Management Association Board of Advisors and International Curriculum Committee; AFCEA Technology Committee; and the eGovernment Program Advisory Board. In 2001, 2002, 2009 and 2010 he was recognized as a “Federal 100 Award” recipient for leadership in providing educational services enabling government to better serve its citizens. In 2009 he received the AFCEA Award for Excellence in Information Technology.

Dr. Childs earned a Bachelor of Science from Grove City College, a Master of Arts from Duke University and a Doctorate from Denver University. He is a graduate of the National War College and Air Command and Staff College and attended the Advanced Management Program at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

He and his wife, Jane, live in Clifton, Virginia, and have two children, Robert and Tina.

Listen to the complete interview.


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