By Karen Ferraiolo
George Jelen, our friend and colleague in the information systems security community, died of an aortic aneurysm on September 1, 2000.
For the last five years he was a private consultant to corporate clients on systems security and privacy issues.
George joined the National Security Agency in the late 1950s and retired in 1995 as special assistant to the chief of information systems security's (INFOSEC) customer services and engineering group. Among the previous positions he held there were senior agency representative to the Defense Department and director of operations security, in which he handled internal-security matters. As a member of the Senior Cryptologic Executive Service, George became the Chief of the Office of Research and Development at the DoD Computer Security Center, which evolved into the nation's central leadership and performance organization for information security R&D in the 1980s. Numerous themes were initiated and carried forward because of George's deep understanding and intuition. He conducted research in information security under a special scholars program at Harvard University. In this program, George produced a thesis that continues to stand on its own as a landmark paper in our field. It was published by Harvard's Center for Information Policy Research as INFORMATION SECURITY: AN ELUSIVE GOAL in April 1984.
In the last several years, he was instrumental in forming the International Systems Security Engineering Association (ISSEA) and helping to form the momentum needed to move the SSE-CMM and other seminal work into a close relationship with the mainstream of information security thinking. He served as the Director of Community Development, building both ISSEA corporate and individual membership, worked as program chair for ISSEA's annual conference, and initiated the publishing of a textbook on security engineering.