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University Relations

June 26, 2008 Communique

New NISSSC leader selected

A public affairs executive who assisted in the creation of U.S. Northern Command will lead the National Institute of Science, Space and Security Centers at UCCS.

Michael B. Perini, of Woodland Park, currently director of public affairs for Headquarters North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, was named NISSSC executive director effective July 7. His appointment was announced by Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak.

“Mike Perini brings to UCCS more than 30 years administrative experience in our nation’s armed forces,” Shockley-Zalabak said. “His expertise in areas such as homeland defense and space with an understanding of the importance of developing future science and mathematics expertise make him uniquely qualified to lead this important institute.”

NISSSC incorporates four research and teaching oriented centers including the Center for Homeland Security, the Trauma, Health and Hazards Center, the Center for Space Studies, and the Center for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education. As executive director, Perini will oversee the overall direction of the institute. Directors of the four centers will report to him.

The position is newly created and is part of a restructuring of duties previously assigned to the associate vice chancellor for research and graduate studies position.

Since 2002, Perini served as director of public affairs for NORAD and USNORTHCOM, a civilian position. He retired from the U.S. Air Force in 2002 with the rank of colonel, having served 30 years in a variety of positions, primarily in public affairs with responsibilities in the aerospace, space and cyber and homeland defense disciplines. He began his Air Force career as an air traffic controller at bases in Texas and Thailand and taught in the military and at the university level.

Among his awards are the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. His office at U.S. Northern Command received the 2006 Silver Anvil Award from the Public Relations Society of America for excellence in crisis communications by a government agency.

Perini earned a bachelor’s degree in social studies from Washington State University and a master’s degree in education from the University of Southern Mississippi. He also attended the Air Command and Staff College, Air War College, and the Armed Forces Staff Colleges.

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