Richard Pethia was the Director of the CERT Division at Carnegie Mellon University's Software Engineering Institute (SEI). The CERT Division grew from the CERT Coordination Center (CERT/CC) that Mr. Pethia established in 1988 with DARPA sponsorship. The charter of the CERT/CC was to serve as a focal point for reporting and responding to security vulnerabilities, to respond to security emergencies on the Internet, and to serve as a model to help others establish Computer Security Incident Response Teams. Since then, the CERT mission has grown to include research and development in the areas of vulnerability analysis, malicious code analysis, cybersecurity engineering, secure coding, network situational awareness, insider threat, cyber intelligence, cyber forensics, risk analysis and mitigation, operational resilience, and workforce development. The CERT Division is widely recognized as a trusted, authoritative organization, and it regularly partners with government, industry, and academia to develop advanced methods and technologies to counter large-scale, sophisticated cyber threats.
In 2003, Pethia was awarded the position of SEI Fellow for his vision and leadership in establishing the CERT/CC, for creating and promoting the development of the worldwide network of over 250 Computer Security Incident Response Teams, for his development of the research and development program, and for his ongoing work and leadership in the areas of information assurance and computer and network security.
Pethia has testified before U.S. House and Senate committees and the Pennsylvania Legislature on Internet and e-commerce security issues, cyber-defense, the effects of computer viruses, and possible actions to prevent future viruses from impacting networks. He has also made presentations on computer security and computer crime to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Justice, and Interpol. Prior to joining the SEI, Pethia held the positions of Director of Engineering at Decision Data Computer Corporation, Manager of Operating Systems Development at Modular Computer Corporation, and Manager of Software Development at the University of Pittsburgh's Learning Research and Development Center.