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We are proud to share with you the following Argyle Industry Influencers. Their contributions to Argyle help keep the programs we offer our membership current and relevant, so we can continue delivering you premiere experiences, content development, and membership engagement.
Innovative IT leader with 20+ years of experience in risk management, security, compliance, third-party risk management, business analysis, and planning. Adept at driving business solutions, improving organizational processes and leveraging technology to better achieve business goals.
Tolgay Kizilelma is a business IT leader with almost three decades of experience covering the whole IT spectrum. He started his professional career in 1992 developing CASE ERP tools for System Software Associates (SSA, later acquired by Infor Global). After working briefly for the University of California, Berkeley as a business systems analyst, Tolgay transitioned to private sector leading and managing IT initiatives for a Distribution and Supply Chain Company, Shields Harper & Co. After almost two decades in private sector, Tolgay returned to UC and worked for UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) leading statewide infrastructure projects to extend broadband to UC researchers in rural communities by connecting UC ANR sites to the California Research and Education Network (CalREN). UC ANR has been awarded the CENIC 2018 Innovations in Networking Award for Broadband Applications due to these projects. At UC ANR, he also led and managed the service desk, network, infrastructure/systems, and information security teams covering the whole state.
He is currently leading cybersecurity efforts as the Chief Information Security Officer at UC Merced. He is an advocate of lifelong learning and teaches graduate business analytics courses at Saint Mary’s College of California. His current research interests are cybersecurity, digital transformation, business analytics, and educational IT programs. He has various industry certifications, a BS degree in computer engineering, an MBA, and PhD focusing on information security, quality, and patient safety.
Dr. Sasi Pillay serves as the Vice President and Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Washington State University (WSU). In this role he oversees the computing infrastructure of foundational technologies and research computing, working in collaboration with his constituents. He is also responsible for telecommunications, local area and wide area networking and IT Security. He led the development of roadmaps for Academic and Research Computing, Administrative and Business Computing and for Foundational Technologies. He has improved the service delivery of the ITS organization, by instituting change management, architectural review and project management. In addition, his team is involved in improving IT Security across all of WSU campuses and in deploying a Security Operations Center and a Network Operations Center.
Previously, he served as the Associate Vice President and Chief Information Officer of the University of Wisconsin System, comprising 26 campuses. In this role, he was responsible for the leadership and guidance of a broad portfolio of enterprise technology operations including broadband networking, major academic and business applications, library automation and adoption of strategic new technologies that added value to the University of Wisconsin System for instruction, research, learning and public service. He led the creation of a Strategic Intent Document working closely with the Campus CIOs, initiated a working group to recommend and create a Unified Communication and Collaboration framework and worked on improving IT Security with the help of Campus IT professionals. He also initiated the formation of a system wide Data Governance Council and an Innovation Fund to help introduce and infuse new ideas into the system.
Dr. Pillay served as the Chief Technology Officer for Information Technology (IT) at National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA). In this capacity, he directed how promising technologies are developed, evaluated and integrated into mainstream IT services at the Agency. To facilitate innovation, he set up two programs, Open Innovation and IT Labs. These programs have been heralded as a model in government and have received several national awards. He was also responsible for managing Enterprise Architecture, Open Government activities and the dissemination of Scientific and Technical Information for the Agency. Previously, he served as the Chief Information Officer at the NASA John H. Glenn Research Center for 15 years. In this regard, Dr. Pillay had a broad scope of responsibility including managing administrative telecommunications, networking, desktop computing, several key administrative applications, computer modeling and simulation, and high-end computing and visualization. Under his leadership, NASA Glenn served as the lead for NASA for the development of Agency-wide standards and architecture for end user devices and systems with a focus on security, interoperability, and collaboration. He was also responsible for NASA Glenn saving nearly $8 million annually through standardization, consolidation and outsourcing of end user devices and services while improving customer satisfaction and other service metrics. These savings continue to accrue over the years. He also implemented and promoted a collaboration environment resulting in improved productivity and reduced expenses across multiple disciplines comprised of over 200 workgroups.
Dr. Pillay is the recipient of NASA’s Exceptional Service Medal and the Outstanding Leadership Medal. He is also the recipient of the Presidential Rank Award recognizing him as a Meritorious Executive in the U.S. federal government. He was recognized as one of the Federal 100 winners based on his positive impact on NASA and the community. He was also named as one of the top 25 IT leaders in Government citing his technology vision, clout among peers in other agencies, and for the ability to show concrete results. He was recognized as the CIO of the Year by the North East Ohio Software Association in 2008.
Dr. Pillay received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Engineering from Case Western Reserve University. He also has a Master’s degree in Management of Technology from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.