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Donald Welch Selected as Merit President and CEO

Dr. Donald J. Welch, currently Chief Technologist for H-E-B in San Antonio, Texas (a $12 billion international retailing corporation) has been selected as the President and CEO of Merit Network, Inc. Before joining H-E-B, Dr. Welch was the Academic Division’s Chief Information Officer at the United States Military Academy at West Point. His selection was announced today by John Camp, Chair of Merit’s Board of Directors and CIO of Wayne State University.

“I am delighted that Don Welch has accepted this position,” Camp said. “His 25 years of experience in technology, strategy and education will bring an exciting and forward-thinking perspective to Merit’s future direction.”

Dr. Welch’s appointment, which was recommended by a Presidential Search Committee consisting of members of Merit’s Board and Merit staff, was approved unanimously by Merit’s Board of Directors on April 27, 2006. Dr. Welch will join Merit on July 10, 2006 although he will attend the upcoming meeting of the Merit Board in June.

Dr. Welch received a B.S. in Mechanics from the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, and an M.S. in Computer Science from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, California. Dr. Welch also obtained a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland. In his faculty role at West Point, Dr. Welch taught courses in computer science, information technology, and computer security as well as developed curricula for those disciplines.

Throughout his career, Dr. Welch has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills and technical success with continual increases in responsibility and authority. He served in a number of command functions in the U.S. Army before joining the faculty at West Point as Professor of Computer Science and then serving as CIO. He won West Point’s teaching excellence award for his classroom work and helped West Point win awards and recognition for its leading-edge educational technology. He retired from the military a full Colonel and joined H-E-B, where he has been recognized for his many achievements.

In addition to his teaching and administrative experiences, Dr. Welch has been active in research and has published over fifteen papers on computer security. He has been invited to speak at five security conferences and was chosen to serve on the executive committee of the IEEE Task Force on Information Assurance.

“Don Welch has a passion for education and has opted to return to the academic world as Merit’s president and CEO,” said David Gift, Vice Chair of Merit’s Board of Directors and Vice Provost for Libraries, Computing and Technology, and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Radiology, at Michigan State University. “We are very lucky to have someone with such varied experience as an educator, researcher, administrator and leader join Merit in this role. His enthusiasm, experience and vision will serve Merit and our community very well.”

“This year Merit celebrates its 40th year of providing advanced networking services for the research and educational communities,” added Camp. “I look forward to working with Don Welch as we continue that work and build our future together. “Please join me in welcoming Don to the Merit Network community.”

About Merit Network

Merit Network Inc., is a nonprofit corporation owned and governed by Michigan’s public universities. Merit owns and operates America’s longest-running regional research and education network. In 1966, Michigan’s public universities created Merit as a shared resource to help meet their common need for networking assistance. Since its formation, Merit Network has remained at the forefront of research and education networking expertise and services. Merit provides high-performance networking and IT solutions to Michigan’s public universities, colleges, K-12 organizations, libraries, state government, healthcare, and other non-profit organizations.

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