Posted by Alexa Rivetti, UCB student intern, UCOP. For many Berkeleyans, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) seems like a mysterious place atop the hill, full of top-secret information, virtually inaccessible by car or bus unless you have a special pass. When asked about these rumors, Deputy CIO Adam Stone laughed, “It shouldn’t be a mystery. It’s an open research institution. There’s just not enough parking up here!”
Stone is similarly open and full of interesting information. Stone first arrived at in Berkeley as a Ph.D. student in political science, studying how research and development (R&D) organizations deal with complex regulatory environments. He never visited the lab just beyond campus though, opting instead to study organizational processes related to nuclear fuel cycles at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.
After graduation, Stone joined LBNL as Deputy CIO with goals of improving cybersecurity and IT compliance, and thinking strategically about them in terms of risk management. In his 12 years at the lab, he has worked on many exciting projects. Currently, Stone and his colleagues are working on bringing multi-factor authentication systems to the lab to improve information security.
One of his most beloved projects is LabTech – LBNL’s annual premier IT outreach and community-building event. After attending UCSD’s popular event, Sharecase, Stone was inspired to create a similar conference at LBNL and collaborated with UCSD IT staff to learn how they organize it.
Universities and research labs struggle with IT awareness because it’s difficult to keep faculty and scientists up-to-date on what IT services are offered, and why they should be important to them. LabTech is the answer to this perennial problem. What once started as a small staff event with no sponsors, today has 30 vendors contributing funds.
Stone is also passionate about creating good policy outcomes for the scientists at LBNL and other laboratories as well. “My boss, the CIO, and I spend a lot of time with the Department of Energy (DOE) and our colleagues in other labs trying to influence the DOE to make good decisions that are research and development friendly.”
When not trying to shape the R&D policy landscape, Stone takes a break by checking out the amazing science projects at the lab, visiting the advanced light source in the building that once housed Lawrence’s second cyclotron. Although he sometimes misses the buzzing campus below, Stone glanced outside and smiled, “The one thing we have even better than them is the view of the bay.”