david luzzi

David E. Luzzi, Ph.D., M.B.A.

Vice President, Northeastern University Innovation Campus
Vice Provost for Research, Innovation, and Development

David E. Luzzi is Vice President for the Northeastern University Innovation Campus in Burlington, MA (ICBM) and the Vice Provost for Research Innovation and Development. He is responsible for the growth and impact of the ICBM, and university programs with corporations and in Security, Intelligence and Resilience (SIR). SIR programs now include strategic partnerships with the Army, National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. The 70,000 sqft George J. Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security was built under Luzzi’s direction and has become an ICBM centerpiece.

Luzzi has extensive experience in security-related research and leadership. He is a member of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Cyber Supply Chain Risk and a member of the Board of Directors of the Advanced Cyber Security Center. His research program executed projects for the Army, Navy, Air Force, and NATO, as well as the National Science Foundation, NASA, the European Union, and other federal and state agencies and corporations. He is a member of the Innovation and Collaboration Board of Hanscom Air Force Base, is a member of the Massachusetts High Technology Council’s Defense Technology Initiative and the New England Council’s Defense Working Group. He was a Science and Technology Fellow with the Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group from 1999-2000, and a member of the US Air Force Scientific Advisory Board from 2003-2008. In 2006-2007, he was the Science and Technology Chair of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, leading the review of the $3.6 billion/year Air Force Science and Technology program. In 2008, Luzzi was awarded the Meritorious Civilian Service Medal by the Air Force in recognition of his service.

Luzzi was formerly the Dean of Northeastern’s College of Engineering and the Executive Director of its Strategic Security Initiative. Luzzi grew the College from a $67 million per year enterprise to $115 million per year in four years, doubling the number of Ph.D. students funded with external research grants and increasing annual research awards from $21 million to $47 million. Under his leadership, the College added 37 new faculty members, growing to a standing faculty of 112 professors in four departments, a student body of 4,000, and offering nine Ph.D. research programs, including new programs in Bioengineering and Information Assurance. The College grew from two to eight national research centers with federal funding from the DHS, NIST, DVA, NIH, NSF, DOE and CMS. Through success in philanthropy and research center awards, the College launched the University’s Strategic Security Initiative, which Luzzi led. In 2012, Luzzi was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

Prior to joining Northeastern, Luzzi was on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania for twenty years, where he taught materials and nanoscience, and engaged in research on atomic level structure and processes. He is a graduate of the Stevens Institute of Technology (BE, Nuclear and Thermonuclear Energy, 1980), Northwestern University (PhD, Materials Science and Engineering, 1986), the Institute for Defense Analyses Defense Science Study Group (1997) and the Wharton School of Business (MBA, 2007) where he was a Palmer Scholar. He has authored over 130 publications and patents on nanoscale phenomena, instrumentation, and materials, cited in over 6,000 publications. He has conducted three years of research in Japan as a Visiting Professor at Kyoto University (1996-1997) and a Research Fellow at Osaka University (1984-1985). Luzzi’s research group discovered the Peapod class of nanomaterials, developing synthesis routes, solving structures and demonstrating unique properties. For this work, Luzzi received the George Heilmeier Award for Research Innovation; the research was highlighted on the cover of Science in 2002. In 2000, Luzzi was a founder of the Nanotechnology Institute (NTI), a twelve institution consortium led by Penn, Drexel University and the Ben Franklin Technology Partners, an economic development organization. The NTI has over 800 IP assets under management, brought over $280 million in public and private investment to the region, and fostered the creation of 43 companies. Luzzi was also the Founding Director of the Penn Regional Nanotechnology Facility. Two companies were spun out of Luzzi’s research lab.

Luzzi currently resides in Weston, MA with his wife Marla, and their twin sons.



Mel Bernstein

Mel Bernstein

Chairman of the Board 

Mel Bernstein, Ph.D. is the Chairman of the Board at George J. Kostas Research Institute, LLC, and Professor of the Practice in Technology Policy and Materials Engineering at Northeastern University. He earned his doctorate in Metallurgy and Material Science from Columbia University.

Dr. Bernstein joined the University in July 2010 as Senior Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Education. Prior to his appointment he was the Vice President for Research at the University of Maryland where he led the effort to promote strong growth amongst the University’s research programs and developed partnerships with government agencies and corporations

In 2003, Dr. Bernstein established the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of University Programs, where he served as its Director. In that role, he facilitated the creation of an integrated network of merit-based national centers, bringing together the best academic talent from Engineering, Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, and Social Sciences and the Humanities, to work in areas critical to Homeland Security. He then served as Acting Director of the Office of Research and Development at DHS.

Before joining the Department of Homeland Security, Dr. Bernstein was Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Brandeis University. Dr. Bernstein has also served at Tufts University as Vice President for Arts, Sciences and Engineering, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences and Engineering, and Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Physics, and as Provost and Chancellor at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Dr. Bernstein has authored or co-authored more than 150 scientific and technical papers, co-edited four books and published numerous articles, during a research career at Carnegie Mellon University where he was Professor and Chair of the Department of Material Science and Engineering.


Peter Boynton

CEO and Director

Peter Boynton is CEO and Co-Director of the George J. Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security at Northeastern University, LLC.  The institute brings together academic, industry and government research to accelerate innovation related to resilience and security.  He is a Professor of the Practice at Northeastern University, affiliated with the College of Social Sciences and Humanities.

Prior to arriving at the Kostas Institute in the fall of 2011, he was Commissioner of Emergency Management and Homeland Security for the state of Connecticut, appointed by both republican and democratic Governors.  He led statewide responses to three Presidential disaster declarations, supported the statewide response to the H1N1 outbreak, established the state-led intelligence fusion center and developed the framework for statewide emergency response.  Prior to being Commissioner, he was Federal Security Director for aviation security at Bradley International airport, where he led the airport from the lowest rated TSA operations in the eastern U.S. to among the top ten.

Mr. Boynton was previously an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard, retiring at the rank of Captain.  His service included 10 years of sea duty, commanding officer of three Coast Guard cutters and Captain of the Port for maritime security.  He was the senior Coast Guard officer at the U.S. Department of State, and was a Director on the White House National Security Council (NSC).

He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a degree in ocean engineering from the Coast Guard Academy.  He has testified before the U.S. Congress on emergency management and homeland security issues, and has served on numerous non-profit boards.  He was Chair of the Connecticut Pilot Commission and holds an unlimited Master’s License for ocean-going vessels of any tonnage.


Stephen Flynn, PhD

Professor and Co-Director

Dr. Stephen Flynn is Professor of Political Science at Northeastern University with faculty affiliations in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs. At Northeastern, he is also the Founding Director of the Global Resilience Institue, and Co-Director of the George J. Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security.

Dr. Flynn is recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on critical infrastructure resilience, and transportation and supply chain security and resilience. From 2013-15, he led a 2-year multi-university study funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and drafted the final report on Bolstering Critical Infrastructure Resilience After Superstorm Sandy: Lessons for New York and the Nation. Flynn has been appointed by Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson to serve as a member of the Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Council (HSSTAC). He is also a member of the National Security Advisory Board for Argonne National Laboratory. Additionally he holds research affiliations with the Wharton School’s Risk Management and Decision Processes Center, and Columbia University’s National Disaster Preparedness Center. Dr. Flynn is also the principal for Stephen E. Flynn Associates LLC, where he provides independent advisory services on improving critical infrastructure security and resilience.

Before joining the faculty at Northeastern University in 2011, Dr. Flynn served as President of the Center for National Policy. Prior to that he spent a decade as a senior fellow for National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Prior to September 11, 2001, Dr. Flynn served as an expert advisor to U.S. Commission on National Security (Hart-Rudman Commission), and following the 9/11 attacks he was the executive director of a blue-ribbon Council on Foreign Relations homeland security task force, again co-led by former Senators Gary Hart and Warren Rudman. He served as the principal advisor to the bipartisan Congressional Port Security Caucus, advised the Bush Administration on maritime and homeland security issues, and after the November 2008 election of President Barack Obama, served as the lead policy advisor on homeland security as a part of the presidential transition team. From 2003-2010 he served as a member of the National Research Council’s Marine Board.

Dr. Flynn has presented expert congressional testimony before the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives on 31 occasions. A dynamic and accomplished public speaker, he has delivered keynote addresses at more then one hundred international and national conferences. Dr. Flynn is a frequent media commentator and has appeared on Meet the Press, 60 Minutes, The News Hour, The Today Show, the Charlie Rose Show, CNN and on National Public Radio. He has written two of the most widely-cited books on homeland security: The Edge of Disaster: Rebuilding a Resilient Nation (Random House, 2007) and America the Vulnerable (HarperCollins 2004). Five of his articles have been published in the prestigious journal, Foreign Affairs. Excerpts of his books have been featured in Time, as the cover story for U.S. News & World Report, and as the subject of two CNN documentaries.

A 1982 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Dr. Flynn served in the Coast Guard on active duty for 20 years, including two tours as commanding officer at sea, received several professional awards including the Legion of Merit, and retired at the rank of Commander. As a Coast Guard officer, he served in the White House Military Office during the George H.W. Bush administration and as a director for Global Issues on the National Security Council staff during the Clinton administration. He was a Guest Scholar in the Foreign Policy Studies Program at the Brookings Institution from 1991-92, and in 1993-94 he was an Annenberg Scholar-in-Residence at the University of Pennsylvania. He received the M.A.L.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, in 1990 and 1991 and in 2009, he received an honorary doctorate of laws from Monmouth University.



leonard polizzotto

Dr. Leonard Polizzotto

Executive in Residence

Dr. Len Polizzotto recently retired as Draper Laboratory’s Vice President responsible for new programs, leading efforts to leverage Draper’s capabilities to solve new important national needs. He was responsible for establishing Draper’s Bioengineering Center on the USF campus in Tampa, a Multichip Module Facility in St. Petersburg, establishing Draper’s energy business and leading two medical consortia. One, IMEDS, was focused on developing systems to provide real time decision support to clinicians at the bedside in the ICU. The other was aimed at developing quantitative bio markers for PTSD.

Prior to joining Draper in 2007, Polizzotto served for six years as Corporate Vice President for Business Development for SRI International, a world leader in contract R&D services where he established a center for proteomic drug development in Virginia, as well as helped develop and teach a course on innovation to company executives throughout the world. A 25-year tenure at the Polaroid Corporation preceded this, concluding with the assignment of Corporate Vice President for New Business Development.

Between corporate experiences, Polizzotto directed the Center for the Globalization of Technology at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, as well as taught courses in electrical en-gineering and design. In the past, he founded one and led another high tech start-up, both in the biomedical area.

Polizzotto received his Ph.D. in visual sciences, combining electrical engineering, percep-tual psychology, and ophthalmology, from Tufts University. He earned M.S. and B.S. degrees in electrical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, with Distinction, and completed The Executive Program at the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business. He is a member of Tau Beta Pi and was an NCAA Post Graduate Scholar. He holds eleven patents and is a Charter Fellow in the National Academy of Inventors. He is the author of numerous articles on human color perception, digital imaging, microphotography, and innovation, as well as two books on drum set instruction.

Currently, Polizzotto is an Executive in Residence at Northeastern University for Research and Innovation in the College of Engineering and for Technical Program Development at Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security helping to develop and implement innovative ways for industry, the government, and academia to collaborate. He is also a partner in The Practice of Innovation teaching innovation fundamentals to industry and academia globally.