George Mason, Howard receive $1 million from Google to launch Cybersecurity Clinic


The National Security Institute’s Cyber and Tech Center (CTC) at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School and Howard University School of Business (HUSB) have been selected to receive $1 million in support from Google’s Cybersecurity Clinics Fund to establish the NSI CTC – HUSB Cybersecurity Clinic. The funding from, the company’s philanthropic arm, is part of a $25 million collaboration with the Consortium of Cybersecurity Clinics.

Hazel Hall on the Mason Square campus
Hazel Hall at Mason Square. Photo by Ron Aira/Office of University Branding

Cybersecurity clinics at higher education institutions provide free digital security services to under-resourced organizations, similar to how law or medical schools offer free community clinics. The new NSI CTC – HUSB Cybersecurity Clinic will give students from George Mason and HUSB the opportunity to learn cybersecurity and artificial intelligence (AI) skills in an effective, hands-on manner while simultaneously helping to protect vulnerable organizations and critical infrastructure, such as local small businesses, hospitals, schools, and nonprofit organizations, from cyber attacks.

The added opportunities for George Mason students come at a critical time and could prove beneficial in fueling the growing tech talent workforce needed for the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area. Forty-one percent of the undergraduates of the Class of 2024—and 44 percent of the graduate students—earned degrees in STEM fields and the health sciences. Computer science was among the top five majors for bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD degree recipients.

According to the World Economic Forum’s 2024 Global Risks Report, cyber insecurity remains one of the top 10 global risks over the next 10 years. Currently, there are nearly 450,000 open cybersecurity jobs available in the United States, including more than 90,000 cybersecurity jobs across the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, and demand for cyber professionals is projected to grow 32% by 2033. To ensure that communities, critical infrastructure, and businesses big and small across the United States are secure, a skilled, diverse, and AI savvy cybersecurity workforce is needed.

The NSI CTC – HUSB Cybersecurity Clinic is a jointly developed and run multidisciplinary clinic that educates and trains students from both universities on cybersecurity in a classroom and clinical setting. Thanks to the generous support of Google, the clinic will be able to provide students critical hands-on practical experience from faculty, lecturers, and mentors, enabling them to provide direct cybersecurity assistance to public critical infrastructure organizations, including state and local governments, K-12 schools, utilities, public hospitals, and small businesses within the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area—all of which are facing a barrage of cybersecurity threats without the resources to address these threats.

The region is not only a thriving tech hub, but it also houses numerous universities and other educational institutions that are training the next generation of cybersecurity practitioners. The new clinic seeks to ensure that tomorrow’s workforce is diverse, capable, and motivated to strengthen the overall cybersecurity resilience of the broader communities.

“Scalia Law is thrilled to be partnering with the Howard University School of Business and on this important effort to educate young leaders and drive positive cybersecurity outcomes in the local community,” said Ken Randall, Allison and Dorothy Rouse Dean and George Mason University Foundation Professor of Law at the Scalia Law School.

“This funding from Google for a new cybersecurity clinic allows both institutions to extend our efforts to support workforce development in the region and increase exposure to this technology. The work of the clinic promises to be very impactful in addressing an important educational need in a critical technology area,” said Anthony D. Wilbon, PhD, dean of the Howard University School of Business.

“Both universities have deep ties to cybersecurity and innovation—from expert faculty to students eager to tackling tomorrow’s technology challenges—and the clinic will be a great step forward to broadening and diversifying the technology education pipeline in the region,” said Jessica Jones, deputy executive director of the National Security Institute.

“The world is in a moment where emerging technologies, like AI, are creating both new opportunities and threats in the world of cybersecurity,” said Heather Adkins, vice president of Security Engineering at Google. “It’s essential that we invest in growing a strong, diverse and widespread cybersecurity workforce to help protect everyone—from critical infrastructure to small businesses and schools.”

The NSI CTC – HUSB Cybersecurity Clinic is one of 15 new clinics set to launch in 2024 at higher education institutions across the country, thanks to a collaboration from Google and the Consortium of Cybersecurity Clinics. In addition to the support, the tech company is offering NSI CTC and HUSB volunteer mentorship from Google employees, Google Titan Security Keys, and scholarships for the Google Career Certificate in Cybersecurity. Learn more on Google’s blog and the consortium’s website.

The announcement builds on Google’s 2023 support for 10 clinics, part of a combined commitment to launch 25 Google-supported cyber clinics nationwide by 2025. With the latest round of funding, has now committed more than $25 million toward creating the diverse and AI- and digital-security savvy workforce needed to protect critical U.S. infrastructure from cyber-attacks.