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UMD Language Research Center Names Amy Weinberg Executive Director

January 9, 2013
Contacts: 

Pamela R. Morse 301-226-8899

Amy Weinberg, Ph.D.COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland Center for Advanced Study of Language (CASL) has named Amy Weinberg, Ph.D., as its new executive director, replacing Founding Director Richard Brecht, Ph.D., who will retire in January 2013. As CASL’s deputy executive director, Weinberg has been instrumental in molding the center’s strategic partnerships and research agenda.

“The University of Maryland has provided world-class research to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) for many years and we look forward to continuing this service to our nation,” said Patrick O’Shea, Ph.D., vice president and chief research officer for the University of Maryland. “With Amy Weinberg at the helm at CASL, I am confident in the continued excellence of our programs in the language sciences, as well as our graduates who go on to serve the country.”

A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Ph.D. in linguistics and philosophy, Weinberg worked as an associate professor in the University of Maryland’s Department of Linguistics and the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS) until 2004, when she joined CASL as area director for technology use.

“I am delighted to have this opportunity to shape CASL’s future and meet the needs of the next decade of language challenges that this changing world poses,” said Weinberg.

In 2007, Weinberg joined the university’s Division of Research, where she supported the University of Maryland National Security Advisory Board and other outreach efforts. In 2008, she earned the rank of professor of linguistics and was cross-appointed to the Department of Computer Science. A member of UMIACS, Weinberg served as a director of the university’s Computational Linguistics and Information Processing Laboratory until her return to CASL as deputy executive director in 2010.

“The federal government is playing a leading role in coping with the language needs of the nation, and CASL has the responsibility of transferring fresh policy and innovative human and technological solutions to the education system and to the country’s industry base,” said the outgoing Brecht. “Weinberg’s leadership will provide those fresh approaches that the government is looking for.”

The DoD recently exercised the next five-year option on its contract with the multi-million dollar University-Affiliated Research Center, which is the first and only national resource dedicated to addressing the language needs of the U.S. intelligence community. CASL currently employs approximately 150 scientists and support staff members at the University of Maryland Research Park, M Square, located just off campus.

Founded in 2003, CASL’s research has focused on increasing the efficiency of government professionals whose responsibilities include defense, intelligence, diplomacy, law enforcement, humanitarian assistance, and other important abilities.  All these global roles require skills in language, culture, and analysis that require critical research and expertise in languages and linguistics, cognitive neuroscience, human language technologies, and the behavioral and social sciences. In its first ten years, the center has dramatically improved selection, diagnosis, on-boarding, learning, and sustainment regimens for government professionals whose work depends on linguistic and cultural expertise by working closely with the military and intelligence communities to further their strategic initiatives.

ABOUT CASL
CASL conducts unprecedented, academically rigorous research in language and cognition that supports national security. CASL research is interdisciplinary and collaborative, bringing together people from the government, academia, and the private sector. CASL research is both strategic and tactical, so that it not only advances areas of knowledge, but also directly serves the critical needs of the nation. The University of Maryland is unique in its comprehensive approach to language and cybersecurity research, stressing ‘more-than-tech’ interdisciplinary solutions. For more information, visit www.casl.umd.edu.