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Ray Zeisz

Senior Director

Friday Institute 127A

Bio

Ray Zeisz is the Senior Director of the Technology Infrastructure Lab at the Friday Institute. In this role he leads a team that researches, analyzes, and builds tools that enable policymakers to make informed decisions about the use of technology in public sector applications. While most work is focused on K-20 education, the TIL team often works on cross cutting topics that impact the overall wellbeing of students, such as healthcare, access to broadband and economic development.

Ray joined the Friday Institute in 2012 after a successful career in the private sector. Ray has held positions in software engineering, product management, and strategic business development at several companies including IBM and Juniper Networks. Ray holds numerous patents in the field of data networking and has been published in IEEE Communications. He was an active contributor to several IEEE standards and has written software that was deployed on millions of devices.

While Ray enjoys attending Wolfpack football games, he is a graduate of Virginia Tech.

LinkedIn: Ray Zeisz

Grants

Date: 07/01/23 - 6/30/26
Amount: $1,950,000.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Public Instruction

The Friday Institute shall: ● Create, maintain and manage tools that inform and automate cybersecurity program functions. ● Identity and Access Management o Provide SME for RFP vendor evaluation o Provide strategy and support for next gen IAM implementation o Help to work across K-20 to leverage economies of scale and improve interoperability ● Assist DPI and its vendors in the enhancement, expansion, and optimization of the K12 cybersecurity program including, but not limited to, user education, asset discovery, checklists, plans, and templates for use by PSUs; and risk/response management. ● Assist DPI and PSUs with implementation of applicable ongoing and future DPI provided cybersecurity solutions selection, planning and implementation as directed by DPI cybersecurity team. ● Provide subject matter expertise to DPI PSU Cybersecurity program that ensures activities, solutions, and documentation align with CIS, NIST and other applicable security frameworks, controls or other methods. ● Research, analyze and provide feedback regarding current and emerging resources that are applicable to enhancing PSU cybersecurity posture. To include Backup Strategy, Planning procedures, and solutions that meet applicable standards to protect PSU high-value assets. ● Assist DPI in administering the Cybersecurity Advisory Committee meetings by providing subject matter expertise, guidance, planning assistance, content delivery on related topics, and other needs that enhance PSUs cybersecurity posture. ● Conduct necessary research as required by DPI and assist with procurement processes that provide improved access to these services and products that align with the PSU Cybersecurity Program. ● Assist DPI in developing and implementing a cybersecurity training strategy that aligns with the NC Digital Learning Plan, Data Privacy and Cybersecurity category. ● Assist DPI in developing and presenting content delivery and materials at conferences, webinars, regional events, and other meetings as requested by DPI. ● Assist DPI Cybersecurity team to evaluate school education network architecture and cyber-security programs to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. ● Assist DPI in developing and implementing a stakeholder communication and management plan to support the NCDPI cybersecurity team in an annual cycle. ● Assist DPI Cybersecurity team in the development of the annual Legislative Report on Cybersecurity. This report may include performance analysis, identification of needs, and recommendations for improvement ● Provide a report of the above activities with the detailed monthly billing statement. ● Assist DPI Cybersecurity team in developing a program whereby college students work at PSUs in the summer to help school technology staff with cybersecurity-related tasks. ● Assist DPI Cybersecurity team to develop a plan to ensure K-20 Outreach and Pipeline Development.

Date: 03/01/23 - 12/30/23
Amount: $308,226.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Information Technology (was NC Office of Information Techonology Services)

The Friday Institute proposes to provide technical assistance and support to assist the Division in developing the state’s BEAD Five-Year Action Plan (Plan) as required by the NTIA's NOFO. The Plan will provide a strategic foundation for alignment with the Initial and Final Proposals.

Date: 07/01/22 - 11/30/23
Amount: $243,784.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Information Technology (was NC Office of Information Techonology Services)

The Friday Institute, staffed by the Technology Infrastructure Lab, will provide technical support to BIO and the Division of Broadband & Digital Equity for these broadband infrastructure programs. This work is a 12-month engagement to support the Broadband Infrastructure Office during their roll-out of the various broadband infrastructure grant programs during FY2022-2023. Work may provide technical or policy support for the development and monitoring of the GREAT, CAB, Stop Gap or Pole Replacement Programs; provide mapping or data support for these last-mile initiatives; or provide broadband planning in relation to these infrastructure programs or under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act/Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, for the BEAD (Broadband, Equity, Access, and Deployment) Program. The Technology Infrastructure Lab has provided support to BIO on various efforts since 2018.

Date: 07/01/20 - 6/30/23
Amount: $1,100,500.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Public Instruction

The Friday Institute shall: ● Create and manage tools that inform and automate SCI program functions. ● Develop and implement strategies for maximizing the value of the State’s E-Rate filing and allocation of State funding. ● Assist SCI staff in engagement with the Federal Communications Commission on Proposed Rule Makings and detailed discussions on the successful E-rate program in NC. ● Collaborate with PSU technology leaders and SCI vendors to evaluate school education network architecture and cyber-security programs to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. ● Assist SCI and its vendors in the development of K12 cybersecurity program to include user-education; example checklists, plans, and templates for use by PSUs; and risk/response management. ● Monitor and evaluate each PSUs utilization of SCI allocations and E-Rate funds. ● Review SCI’s Client Network Engineering service to optimize scope of work and create margin for expanding cyber-security related services. ● Develop recommendations to become State Board of Education policy regarding the effective, efficient, and equitable allocation of SCI state funding to PSUs, to include E-rate Category 1 and Category 2 eligible goods and services as well as non-E-rate eligible goods and services, such as those related to firewall, content filtering, and cyber-security. ● Assist DPI leadership in the development of the annual Legislative Report, to include SCI performance analysis, identification of needs, and recommendations for improvement. ● Support the development of the FCC State Valid File and other E-rate reports as necessary. ● Provide subject matter expert commentary and advice to the State Board of Education, North Carolina Legislative Committees, advisory boards, and other governance or oversight structures on issues related to school connectivity, rural broadband, and residential “homework gap” access. ● Research, analyze, and provide recommendations for implementation of new networking technologies that may to help reduce the homework gap, specifically solutions that align with goals of other state agencies around issues like rural healthcare and rural economic development. ● Research and identify common needs of PSUs and those of other institutions, such as the Community College System, and provide advice and recommendations on building common solutions with economies of scale. ● Support the NCDPI SCI team in a recurring cycle of stakeholder engagement that includes engaging representatives from PSUs, vendors, NC Department of Information Technology, and policymaking and legislative representatives.

Date: 04/01/21 - 6/30/22
Amount: $455,500.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Public Instruction

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) and the local education agencies (LEAs) frequently rely on data from the Digital Learning and Media Inventory (DLMI) to inform decision makers, locally manage resources, and research various topics related to digital teaching and learning. The DLMI is an evolution of the Annual Media and Technology Report (AMTR). There are some challenges with the DLMI that need revision and updating to best reflect current digital age teaching environments and to automate as much information as possible to accurately annually collect district and school level data. The end product will result in less effort on the part of the LEAs to complete the survey, and higher quality of data for NCDPI, meaning less effort on the part of NCDPI staff to confirm results. Additionally, NCDPI is attempting to sunset the Oracle Apex system, upon which DLMI is built. This is the perfect time to modernize the DLMI to commercial off-the-shelf tools that are easier to use for both the LEA employees entering the data and researchers and policymakers who use the data. The end product will contain a user-friendly, easy to understand dash board.

Date: 05/01/21 - 6/30/22
Amount: $97,750.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Information Technology (was NC Office of Information Techonology Services)

The Friday Institute proposes to provide technical assistance to assist BIO in developing and support next-generation speed test applications that can be integrated with a survey. The purpose is to create and maintain a flexible survey and speed reporting tool BIO may use and administers through its website. A common tool will allow for a standardized state-wide data collection methodology. The following objectives will guide the work: ● Assist in identifying relevant data and developing a data base and coverage map that accurately reflects broadband coverage at farms around the state. ● Assist in identifying the internet connectivity needs of North Carolina’s farmers, in concert with the office’s vision and mission. ● Assist in identifying the internet connectivity needs of North Carolinians. ● Assist in identifying areas eligible for GREAT Grant or federal funding opportunities. ● Assist in auditing or verifying services to locations supported by GREAT Grant funding. ● Assist in developing data to support the adoption and implementation of a grant program specifically targeting the most rural residents through the use of satellite services. ● Assist in the customization, promotion and analytics of specific communities, such as K-12 education, geographic locations and/or commercial affinities, such as agriculture, tourism, and manufacturing.

Date: 04/01/21 - 6/30/22
Amount: $299,722.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Public Instruction

Provide leadership in planning, design, and implementation of the emerging student information system (SIS) modernization program. The FI will collaborate with DPI and LEA stakeholders to develop and implement a plan for further stabilization of the existing SIS environment and a plan for modernizing that environment. Stabilization work will include identifying and addressing functional and performance deficits with the provider. Stabilization work will also include identifying customizations within the existing implementation and designing alternative solutions that allow for the SIS product to be used in an off‐the‐shelf manner. Modernization planning will address: Integration of reporting with the school business systems modernization GDAC solution; Researching other State models for student data reporting, student unique ids, and LEA SIS delivery models; Working with leading and emerging SIS providers to identify contemporary tools and implementation strategies; Documenting as built and modern architecture and implementations; Designing and specifying a sustainable operating model for DPI support of a modern solution.

Date: 07/01/20 - 6/30/22
Amount: $145,000.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Information Technology (was NC Office of Information Techonology Services)

The Friday Institute proposes to provide technical assistance to assist BIO in developing a speed test application that can be integrated with a survey. ● Statewide broadband online survey: Support the state-wide survey and speed reporting application to determine internet access and capacity, to audit or verify service to locations funded by the GREAT Grant, and to identify eligible funding areas. ● State-wide broadband phone survey: Develop and support a state-wide phone-based survey application to determine internet access, to audit or verify service to locations funded by the GREAT Grant, and to identify eligible funding areas. ● State-wide broadband print survey: Develop and support a state-wide print/scanned survey application to determine internet access, to audit or verify service to locations funded by the GREAT Grant, and to identify eligible funding areas. ● Sampling Strategy: Develop a sampling strategy to better determine the number of unserved or underserved households and location of those households. ● Data Collection: Identify and explore data needs for mapping coverage. Data Analysis and Reporting : Analyze existing data and assist with reporting and publication. Work with DIT ARCGIS-based tools to create maps targeting specific populations, geographic areas, technologies ● Technology Research: Maintain and enhance relationships with industry partners that are creating new technology that can improve internet access and adoption in NC. ● Qualitative Data Development: Develop qualitative data from interviews with community organizations which demonstrate the lack of broadband access and how it impacts the effectiveness of government programs and other publicly funded investments. ● Spectrum Policy: Assist the BIO on issues related to spectrum, specifically, EBS, CBRS, TVWS, 6GHz unlicensed band, 900MHz, NBIoT, LoRaWAN and 5G LTE. This work will be guided by BIO leadership and staff, including the design and implementation of the work. In collaboration with BIO staff, the Friday Institute will use its expertise and resources to assist in carrying out this statement of work.

Date: 02/01/21 - 12/31/21
Amount: $264,000.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Information Technology (was NC Office of Information Techonology Services)

The Friday Institute proposes to provide technical assistance to assist BIO in developing two pilot projects to test the feasibility of new wireless technologies to facilitate internet connections for K-12 students in rural areas without internet access. The following objectives will guide the work: Hyde County TVWS Pilot Expansion SpaceX/Starlink Student Connectivity Pilot:

Date: 01/01/20 - 6/30/20
Amount: $25,000.00
Funding Agencies: NC Department of Information Technology (was NC Office of Information Techonology Services)

The Friday Institute proposes to provide technical assistance to assist BIO in developing a speed test application that can be integrated with a survey. The initial purpose of the survey will be to survey farmers in partnership with the North Carolina Farm Bureau. The following objectives will guide the work: ● Assist in identifying relevant data and developing a data base and coverage map that accurately reflects broadband coverage at farms around the state. ● Assist in identifying the internet connectivity needs of North Carolina’s farmers, in concert with the office’s vision and mission. ● Develop comments for relevant FCC NPRMs related to spectrum policy, universal service and other key issues that impact the state. Work will also include the review and scrutiny of existing demand aggregation and citizen surveys from counties around the state. There are approximately 20 counties that have collected information from their residents. The data content and quality varies widely. The Friday Institute has helped with a grant project overseen by BIO that involved the standardization and analysis of varying data sets. This work will be guided by BIO leadership and staff, including the design and implementation of the work. In collaboration with BIO staff, the Friday Institute will use its expertise and resources to assist in carrying out this statement of work.


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