John L. (Jack) Cole

2006 Hans Karlsson Award Recipient



"For bringing together diverse interests with inspired leadership, dedication and vision in producing five storage system standards, and forming the first information assurance standards committee"


John ("Jack") Cole is an IT Specialist with the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) and Lead for Technology Exchange in the ARL Center for Intrusion Monitoring and Protection (CIMP) for which he is a co-founder and initially a network security analyst. Earlier he served as system administrator of the Army's first supercomputers and established a distributed computing system and network for the Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense campus in the 1980s.

Mr. Cole holds a BS in chemistry from the University of Iowa with research in physical chemistry, and worked at the University of Iowa in the Atherosclerosis Research Center; at Argonne National Laboratory in the Center for Human Radiobiology; for the US Army in Chemical Warfare Collective Protection; and again at the University of Iowa as supervisor of the Pediatrics Endocrinology Research Laboratory. In these positions he performed computer modeling of electron spin resonance in transition metal compounds, of sorption in aging materials, of insulinantibody binding, and of radionuclide deposition in human bone.

Because of Army interest in building a National Storage Laboratory, in 1994 Mr. Cole became an affiliate member of the IEEE Computer Society and joined the Society's Storage Systems Standards Working Group (SSSWG) to develop the IEEE Mass Storage System Reference Manual (MSSRM). Mr. Cole became a coauthor of the MSSRM that described storage system concepts that are now common before they came into wide use, such as net-attached storage and separation of data and control flows. After becoming chair of the SSSWG, in just two years he led the group through development to publication in 2000 of the first five storage system standards for the group and the world (IEEE 1244 Media Management System standards).

And as the Army became involved in Information Assurance after the 1988 Morris Worm, so too did Mr. Cole, who now is a proponent and author of the ARL Strategic Plan for Information Assurance (IA), a broad area of information technologies and their inter-dependencies that affect and effect timely delivery of information. In 2000 he was among a handful of staff to start up the CIMP. And in 2004 he founded the IA Standards Committee (IASC), which sponsors ten projects and gained approval for the first IA standard in December 2006 (IEEE 1667 "Standard Protocol for Authentication in Host Attachments of Transient Storage Devices").

Mr. Cole is a Senior Member of IEEE; a Golden Core member of the IEEE Computer Society; Charter member of the IEEE Standards Association; Chair of IASC; Chair of the Information System Security Assurance Architecture Working Group; Chair of the Task Force on Information Assurance; Editor of the Computer Security Column; Executive Committee (ExCom) Member of the IEEE Computer Society Technical Activities Board; Advisory Committee (AdCom) member of the Standards Activity Board; Member of the IEEE USA Committee on Communications and Information Policy; ExCom Member of the IEEE Computer Society Mass Storage Systems Technical Committee; Past Editor, Computer Standards Column; Past Chair of the Storage System Standards Committee (SSSC); ExCom Member and Treasurer of SSSC; Past SSSWG chair; Past Member ANSI Homeland Security Standards Panel; and Past Member of the Committee on National Security Systems subcommittee on IA standards. He was a judge for the 2006 IEEE Computer Society International Design Competition world finals, and a judge for the IEEE Computer Society's 60th Anniversary Computer History Competition.

He serves many storage and IA workshops and conferences as organizer, chair, co-chair, program and steering committee member, presenter, panelist, and session chair, and attempts to list these at

His pursuit of advancements in IT is through a holistic approach by forming collaborations outside of the IEEE Computer Society, by bringing together technologists of different IT areas and by forming alliances of standards committees and technical committees across technology areas in a combined use of standards, conferences, publications, and public policy.

Mr. Cole is married with four children, and is an active private pilot in the Washington, D.C. area.