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Washington State University
Information Technology Services

ITS Leadership

Sasi K. Pillay

Vice President & Chief Information Officer


Dr. Sasi Pillay serves as the Vice President and Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Washington State University (WSU). In this role he oversees the computing infrastructure of foundational technologies and research computing, working in collaboration with his constituents. He is also responsible for telecommunications, local area and wide area networking and IT Security. He led the development of roadmaps for Academic and Research Computing, Administrative and Business Computing and for Foundational Technologies. He has improved the service delivery of the ITS organization, by instituting change management, architectural review and project management. In addition, his team is involved in improving IT Security across all of WSU campuses and in deploying a Security Operations Center and a Network Operations Center.

Previously, he served as the Associate Vice President and Chief Information Officer of the University of Wisconsin System, comprising 26 campuses. In this role, he was responsible for the leadership and guidance of a broad portfolio of enterprise technology operations including broadband networking, major academic and business applications, library automation and adoption of strategic new technologies that added value to the University of Wisconsin System for instruction, research, learning and public service. He led the creation of a Strategic Intent Document working closely with the Campus CIOs, initiated a working group to recommend and create a Unified Communication and Collaboration framework and worked on improving IT Security with the help of Campus IT professionals. He also initiated the formation of a system wide Data Governance Council and an Innovation Fund to help introduce and infuse new ideas into the system.

Dr. Pillay served as the Chief Technology Officer for Information Technology (IT) at National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA). In this capacity, he directed how promising technologies are developed, evaluated and integrated into mainstream IT services at the Agency. To facilitate innovation, he set up two programs, Open Innovation and IT Labs. These programs have been heralded as a model in government and have received several national awards. He was also responsible for managing Enterprise Architecture, Open Government activities and the dissemination of Scientific and Technical Information for the Agency. Previously, he served as the Chief Information Officer at the NASA John H. Glenn Research Center for 15 years. In this regard, Dr. Pillay had a broad scope of responsibility including managing administrative telecommunications, networking, desktop computing, several key administrative applications, computer modeling and simulation, and high-end computing and visualization. Under his leadership, NASA Glenn served as the lead for NASA for the development of Agency-wide standards and architecture for end user devices and systems with a focus on security, interoperability, and collaboration. He was also responsible for NASA Glenn saving nearly $8 million annually through standardization, consolidation and outsourcing of end user devices and services while improving customer satisfaction and other service metrics. These savings continue to accrue over the years. He also implemented and promoted a collaboration environment resulting in improved productivity and reduced expenses across multiple disciplines comprised of over 200 workgroups.

Dr. Pillay is the recipient of NASA’s Exceptional Service Medal and the Outstanding Leadership Medal. He is also the recipient of the Presidential Rank Award recognizing him as a Meritorious Executive in the U.S. federal government. He was recognized as one of the Federal 100 winners based on his positive impact on NASA and the community. He was also named as one of the top 25 IT leaders in Government citing his technology vision, clout among peers in other agencies, and for the ability to show concrete results. He was recognized as the CIO of the Year by the North East Ohio Software Association in 2008.

Dr. Pillay received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Engineering from Case Western Reserve University. He also has a Master’s degree in Management of Technology from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Tom Ambrosi

Assistant Vice President & Chief Security Officer


Tom Ambrosi joined WSU in December, 2002 and currently serves as Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) for Information Technology Services (ITS). Ambrosi has over 28 years of experience in networking and information security spanning federal government, private industry, and higher education applications. As CISO, Ambrosi is responsible for establishing and maintaining a University-wide Information Security and Privacy program. As part of the ITS Vice President and Chief Information Officer’s leadership team, he facilitates information security and privacy governance, implementing policies and best practices to appropriately safeguard WSU information assets and institutional data, and managing information security and privacy risk.

Ambrosi received his B.S. in Animal Science at California State Polytechnic University at Pomona, California and his M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Idaho. Ambrosi served as Director of Networking for WSU’s ITS group from 2009-2014, and has also served on the Board of Directors of the Idaho Regional Optical Network.

Dawn Barnard

Assistant Vice President, Administration & Financial Services


Dawn Barnard (CPA, MBA) is the Assistant Vice President for Administration and Finance, as well as Area Finance Officer (AFO), for Information Technology Services (ITS) at Washington State University (WSU). In this capacity, she serves on the ITS Vice President and Chief Information Officer’s leadership team and manages the financial, administrative and planning activities for the central Information Technology area of WSU. Barnard serves as a leader in developing best practices and efficiencies for administrative processes and financing that focus on personnel and departmental wellbeing while advancing the mission of the university through strategic planning and sound fiscal decisions that balance new technology initiatives with stability, maintenance and limiting risk for current operations.

As an assistant vice president, Barnard is responsible for the coordination of all departmental administrative and financial operations for ITS, including budgeting and planning, accounting, financial reporting, contracting, purchasing, payroll, service centers and rates, IT facilities and inventory, regulatory compliance, and human resource services. During her tenure, Barnard has also overseen the Customer Service and Support areas of Information Technology Services as well as the ITS Operations Center.

Barnard has served on numerous university-wide committees while at WSU including the University Budget Committee, the Internal Business Process Review Committee, the Washington State Technology Transformation Taskforce and the University IT Review Committee for Consolidation.

Barnard received her B.A. in Business Administration, emphasis Accounting, from Washington State University followed by her MBA from the University of Phoenix. She is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the state of Idaho. She has also partially completed a Master of Information Technology degree and may finish it someday.

Tony Opheim

Associate Vice President & Deputy Chief Information Officer


With over 25 years of higher education Information Technology experience at public, land-grant universities, Tony Opheim serves as Associate Vice President and Deputy Chief Information Officer for WSU.  In this capacity, Opheim is responsible for the leadership and oversight of WSU’s network, telecommunications, mainframe, server, storage, data center, and customer support units.

Prior to joining WSU in January 2012, Opheim spent 22 years with the University of Idaho where he served as Chief Technology Officer for five years (reporting to the CIO), and interim CIO for his last two years.

Opheim received his B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Idaho where he also taught for seven years and served on various advisory boards, including the Idaho Regional Optical Network and Pacific Northwest Gigapop.


Mike Corwin

Associate Vice President, University Information Systems


Mike Corwin serves as ITS Assistant Vice President for core systems and applications after joining WSU in 2010 to lead the Enterprise Systems technical effort in implementing portal, campus solutions, data warehouse, and OBIEE.

Corwin has over 20 years IT experience leading large-scale software implementation projects like MyWSU. He started his career with electronic data systems where he worked on large-scale IT projects for the states of California and Alabama. He has also worked for big-six consulting firms Coopers & Lybrand LLP and KPMG Peat Marwick, where he provided technical and project management services to universities and fortune 500 companies.

Corwin has worked on PeopleSoft implementations in various capacities as developer, technical lead, consultant, project manager, and director. Corwin has implemented PeopleSoft and business intelligence projects at several large universities including WSU, University of Florida, University of Texas Systems, University of Missouri, and Clemson University.