“My general role at Booz Allen has been to build new capabilities, add business or fix broken ones,” said Gerencser, a job description that helps explain how he’s come to be known as “Mr. Fix-It.”
Gerencser says his education played a significant role in shaping his professional career. And much like he initiated Booz Allen’s investment in cybersecurity, he has spent the past two decades committed to improving the level of technological education available in the U.S.
Gerencser chairs the board of visitors at the University of Maryland, University College, where he earned a degree from the executive Master of Science in technology management program in 1993.
His UMUC experience continues to fuel his efforts to address the big picture issue of the need for an educated and a technologically-savvy American workforce.
“My UMUC education was a career enabler,” he told the college’s “Achiever” magazine, “especially in helping me understand leadership and its various forms and effects, helping me understand how important culture is to both progress and failure in an institution, and helping hone my project management skills.”
He has supported UMUC’s new undergraduate and graduate cybersecurity degree and certificate programs, which have seen more than 100 Booz Allen employees enroll as part of a special partnership.
His ambition spreads well beyond the company and his promotion of a national awareness campaign to “increase our computer and information safety hygiene” is his latest effort to address “the human capital shortfall that exists today.”
He previously created the United States National Security Scholarship program, which works with the federal government and local universities to recruit talent into the security community.
The White House also nominated him to the board of the National Security Education program, which funds language training critical to national security.
“We need a greater understanding of vulnerabilities and issues so everyone can pitch in,” said Gerencser. “Security is only as good as the weakest link. The element that needs to be worked on the most is human behavior and decision making, an area that doesn’t get enough attention.”