National security expert joins OR as export controls/compliance senior director
The Office for Research (OR) is pleased to share that, effective Aug. 22, Amy Weber has joined OR as senior director of Export Controls and International Compliance (ECIC), a unit that plays a major role in overseeing export compliance for the University.
Export controls are an important mechanism to help safeguard national security and to promote foreign policy objectives. The U.S. government controls the export of sensitive “items” (such as technical data, equipment, materials, software, and controlled technology), for potential military-use, space-related, or dual-use applications (civilian and military). The list of controlled items or technology is extensive and encompasses microorganisms, pathogens and toxicological agents, nuclear materials, lasers and sensors, protective gear, semiconductors and microprocessors, telecommunications and encryption software, and more. Because research universities conduct about 50% of the country’s fundamental research, export control regulations are critical for faculty, students and others engaged in scientific investigation.
Weber brings to Northwestern rich technical and leadership expertise to support our research. A career analyst in the intelligence community, she has more than two decades of professional experience—notably in various roles within the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Her analytical work with the FBI included assessing and countering undue foreign influence and espionage, as well as identifying risks and developing mitigation strategies. One such assignment was leading the Counterintelligence Analysis Section, with oversight for the FBI’s national threat analysis involving export control, emerging technologies, and other national security issues. Weber’s team was responsible for briefing national policymakers and strengthening the research enterprise while engaging in international partnerships.
Most recently, since 2020, Weber served as a senior export control analyst for the University of Arizona, where she led an IT study to identify technology gaps and solutions related to controlled research. Her responsibilities also included obtaining licenses to enable international collaborations with sanctioned countries, developing and conducting training for faculty and staff on export control laws, and finding solutions for a range of compliance issues.
Weber’s proven ability to understand complex federal regulations and their implications for the academic research environment makes her an ideal candidate for this key position, reporting to Senior Associate Vice President for Research Ann Adams.
Weber is concluding a master’s degree in legal studies at the University of Arizona with an emphasis on compliance and legal risk management. She earned her bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Simpson College and is co-author of several articles focused on strategies to address academic and corporate espionage.