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9/8/14 - DoJ attorney to deliver national security addresses at Mississippi State

One of the nation's top counterespionage prosecutors will speak at Mississippi State next week.

Will Mackie, a senior attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice's National Security Division, is scheduled to lead two program sessions during a Sept. 15 visit to the university.

Open to all, the sessions will take place 2-5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. in the Colvard Student Union's Bill Foster Ballroom/Section S.

Since 2012, Mackie has served as a senior trial attorney for the counterespionage section of the DOJ's National Security Division.

A graduate of Washington and Lee University and Duke University's School of Law, he gained notoriety for the successful prosecution of a Tennessee professor and a high-technology defense contractor for violating terms of the Arms Export Control Act. The crime involved U.S. Air Force-funded research on advanced, unmanned aerial vehicles.

The act prohibits the export of defense-related materials, including technical data, to a foreign national or a foreign nation.

According to the FBI, this was a first-of-its-kind prosecution of a U.S. university faculty member for transferring controlled defense technology to foreign national graduate students. John Reece Roth, a former professor of electrical engineering at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, received a four-year prison sentence after being found guilty of allowing two foreign national students access to export-controlled data and equipment, and of exporting some of the contract data while on a trip to China.

With the Roth case as backdrop, Mackie's MSU presentations will include an introduction and overview of U.S. export control laws regulating academic and private sector R&D projects. He also will discuss how academic research may be pursued within the context of this legal environment.

As Neil Lewis, director of MSU's Office of Research Security, explained, "An effective research compliance program benefits institutions and individuals by supporting and advancing a successful R&D environment and mutually beneficial partnerships with federal funding agencies and others."

Part of an annual campus research seminar series, Mackie's visit is sponsored by the research security office and MSU's Office of Research and Economic Development.

MSU faculty, staff and students should visit to register for either session.

Non-MSU attendees may register in advance by contacting Lynn Taylor at 662-325-3168 or

Off-campus persons attending the 2 p.m. session also will need a visitor parking pass from MSU Parking Services via While there is no charge for the first pass, additional ones are $2 each.

For other information on Mackie's presentation or the parking passes, contact Taylor at her telephone number or e-mail address listed above.

MSU is online at,, and

Jim Laird | Public Affairs

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