College of Behavioral & Social Sciences

Behavioral and Social Sciences Distinguished Alumni

1999 Distinguished Alumni

Donald W. Upson

BA Economics, Class of 1977
BA International Relations, Class of 1977

Honor Year: 1999

Donald W. Upson serves as the Commonwealth of Virginia's first Secretary of Technology. Appointed by Governor Jim Gilmore on May 21, 1998, Upson brings more than two decades of government, corporate, and high technology experience to the Commonwealth of Virginia. His position is the country's first cabinet-level post that combines operational authority over the state's technology infrastructure with policy responsibility for creating a "best practice" technology business environment. Upson graduated from CSU, Chico in 1977 with degrees in economics and international relations. Following graduation, Upson held the positions of legislative assistant and principal assistant to Congressman Fran Horton (R-NY). He later became the Republican staff director of the House Government Operations Committee, where he directed a staff of seventeen and played a major role in procurement reform initiatives, the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Chief Financial Officer's Act, the Inspector General Act, and a host of trade-related legislation. In 1977, Upson was an intern for the United States Congress. Upson joined Litton PRC in 1992, where he was vice president of strategic communication. In that position, he acted as the company's principal contact with Capitol Hill and key executive branch officials on major program and policy interests of the company. He was also named for five years to Federal Computer Week's Federal 100, which honors the top 100 government and industry leaders in the federal information technology market, and served as judge for this prestigious awards ceremony for two years.