The Security Industry Association (SIA) has named a new chair and vice chair to lead the SIA Identity and Biometric Technology Advisory Board (IBTAB), an advisory panel to the SIA Board of Directors comprised of biometric and digital identification professionals.

Benji Hutchinson — president of U.S. federal government business at NEC Corporation of America — will serve as SIA IBTAB chair, with Jim Black — director of security standards and controls within Microsoft’s Cloud Operations and Innovation Physical Security Group — serving as vice chair. In these new roles, Hutchinson and Black will lead the IBTAB in guiding SIA’s engagement with operators of critical infrastructure in the private and public sectors and promoting the advancement and adoption of innovative biometric and digital identification solutions.

Hutchinson has 20 years of experience in the IT, biometrics, identity and computer vision industries and joined NEC Corporation of America in 2016. In his role, Hutchinson focuses on expanding NEC’s U.S. federal business, fueling innovation in the aviation sector and bringing to market new artificial intelligence solutions to enhance customer experiences and accelerate digital transformation across a variety of use cases. He previously served as senior director for U.S. federal government national security accounts at MorphoTrust USA and held biometric standards and identity intelligence technology consultant roles with the Pentagon’s Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and the U.S. Army Biometrics Task Force. Hutchinson serves on the Board of Advisors for the International Center for Biometric Research at Purdue University and the Board of Directors at the IJIS Institute and holds master’s degrees in international affairs and French language and literature, along with a bachelor’s degree in international economics and French, from the University of Kentucky.

“The security industry is working to leverage biometric technologies to make society safer and more secure for everyone while protecting privacy and civil liberties,” Hutchinson said. “I’m looking forward to working together with my colleagues to ensure we further develop and promulgate standards and principles that promote equitable uses of biometric technology. We plan to engage in public dialogue to educate and inform decision makers and practitioners about how to safely and effectively deploy these technologies and what it would mean to lose this capability.”

Jim Black has been with Microsoft since 2011; in his role, he oversees the physical security standards for the company’s cloud critical infrastructures globally. Over the past two decades, he has led companies in assessing risks, planning protective measures and engineering physical security solutions for a majority of the nation’s critical infrastructure sectors. Black is credentialed as a Certified Protection Professional and Physical Security Professional through ASIS International and as a Certified Security Consultant through the International Association of Professional Security Consultants.

“It is an honor to be nominated and elected by my colleagues to the vice chair role on the SIA Identity and Biometric Technology Advisory Board,” said Black said. “I’m excited and very much looking forward to offering perspective and insights to SIA leadership on critical technology issues impacting security, privacy and society.”

Founded in January 2021, the SIA IBTAB provides technical expertise to encourage informed buying decisions in technologies that include facial recognition systems, identity proofing and verification solutions, biometric devices and mobile identification platforms. The IBTAB guides the development of several initiatives, including a series of virtual networking roundtables with government officials and periodic SIA-led official meetings with policymakers and key agency procurement officials, and provides input into educational content developed by SIA, such as identity management tracks and sessions at SIA events and SIA’s Security Megatrends and SIA standards activities.

SIA CEO Don Erickson added, “SIA’s robust education and advocacy efforts in the identification sector would not be possible without the support and leadership of members like Benji Hutchinson and Jim Black. We congratulate Benji and Jim on their new roles leading the SIA Identity and Biometric Technology Advisory Board and look forward to working with them to promote biometric and digital identification solutions as a catalyst for good in securing critical assets, protecting individual identity, safeguarding proprietary data and enhancing the consumer experience.”