Robert K. Cunningham

Group Leader, Group 58 - Cyber Systems + Technology

(presented by Lorraine Goffe-Rush, Vice President for Human Resources)

Our first Excellence Award for Bringing out the Best goes to someone whose fan base is bigger than Tom Brady’s, judging from the letters of nomination. His name is Robert Cunningham, and he is Group Leader of the Cyber Systems and Technology Group at Lincoln Laboratory.

One nominator announced to her team, that she was going to do a nomination. Even before his name came up as the candidate, his entire group immediately assumed it was Rob, and offered examples of his impact on their own individual lives and careers.

Another said that what sets Rob apart is the emphasis he places on the growth and morale of his team—caring about the team as much as he does about the research. This skill set is often regarded as tangential to a research group’s mission, but it’s central to Rob’s mission for Group 58.

Another member of his staff shared this: “Rob gave me the opportunity to teach classes for the Department of Defense. As a younger female, I worried that teaching older men from a male-dominated institution could present a challenge. However, Rob was frank and respectful, pointing out that I should establish my credibility early. Teaching those classes has developed my public speaking skills and confidence tremendously. The opportunities, support, and trust he has placed in me have helped me grow.”

One colleague noted that in the field of cyber security, Rob and his team must compete with colorful, rock-star companies like Google and Microsoft for the best and brightest talent. As soon as those applicants visit the lab, however, the culture of camaraderie, support, and growth that Robert Cunningham has built is immediately clear—and Group 58, often ends up winning the day. 

Congratulations, Rob Cunningham!