Mike Traxler, Director of Programs, National Security Initiative

Mike was nominated by:

  • James Olson, Executive Director, National Security Initiative

What the Nominators Said About Mike

Mike has led efforts to establish appropriate infrastructure, processes and staffing to grow the National Security Research program and meet program management required to support the faculty on NSI research projects. His focus on growing sponsored research relationships with strategic industry and government partners has been invaluable in developing the National Security Research Portfolio. During the challenges imposed by COVID protocols, he developed and instituted a planning process and needs assessment to support continued personnel hiring and team integration of new employeees. By coordinating a secure work location, Mike made it possible for our team to work in support of restricted research processes demanded by the sponsors, and to successfully execute administration of DoD Acquisition rules for faculty and staff working to grow research during the pandemic. 

Some of Mike's key contributions include:

  • Led business development, scoping and negotiation efforts associated with $6.3M in new National Security sponsored research contract awards and $20.4M in total FY20 proposals;
  • Led technical interchange sessions and negotiations associated with strategic contract collaborations with prime Aerospace & Defense contractors, including L3-Harris (RF Engineering), Northrop Grumman (Hypersonics) and Ball Aerospace (teaming on 5-year, $135M ADMIRE IDIQ Type Contract);
  • Established a CRADA with NGA that sets conditions for a future DoD Universty Affiliated Research Center (UARC) structure;
  • Collaborated with Georgia Tech Research Institute to establish a pending Partnership Intermediary Agreement which would position CU Boulder as one of five core universities supporting Army Futures R&D needs;
  • Developed a cost model and budgeting strategy for sustained growth of NSI;
  • Represented CU Boulder as a panel member for the Colorado Government Aerospace Affairs Forum and the Defense Commercialization Roundtable, as well as other statewide Aerospace & Defense forums;
  • Served as a review board member for the Colorado OEDIT Advanced Industry Infrastructure Grant and Proof of Concept Grant Boards; and
  • Spearheaded development of NSI overview, presentation and marketing material for internal and external audiences to coordinate aross campus entities and develop a unified National Security vision and engagement strategy.

Mike Traxler has an easy-going personality that encourages people to support NSI plans to drive and grow CU Boulder research. His effortless approach ensures positive engagements with senior leadership of companies and institutions. He is an outstanding ambassador for the University of Colorado.