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Michael Coates

Michael Coates

Chief info security officer | Twitter

The spot that gives Twitter chief information security officer Michael Coates the warm fuzzies whenever he thinks back to his Illini days is the Digital Computer Laboratory.

"It was the main computer science building at the time," says Coates, who earned his bachelor's in computer science from the UI before embarking upon a career that would lead to Twitter's Bay Area headquarters in 2013.

"I was intrigued by the 'building within a building' architecture and remember many long hours in the lecture halls and computer labs working on MPs for many courses. Great memories."

Among Coates' other roles post-Illinois: From 2011-17, he served as chairman of the global board of directors for OWASP, the largest open source application security community.