John received a B.A. in Computer Science from U.C. Santa Cruz in 1988 and went to San Diego State University to pursue graduate work. While there, he became interested in astronomy and worked writing software for telescope control and image acquisition systems. Continuing his interest in astronomy, he moved on to Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona in 1994 and provided computer support for the observatory research staff. In 1997, he returned to San Diego State, initially as a system administrator and then as the Technology Security Officer specializing in network security. In 2011, he became the IT Security Director at the University of California, San Diego and managed a team of security engineers specializing in firewalls, intrusion detection and incident response. In 2017, he started working at the University of California, Irvine as the Security Risk and Compliance Program Manager.