Critical Infrastructure Security

CISA names Kiersten Todt chief of staff

Kiersten Todt, then-resident scholar at Pitt Cyber in 2017, is the former executive director of the Presidential Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency named Kiersten Todt, former executive director of the Obama White House's Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity, its new chief of staff.

Todt most recently was the managing director of the Cyber Readiness Institute, a small-business-focused cybersecurity advocacy non-profit, and has collaborated with CISA on CRI projects.

"I am particularly excited to be able to draw upon Kiersten’s leadership ability and her deep partnerships with industry, to include the small business community — a key element of our nation’s economy,” CISA Director Jen Easterly said in a statement to the press.

Todt served on the Commission for Enhancing National Cybersecurity in 2016, which was set up to prepare the next administration whomever it turned out to be — for the cybersecurity challenges ahead. She was also a member of the team that worked on the NIST cybersecurity framework and a staffer of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee as it designed the Department of Homeland Security at the turn of the millennium.

Todt's portfolio at CRI included a new certification program for cyber leadership, collaborative toolkits for cybersecurity and cybersecurity educational products written at a level that small and midsized businesses lacking security staff could understand.

“We are grateful for Kiersten’s leadership. Her stewardship enabled CRI to go from an idea to a global organization that will forever leave an imprint by making cybersecurity part of the cultural DNA of every small business,” said Sam Palmisano, co-chair of CRI in a statement. “We look forward to continuing the great work that Kiersten began four years ago.”

Joe Uchill

Joe is a senior reporter at SC Weekly, focused on policy issues. He previously covered cybersecurity for Axios, The Hill and the Christian Science Monitor’s short-lived Passcode website.

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