Category: Outstanding Educator
Name: Zachery Mitcham
Title: Chief Information Security and Compliance Officer
Company: North Carolina Central University
Why nominated: Bringing his military discipline to IT, former army officer Zachery Mitcham set out to improve cybersecurity within the higher education sector by leading numerous organizational-level technology projects and proving IT's value as a strategic asset to board-level officials.
Profile: While not technically an educator, Mitcham has spend the last 14 years of his 29-year career in the sector of higher learning, educating the educators on best security practices and habits to improve their awareness and security posture and creating a certification program for university system administrators, app developers and networking staff.
Following tenures at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where he was Chair of the UNC Information Technology Security Council, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and the University of Maryland University College in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mitcham signed in to North Carolina Central University (NCCU) as CISO and compliance officer in March and quickly began building a robust IT security program to safeguard the university's digital assets and data.
In addition to implementing a device location tracking, lock-down and memory-wiping procedures to mitigate the damage from stolen or lost computers, Mitcham has led more than 500 faculty members in a series of more than 31 information security awareness training sessions. At NCCU, the Chancellor's Council for Safety and Security Symposium, an information security- and safety-themed event, tapped him as event coordinator and program director.
Mitcham's work at the university has provided support for authorities conducting sensitive investigations and audits of the school's operational security. He is the former vice president and CISO at U.S. government contracting and consulting group The Focus Group, a U.S. government contracting and consulting group.
What colleagues say: “Zach understands the value of working together as a team and he is willing to patiently explain technical things to people who aren't techies. But more importantly, I learned through my interactions with Zach that he is a person of genuine integrity. I have the highest respect for him.”
- Kendra Gerlach Director, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services