Selection Committee



Cybersecurity Woman of the Year 2020

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Do you know an amazing woman in security who goes beyond what is expected and inspires all who cross her path? 

The women leading our industry - bringing innovation, inspiration, and talent development ideas into organizations around the world - deserve recognition for their contributions. We’re looking to you to help us pay tribute to female cybersecurity professionals making a difference with their work and dedication to a safer digital ecosystem.  

Take a look at the categories on the right to select a category that best describes your amazing woman leader, and submit her for a well deserved award.

You can nominate your favorite cyber woman in the following categories: 

1. Cybersecurity Woman "Barrier Breaker" (nominee should be a woman with a legacy and record of developing research and/or products that have changed the industry)  

2. Cybersecurity Woman Influencer of the Year (a thought leader who has authored research, investigations, or legislation making in the cybersecurity industry)  

3. Cybersecurity Women Supporter of the Year (can be anyone with significant contributions to support women in cybersecurity)  

4. Woman Cybersecurity Leader of the Year (demonstrates significant success in major cybersecurity initiatives)

5. Cybersecurity Woman Hacker of the Year

6. Cybersecurity or Privacy Woman Law Professional (demonstrates accomplishments related to cybersecurity and privacy law)

7. People's Choice Award 2020 (this is popularity vote for a woman cybersecurity professional)

Congratulations - Winners of the Cybersecurity Woman of the Year Awards 2020!

Kirsten Davies is the newly appointed SVP & Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) for The Estee Lauder Companies. 

Kirsten brings to her role a unique blend of leadership, business acumen, and information security and technology experience from working and living on four continents. She is a proven leader in guiding largescale global transformations focused on cyber and information security, technology, business process, and organizational transformation.

Previous to her role with ELC, Davies was the Group Chief Security Officer (CSO) for Barclays Africa/ ABSA, where she was tapped to build and run the unique, end to end security function which included cybersecurity, information security, fraud, analytics, and physical security for operations across the continent. It was there she led the establishment of the first-ever Africa Converged Security Academy, an immersion-based, 14-week program that is now creating a pipeline of entry-level, cybersecurity talent for the continent.

Prior to her role with Barclays, Davies served in two capacities at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), both as Vice President and Deputy CISO, and as Vice President for Enterprise Security Strategy, heading up one of four worldwide, strategic customer-facing areas for HPE. 

In her tenure with HPE, she achieved the first-ever Cyber Security Master Agreement with the German Workers Council, now replicated across HPE’s 20+ Works Councils in EMEA. She also led the strategic overhaul and reorganization of the Cyber Security Program and broadened the capability of “Next Generation Security”, including Insider Risk and the IT/OT convergence.

Prior to HPE, Kirsten served as the CISO for Global InfoSec Strategy and Governance at Siemens, while based in Munich, Germany. There she managed the three-year, global InfoSec Transformation Program to refine the policies, processes, and technology portfolio of the global Information Security capability. Prior to that, she held senior leadership positions at Booz Allen Hamilton and Deloitte Australia.

Davies holds a bachelor’s degree in International Politics & Government from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA has studied International Law at Johns Hopkins University, and has an advanced certificate in Change Management from the PROSCI Institute. She speaks fluent German and has a long history of rescuing adorable dogs.

2020 Cybersecurity Woman of the Year Finalists

Cybersecurity Woman "Barrier Breaker" 2020

Camille François

Chief Innovation Officer, Graphika

Camille François works on cyber conflict and digital rights online. She is the Chief Innovation Officer at Graphika, where she leads the company’s work to detect and mitigate disinformation, media manipulation and harassment. In 2019.

Camille was distinguished by the MIT Tech Review in the prestigious "35 Innovators Under 35" annual award in the "Visionary" category for her work leveraging data science to detect and analyze deceptive campaign at scale. She was also distinguished by TIME magazine as one of the 100 next most influential people in the world.

François has advised governments and parliamentary committees on both sides of the Atlantic on issues related to cybersecurity and digital rights.

Diana Waithanji

Founder STEM Wahandisi La Femme

STEM Wahandisi La Femme means 'Female Engineers promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics'. This is an initiative that mentors young high school girls in grassroot areas into technology and engineering. The skills taught include technical skills and life skills: with an aim of coming up with innovative solutions to solve global problems.

It is entirely advocacy on reducing the gender gap in science, mathematics, technology and engineering.

Diana also works as a cybersecurity consultant developing information security strategies and policies for organizations, training employees on cybersecurity and securing their devices as well as continuously striving to raise user awareness in Kenya through the media and research conferences.

Kavya Pearlman

Founder XR Safety Initiative

Kavya is the founder of non-profit, XR Safety Initiative (XRSI). XRSI is the very first global effort that promotes privacy, security, ethics and develops standards and guidelines for Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality (VR/AR/MR) collectively known as XR. 

Kavya is constantly exploring new technologies to solve current cybersecurity challenges. She has been named one of the Top Cybersecurity influencers for two consecutive years 2018-29019 by IFSEC Global.

Kavya is truly passionate about her work and inspires many around the world including women and underrepresented communities in security and emerging technologies. Kavya gives back to the tech community by mentoring women through “Million Women Mentor” program and is a board of director for non-profit

Cybersecurity Woman Influencer of the Year 2020

Lisa Forte

Partner Red Goat Cybersecurity

Lisa is passionate about cyber security, social engineering and most importantly helping organisations establish effective and lasting cultural change amongst staff.

Her areas of expertise are the insider threat, social engineering and helping businesses run exercises to prepare for cyber attacks.

Her background was working for one of the U.K Police Cyber Crime Units. She founded Red Goat Cyber Security in 2017. They provide a range of security services including the only GCHQ certified social engineering training around.

She is an energetic public speaker too recently appearing at conferences such as IPExpo Europe; London Law Expo; Voxxed Days; International Security Expo;and others.

She does o a lot of pro-bono security work for the NHS and various charities and care deeply about helping the communities we live in become more aware of the growing threat.

Katelyn Bowden 


Katelyn is the CEO of a worldwide nonprofit called BADASS dedicated to fighting image-based abuse.

BADASS is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing support to victims of revenge porn/image abuse and eradicating the practice through education, advocacy, and legislation. Our goal is to arm victims with the tools they need to become their own advocates for justice, and provide the resources they need to regain control of their images, empower themselves, and get justice.

Katelyn is also a well known public speaker (DEFCON 27- cryptovillage, “take back the net”, introduction of SHIELD act in the US House of Representatives) and plays many roles in the cybersecurity such as OSINT SME, Social Engineer, cybersecurity educator, advocate, change maker, policy changer, data collector, grassroots organizer, marketing specialist, manager, motivator, blogger and of course the BADASS.

Ludmila Morozova-Buss

Researcher at Capitol Technology University

Ludmila Morozova-Buss established her foundational economics, finance, and business strategy knowledge and experience through myriad assignments in the United States and Asia as well as in Europe.

With a clear grasp of systems theory and revelation of pervasive, persistent, and resilient interconnectedness, Mrs. Morozova-Buss was uniquely qualified as lead moderator and facilitator of Global #MegaTrends Roundtable - a select gathering of Industry Leaders across industries ranging from protégées through mentors across all professions while emphasizing the common connectedness of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

Ludmila's leadership in social media - #LinkedIn & #Twitter (@TopCyberNews) is evidenced by her reputation among her peers.

Cybersecurity Women Supporter of the Year 2020

Diana Kelley

Cybersecurity Field CTO at Microsoft

Diana is the Cybersecurity Field CTO for Microsoft and a cybersecurity architect, executive advisor, and author.

At Microsoft she leads the Cybersecurity Thought Leadership team and leverages her 30 years of cyber-risk and security experience to provide advice and guidance to CSOs, CIOs and CISOs at some of the world’s largest companies.

She also producse the #MyCyberWhy podcast series and host the BrightTALK original series, "The Security (Balancing) Act.

In addition to her work at Microsoft, she serves on the ACM Ethics & Plagiarism Committee, guest lectured at Boston College’s Master of Science in Cybersecurity program, and serves as the CTO and Board Director of the non-profit Sightline Security, as Board member of WiCyS, on the RSA Conference US Program Committee for 2018-2021, was an IEEE “Rock Star of Risk” in 2016, keynote frequently at major conferences, and, with Ed Moyle, co-authored the book Cryptographic Libraries for Developers.

Prior to joining Microsoft, she worked as the Global Executive Security Advisor at IBM where she built and managed the IBM Security Research publication process.

Noureen Njoroge

Security Threat Engineer at Cisco

Noureen is a passionate Cybersecurity specialist, a global keynote speaker, award winner of Cisco 2019 Cybersecurity Champion and is listed among the Top 30 Most Admired Minority Professionals in Cybersecurity by SeQure World Magazine, UK.

She currently works at Cisco Systems as a Cybersecurity consulting engineer. Noureen is a people’s leader and very passionate in mentoring others. She is the owner of the Mentor & Mentee women in Cybersecurity group on LinkedIn, the founder of the Global Cybersecurity mentoring program at Cisco and president of North Carolina Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS) Affiliate chapter.

Noureen has continued to be the advocate for many in the IT industry. She volunteers in both local and international speaking engagements advocating for women. Her voice can be heard on several podcasts advocating for women in this industry.

Noureen sets an example for others to follow in her hard work to keep ahead of the pack in a rapidly changing industry, her commitment to generously share insights on an ongoing basis, and her desire to help clients protect their business and their data in a complex and uncertain world. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology from the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML) and a graduate of the Cybersecurity program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Vandana Verma

Global Board of Directors OWASP Foundation

Vandana is a seasoned security professional with over 14 years of experience ranging from application security to infrastructure to cloud and now dealing with DevSecOps.

Vandana is a global speaker and Women in Cyber Security Advocate. She received Global cybersecurity influencer among IFSEC Global's "Top Influencers in Security and Fire" Category for 2019. She recently received an award from the Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu in the Category “Secure Coder”. She has also been listed as one of the top women leaders in this field of technology and cybersecurity in India by Instasafe.

She works with various communities (InfoSecGirls and OWASP) and is passionate about increasing female participation in Infosec space. She has trained over 1000 Diversity Participants around the globe on Web Application Security.

She was a keynote speaker at OWASP Global AppSec DC, 2019. She has spoken and trained at various conferences Defcon (AppSec Village), Global AppSec Tel Aviv, Blackhat US 2019(Assistant Trainer) AppSec Europe, AppSec USA, NullCon, Security Guild 2019, BSides Delhi, c0c0n (Kerala Police Conference).

Woman Cybersecurity Leader of the Year 2020

Chani Simms

Principal Consultant Cybersecurity

Chani helps businesses to build trust through implementing cyber resilience. At Meta Defence Labs, they deliver a complete range of information security solutions that help organizations to implement and manage security by design and privacy by design solutions.

She believes it is easy to make the right decisions when you live your values, hers are Trust, Integrity, and Commitment. These are the standards that enable us to conduct business ethically.

She believes in giving back and sharing knowledge. Especially in Cybersecurity.

Recently she founded SHe CISO Exec Cybersecurity Leadership Empowerment program with a vision to be a sustainable global training program.

She envisages training and empowering a new generation in the information security talent pool: Emotionally Intelligent Cybersecurity Leaders.

Jothi Dugar

THE CHAOS GURU & CISO at National Institute of Health

Jothi Dugar is a multi-faceted executive and entrepreneur who’s introducing the world to a new perspective on chaos. As the Chaos Guru, Jothi believes chaos can be embraced like a best friend. Rather than running from or fearing chaos, Jothi teaches others to build a healthy and holistic relationship with the chaotic forces around them.

She also serves as the Chief Information Security Officer and Thought Leader in the federal government. While in this role, Jothi founded the first Health & Wellness department at the NIH, Center for IT to help people learn how to embrace chaos and grow from feeling overwhelmed and burnt out to a state of excitement and rejuvenation through easy and effective mind-body-energy techniques.

Jothi is a dedicated wife and mother of three, author, mentor, health and wellness life coach and highly sought after international public speaker.

Julie Cullivan

Chief Technology and People Officer at ForeScout

Julie has driven transformational go-to-market, new market, partner, and acquisition strategy for both public and pre-IPO companies.

She is able to draw upon extensive sales, operations, and technology leadership experience to ask the tough questions needed to transform ideas into action.

Due to being both a thought leader and operator in sales, channel, cloud, cybersecurity, and business digitization,She has implemented innovative technology strategies and solutions while mitigating their associated risks.

Her ability to efficiently scale organizations while driving innovation and operational discipline makes her a proven leader and powerful C-level advisor.

Cybersecurity Woman Hacker of the Year 2020

Chris Kubecka

Owner HypaSec

Chris Kubecka is the founder and CEO of HypaSec. Previous Group Leader for AOC, tasked with setting up digital security after the world’s most devastating cyber-warfare attack so far, the 2012 Shamoon attacks.

Previously, establishing and leading the network and security operations, UK/EU GDPR Privacy Group, joint international intelligence team, and Information Protection Group for Aramco Overseas covering EMEA (outside KSA) and South America, part of Saudi Aramco. USAF veteran of multiple humanitarian and combat missions as aircrew,

US Air Force Space Command with degrees in information technology and computer science. Based in northern Europe, is a member of the Cyber Senate, Artificial Intelligence, subject matter expert panelist, and advisor for the European Council of Foreign Relations regarding post-Brexit digital security and cyber warfare.

An advisor and subject matter expert to several governments and industries on cybersecurity and incident response for cyber warfare, and recognized expertise in financial, oil and gas, water and nuclear industry digital security.

Alissa Valentina Knight

Partner Knight Inc.

Alissa Knight is a recovering hacker of 20 years, blending hacking with a unique style of written and visual content creation for challenger brands and market leaders in cybersecurity. Alissa is a cybersecurity influencer, content creator, and community manager that provides vendors go-to market and content strategy for telling brand stories at scale in cybersecurity.

She achieves this through ideation to execution of content strategy, storytelling, and execution of influencer marketing campaigns that take decision makers through a brand’s custom curated journey to attract and retain them as long-term partners. Alissa is also a published author, having published the first book on hacking connected cars.

As a serial entrepreneur, Alissa has started and sold two cybersecurity companies to public companies in international markets and now sits as the Managing Partner of Knight Ink, a content marketing and community management company in cybersecurity and is also the group CEO of Brier & Thorn, a managed security service provider.

Tanya Janca


Tanya Janca, also known as ‘SheHacksPurple’, is the founder, security trainer and coach of, specializing in software and cloud security.

Her obsession with securing software runs deep, from starting her company, to running her own OWASP chapter for 4 years in Ottawa, co-founding a new OWASP chapter in Victoria, and co-founding the OWASP DevSlop open-source and education project.

With her countless blog articles, workshops, and talks, her focus is clear.

Tanya is also an advocate for diversity and inclusion, co-founding the international women’s organization WoSEC, starting the online #MentoringMonday initiative, and personally mentoring, advocating for and enabling countless other women in her field.

As a professional computer geek of 20+ years, she is a person who is truly fascinated by the ‘science’ of computer science.

Cybersecurity or Privacy Woman Law Professional 2020

Adriana Sanford, J.D., dual LL.M.

Senior Fellow at the Center of Intelligence and National Security

Dr. Adriana Sanford has distinguished herself by educating corporate executives, thousands of college students, and the public at large, on global threats and the dangers of corporate corruption. The international television commentator also appears regularly as a CNN Español analyst to over 49 million households in the US and Latin America.  

With fluency in four languages, Dr. Sanford serves as a keynote to leading think tanks, non-profits, and multinationals around the globe. She recently provided the opening keynote to hundreds of General Counsel and senior legal leaders from Fortune 1000 companies at Corporate Counsel's 19th Annual SuperConference. In Chile, 

Over the decades, she has handled multiple, complex corruption and embezzlement cases around the globe.  

Dr. Sanford’s multiple law degrees from Georgetown Law and Notre Dame Law School, along with her top-tier international law firm experience, senior in-house legal roles, and two decades of practical legal knowledge in real-world settings on three continents, have set her apart from other academicians and lawyers in her field.

Victoria Beckman

Co-Chair Privacy & Data Security and Chair of Latin America Desk at Frost Brown Todd

Victoria is Co-chair of the firm’s privacy and data security team and Chair of the Latin America Desk.  Although her practice focuses on privacy and information security, she also represents U.S. and foreign companies in intellectual property, business, and cross border transactions.

Victoria is a frequent speaker on issues of cybersecurity and data breach response.

A native of Colombia, Victoria spent years as a public defender in Arizona first assigned to capital habeas appeals and later trying major felony cases.

Prior to practicing law, Victoria was an industrial engineer in the technology and automotive sectors and a competitive figure skater.

Rebecca Herold

CEO, The Privacy Professor | Author | Expert Witness | Entrepreneur| Founder, SIMBUS, LLC

Rebecca is an entrepreneur, author & was an Adjunct Professor for the Norwich University Master of Science in Information Security & Assurance Program for 9 years where she also created a program curriculum.

Rebecca led the NIST Smart Grid privacy group for 7 years and is a founding member of the IEEE P1912 Privacy and Security Architecture for Consumer Wireless Devices Working Group; since June 2015.

Rebecca has written 19 books to date, chapters in many books, and hundreds of articles. Some of Rebecca’s books include

  • The Practical Guide to HIPAA Privacy and Security Compliance (2 editions)
  • Data Privacy for the Smart Grid
  • The Privacy Papers
  • Managing an Information Security and Privacy Awareness and Training Program (2 editions)


People's Choice Award 2020

Deidre Diamond

Founder and CEO of CyberSN, Founder of Secure Diversity

Committed to Integrity, Accountability, and Meaningful Connections.  

Combining her 21 years of experience working in technology and staffing, her love for the cyber security community, and a genuine enthusiasm for people; she created Cyber Security Network (, a company transforming the way Cyber Security Professionals approach job searches. will remove the frustration from job-hunting, and aid in interpersonal connections and education.  

Throughout her career she has built large-scale sales and operations teams that achieved high performances. Creating cultures based on an anything is possible attitude allows people to achieve above and beyond the usual. By establishing an open communication framework throughout an organization; she has created cultures of positive energy, career advancement and kindness, that enables teams to reach beyond peak performance and have fun at work.  

Theresa Payton

President at Fortalice Solutions LLC

Theresa is the first female to serve as White House Chief Information Officer, Payton oversaw IT operations for the President and his staff from 2006 to 2008 during a period of unprecedented technological change and escalating threats.

Currently, as the founder, president, and CEO of a world-class cybersecurity consulting company, Fortalice Solutions, LLC, and co-Founder of Dark3, a cybersecurity product company, she remains the expert that organizations call for discretion, proactive solutions, and incident response/crisis management.

Fortalice was recently named to the top Global 500 Cybersecurity companies and a Top 5 Innovative Cybersecurity companies in the D.C./MD/NoVa region and Theresa was recently awarded the Enterprising Women of the Year Award for the 2nd year in a row.

Theresa’s efforts for combatting cybercrime and pro bono work on missing persons cases earned her the FBI Director’s award for Community Service.  

Jane Frankland

Owner & CEO at Cyber Security Capital Limited

Having been in cybersecurity for over 21-years Jane has held senior executive roles at several large PLCs and been actively involved in OWASP, CREST, and Cyber Essentials. With a proven track record in working with some of the world’s biggest brands and delivering fast revenue growth, she has learned how to communicate business strategy with senior executives and cybersecurity needs with technical staff. Being able to translate between both requirements has enabled her to orchestrate faster, smoother, and more effective engagements.  

She is driven by her 3 children, an obsession to deliver outstanding quality, and to make a positive difference in the world. Believing passionately in freedom, empowerment, and entrepreneurism her vision is to strengthen cyberspace with an optimized, diverse cybersecurity workforce. It’s why she authored the Amazon Best Seller, IN Security, and created the IN Security movement, a global tribe that stands behind a mission to connect, inspire, and empower cybersecurity professionals.  

Our Selection Committee

Shelley Westman

Principal in the Cybersecurity practice at EY

Bryson Bort

CEO and Founder at SCYTHE

Jessica Marie

Senior Director at WhiteHat security

Robert M. Lee

Founder and CEO, Dragos, Inc.

Chloé Messdaghi 

VP of Strategy, Point3 Security 

Francesco Cipollone  

Head of Application Security at HSBC  

Dr. Mona Lisa Pinkney

Sr Director, Cybersecurity Governance, Risk, Compliance, Engagement and Geos at Nike.

Stéphane Nappo

Global CISO at OVHcloud

Andrea Little Limbago

Chief Social Scientist at Virtru

Dr. Mansur Hasib

Global Award Winning Cybersecurity Leader and IS Chair at Brown School of Business and Leadership, Stevenson University

Margaret Morton

Senior Manager at Mutual of America Financial Group

Kathie Miley

CXO and Cybersecurity Evangelist at Cybersecurity Collaborative

Tom Field

SVP, Editorial at Information Security Media Group

Debbie Christofferson 

Information Security Consultant and Co-Chair for ISSA’s Women in Security SIG

Nomination Process

  • Nomination registration opens February 1st and stays open until March 30th. We are extending the window to April 10th!
  • CSWY subcommittee reviews the nominations for qualifications between April 13 - May 8th.
  • The selection committee will come together on May 13th to select the top 3 candidates in each category.  
  • The top 3 selected nominees for all categories will be posted on our site on May 30th.  
  • The public will be able to vote for their top choices on June 1st. The voting window was extended to July 23rd and is now closed.  
  • The winners will be revealed at the CSWY 2020 Awards Gala.  
  • All nominees will attend the Awards Gala (the date and location will be announced soon).

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