Help us celebrate

Cybersecurity Woman of The Year 2019 

in Las Vegas, August 5th, 2019

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CSWY Awards Gala Performing Artist: DeAnna Carpenter

Keynote Speaker - Cherie Aimée

Don't miss the wonderful Cherie Aimée's keynote at the Cybersecurity Women of the Year Awards Gala in Las Vegas. 

Cherie Aimée is a near death survivor and global speaker specializing in building trust between innovation and humanity. She is the former Director of Communications for ShipChain, which raised $30 million in funding to bring blockchain to supply chain logistics. Humanizing Blockchain: How To Build Trust In A Trustless System, has quickly become Cherie’s signature keynote for blockchain conferences and a passionate message she continues to share around the world. She’s been featured on The Dr. Oz Show, NBC TODAY Show, NBC News, Megyn Kelly TODAY, ABC News, FOX, Forbes, and Inc. Magazine. Cherie has ranked #6 Top 100 Most Influential Women In Blockchain, named Female Leader of the Year, and listed as one of the top 18 Women You Need To Know Now.  

Why have an award just for women?

It’s important for women to be recognized as much as it’s important for women to develop a community of peers who share common experiences. A new generation of cyber defenders needs to have strong role models to follow. We must elevate and highlight those that already contribute to the greater good of us all.  

In this field, we do difficult, dark work where we see some terrible things. We want to create an environment where we salute the people who fight back and the women who’ve jumped into the fight to protect organizations and society. We want to show our appreciation for those people doing good things in the security space. Join us!

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.

Voting for CSWY 2019  Awards is now closed
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You can nominate your favorite cyber woman in the following categories:

  • Cybersecurity Woman "Barrier Breaker" (nominations should be a woman with a legacy and record of developing research and/or products that have changed the industry)  
  • Cybersecurity Woman Influencer of the Year (a thought leader who has authored research, investigations, or legislation making in the cybersecurity industry)  
  • Cybersecurity Women Supporter of the Year (can be a man or company)  
  • Woman Cybersecurity Leader of the Year  
  • Cybersecurity Woman Hacker of the Year (the woman who had the most important contributions to cybersecurity in 2018) 

  • Cybersecurity or Privacy Woman Law Professional  

Our finalists - Cybersecurity Woman "Barrier Breaker" (nominations should be a woman with a legacy and record of developing research and/or products that have changed the industry) 

Sylvia Acevedo

Lifelong Girl Scout, STEM champ, and advocate for girls and youth education, Sylvia Acevedo was appointed CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) in May, 2017. She assumed this notable position after having served as a member of the Board of Directors from 2009 to 2016 as an officer and member of its Executive Committee. Growing up in rural New Mexico, Girl Scouts nourished a love for math and science in Sylvia that would culminate in a career as a rocket scientist, engineer, and award winning STEM entrepreneur. She has held executive and engineering roles at leading technology companies such as Apple, Dell Computer Corporation, Autodesk Inc. and IBM. Sylvia began her career as a rocket scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where she worked on NASA’s Voyager II mission, developing unique algorithms that analyzed the data Voyager II sent back to earth, helping NASA learn about Jupiter and its moon’s Io and Europa. Sylvia was one of the first Hispanic students, male or female, to earn a graduate engineering degree from Stanford University—an MS in industrial engineering—and she holds a bachelor of science degree with honors in industrial engineering from New Mexico State University. 

Camille Stewart

Camille Stewart is an attorney whose crosscutting perspective on complex technology, cyber, and national security, and foreign policy issues has landed her in significant roles at leading government and private sector companies like the Department of Homeland Security and Google. 

Camille currently leads cybersecurity, election integrity, and misinformation policy for Google Play & Android. Prior to Google, Camille managed cybersecurity, election security, tech innovation, and risk issues at Deloitte. Camille was appointed by President Barack Obama the Senior Policy Advisor for Cyber Infrastructure & Resilience Policy at the Department of Homeland Security. 

She was the Senior Manager of Legal Affairs at Cyveillance, a cybersecurity company. Camille is a New America Cyber Policy Fellow, Truman National Security Fellow, and Council on Foreign Relations Term Member. Camille on the Board of Women of Color Advancing Peace & Security and leads the Cybersecurity & Emerging Tech working group. She is also currently leading a project with a DC think tank addressing the exfiltration of national security-related tech and IP through the courts. 

You can find out more about Camille and her current projects at and follow her on Twitter @CamilleEsq.  

Abhilasha Bhargav-Spantzel

Abhilasha Bhargav-Spantzel is a Principal Engineer at Intel and leads hardware based security product architecture . She joined Intel in 2007 after completing her doctorate from Purdue University which focused on identity and privacy protection using cryptography and biometrics.

 Abhilasha drives thought leadership and the future evolution of cyber security platform through innovation, architecture and education. She has given numerous talks at conferences and universities as part of distinguished lecture series and workshops. 

She has written 5 book chapters and 30+ ACM and IEEE articles and has 25+ patents. Abhilasha leads multiple diversity and inclusion efforts at Intel and actively drives retention and development of women in technology. 

She is passionate about STEM K-12 cybersecurity initiatives and co-organizes camps for national cyber patriot competitions.  

Our finalists - Cybersecurity Women Influencer of the Year (a thought leader who has authored research, investigations, or legislation making in the cybersecurity industry) 

Jane Frankland

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 learnt 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 cyber space with an optimised, 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.  

Wendy Nather

Strategist, research director, former industry analyst and former CISO. 30+ years' technical experience in IT operations and security, including twelve years in the financial services industry and five years in state government. Specialties: Security program management, threat intelligence, risk analysis, identity and access management, security operations and incident response, application security, security services.  

Siobhan MacDermott

Siobhan MacDermott leads the Global Cyber Public Policy team. She is responsible for Bank of America’s participation in programs dedicated to improving cyber resiliency of the global financial system including thought leadership, engagement, geopolitical risk analysis and contingency planning. Siobhan joined Bank of America in July 2016 after serving as Risk and Cybersecurity Principal at EY (formerly Ernst & &oung), and consulting to Fortune 500 boards on cyber. Prior to EY, she spent 20+years in Silicon Valley and also served as Chief Policy Officer for AVG Technologies. Siobhan helped direct strategy, government relations, global policy and executive communications for a number of financial services and technical companies across the globe. In addition, she’s an accomplished author, with a sixth book expected in early 2018. 

Ms. MacDermott serves as Vice Chair of the Fund for Peace and is an Associate Fellow for the Global Fellowship Initiative for the Geneva Centre for Security Policy in Switzerland. Siobhan is a Senior Fellow of the Edward R. Murrow Center for a Digital World at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and serves as a Board Member for the Center for Global Risk and Security at the Rand Corporation. She serves as an Advisor to the National Defense University Foundation and is a Fellow of the 2018 class of the Finance Leaders Fellowship and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.  


Our finalists - Cybersecurity Women Supporter of the Year (can be a man or company) 

Deidre Diamond

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.  

Jim Gordon

Jim is an Intel veteran of 20+ years and has held a variety of roles over this time. He has held leadership positions in Intel’s channel product, influencer, and software & services groups.  

Most notably he served 3.5 years as Chief of Staff and Technical Assistant to Intel’s then President Renée James. He currently is the GM, Ecosystem Strategy & Business Development - Platform Security Division .  

He holds a BS in economics from the University of California at Davis as well as an MBA from Purdue University. Jim is also a self-motivated and very active contributor to diversity and inclusion (D&I) efforts at Intel specifically and in general across tech – even though he does not work and has never worked in HR. For Intel in D&I he has served as a top leader in its internal “Inclusive Leaders” program – a program dedicated to engaging, training, activating and supporting those influential “male majority” business leaders to take responsibility for and take proactive actions towards full inclusion.  

Beyond that, he is an active speaker, blogger and social media activist on the same subject. He contributes significant amounts of his time to this topic not because he is compelled to do so but, rather, because he (1) views it as the right thing to do, (2) believes he can make a difference and (3) wants to leave the tech corporate workplace overall a better environment for his young daughters than it was for his female peers during his time.  

His contributions are evident in many ways – from the way he leads, to where he allocates the investment of his time, to how he hires, what he says.

Lisa Ventura

I am a strategic cyber security, content marketing, digital, PR and marketing consultant/professional with experience as a commercial growth strategist. I also possess over 23 years experience in various industries including in cyber security, data/analytics, CX, SaaS, artificial intelligence, technology and more. Aside from my experience in cyber security my skills include article writing, blogging, content marketing, PR, digital marketing and business development. I also possess strong journalistic skills. I am extremely passionate about raising awareness of the importance of cyber security and this passion led me to founding the UK Cyber Security Association, which is the UK's first membership organisation devoted solely to individuals and companies working in the cyber security industry. I am also passionate about raising awareness of the cyber skills gap, women in cyber security, cyber security for the neurodiverse as a career path and ensuring that cyber security is seen as EVERYONE'S responsibility. My expertise in the industry is highly sought and as such I contribute to various trade and technology publications both online and offline as a writer, as well as appearing at various industry events, conferences and expos as a keynote speaker and panel moderator/chairperson. I also write and produce numerous white papers, articles, benchmarking reports & b&ogs. I am a strong leader with business acumen and experience in growing and running organisations of all sizes. I have excellent management skills with an emphasis on developing people individually or in a team to help them achieve their full potential. In my spare time I am an active blogger, influencer and thought leader, and my blog is I am a lifelong learner & I e&joy walking with my dog, films/TV shows and keeping fit. For more information please visit my website, and the UK Cyber Security Association's website

Our finalists - Woman Cybersecurity Leader of the Year

Theresa Payton

In the wake of recent, debilitating cyberattacks at Equifax, Sony Pictures, Target and privacy breaches against prominent individuals in the public eye, Theresa Payton remains the cybersecurity and intelligence operations expert that people and companies turn to in order to strengthen their privacy and cybersecurity. Named to the 100 Most Fascinating Women Fighting Cybercrime and by IFSEC Global as the 4th among the top 50 of the world's cybersecurity professionals and by Security Magazine as one of the top 25 Most Influential People in Security, she is one of America's most respected authorities on security and intelligence operations.  

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. Previously, she held executive roles in banking technology at Bank of America and Wells Fargo.  

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.  


Christine Vanderpool

Christine Vanderpool is the CISO for Florida Crystals, the world’s largest sugar cane refiner and the home of household names such as Domino Sugar, C&H, Redpath, Tate & Lyle Sugars, Sidul and of course Florida Crystals. Although it was never her plan to she have a career in IT, she has a proven track record as a security leader for almost 20 years. Christine has spent her career in a variety of security and IT roles including security leadership for Molson Coors Brewing Company and Kaiser Permanente. In addition, 

Christine writes for several online security blogs and magazines and is published in The Complete Compliance and Ethics Manual. She also enjoys speaking and educating the world on Cyber Security.  

Melissa Zicopula

Melissa Zicopula is the VP of Managed Services at Herjavec Group. Since joining the team, Melissa has championed interdepartmental collaboration to enhance the MSSP practice and facilitated the opening of three global SOCs in Los Angeles, United Kingdom and India, bridging technical and human intelligence to drive content development and to enrich data and alerts shared with our customers. This resulted in 80% YoY growth for Herjavec Group’s MSSP line of business. Melissa worked her way up the ranks in the government sector for ten years starting at the US Department of Defense Computer Network Defense (CND) outfit and then the US Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration SOC. During her time at DoE NNSA, she had technical oversight and led the SOC with specialities in incident/Intrusion triage, analysis & forensics, DFIR/Incident Response, Threat Management, and Engineering. 

She was also an active CSIRT member who supported government intrusion cases. She eventually landed a position at one of Las Vegas largest world-class integrated resorts and best-in-class gaming casino as the Executive Director of Global Security Operations where she spearheaded the development and opening of two global SOCs in less than a year before joining the fast-paced, driven, and innovative team at Herjavec Group.  

In her spare time, Melissa often builds relationships through mentorship programs at various colleges and universities. She is often invited to speak as a Guest Lecture for the University of Southern California (USC).  

Our finalists - Cybersecurity Women Hacker of the Year (the woman who had the most important contributions to cybersecurity in 2018) 

Tanya Janca

Tanya Janca, also known as SheHacksPurple, is a senior cloud advocate for Microsoft, specializing in application and cloud security; evangelizing software security and advocating for developers and operations folks alike through public speaking, her open source project OWASP DevSlop, and various forms of teaching via workshops, blogs, public speaking and community events. 

As an ethical hacker, OWASP Project Leader, Women of Security (WoSEC) chapter leader, software developer and professional computer geek of 20+ years, she is a person who is truly fascinated by the ‘science’ of computer science.


Diana is one of the world’s leading Cyber-Risk strategists who specializes in the alignment of Technology, Cyber Security, and Privacy while complying with applicable National & International regulations. 

Diana’s work around Smart Grid Security, Cloud Security, Cryptocurrency Wallet Design, Cyberterrorism Awareness & Defense, the Weaponization of AI-enhanced Social Media and Social Media Influencers, Geospatial Solutions, Privacy Management, and Cyber Ethics to name a few is truly inspiring!  

Throughout her 20+ year career, Diana has established solid programs across the globe for numerous clients in multiple industries from Critical Infrastructure, to Manufacturing to Healthcare and a few others in between. 

Diana’s unique perspective allows her to implement simplified programs that ensure the protection of countless of records and systems by significantly lowering the risk of attacks. 

Diana also has extensive experience in Attack Methodologies, Cyber Law, Regulatory Compliance and Quality Management. Diana is an accomplished public speaker with multiple industry awards for Security & Compliance, Excellence, Technology & Engineering and has gained both national and international recognition.  

Diana is also a cheery and approachable Hacker (NOT criminal) who despite her outstanding technical skills, casually avoids the tech lingo and loves to discuss complex topics with both technical and non-technical audiences alike. Who better to protect your data than someone who knows how to steal it (but won’t)?

Alissa Knight

I am a senior analyst with Aite Group where I perform focused research into cybersecurity issues impacting the financial services, healthcare, and fintech industries through the assessment of sector trends, creation of segment taxonomies, market sizing, preparation of forecasts, and developing industry models. I provide these industries a combination of syndicated and bespoke market research, competitive intelligence, and consulting services in the cybersecurity market through unbiased, objective and accurate research and content development. Out of my research into the contemporary cybersecurity issues affecting these industries today, I produce research reports and white papers, as well as provide advisory services that include inquiries, briefings, consulting projects, and presentations on study findings as well as bespoke speaking engagements where I often keynote at cybersecurity conferences, seminars, and roundtables annually.  

I also sit as the Chairperson on the Board of Directors for Brier &&Thorn. Previously, I was the CEO of Applied Watch and Netstream; companies I sold in M&& transactions to publicly traded companies in international markets.  

My passion professionally is meeting and learning from extraordinary leaders around the world and sharing my views on the disruptive forces reshaping global markets. My long-term goal is to help as many organizations as possible develop and execute on their strategic plans and focus on their areas of increased risk; bridging silos to effectively manage risk across organizational boundaries; and enable them to pursue intelligent risk taking as a means to long-term value creation.  

Read my entire professional bio at and learn more about me and my personal interests on my homepage at  


Our finalists - Cybersecurity or Privacy Woman Law Professional

Dr. Adriana Sanford

Following an abduction while on company business, international whistleblower 

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, 

Dr. Sanford provided the opening keynotes for one of Latin America's leading think tanks. Her extensive experience addressing international organized crime and its links to corporate fraud, bribery clubs, and other forms of business malfeasance spans well over two decades, including an international drug cartel and an illegal scheme involving Russian loans that resulted in the arrest and 30-year imprisonment of her former employer’s CEO. 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.  

Her dedication and commitment to the global community stem from a diverse and unique multicultural upbringing. In addition to being a 14th generation Chilean, 

Dr. Sanford is a member of the Overstolz dynasty in Germany; she is a direct descendant of one of the oldest living German families in the world. Dr. Sanford is the proud mother of two children. Her son William, a Caltech graduate, is obtaining his Ph.D. from UCLA. Her daughter Sofia attends UC Berkeley.  

Christina Aiyotis

An internationally recognized business executive and attorney Christina Ayiotis brings a unique strategic perspective, honed from years of building substantive (geopolitically contextualized) cyber expertise. 

A true "Cyber Connector," she brings together cross-functional/international constituencies to foster productive collaborative solutions. She founded and Co-Chaired the Georgetown Cybersecurity Law Institute and served on AFCEA International’s Cyber Committee and The Cybersecurity Canon Committee. Ranked #18 on Thomson Reuters’ 2018 List of Top 50 Social Influencers in Risk, Compliance and RegTech, she is featured in Women Know Cyber: 100 Fascinating Females Fighting Cybercrime (May 2019) and is recognized as one of The Top 15 Women in Cybersecurity and InfoSec Today (March 2019); Top 50 Women in Internet Security (January 2017); Top 20 Women in #InfoSec to follow on Twitter (July 2016) and Top #InfoSec People to Follow on Twitter. 

She taught a Masters Level Information Policy class at GW, served as Deputy General Counsel—Information Governance at CSC, and led global programs at Booz Allen Hamilton, Ernst & Young International, and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. She served on the Boards of Directors of ARCS MWC, Fairfax Law Foundation, ARMA NOVA, Hellenic American Women's Council and Women’s Bar Association of DC. 

She earned a Zertifikat Deutsch als Fremdsprache from the Goethe Institut and studied French at the Alliance Française, Paris. In 2008, she earned the Certified Records Manager certification. A magna cum laude graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University (BS- Biology/ BA-Philosophy; Minors- Mathematics/French; University Honors), she earned a Juris Doctorate from William & Mary Law School. 

She has been an active Member in Good Standing of the Virginia State Bar since 1991 and the District of Columbia Bar since 1993. She is the extremely proud Mom of a 21-year-old daughter who is a PhD Candidate in Neuroengineering at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine..

Shira Rubinoff

Shira Rubinoff is a recognized Cybersecurity executive, and Cybersecurity & Blockchain Advisor, Speaker & Influencer, who has built two Cybersecurity product companies, and led multiple women-in-technology efforts. She currently serves as President of NYC tech Incubator, Prime Tech Partners & social-media-security firm, SecureMySocial as well as on the Boards of the Executive Women’s Forum for Information Security, Leading Women in Technology, Blockchain company, Mainframe, AI company, TrueConnect , AI company, Pypestream, and Crypto company, Castillo Networks.  

An expert in the Human Factors of information technology and security, Ms. Rubinoff was named one of New Jersey’s Best 50 Women in Business, was named by CSO Magazine as a Woman of Influence, and was honored by CSO and the EWF with their “One to Watch” award, and most recently was honored as an "Outstanding Woman in Infosec" by the CyberHub Summit. She has also been calculated by analysts to be the top female Cybersecurity influencer globally on social media.  

Before SecureMySocial, Ms. Rubinoff founded and served for a decade as President of online authentication vendor, Green Armor Solutions. Within a year of releasing products, she grew the company to be a profitable concern. She more than doubled average deal size annually for three years consecutively, successfully executed OEM deals with major technology companies, and led Green Armor’s diversification across multiple industries.  

Ms. Rubinoff has also provided guidance to various firms in areas related to business develpment & o&ganizational dynamics. She has published and lectured on topics related to the human factors of Cybersecurity, Blockchain & I&formation Security, and holds several patents/patents-pending in areas related to the application of psychology to improve information technology and Cybersecurity.  

* Author of the Cybersecurity book "Cyber Minds" - published by Packt Publishing. Due out summer 2019.

Our Selection Committee

Karen Worstell

Karen is the CEO of W Risk Group and founder of MOJO Maker for Women in Tech. Ms. Worstell has over 30 years of information security experience including tenure as the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at Microsoft Corporation, AT&T Wireless and Russell Investments.

 As leader of the W Risk Group Ms. Worstell provides customized guidance to help companies develop their information security programs demonstrate due diligence to a defensible standard of care (D4SC) and via the MOJO Maker program. Ms. Worstell helps women improve the skills needed to succeed in the tech industry today.

She is the author of "Governance and Internal Controls for Cutting Edge IT” published by ITG Publishing, contributing author to the 6th Edition of the Information Security Handbook by Wiley on "The Role of the CISO” and co-author of “Evaluating the Electronic Discovery Capabilities of Outside Law Firms” by Pike and Fisher. Her newest publication is "Your Amazing Itty Bitty® Personal Data Protection Book: 15 Keys to Minimize Your Exposure to Cybercrime Using These Essential Steps". 

She holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Chemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Washington, and a Master of Science in Computer Science from Pacific Lutheran University.

Jim Gordon

Jim is an Intel veteran of 20+ years and has held a variety of roles over this time. He has held leadership positions in Intel’s channel product, influencer, and software & services groups.  

Most notably he served 3.5 years as Chief of Staff and Technical Assistant to Intel’s then President Renée James. He currently is the GM, Ecosystem Strategy & Business Development - Platform Security Division .  

He holds a BS in economics from the University of California at Davis as well as an MBA from Purdue University. Jim is also a self-motivated and very active contributor to diversity and inclusion (D&I) efforts at Intel specifically and in general across tech – even though he does not work and has never worked in HR. For Intel in D&I he has served as a top leader in its internal “Inclusive Leaders” program – a program dedicated to engaging, training, activating and supporting those influential “male majority” business leaders to take responsibility for and take proactive actions towards full inclusion.  

Beyond that, he is an active speaker, blogger and social media activist on the same subject. He contributes significant amounts of his time to this topic not because he is compelled to do so but, rather, because he (1) views it as the right thing to do, (2) believes he can make a difference and (3) wants to leave the tech corporate workplace overall a better environment for his young daughters than it was for his female peers during his time.  

His contributions are evident in many ways – from the way he leads, to where he allocates the investment of his time, to how he hires, what he says.

Jennifer Steffens

As its CEO, Jennifer spearheads all aspects of IOActive’s global business operations and drives the company’s strategic vision. Jennifer brings a wealth of industry and business experience to the company, having been an early member of several successful startups.  

Recognized as one of the top leaders in information security, Jennifer is an active member of the Executive Women’s Forum, the Information Security Systems Association and the Open Web Application Security Project. Lauded by Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Information Security Magazine, and many more, she received SC Magazine’s Reboot Leadership Award for Top Management in 2017 and CV Magazine’s IT Security CEO of the Year 2018. She serves as a judge for the TechTrailblazers and DUO Women in Security awards and is a frequent speaker at events around the world.  

Earlier in her career, she held leadership positions at ground breaking companies such as Sourcefire and NFR Security. Prior to joining IOActive, Jennifer came to Seattle to help startup GraniteEdge reinvent itself. While there, she led initiatives to restructure the company and developed a product strategy that ultimately led to a successful acquisition.  

Michael Reese

Michael serves as the Chief Information Officer at DSA Technologies, Inc. and has over 23 years’ experience in Information Technology serving in senior executive positions encompassing operations management, project management, business development as well as service and product management functions. 

Mr. Reese is an Adjunct Professor with Sierra College. A Cyber Security Specialist, licensed as a Computer Forensics Investigator, Certified Information Systems Security Professional, Hacking Forensic Investigator, and Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator. Assisted both the DOJ and FBI and has worked with High Tech Crime Units in several matters. 

Prior to Mr. Reese’s IT career, Mr. Reese spent 11 years in Law Enforcement as a Deputy Sheriff with San Diego County and Riverside County Sheriff Department.  

Peter Liebert

Governor Jerry Brown appointed Peter Liebert as Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and Director of the Office of Information Security of the California Department of Technology (CDT) on November 14, 2016.  

Mr. Liebert is the primary state government authority (as defined by California Law AB 670) charged with ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of state systems and applications, and ensuring the protection of state information assets. He is involved in a broad range of activities within the state and collaborates with federal, state and local security professionals, higher education, private industry, and others on security related matters. Mr. Liebert is responsible for creating, issuing, and maintaining standards, procedures, and policies relating to all aspects of information security for the state. He is committed to securing the state’s information assets by providing Statewide leadership and collaboration and recently received the “State Cybersecurity Leader 2017” award from StateScoop.  

Prior to his role as CISO, Mr. Liebert was a Threat Assessment Manager and later a Senior Product Manager at FireEye Inc. from 2015-2016. He has also served in several positions at the United States Cyber Command, including Special Assistant in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Cyber Policy from 2014 to 2015 and Senior Cyber Policy Analyst from 2013 to 2014. Peter also served as Cybersecurity and Logistics Analyst in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations from 2011 to 2013 and was lead for the Palestinian Logistics Mentoring and Warehouse Information Technology Program at DynCorp International from 2008 to 2010. He also served as an officer in the U.S. Navy from 2000 to 2008. He has earned a Master of Public Administration degree from the Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government and a Master of Science degree in international security from Canfield University and maintains multiple cybersecurity related industry certifications such as CISSP, GCPM, GISP, GSLC, CEH, and N+.  

Rick Howard

Rick is the Palo Alto Networks Chief Security Officer where he has overall responsibility of the company’s internal security program, leads the Palo Alto Networks Threat Intelligence Team (Unit 42), directs the company’s efforts on the Cyber Threat Alliance Information 

Sharing non-profit, hosts the Cybersecurity Canon Project, and provides thought leadership for the company and the Cybersecurity community at large.

His prior jobs include TASC CISO, iDefense General Manager, Counterpane SOC Director, and Commander of the U.S. Army’s Computer Emergency Response Team where he coordinated network defense, network intelligence and network attack operations for the Army's global network. 

Rick holds a Master of Computer Science degree from the Naval Postgraduate School and an engineering degree from the US Military Academy. He also taught computer science at the Academy from 1993 to 1999.  

Noureen Njoroge

Noureen is an experienced Security Threat Intel with a demonstrated working history in Cyber Security & Active Threat Analytics Industry. Noureen currently works at Cisco Systems as a Security Investigator. 

She graduated from University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML) with a Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology and at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a concentration in CyberSecurity Program. Noureen holds various security certificates, belongs to Women in CyberSecurity group(WiCys), a member in ISC2 RTP chapter and is a leader in Women’s Society of CyberJutsu (WSC) in Raleigh NC. 

Her passion in Cybersecurity lead her to form a mentorship group called “Mentor and Mentee Women CyberSecurity” where women of the same profession share and Mentor each other.  

On a personal front, Noureen lives in NC with her family. She enjoys travelling, taking pictures, dancing and reading.  

Bonnie Butlin

Bonnie is Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Security Partners’ Forum (SPF), the first-of-its-kind agile international network of security professionals, bridging all domains and disciplines of security. Bonnie also currently serves as part of the World Economic Forum’s Expert Network in Cybersecurity. Since 2013 Bonnie has received 20 international and national-level awards, accolades and honours related to leadership, security and resilience including the prestigious “Women of the Decade” Award presented at the Women Economic Forum in 2018. Bonnie also currently sits on a variety of committees, working groups and editorial boards, such as the Cybersecurity Journal (Henry Stuart Publications). Bonnie’s educational achievements include a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from Carleton University; a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Calgary; a Graduate Certificate in Corporate Security Executive Leadership from the Burrill Green Business School (UK); and a certificate in Strategic Planning & &eadership for security at the University of Georgetown (in partnership with the International Security Management Association).  


Steven Cohen

Steven has been providing information security Guidance and Thought Leadership to senior executives over twenty years.  

He has held Senior Executive Roles at several fast growth, security-focused Organizations and is presently the SVP of Global Managed Services responsible for business development, product management, Service Strategy, and sales growth for Herjavec Group’s Managed Security Services across North America and Europe, which is ranked number one by Cybersecurity 500.  

Prior to joining Herjavec Group, Steven was President of Sentry Metrics – a leader in Information Security Managed services that was on the Profit 500 fastest growing companies. Steven also co-founded Strongbox Solutions., a consulting company operating in the Information Security and Risk Management space and before Strongbox, Steven was VP Sales, Canada for security solutions provider JAWZ, Inc. ("Jawz"). He was responsible for sales and delivery of end-to-end security products and services.  

Steven has experience working with Senior Executives and Board members, providing guidance to many Fortune 1000 Organizations, including: Financial Services, Technology, Health Care, Telecommunications and Entertainment customers. Steven holds a Masters of Engineering and Bachelor of Engineering degrees from McGill University. Steven's experience in working with Enterprise customers Implementing organization-wide solutions and is involved in identifying solutions for a comprehensive and holistic understanding of an organization’s security risks.  

Aanchal Gupta

Aanchal is the Head of Security for Facebook's blockchain initiative. Previously she led a global team responsible for assessing and mitigating security risks across Facebook and its family of apps including WhatsApp, Instagram, Messenger, and Oculus. 

Prior to joining Facebook, she was Chief Information Security Officer at Microsoft for Skype and Skype for Business. In this role, she managed several broad areas, including security, privacy, compliance, online safety, anti-abuse, and business continuity. Before joining Microsoft, Aanchal led Yahoo's Global Identity team, contributing to various authentication and authorization open standards such as OpenID and OAuth.  

Aanchal was named one of Business Insider’s “Most powerful female engineers of 2018”, and she serves on technical advisory boards for security startups, CloudKnox Security Inc. and ThreatWatch Inc. She is on the advisory board of Udacity’s Cybersecurity Nanodegree, and is a member of the Internet Security Research Group Board of Directors. 

Aanchal is an active speaker at key industry and digital innovation events. She is passionate about building diverse teams and has served on the review board for the Grace Hopper, Enigma, and Black Hat conferences. Follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.  

Nathan Chung

Nathan serves as a Senior Cybersecurity Consultant at Ernst and Young and has over 5 years’ experience in audit compliance, cloud computing, incident response, and security architecture.  

He is a passionate advocate, supporter, blogger, and champion of women in cybersecurity and is a member of the Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu, ISSA Women in Security Denver, and Women in Cybersecurity.  

Nathan holds a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Information Systems Management from Devry University, a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Hawai’i, and more than a dozen security and cloud certifications. 

Shamane Tan

Shamane is the APAC Cyber Security Advisor at Privasec, a leading independent Security Consulting Firm in Australia and Singapore. In her previous roles, she has worked with exciting start-ups all the way to global organisations extensively across Singapore, Malaysia, and Australia. 

Shamane advises the C-Suite and IT Executives on the reality of the challenges they faced from regulatory issues to cybercrime. She currently provides advice to businesses on uplifting their Security posture.  

Shamane has a passion for disruptive technologies and the human factor. As the founder of the Cyber Risk meetups across Australia and Singapore with over 1,500 attendees, her meetups offer Security Enthusiasts and Executives a unique platform to impart and exchange innovative insights. 

Shamane is also a huge advocate and champion for women in IT Security and is keen to encourage more people to take the step forward in the world of Cyber.  

Steve R. Braun

Steve is President and Chief Executive Officer of Search Consultants International, part of the world’s largest executive search network, MRINetwork. Steve joined MRI in 1976 as an Executive Recruiter, and three years later, opened his own practice. He has led the organization to its present day success conducting global searches on behalf of several Fortune 500 companies and hundreds of midsize and small business clients. Steve’s teams focus on many areas including but not limited to sports, healthcare, nonprofit, consumer packaged goods, marketing, cyber security, and accounting. Steve has been consistently recognized as Search Firm of the Year, recipient of many top industry honors and he is a frequent speaker at global industry events and college events. In addition to his role at Search Consultants, Steve partners with several professional sports players assisting professional athletes with their transition post sports. After attending Guilford College in North Carolina, Steve received his MBA with honors from Loyola University. 


Georgia Reid 

Georgia D. Reid is an experienced tech industry researcher with a background that includes product development, marketing, communications, and public relations. Earlier in her career, she was an English teacher for the New York City Department of Education. Reid earned an M.A. in English from Hunter College, a B.A. in English from the UMASS Amherst, a Certificate in Marketing Management from Cornell University, and a Certificate in Digital Marketing from General Assembly.  

She is currently the student of Law at Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center.

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Selection Process

The nomination window is now closed. Our judges are diligently working on selecting the top three candidates in each category. On June 1st. we will publish the nominees on this page for public to vote in the winners. Stay tuned!

  • Nomination registration opens February 1st and stays open until March 30th
  • The selection committee will come together on May 13th to select 3 top candidates for 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 will be open between June 1st and June 30th.
  • The winners will be revealed at the CSWY 2019 Awards Gala
  • All nominees will attend the Awards Gala in Las Vegas on August 5th (in August), where the awards will be given to the winners..  
Voting for CSWY 2019 Awards is now closed

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