Our events, programs and benefits would not be possible without our Executive Committee, Board of Directors, Senior Advisors and Team Members. Get to know them below.
WICYS Executive Committee
Dr. Ambareen Siraj, WiCyS Founder, Executive Committee Board Member
PROGRAM DIRECTOR, NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
Dr. Ambareen Siraj is currently serving as a Program Director at the National Science Foundation. She is the Founder of the Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS) non-profit organization. As Professor of Computer Science, she has served as the Founding Director of the Cybersecurity Education, Research, and Outreach Center at Tennessee Tech until June 3, 2022. Dr. Siraj’s research areas of interest include smart grid security, sensor alert fusion with alert correlation and alert clustering, security metrics, security education and workforce development. She has authored/co- authored more than fifty journal and conference articles in these areas. She has led National Science Foundation Projects “Tennessee Cybercorps: A Hybrid Program in Cybersecurity”, “Tennessee Tech Gen-Cyber Camps”, “Capacity Building in Cybersecurity: Broadening Participation of Women in Cybersecurity through Women in Cybersecurity Conference & Professional Development”, “CyberWorkshops: Resources and Strategies for Teaching Cybersecurity in Computer Science”, and “Security Knitting Kit: Integrating Security into Traditional CS Courses”.
Dr. Janell Straach, Chair of the Board, Executive Committee Board Member
FACULTY, RICE UNIVERSITY
Dr. Janell Straach has a diverse background including academic and industry experience. She holds a Bachelor of Science in CS degree from Angelo State University, a Master of Computer Science degree from Texas A&M University, an MBA from The University of Dallas and a Masters and PhD from UT Dallas. Her PhD research was in intelligent systems and recent work has focused on CyberSecurity. Prior to her current assignment with Rice University, she was a member of the faculty at UT Dallas in Richardson, TX. Before her academic assignments, she worked in industry for IBM and a large electric/gas utility organization. She has taught at the college, university and corporate level. Janell’s passion is recruiting and retaining females into technology careers.
Video Link: Dr. Janell Straach – Meet the Prof
Dr. Costis Toregas, Treasurer, Executive Committee Board Member
DIRECTOR, CYBER SECURITY AND PRIVACY RESEARCH INSTITUTE, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY
Dr. Costis Toregas is the Director of the Cyber Security and Privacy Research Institute at The George Washington University, where he manages scholarship programs and research projects in cybersecurity. His research interests include workforce development, the role of insurance in cyber risk management, and exploring a fuller utilization of Community Colleges in the cybersecurity work force strategies. He is the IT Adviser to the Montgomery County MD County Council, a board member of the National Cyber League and a consultant for the National Cybersecurity Training and Education Center. He is a respected consultant to national governments and intergovernmental organizations, and a much sought-after speaker on the impact of technology in government and society. Dr. Toregas has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a M.S. and a Ph.D. in Environmental Systems Engineering from Cornell University.
WICYS BOARD OF DIRECTORS
CHIEF INFORMATION SECURITY OFFICER AND SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT AT UNITEDHEALTH GROUP/OPTUM
Allison Miller serves as the Vice President of UnitedHealth Group’s Global Enterprise Information Security Office. Allison has accountability for the Enterprise Information Security Officers for the Group, Security Incident Response/Technical Investigations, Security Policy and Global Cyber Regulatory Programs. In her existing role, Allison has developed a global security framework for the enterprise with a focus towards patient safety, security of clinical operations and a global cyber crisis response plan.
Prior to her role with the Global Enterprise Information Security Office, Allison served as the Director of National Healthcare Compliance for UnitedHealthcare, Chief Privacy Officer for OptumHealth and Deputy Privacy Officer, National Privacy Director for UnitedHealthcare.
In addition to Privacy and Security, Allison has over 20 years of experience in health information systems and crisis management. During her tenure at UnitedHealth Group, Allison developed systems to identify the gaps in care and predict health outcomes for individuals with chronic conditions. Allison is a volunteer EMT and First Responder in the State of Louisiana serving residents during Hurricanes Katrina and Isaac. Most recently, Allison had the privilege of serving Refugees in Greece providing healthcare support to the clinics on the frontlines.
Allison’s undergraduate (BA) studies were in Political Science and Sociology; she has completed Executive Education & Management post-college at Wharton, Kellogg Executive Education and MIT Sloan. She was part of the cohort that authored and attained the ISC2 Healthcare Information Security and Privacy Professional Certification and holds her HCISSP, in addition to holding certifications from GIAC, ISACA, HCCS and other technology areas of focus beyond security.
Allison continues to volunteer her time across organizations to help raise the level awareness regarding emerging cyber security landscape and the threats they present to patient care globally.
FOUNDER AND CTO, SECURITYCURVE
Diana Kelley’s security career spans over 30 years. She is Co-Founder and CTO of SecurityCurve and donates much of her time to volunteer work in the cybersecurity community, including serving on the ACM Ethics & Plagiarism Committee, as CTO and Board member at Sightline Security, Board member and Inclusion Working Group champion at WiCyS, Cybersecurity Committee Advisor at CompTIA, and RSAC US Program Committee. Diana produces the #MyCyberWhy series, hosts BrightTALK’s The Security Balancing Act, and is a Principal Consulting Analyst with TechVision Research and a member of The Analyst Syndicate. She was the Cybersecurity Field CTO for Microsoft, Global Executive Security Advisor at IBM Security, GM at Symantec, VP at Burton Group (now Gartner), and a Manager at KPMG. She is a sought after keynote speaker, the co-author of the books Practical Cybersecurity Architect and Cryptographic Libraries for Developers, has been a lecturer at Boston College’s Masters program in cybersecurity, the EWF 2020 Executive of the Year, and one of Cybersecurity Ventures 100 Fascinating Females Fighting Cybercrime.
Dr. Dawn M. Beyer
SENIOR FELLOW, LOCKHEED MARTIN SPACE
Dr. Dawn Beyer is a Lockheed Martin (LM) Senior Fellow. She has over 30 years of experience covering cybersecurity, security engineering, systems engineering, and military intelligence. She recently led the development and implementation of the LM Cyber Resiliency Level® (CRL®) framework as a standard way to measure the cyber resiliency maturity of weapon systems.
Dr. Beyer is a strategic leader in LM and Industry. She provides leadership with the visibility into strategy, workforce talent, technology, capabilities, risks, policy, and opportunities. At LM, Dr. Beyer is the LM Cybersecurity Fellows Action Team Chair and the LM Strategic Technology Advisor for Cyber. She founded and was the first Chair of the LM Women’s Fellows Network (WFN). The goal of WFN is to attract, develop, and retain women in top talent initiatives. She also engages in industry exchanges and Co-chairs the Space Information Sharing and Analysis Center Information Sharing Working Group. Dr. Beyer is on the Board of Governors with the Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS) organization.
Dr. Beyer is a retired Air Force Intelligence Officer with 24 years of service. She is a recipient of the Nova Southeastern University (NSU) Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award for the College of Engineering and Computing—highest and most prestigious honor NSU bestows upon its graduates. Dr. Beyer was recognized by SC Magazine as a “Women in Security: PowerPlayer” in cybersecurity.
Dr. Beyer earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems from Nova Southeastern University, Master of Science in Information Systems from Hawaii Pacific University, and Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Management from the University of Maryland University College. She maintains the following certifications: Project Management Institute’s Program Management Professional (PMP) ®, (ISC) 2 ’s Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) ® and Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP) ®, and ISACA’s Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) ®.
DR. GREG SHANNON
CHIEF CYBERSECURITY SCIENTIST, IDAHO NATIONAL LABORATORY AND CHIEF SCIENCE OFFICER, CYBERSECURITY MANUFACTURING INNOVATION INSTITUTE
Dr. Greg Shannon is a computer scientist with diverse experience and a leading expert in science, technology, and policy for cybersecurity. He recently served in the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy as the Assistant Director for Cybersecurity Strategy and has testified before Congress on cybersecurity, science for security, critical infrastructure, resilience, and cyber threats. He served as the first Chair of IEEE’s Cybersecurity Initiative and the General Chair for the 2015 IEEE Symposium on Security & Privacy.
Dr. Shannon received a BS in Computer Science from Iowa State University with minors in Mathematics, Economics, and Statistics. He earned his MS and PhD in Computer Sciences at Purdue University, with a fellowship from the Packard Foundation.
DEPUTY DIRECTOR AND LEAD FOR INDUSTRY ENGAGEMENT, NATIONAL INITIATIVE FOR CYBERSECURITY EDUCATION (NICE), NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
Marian Merritt is the Deputy Director for the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)/ U.S. Department of Commerce. Her areas of focus include workforce management, apprenticeship, and small business cybersecurity. Marian has over 24 years of experience working in the cybersecurity industry, with experience in product management, corporate website management, family online safety programs and corporate philanthropy. She previously was with Symantec Corporation as their Director of Cyber Education and Online Safety Programs.
Marian attended Boston University’s Questrom School of Business for her undergraduate degree and holds an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She lives in Los Angeles, CA.
DIRECTOR OF GLOBAL CYBER THREAT INTELLIGENCE AT NIKE, INC.
Noureen Njoroge is a passionate Cybersecurity Professional with vast experience in multi-faceted, complex, fast-paced environments in the public and private sector. She is a strategic thinker with vast knowledge of business management & Cybersecurity practices. She has proven leadership experience on issues concerning Security and Data Privacy. Noureen demonstrates consistent client & business success by delivering strategic solutions, applies creativity and judgement, to effectively negotiate mitigation solutions and proactive threats prevention. She thrives in leading high-performance teams and is currently the Global Director of Cyber Threat Intelligence at NIKE.
Noureen is an astute problem solver, an effective translator between technical and non-technical entities in Cybersecurity. She is a Global keynote speaker, Award winner of 2021 Cybersecurity woman supporter, listed among Top Global Influencers in Cybersecurity by Europe IFSEC, awarded Global Cybersecurity Ambassador by Rocheston, 2020 Cybersecurity Woman of the year, named 2019 Cisco Cybersecurity Champion, and is listed among the Top 30 Most Admired Minority Professionals in Cybersecurity in UK.
Noureen is a people leader and very passionate about mentoring others. She 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 (UMASS) and is a graduate of the Cybersecurity program at (MIT).
Noureen is ranked #3 as Cyber Security Professionals by IFSEC Global (https://www.ifsecglobal.com/global/influencers-in-security-and-fire-2021/)
SENIOR MANAGER, INFORMATION SECURITY, PALO ALTO NETWORKS
Prajakta Jagdale (PJ) manages the Red Team program at Palo Alto Networks and is focused on ensuring the security of the company’s infrastructure. Her red teaming success can be attributed to the 7+ years as an application security researcher at Hewlett-Packard. During this period, her research on vulnerabilities in web technologies like JAVA, SQL, Flash, HTML5 and others contributed towards a software product designed to mimic a human hacker. Then as a product security architect at Intuit, she spent her time identifying and demonstrating, to architects and engineers, the exploitable security flaws in designs of complex, large-scale network and software infrastructures responsible for delivering the financial, accounting and tax preparation services.
Over the years, Prajakta has had the opportunity to present her work at several security conferences including Black Hat Federal, RSA Europe, Shmoocon, InfoSec World and others.
SENIOR PROGRAM MANAGER, PRIVACY, SAFETY & SECURITY ENGINEERING, GOOGLE
Sarah leads External Engagement for Google’s Privacy, Safety & Security Engineering team. She coordinates Google’s outreach efforts and engagements, which includes supporting conferences, organizations and industry partnerships. Sarah is a long time WiCyS member and helped to launch the Security Training Scholarship Program in 2020. She is deeply committed to building a more diverse and inclusive cybersecurity industry, and collaborates with numerous community organizations on a range of efforts. Previously, Sarah worked on Google’s Consumer Support team and has held numerous community engagement roles across the tech and sustainability sectors.
Sarah graduated from Cornell University with a bachelor of science degree in Natural Resources. She lives in San Francisco with her family and is a proud Mom to two fast growing sons.
Valerie Jane Chua
SECURITY EDUCATION & AWARENESS PROGRAM MANAGER, META
Valerie is a creative solutions architect and interpersonal leader with 10+ years of experience in educational leadership, brand marketing, and events management within nonprofit, education, corporate and tech industries. Currently, she is empowering Meta personnel to work more safely and securely and is enabling security to scale expertise through embedding secure behavioral practices into the routine activities of products, services and teams.
Prior to joining Meta Security, Valerie worked in brand marketing for Williams-Sonoma, Inc. and spent nearly 10 years in the nonprofit education sector where she was recognized for her leadership towards educational equity for underserved communities and community learning development. Valerie also spent time as a non-public school teacher and behavioral specialist for individuals who had experienced some type of abuse and/or neurological and other related social and emotional challenges.
Valerie received dual bachelor of arts degrees in Communications and Humanities from Dominican University of California and received her Master of Business Administration degree in Leadership and Strategic Management from Western Governors University.
WICYS SENIOR ADVISORS
MARY JANE PARTAIN
DIRECTOR, LIVING LEARNING COMMUNITIES
Mary Jane has over 20 years of experience in higher education. Her areas of focus have included assessment, curriculum development, diversity education, employer relations, leadership, student development, and faculty relations. She is passionate about first-generation students, increasing women in stem fields, and providing an inclusive environment where all feel valued, welcome, and seen.
She has been involved with the WiCyS organization for the last 4 years as the Career Fair Concierge. She aids in the planning and facilitation of the career fair at the annual conference.
Mary Jane holds a Master of Public Administration in Non-Profit Management from the University of West Florida.
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS, CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY SOFTWARE ENGINEERING INSTITUTE
Michele is the Director of Operations for the Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute’s (CMU SEI) CERT Division. She is a passionate advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion and for driving positive cultural changes. She continually elevates the status of cybersecurity workforce and promotes DE&I values and processes in the workplace. Part of these efforts have enabled her to facilitate recruitment efforts by working with all levels of staff and executive leadership to improve internal communications and to ensure that the mission, values, and vision of the organization are internalized by staff and accessible to external stakeholders. A workforce designed for inclusion and collaboration creates innovation; Michele spends everyday working towards aligning the CERT Division to meet that goal.
Before joining CMU SEI in 2004, Michele was the Business Manager for the Center for Information Systems Engineering. During her 30 years of employment at Carnegie Mellon, her primary focus has always been the people. She encourages a creative and inclusive environment, knowing that it drives innovation and supports both the mission of the organization and the needs of the staff.
Lynn Dohm, Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS)
Lynn Dohm brings more than 25 years of organizational and leadership experience to the WiCyS team. She has successfully collaborated with businesses, nonprofits and NSF-funded grants and helped produce outcomes that aligned with their cybersecurity business goals. As a solution- oriented strategist, Lynn focuses on nonprofits by facilitating process improvements, coordinating project management and using resourceful operations to achieve strategic objectives.
Lynn has long been committed to cybersecurity education and for the last 14 years held active roles in grant-funded programs and nonprofits that assist in providing educational solutions for the cybersecurity workforce. She is passionate about the need for diverse mindsets, skill sets and perspectives to solve problems that never previously existed and aims to facilitate learning opportunities and discussions on leading with inclusion, equity and allyship. Lynn lives each day fulfilled as she continues to crusade, along with the strong and committed community of women, allies and advocates within the WiCyS organization, to bridge the cybersecurity workforce gap and improve the recruitment, retention and advancement of women in cybersecurity.
In addition to Lynn being awarded Top 100 Women in Cybersecurity by Cyber Defense Magazine, she accepted the Nonprofit of the Year Award for WiCyS in 2020 and 2021, is on numerous cybersecurity judging panels, advisory boards, and is an inaugural member of (ISC)2’s DEI Task Force. She has been interviewed on TV and radio throughout the nation and is a keynote presenter, panelist and moderator for multiple international conferences, events and organizations.
Charquetta McCoy, Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS)
EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT/HUMAN RESOURCES
Charquetta McCoy is a recent graduate of Capella University with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources. Prior to joining WiCyS, she lived in Houston, TX for five years and was able to gain professional experience from her work as a Medical Assistant, Client Service Representative and through volunteering at Senior living facilities. She is excited to utilize her transferable skills to assist with the growth and development of the WiCyS organization.
Jessica Robinson, Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS)
Jessica Robinson is CEO of PurePoint International, and the brand Consciously Secure Living, helping CEOs and C-level leaders bridge the gap among data security, cyber risk and privacy. PurePoint International provides cybersecurity consulting and training for financial services, insurance and other middle market global companies with start-up to $350M in revenue. Jessica’s vision to create a different kind of security company has earned the company and award for International Affairs and Women’s Security from Jaycees Philippines-New York Chapter for their work with Consciously Secure Living. Jessica is also on the board of the authentication technology company Netlok, Board Chair of World Pulse and co-leads the Racial Equity Committee for Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS).
Lana Richardson, Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS)
COMMUNITY CARE MANAGER
Lana Richardson serves as the financial associate for Tennessee Tech’s CyberSecurity Education, Research and Outreach Center (CEROC). Her responsibilities include: managing the financial operations of the center, its grants program and event planning. Lana has extensive experience in institutional proposal development and pricing, training, program development, and supervision from her 17 years with GTE/Verizon.
As WiCyS Community Care Manager, Lana handles the operational aspects of WiCyS affiliates. She also manages communications and logistics for conference sponsors in preparation of the annual conference. Lana also serves as the bookkeeper for the WiCys organization as well as the “and other duties” and “go to” person for the staff.
Maddie Witt, Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS)
SOCIAL MEDIA SPECIALIST & CONTENT CREATOR
Maddie Witt is a Social Media Specialist and Content Creator. Maddie graduated with a B.A. in Communication and completed a minor in Spanish during her time studying in Madrid, Spain. Prior to working with WiCyS, she was on the marketing team for a Kickstarter company that created backpacking gear. She walked away from that role with a plethora of experience. She maintained social channels and organic promotion, created marketing funnels and ad videos, and even developed a deeper love for the outdoors! Her itch for adventure carries her from climbing the side of a mountain to crawling into the deep depths of the earth through caves in the Southeastern U.S.
Morgan Garland, Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS)
Morgan Garland brings a background in event planning and non-profit work to the WiCyS team. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Illinois University. Her undergraduate studies are in Psychology and Sociology. Prior to her work with WiCyS, Morgan worked for the American Cancer Society working with volunteers to help drive the mission and raise funds to end the fight against cancer.
In her role with WiCyS, Morgan is responsible for implementing programs, projects and activities designed to increase, retain and support members within the communities of the nonprofit.
Myriam Saint Jean, Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS)
Myriam Saint-Jean is a resourceful, nonprofit professional who views challenges as opportunities to make a difference. She is well-versed in operational and fundraising strategies and in philanthropic initiatives. Myriam has experience in secondary education at the South Bend Education Foundation as the Financial and Program Coordinator and in higher education at Holy Cross College as the Assistant Director of Development. She has expertise in managing financial operations, developing and implementing long-term strategic plans, and optimizing organizational efficiency.
At WiCyS, Myriam oversees the financial health and sustainability of the organization. As the financial manager, her role is to plan, oversee, and direct the organization’s resources while promoting the achievement of women and minorities in the field of cybersecurity.
Myriam holds a bachelor’s in finance from Florida Gulf Coast University and certifications in fundraising research and analytics. She is a member of the Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement (APRA) and the Association of Nonprofit Accountants and Finance Professionals (ANFP).
In her volunteer roles, Myriam is the finance committee chair at La Casa de Amistad, an organization dedicated to serving the Hispanic community in the Northern Indiana region. She is also a financial advisor at Odeka Haiti, an organization that helps families in rural Haiti.
Myriam is a French native and lives in Granger, Indiana with her husband, Larose, a native of Haiti, and their three American children, Matis, Loris, and Janelle.
Peter Baldwin, Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS)
Peter is a pioneer and thought leader in the Fractional CFO Services Industry, having spent nearly 20 years upgrading the operational finance and accounting departments in over 32 privately held, family-owned businesses in a variety of industries including manufacturing, distribution, professional services, and entertainment.
He is the author of Profit Peak for Entrepreneurs and host of the show of the same name. His next book to be released in 2021 is titled: Winning in Business: Seven Leadership Secrets from the Battlefield. He is a former Big 4 management consultant and a frequent presenter at industry associations seeking his strategic finance and enterprise leadership expertise. Peter received his business degree from Brigham Young University and an M.B.A. from the University of Oregon.
He enjoys studying history with an emphasis on Central European History. He is fluent in Hungarian. Married with four children, Peter enjoys rugged outdoor activities as well as tennis and basketball.
Quiana Oates, Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS)
Quiana Oates serves as Program Manager for WiCyS. Her primary role is to design programs that align with the organization’s mission and support the Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS) goals to recruit, retain and advance women in cybersecurity. She works closely with student chapters, professional affiliates and other program stakeholders.
Quiana has more than 16 years of experience in higher education, a field she has been working in progressively since 2006. Throughout her career, Quiana has worked on college and university campuses, in the area of admissions, advising, student success, and retention, while developing strong mentoring relationships with a variety of students including first-generation and underrepresented students. Quiana has earned a Bachelor of Science in Counseling Psychology from Columbia Union College and a Master of Public Administration from Washington Adventist University.