Our events, programs and benefits would not be possible without our executive committee, board of directors and WiCyS team. Get to know them below.
Dr. Ambareen Siraj
PROGRAM DIRECTOR, NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
Dr. Ambareen Siraj is currently serving as a program director at the National Science Foundation as a member of a team overseeing Cybersecurity Education and Workforce Development initiatives of NSF nationwide. She is the founder of the Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS) non-profit organization. As a professor of computer science, she 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 including: “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
FACULTY, RICE UNIVERSITY
Dr. Janell Straach has a diverse background including academic and industry experience. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science 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
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, UnitedHealth Group/Optum
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.
Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), Protect AI
CHIEF INFORMATION SECURITY OFFICER (CISO), PROTECT AI
Diana Kelley is the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) for Protect AI. She also serves on the boards of Cyber Future Foundation, WiCyS, and The Executive Women’s Forum (EWF). Diana was Cybersecurity Field CTO for Microsoft, Global Executive Security Advisor at IBM Security, GM at Symantec, VP at Burton Group (now Gartner), a Manager at KPMG, CTO and co-founder of SecurityCurve, and Chief vCISO at SaltCybersecurity.
She is a sought-after keynote speaker, the host of BrightTALK’s The (Security) Balancing Act, co-author of the books Practical Cybersecurity Architecture 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 EWF Conference Chair 2021 and 2022, an SCMedia Power Player, and one of Cybersecurity Ventures 100 Fascinating Females Fighting Cybercrime.
DR. DAWN M. BEYER
Senior Fellow, Lockheed Martin Space
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 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 of 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—the 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 was recently interviewed by Total Security Advisor which was published in the “Faces of Security” profile.
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
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 and 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 Standard and Technology, U.S. Department of Commerce
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, Nike INC.
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 and cybersecurity practices. She has proven leadership experience on issues concerning security and data privacy. Noureen demonstrates consistent client and 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/)
Director, Information Security, Palo Alto Networks
DIRECTOR, 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
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
Tech Campus Manager, Silicon Valley, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
TECH CAMPUS MANAGER, SILICON VALLEY, JPMORGAN CHASE & CO.
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.
Lynn Dohm’s area of focus is within an important aspect of cybersecurity: People.
With more than 25 years of organizational and leadership experience, Lynn specializes in partnership building, advocacy and strategy. She has worked in various capacities on cybersecurity workforce enterprises with active involvement in grant-funded programs and nonprofits that assist in bridging the gap of the critical cybersecurity workforce shortage.
As the Executive Director, Lynn is most energized by the industry and community partnerships – both well established and nascent – that WiCyS has fostered through its various initiatives, training programs, partnerships, and recruitment efforts. Under her leadership, WiCyS has positioned itself as a leading model of how a multi-organizational approach can strengthen the cybersecurity workforce.
Lynn is passionate about leveraging diverse mindsets, skill sets and perspectives to solve problems and facilitating discussions on leading with inclusion, equity and allyship. She has been recognized for her expertise and commitment to providing accessibility and opportunities to cybersecurity in order improve the recruitment, retention and advancement of women in cybersecurity.
She has received numerous awards and accolades as a result of her work, including being acknowledged by CS Hub as one of the top 25 cybersecurity leaders for 2024, the People’s Choice award for Cybersecurity Woman of the Year, the “Light that Shines” by EmpoWE-R Women of Infosec and Top 100 Women in Cybersecurity by Cyber Defense Magazine.
Lynn is also an accomplished keynote presenter, panelist, and moderator for international conferences, events, and organizations. She is a proud contributor to the book “The Privacy Leader Compass”, has served on the International Judging Panel for the IFSEC Global “Top Influencers & Fire,” is an advisory board member for Women in Cybersecurity – Beyond Borders, and an inaugural member of the (ISC)2 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force. Lynn is dedicated to spreading awareness about the importance of bolstering the cybersecurity workforce with people from diverse walks of life and participated in more than 50 speaking engagements in 2023.
Prior to WiCyS, Lynn helped launch the Community College Cyber Summit (3CS) and worked in various capacities with the National Cybersecurity Training & Education Center (NCYTE), Center for Systems Security and Information Assurance (CSSIA), Cybersecurity Competition Federation (CyberFed), National CyberWatch Center, National Cyber League, among others.
Michele serves as the Deputy Director for Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS). Michele is a Forward-thinking individual focused on fostering flexible, highly collaborative environments to improve and streamline operational activities, including developing long-term strategies and operational planning, implementing processes, programs, and associated metrics focused on increasing efficient operations.
Passionate advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion, driving positive cultural change. Elevating the status of women in cybersecurity and promoting DE&I values in the workplace. Facilitating recruitment efforts, bridging all levels of staff and executive leadership for operational effectiveness and communication. Internalizing organization’s mission, values, and vision. Believing in the power of inclusive, collaborative workforce for true innovation to flourish.
With an impressive 30-year tenure at Carnegie Mellon University, Michele spent the last 19 years of her career supporting the Software Engineering Institute CERT program. With a focus on operational excellence, staff involvement, and leading initiatives to promote a more inclusive workforce. Michele has consistently driven positive change throughout her career.
Inclusion is not a destination, but a journey. It requires a commitment to continuous learning, growth, and improvement. But if we are willing to take on this challenge, we have the potential to create a world where everyone can thrive, where everyone is valued and respected for who they are.
Mary Jane Partain
Mary Jane serves as the Program Director for Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS). Her focus is on helping to facilitate programs that celebrate, nurture, and create a sense of belonging for women in cybersecurity.
She 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.
Mary Jane holds a Master of Public Administration in Non-Profit Management from the University of West Florida.
Professional Affiliate Manager
Jaclyn joined Times 10 in 2022 as a project management lead. Jaclyn’s past and present experiences working with nonprofits makes her a supreme choice for our Project management Team. At Times 10 Jaclyn currently serves the WiCyS organization overseeing Affiliate Management. Jaclyn’s past and present experiences working with nonprofits include serving as a board member for the Parker County Fine Arts Association and as registration chair for the Texas Thespians Educator Collective, part of Texas Thespians. She looks forward to translating the skills she’s honed as a classroom teacher and her experience working for nonprofits in her role at Times 10.
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
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 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 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.