Gov. McAuliffe Hosts 2015 Cyber Security and Education Conference

On Dec. 2, Gov. Terry McAuliffe hosted the 2015 Commonwealth Conference on Cyber Security and Education at Northern Virginia Community College's Woodbridge campus. NVTC was a partner of this first-of-its-kind conference, which brought together more than 200 attendees for candid discussions on opportunities and strategies for filling the cyber talent pipeline. Attendees included more than 100 representatives from Virginia’s higher education community along with business and state and federal government leaders. The day-long event provided insight on emerging cyber trends and provided opportunities for networking and one-on-one conversations with Virginia's leading cyber schools.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe at the Cyber Security and Education Conference.

The conference opened with remarks from Virginia Secretary of Technology Karen Jackson and Richard Clarke, the co-chairs of Commonwealth Cyber Commission, followed by U.S. Senator Mark Warner. NVTC President and CEO Bobbie Kilberg moderated a panel entitled “Opportunities and Strategies for Filling the Cyber Talent Pipeline: A Private Sector Perspective.” The panel consisted ofBarry Barlow, senior vice president and CTO of Vencore; Bob Fecteau, CIO of SAIC; NVTC Board member Bradley Schwartz, president and CEO of Blue Canopy Group LLC; and NVTC Board Member John Wood, CEO and chairman of Telos Corporation and member of the Commonwealth Cyber Commission.

Panel at Cyber conference.
From left: Moderator Bobbie Kilberg, NVTC President & CEO and panelists Barry Barlow of Vencore, Bob Fecteau of SAIC; NVTC Board member Bradley Schwartz of Blue Canopy Group LLC and NVTC Board Member John Wood of Telos Corporation who is a member of the Commonwealth Cyber Commission.

During the panel, the tech business leaders discussed strategies business utilize to recruit, grow and train/retrain their cybersecurity workforce; connections and disconnections they observe between the industry and Virginia’s colleges and universities; the importance of internships, research activities and other programs to provide students with practical experience; and the attributes and educational background businesses are seeking as they expand their cybersecurity workforce, including an increasing emphasis on certifications.

Sen. Mark Warner.
U.S. Senator Mark Warner at the Cyber Security and Education Conference.

The discussion was followed by a panel of federal leaders offering their perspective on opportunities and strategies for filling the cyber talent pipeline. Dr. Ali Eskandarian, co-chairman of NVTC’s Big Data Analytics Committee and dean and professor, The George Washington University introduced Gov. McAuliffe who shared remarks and announced that his two-year budget will include significant funding to boost Virginia’s cybersecurity industry through strategic educational investments.

NVTC Board member Scott Ralls, president of Northern Virginia Community College, introduced a panel on Cyber Centers of Excellence that was moderated by Secretary of Education Anne Holton.

NVTC Board member Karen Dahut of Booz Allen Hamilton participated on the final panel of the conference which focused on trends and opportunities for filling the cyber talent pipeline. The panel was moderated by Emily Mossburg, principal for Resilient Services at Deloitte and featured NVTC members Cedric Fletcher, cybersecurity and special missions for Raytheon; and Andrew Turner, senior vice president of cyber security for VISA.

In addition, Gov. Mcauliffe announced funding for key cybersecurity priorities in Virginia’s next biennial budget on Dec. 2. Read the full announcement here.