U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker Announces Kiersten Todt as Executive Director of Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced today that she has selected Kiersten Todt to join the Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) team and serve as the Executive Director of the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity. This Commission, created by Presidential Executive Order and supported by NIST and the Commerce Department along with its interagency partners, is part of the Cybersecurity National Action Plan that President Obama announced on February 9 to develop near-term actions and a long-term strategy that will enhance cybersecurity awareness and protections, protect privacy, maintain public safety, support economic and national security, and empower Americans to better manage their safety online.

“With Kiersten’s proven expertise in risk management and leadership in public-private cybersecurity initiatives, I am confident that she will ably assist the Commission as it works toward bold advances in our nation’s cybersecurity,” Secretary Pritzker said. “I look forward to working with Kiersten and the Commission as they complete their inquiries and recommendations. The Commerce Department is active in protecting a free and open digital economy and prosperous commercial sector, and this Commission will be an important addition to that work.”

The Commission will solicit input from thought leaders and experts across the country to develop its report by December 1, 2016, and provide actionable recommendations that can be used by the public and private sectors in the short and long-term.

Todt will be working directly with the Commission Chair Tom Donilon, former National Security Advisor to President Obama, Vice Chair Sam Palmisano, former CEO of IBM, and other Commissioners who will soon be selected.

“A recognized and highly accomplished leader in the field, Kiersten's experience in both the public and private sectors make her uniquely qualified to assist the Commission as it develops and recommends an agenda to enhance the nation's cybersecurity,” Commission Chair Tom Donilon said. 

Prior to her appointment at the Commerce Department, Kiersten Todt was the President and Managing Partner of Liberty Group Ventures, LLC (LGV). She developed risk and crisis management solutions for cybersecurity, infrastructure, homeland security, emergency management, and higher education clients in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. She has served in senior positions in both the executive and legislative branches of government.

Ms. Todt was a partner at Good Harbor Consulting and was responsible for building and managing the company’s North America crisis management practice. Clients included states and localities, large corporations, maritime entities, and college and university systems. Before joining Good Harbor, she worked for Business Executives for National Security (BENS) and was responsible for integrating the private sector into state and local emergency management capabilities; she also developed and executed federal and regional port and cyber security projects. Prior to BENS, she was a consultant for Sandia National Laboratories and worked with the California Governor’s Office and Bay Area Economic Forum to develop the homeland security preparedness plan for the Bay Area. Ms. Todt was also an adjunct lecturer at Stanford University.

Ms. Todt served as a Professional Staff Member on the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs; she worked for the Committee Chairman, Senator Joseph Lieberman, and was responsible for drafting the cybersecurity, infrastructure protection, emergency preparedness, bioterror, and science and technology directorates of the legislation that created the Department of Homeland Security. 

Before working in the Senate, Ms. Todt served in Vice President Gore’s domestic policy office and was responsible for coordinating federal resources with locally-defined needs, specifically focusing on energy and housing issues. She was also the senior advisor on demand-reduction issues to Director Barry. R. McCaffrey at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).

Ms. Todt graduated from Princeton University, with a degree in public policy from The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She holds a master’s degree in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and was selected to be a Presidential Management Fellow in 1999. She earned the Outstanding Service Award at ONDCP.

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Last updated: 2016-03-23 09:20

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