Cyber Hire: Ramping Up the Cyber Workforce

February 23rd, 2011 at 11 AM

As cybersecurity threats loom, the Federal government’s demand for cyber talent is expected to far exceed the nation’s supply of qualified professionals, and its ability to compete with the private sector for that increasingly scarce talent is challenged by an overly complex hiring process, pay freezes, and little agreement on the skills necessary to do the job. Given the direct tie of cybersecurity to national and economic security, our government has no choice but to engage with the best, and brightest, thinkers and practitioners in this arena. How can agencies cope in this difficult environment? How can they either develop or access a top-notch pool of cyber professionals, and prepare the very best of those professionals to lead? These are difficult questions, but they are vital to our national cybersecurity; the cyber ‘talent gap’ poses a serious threat to America’s position as a global power, making it necessary for human capital and cyber experts across government agencies to come together to help the close that gap.


Karen Evans– National Director, US Cyber Challenge
Captain John Felker– Deputy Commander, US Coast Guard Cyber Command
Greg von Lehmen, Ph.D.– Provost, University of Maryland University College
Ernest McDuffie, Ph.D.– Lead for the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Alan Paller– Director of Research, SANS Institute

Moderator: Dr. Ron Sanders – Senior Executive Advisor, Booz Allen Hamilton

About the Panel:

Dr. Ron Sanders
Senior Executive Advisor
Booz Allen Hamilton

Retiring in 2010 after 37 years of Federal service (20 as a senior executive), Dr. Ronald Senior Executive Advisor with the management consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton; in that capacity, he helps Federal agencies deal with human capital, learning, and organizational transformation challenges.

Most recently, Dr. Sanders served as the US Intelligence Community’s first Officer and played a key leadership role in the establishment of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Dr. Sanders’ many accomplishments in that capacity earned him and hi Harvard University’s coveted Innovations in American Government Awards in 2008. In addition, Dr. Sanders received the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, the Office of Personnel Management’s Theodore Roosevelt Award for Outsta American Society for Public Administration’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Profession.

A Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, Dr. Sanders earned his Doctorate in Public Administration (DPA) from the George Washington University in 1990. His undergraduate degree is in business management from the University of South Florida, where he received its 1993 Alumni Award of Merit; he also has a Master of Science Degree in human resource Utah. He is also on the Board of Directors of the American Society for Training and Development.

Karen Evans
National Director
US Cyber Challenge

Karen S. Evans is serving as the National Director for the US Cyber Challenge (USCC). The USCC is the nationwide talent search and skills development program focused specifically on the cyber workforce. She is also an independent consultant in the areas of leadership, management and the strategic use of information technology. She recently retired after nearly 28 years of federal government service with responsibilities ranging from a GS-2 to Presidential Appointee as the Administrator for E- Government and Information Technology at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) within the Executive Office of the President. She oversaw the federal IT budget of nearly $71 billion which included implementation of IT throughout the federal government. This included advising the Director of OMB on the performance of IT investments, overseeing the development of enterprise architectures within and across the agencies, directing the activities of the Chief Information Officers (CIO) Council, and overseeing the usage of the E- Government Fund to support interagency partnerships and innovation. She also had responsibilities in the areas of capital planning and investment control, information security, privacy and accessibility of IT for persons with disabilities, and access to, dissemination of, and preservation of government information. Included in her accomplishments are making IPv6, HSPD-12, and SmartBUY (which is leveraging the federal government requirements) a reality; elevating the importance of transparency with the publication of the Management Watch List and High Risk List projects; increasing the focus on cybersecurity to include the Federal Desktop Core Configuration for the government; and balancing the expanded use of technology for citizen services with increasing demands for privacy.

Prior to becoming the Administrator, Ms. Evans was the Chief Information Officer for the Department of Energy. There she was responsible for the design, implementation, and continuing successful operation of IT programs and initiatives throughout the Department and its offices. During this time, she was the Vice-Chairman of the Federal CIO Council. Elected to the post in December 2002, she coordinated the Council’s efforts in developing federal IT programs and improving agency information resources practices.

Before joining Energy, she was Director, Information Resources Management Division, Office of Justice Programs (OJP), U.S. Department of Justice, where she was responsible for the management and successful operation of the IT program. OJP’s bureaus and offices provide funding opportunities for initiatives such as Safe Schools, Safe Start Program, Community Prosecution, Native American Tribal Courts and other programs of high local, state and national interest. Key accomplishments included the implementation of an on-line grants management system to process grants from discretionary, formula and large block grants programs, to streamlining capabilities to ensure for the expeditious processing of claims benefits to families of public safety officers after the September 11th attacks. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and a Master of Business Administration degree from West Virginia University.

Captain John Felker
Deputy Commander
US Coast Guard Cyber Command

Captain John Felker is the Deputy Commander of Coast Guard Cyber Command. He is responsible for the day-to-day leadership of this developing command effort. Prior to this assignment he commanded the Coast Guard Cryptologic Group (CGCG), headquartered at Fort George G. Meade Maryland, a group consisting of three subordinate units in Texas, Colorado and Hawaii and detachments in Alameda, Dam Neck, Key West, San Angelo, TX, Washington, DC and Pensacola, Florida. The CGCG is responsible for performing Signals Intelligence missions within the National Security Agency enterprise and developing Coast Guard Signals Intelligence capability.

Previously, Captain Felker served as the Executive Assistant to the Assistant Commandant for Intelligence and Criminal Investigations where he was responsible for executive coordination and administration of Directorate activities within the National Intelligence Community management enterprise and he had a leading role in policy development and oversight.

Captain Felker’s other past assignments include; Director of Coast Guard Auxiliary, First District Southern Region, where he provided leadership and policy guidance to 3300 Coast Guard Auxiliarists in the metropolitan New York area and Chief of the Coast Guard International Training Division, at Coast Guard Training Center, Yorktown, Virginia, where he led a cadre of professional trainers who developed and delivered training in all Coast Guard mission areas to Theater Commanders and Embassies around the world in support of United States Foreign Policy and National Security objectives. He also served in the Program Review Division of the Office of the Chief of Staff, Coast Guard Headquarters, where he was responsible for budget development and program review for several operational programs.

Captain Felker was part of the Commandant’s International Affairs Staff as the Deployable Training Manager; was the first US Coast Guard-Royal Australian Navy Exchange Officer in Darwin, Australia; was Commanding Officer, USCGC RED CEDAR; served as Operations Center Duty Officer in the Seventh Coast Guard District, Miami; was Commanding Officer, USCGC CAPE UPRIGHT, and Operations Officer in USCGC ACACIA.

Captain Felker graduated from Ithaca College with a Bachelor of Science in 1978. He earned his Master of Arts in Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in 1995.

His military awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, two Meritorious Service medals, five Coast Guard Commendation Medals, the Coast Guard Achievement Medal and the Commandant’s Letter of Commendation.

Greg von Lehmen, Ph.D.
University of Maryland University College

Dr. Greg von Lehmen serves as provost at UMUC. He joined UMUC as the area director for Japan in August 2001, and worked for UMUC Asia as area director for Japan for four years. He returned to the United States in 2005, where he has served as the senior associate dean within the School of Undergraduate Studies and later as senior vice provost.

Prior to joining UMUC, Dr. von Lehmen taught constitutional and administrative law, political philosophy and public administration for five years at Georgia Southwestern State University, where he was a tenured associate professor. He joined Troy University in 1990, serving initially as assistant professor of public administration in the university’s Master of Public Administration program in Europe where he taught for three years on NATO installations in Germany, Spain, England, Italy, Turkey, and Portugal. He returned to the United States to serve as regional director of University College Programs-Southwest, managing Troy’s programs at military and NASA facilities in New Mexico, Arizona, and Montana. In 1997, he relocated to Okinawa, where until 2001 he oversaw Troy’s graduate programs in Japan, Korea, Guam, and Hawaii.

Since 2009, Dr. von Lehmen has been deeply involved in the development and launch of the university’s two graduate degrees, its baccalaureate degree and three post-baccalaureate certificates in cybersecurity. He also serves on the University System of Maryland Taskforce on Cybersecurity and is a member of the working group on cybersecurity that is attached to the Governor’s Workforce Investment Board.

Dr. von Lehmen holds a PhD in political science and an MPA from the University of Georgia. He earned his BS in economics from Northern Kentucky University.

Ernest McDuffie, Ph.D.
Lead for the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education
National Institute of Standards and Technology

In early 2010 the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was selected as the lead agency for the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) and they identified Dr. McDuffie to be the Lead of this important National Initiative. In his previous position he had been appointed the Associate Director of the National Coordination Office (NCO) for Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) in February 2008. From early September 2009 until early November 2009 he served as Acting Director of the NCO. His appointment as the Associate Director of the NCO comes after joining the NIST as a Computer Scientist in their Information Technology Laboratory, Office of Federal and Industrial Relations. In August 2006, Dr. McDuffie joined the NCO where he served as the Technical Coordinator for the Cyber Security and Information Assurance (CSIA) Interagency Working Group (IWG), Federal Agency Administration of Science and Technology Education and Research (FASTER) Committee of Practice (CoP), and the Software Design and Productivity (SDP) Coordination Group (CG).

Prior to joining the NCO, Dr. McDuffie served as the Deputy Director of the Office of Naval Research (ONR) – Science and Technology for America’s Readiness (N- STAR) Initiative. He served as the Lead Program Director for the Federal Cyber Service: Scholarship for Service (SFS) Program at the National Science Foundation (NSF).

He served as an Assistant Professor at Florida State University in the Department of Computer Science where he taught both graduate and undergraduate courses in CS for seven years. Dr. McDuffie has participated in software engineering projects for the U.S. Air Force, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the Federal Aviation Administration, Lockheed Missiles and Space Company, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the National Security Agency. Dr. McDuffie received his Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Computer Science from the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida.

Alan Paller
Director of Research
SANS Institute

Alan Paller is founder and research director of the SANS Institute, a graduate degree granting college and security training and research institution with more than 120,000 alumni in seventy countries. At SANS, he leads a global security innovation program that identifies people and practices that have made a measureable difference in cyber risk reduction, and illuminates those innovations so other security practitioners can take full advantage of them to improve security in their enterprises. He also oversees the Internet Storm Center (an early warning system for the Internet), NewsBites, (the semi-weekly security news summaries that go to 210,000 people), @RISK (the authoritative summary of all critical new vulnerabilities discovered each week), and the identification of the most damaging new attacks being discovered each year.

He has testified before both the US Senate and House of Representatives. In 2000 President Clinton recognized his leadership by naming him as one of the initial members of the President’s National Infrastructure Assurance Council. The Office of Management and Budget and the Federal CIO Council named Alan as their 2005 Azimuth Award winner, a singular lifetime achievement award recognizing outstanding service of a non-government person to improving federal information technology. In May of 2010, the Washington Post named seven people as “worth knowing, or knowing about” in cyber security. The list included General Alexander who heads the US Cyber Command, Howard Schmidt, the White House Cyber Coordinator, other national leaders, and Alan.

Earlier in his career Alan helped build a software company, took it public, and merged it into a larger company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. His degrees are from Cornell University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.