Cybersecurity Workforce Roundtable

As part of the Obama Administration’s ongoing focus on recruiting the next generation of cybersecurity professionals, senior leaders from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) joined senior leaders from the White House on November 5, 2013 for a roundtable discussion with students studying in cybersecurity-related fields from colleges and universities across the country.

During the event, participants were able to hear firsthand the impressive and groundbreaking work happening at schools across the country and discuss the value of public service in this area. Officials also underscored the Department’s efforts to build a cybersecurity talent pipeline working with secondary and post-secondary institutions nationwide and other key partners.

Participants at the event included White House Special Assistant to the President and Cybersecurity Coordinator Michael Daniel, DHS Acting Under Secretary for Management Chris Cummiskey, DHS’ National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) Acting Under Secretary Suzanne Spaulding, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director John Sandweg, NPPD Deputy Under Secretary for Cybersecurity Phyllis Schneck, and Office of Intelligence and Analysis Deputy Under Secretary Scott McAllister.
DHS has created a number of highly competitive scholarship, fellowship, and internship programs to attract top talent seeking to pursue a career in cybersecurity and public service.
The Secretary’s Honors Program Volunteer Cyber Student Initiative offers two-year community college students majoring in a cybersecurity-related field an unpaid student volunteer position to gain invaluable hands-on experience at ICE Homeland Security Investigations computer forensics labs across the country. The program is tailored to provide high-performing students with challenging work projects, real-life learning scenarios, and mentoring from cybersecurity professionals at ICE.
The Fusion Center Cyber Student Initiative, provides high-achieving college interns with a unique glimpse into how state and local law enforcement officials use technology and implement cybersecurity best practices.
In October 2012, the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) Task Force on CyberSkills provided eleven recommendations to help DHS more successfully attract, recruit, retain and develop advanced cybersecurity professionals.  Additionally, DHS established the CyberSkills Management Support Initiative in March 2013 to help the Department expand the national pipeline of men and women with advanced cybersecurity skills, and enhance the Department’s ability to make our nation safer, more secure, and more resilient. 
The roundtable was just the latest event designed to engage our nation’s next generation of cybersecurity professionals.
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