Press release

Chief Information Officers Embrace New Effort to Expand Pipeline of Young, Diverse Cybersecurity Talent at July 21st Cyber Talent CIO Forum

Sponsored by Businesswire

While U.S. business and government organizations scramble to protect themselves from increasingly sophisticated cybersecurity attacks, CIOs, CSOs and CTOs are competing to hire from a miniscule pool of people with the right combination of foundational tech knowledge and cyber-savvy skills. The virtual Cyber Talent CIO Forum on July 21st will bring together a stellar lineup of industry expertise and Fortune 500 CIO perspectives to provide fresh thinking, new approaches, and high-level exchanges of ideas to build a more diverse and assured pipeline of next generation cyber talent.

“Finding and keeping cybersecurity professionals who have the deep technical expertise to protect their enterprises from new and increasing threats is one of the most pressing challenges facing CIOs,” said Alan Paller, president of the Cyber Talent Institute and founder of the SANS Institute. “The many Fortune 500 CIOs whom we consulted said how much they welcome this new approach by CTI and said it gives them access to rich and untapped sources of NextGen talent.”

The Cyber Talent Institute – a new venture launched by the National Cyber Scholarship Foundation — is creating new ways to leverage and scale the many efforts that already exist to support diverse NextGen talent.

Forum sessions include CEOs, CIOs and cybersecurity experts from premier business, government, and nonprofit organizations sharing practical insights on everything from successful NextGen hiring practices to new strategies for supporting greater diversity in the technology profession.

Speakers include:

Tarika Barrett , CEO, Girls Who Code

Vince Campisi, SVP Enterprise Services & CDO, RaytheonTechnologies

Rob Carter, EVP and CIO, FedEx

Ruthe Farmer, Chief Evangelist, CS for All

Kristie Grinnell, Global CIO, VP IT & SCM, General Dynamics IT

Ed McLaughlin, President, Technology & Operations, Mastercard

Essye Miller, Former Deputy CIO, U.S Department of Defense

Nick Parrotta, Chief Digital Information Officer, HARMAN International

The Forum features special sessions on CyberStart America, the free national program for high school students, which turns cybersecurity into an online learning game and a gateway to cyber industry careers.

“CyberStart America has quickly established itself as a revolutionary tool for identifying the next generation of cybersecurity professionals, and anyone can use it for free,” said CyberStart Founder James Lyne, one of the Forum’s keynote speakers. “It’s a fun, open, and welcoming experience for any young person to give cybersecurity a go – and it’s a very effective tool for identifying aptitude. CyberStart America can help grow the talent pipeline better and faster than ever.”

More than 30,000 students participated this past school year in the U.S. and top performers competed for more than $4 million in scholarships and training awarded by the National Cyber Scholarship Foundation (NCSF). Attendees will also meet a few of the game’s best players, whose skills have earned them NCSF scholarships.

“These young, talented professionals are curious, tenacious problem solvers and tool-builders,” said Lyne. “That’s what they have in common. What they don’t have in common is race, gender or education. We’ll show how CyberStart America brings more diversity to the talent pool.”

“This new initiative has such great potential to leverage and scale the programs already under way through organizations such as Girls Who Code, but also to directly help technology leaders discover and encourage a generation of young people who may not have recognized their innate talents in this field,” said Forum moderator Maryfran Johnson, host of IDG’s CIO Leadership Live and former editor-in-chief of CIO magazine. “Every CIO I’ve spoken with about this work has immediately asked: ‘How can we help?’”

The Cyber Talent CIO Forum happens online on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

Registration is free at

For more information, contact Adam Ritchie at (617) 819-4237 /

The Cyber Talent Institute (CTI) is an independent, nonprofit, cooperative research and action organization dedicated to eliminating America’s critical shortage of cybersecurity talent. We’re working with industry, government, and civic organizations to fix it. Fast. Learn more at