CISA Brings in Former Obama Official as Chief of Staff

Jackie Niam/istockphoto.com

Agency leadership stressed Kiersten Todt’s experience working with the private sector.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has a new chief of staff—Kiersten Todt—with a long history of working with the private sector to shape cybersecurity policy.

“I am thrilled to welcome Kiersten as our new Chief of Staff and my close partner in continuing the transformation of CISA as the nation’s cyber and infrastructure defense agency,” CISA Director Jen Easterly said. “Her experiences in the private sector and in government make her extraordinarily well-qualified for this critical role. I am particularly excited to be able to draw upon Kiersten’s leadership ability and her deep partnerships with industry, to include the small business community—a key element of our nation’s economy.” 

Todt will lead planning, resource allocation, development of long-term goals and lay out a strategic vision to support the agency’s workforce, CISA said in a release Monday. 

Most recently, she had founded and was helming the Cyber Readiness Institute, a non-profit organization trying to help small and medium sized businesses get access to free cybersecurity webinars by working with major corporations.

“The Institute has built a membership of premier companies, including Apple, ExxonMobil, General Motors, Mastercard, Microsoft, PSP Partners and Principal, and The Center for Global Enterprise,” according to a Cyber Readiness Institute which is now searching for Todt’s replacement. “CRI’s Champion Network has grown to include nearly 90 organizations representing a reach of more than two million SMEs around the world.” 

The CRI arose from Todt’s work at the end of the Obama administration in 2016 when she served as executive director of the president’s Commission on Enhancing National Security. The commission was a 12-member bipartisan, public-private group tasked with developing cybersecurity recommendations for the next administration. 

Before that, in 2013, as CEO of the risk management consulting firm Liberty Group Ventures, Todt worked to shape the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s cybersecurity framework for critical infrastructure. The NIST framework has remained at the center of a voluntary approach to cybersecurity policy that has endured across political administrations. Following a series of major hacks this year, including that of Colonial Pipeline, Todt has since noted a need to revisit that approach to include verification of companies’ cybersecurity practices. She has also pushed for less-well represented critical infrastructure sectors, such as water treatment facilities to receive more of the government’s attention and resources.

Todt’s government experience also includes helping to craft some of the provisions—for cybersecurity, infrastructure protection, emergency preparedness, bioterror and science and technology—in the legislation that created the Department of Homeland Security, as a staffer to then Homeland Security Committee Chairman Sen. Joseph Lieberman, according to CISA’s release. 

“I am honored to serve and to join Jen and the tremendous team at CISA to help protect our nation’s critical infrastructure,” Todt said. “I look forward to shaping CISA’s long-term planning and working with industry, federal agencies, and state, local, tribal, and territorial government partners to chart the path forward for a more secure and resilient nation.” 

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.