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June 8, 2017

Cybersecurity Expert Joins Institute for Cyber Law, Policy, and Security

Kiersten Todt

Kiersten Todt

Kiersten Todt, the former executive director of the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity, has a new position as resident scholar at the University of Pittsburgh Institute for Cyber Law, Policy, and Security.

She will be representing Pitt’s cyber institute from Washington, D.C. Todt headed the national cybersecurity commission, which helped carry out President Barack Obama’s Cybersecurity National Action Plan. Its members worked to strengthen cybersecurity in both the public and private sectors while protecting privacy, maintaining public safety and economic and national security and empowering Americans to better manage their online safety.

“Kiersten is uniquely and exceptionally qualified to take on this new role,” said Chancellor Patrick Gallagher. “I have been fortunate to work at her side on President Barack Obama’s Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity. At each turn, Kiersten spearheaded key discussions and developments related to cyber policy and cybersecurity, and I am thrilled that she will continue to extend this track record of success at the University of Pittsburgh.”

Said Todt: “I will ensure that Pitt Cyber contributes to the federal cyber policy discussions and develops a cyber agenda that, in collaboration with ongoing activities at Pitt, positions the Institute to be a thought leader.”

“Kiersten is a rock star, and we are overwhelmed to have her as part of our team,” said David Hickton, founding director of the Institute.

Todt says the creation of the cyber institute comes at an important time. The biggest cyber threat to Americans right now, she said, is the proliferation of Internet of Things devices —coffee machines, baby monitors, washing machines, any device with an on-off switch to the Internet.

“The interdependencies of a cyber world makes everything connected,” she said. “When we bring new devices and technology to market, we must think about their security as a priority, not an afterthought.”

Todt graduated from Princeton University with a degree in public policy. She holds a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University and was selected to be a Presidential Management Fellow in 1999.

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