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Cyversity Announces Advisory Board to Shape the Future of the Cybersecurity Industry

Industry leaders from ISC2, Johnson & Johnson, Google Cloud, Rapid7 and NPower join forces to fortify Cyversity’s commitment to tackle the ‘great cyber divide’


NEW YORK – Aug. 22, 2023, Cyversity, a 501(c)3 non-profit association dedicated to the academic and professional success of women, underrepresented minorities, and Veterans, today announced the launch of its newly formed Advisory Board comprised of industry experts, cybersecurity veterans, and thought leaders who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to Cyversity’s mission of diversity and inclusion in the workforce.


A diverse cyber workforce, including individuals from various ethnicities, genders, cultures, and unconventional backgrounds, is essential to meet the daily threats faced by our governments, corporations, and communities. It goes beyond cybersecurity expertise, requiring a balanced mix of skills and perspectives within information technology and security to offset these evolving challenges.


“We are honored to have distinguished experts join our mission and propel us to new heights. Their expertise will play a pivotal role in shaping a future where the cybersecurity industry is both multicultural and differentiated, ensuring representation for women and underrepresented minorities,” said MK Palmore, Vice President of Cyversity. “Together, we are dedicated to building a more resilient and inclusive industry, fortified by a rich tapestry of skills, backgrounds, and perspectives.”

The Advisory Board is comprised of the following leaders: Clar Rosso, Chief Executive Officer at ISC2; Marene Allison, (Retired) Global CISO Johnson & Johnson; Phil Venables, Chief Information Security Officer, Google Cloud; Corey Thomas, Chairman & CEO at Rapid7; and Bertina Ceccarelli, Chief Executive Officer, NPower.


“The mission of Cyversity is one that has a long-standing commitment to driving actionable change around diversity and inclusion,” said Clar Rosso, Chief Executive Officer at ISC2. “As an Advisor, I am excited to leverage my expertise to propel this cause forward and create a lasting impact in the cybersecurity landscape. Together, we will foster a more inclusive industry that embraces diversity and empowers individuals from all backgrounds to thrive in cybersecurity.”

“I am pleased to work with Cyversity, a vitally important organization working to establish a diverse and inclusive cybersecurity workforce,” said Phil Venables, Chief Information Security Officer, Google Cloud. “I look forward to collaborating with Cyversity’s other Advisory Board members to help overcome challenges and shape a future for the industry where diversity is embraced and thrives with unwavering representation for women and underrepresented minorities.”


Cyversity Advisory Board Member Bios:


Clar Rosso, Chief Executive Officer at ISC2

Clar Rosso, Certified in Cybersecurity, has more than two decades of experience helping global professional associations and certifying bodies grow and strengthen member value. As CEO of ISC2, she has established a forward-looking strategic framework and set bold goals for the future of the cybersecurity profession.


Under Clar’s leadership, ISC2 has experienced record growth of its global community through the launch of several key initiatives. The association’s pledge of One Million Certified in Cybersecurity has provided a pathway for individuals to access foundational cybersecurity education, and a free opportunity to take the Certified in Cybersecurity exam. This addition to the ISC2 portfolio develops a pipeline to fill the cybersecurity workforce gap. Clar oversaw the creation of an Advocacy team that has strengthened – and raised – the global profile for ISC2 with key policy makers around the world. These efforts help ensure cybersecurity professionals are consulted and considered during the formation of cybersecurity policy, legislation, regulations and standards on the global stage.


Under her direction, ISC2 established a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) with the goal of ensuring the cybersecurity profession better represents the diversity of the world it protects and that rewarding cybersecurity jobs are accessible to more people.


Prior to joining ISC2, Clar served as the executive vice president, engagement and learning innovation for the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA) where she led the development and execution of strategy to support global competency development and lifelong learning for the finance and accounting profession.


Clar holds a bachelor’s degree in rhetoric and communications from the University of California, Davis and a master’s degree in special education from San Francisco State University. She also holds the ISC2 Certified in Cybersecurity certification.


Marene Allison, (Retired) Global CISO Johnson & Johnson

Marene Allison has recently retired as Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer for Johnson & Johnson, joining them in 2010. She has had over 30 years of corporate risk and security responsibilities that have included not only J&J but also Medco Health Solutions, as their Chief Security Officer having had responsibility for all aspects of security, both physical and IT as well as Business Continuity and Identity and Access Governance for the corporation. Setting up their HIPAA security and privacy compliance and Head of Global Security for Avaya communications where she worked on securing the World Cup Network in Korea and Japan in 2002 and Vice President of Loss Prevention and Safety for the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company. Before joining the corporate world, she served as a Special Agent in the FBI working on undercover drug operations in Newark, NJ, also working on the Roger’s bombing in San Diego, CA. She developed and participated in the nuclear terrorism exercise, Compass Rose in 1988 at Camp Pendleton, CA. Marene is a graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point, in the first class of women. She served in the Army in the Military Police, at Ft Hood, Texas, Ft Chaffee, AR and Ft McClellan, AL. She has served on the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services appointed by the Secretary of Defense and the Overseas Advisory Committee appointed by the Secretary of State. She served on the Health ISAC Board of Directors and is a founding member of West Point Women and currently serves as their President representing almost 7000 women west point graduates. She is also serving as an advisor to CISA/DHS on national resiliency. She and her husband operate an organic blueberry farm and are currently the largest producers of organic berries in Madison County Florida.


Phil Venables, Chief Information Security Officer, Google Cloud

Phil Venables is the Chief Information Security Officer of Google Cloud where he leads the risk, security, compliance, and privacy teams. Before joining Google, he was a Partner at Goldman Sachs where he held multiple roles over a long career, initially as their first Chief Information Security Officer, a role he held for 17 years.


In subsequent roles, Venables was Chief Operational Risk Officer, an operating partner in their private equity business and a Senior Advisor to the firm’s clients and executive leadership on cybersecurity, technology risk, digital business risk, and operational resilience. In addition to this, he was a Board Director of Goldman Sachs Bank. Before Goldman Sachs, Venables held multiple Chief Information Security Officer roles, and senior engineering roles across a range of finance, energy, and technology companies.


Outside of Google, Venables is a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. He also serves on the boards of the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, the NYU Stern Business School Volatility and Risk Institute, the Information Security and Privacy Advisory Board of NIST and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.


Corey Thomas, Chairman & CEO at Rapid7

Corey Thomas is the CEO of Rapid7, as well as the chairman of its board of directors. In 2023, Corey was appointed to the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC) and elected chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Corey is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts board of directors, LPL Financial board of directors, and Vanderbilt University board of trust. He is an active angel investor to technology companies, advisor to organizations undergoing technology transformation, and sought after speaker and panelist. He previously served on the U.S. Commerce Department’s Digital Economy Board of Advisors. Corey has extensive experience leading technology companies to the next stage of growth and innovation. Prior to joining Rapid7, Corey spent time at Parallels, Inc., Microsoft, Deloitte Consulting, and AT&T. Corey received a B.E. in electrical engineering and computer science from Vanderbilt University and a MBA from Harvard Business School.


Bertina Ceccarelli, Chief Executive Officer, NPower

Bertina Ceccarelli is the Chief Executive Officer of NPower, a national tech training and job placement nonprofit, rooted in community, and on a mission to advance equity in the tech industry. She joined NPower in 2016 with a passion to disrupt the status quo and build more inclusive workplaces. Under her visionary leadership, NPower has grown five-fold, expanding their proven program to several new cities.


Bertina’s commitment to helping young adults and military-connected individuals launch tech careers and break social and economic mobility barriers has led to her involvement in strategic alliance organizations including: Founding member of TechPact; member, CEO Action; steering committee member, American’s Promise; Wall Street Journal CEO Council; as well as membership on Forbes Council and Concordia communities. She was named as one of the Tech Industry’s Brightest Superstars by the US Black Engineer & IT magazine.

An engineer by training, Bertina has worked as a technology leader at Procter & Gamble and NBC before pivoting to the nonprofit sector. Growing up in a working-class family and the first to graduate from high school, she was drawn to a community that once supported her own educational endeavors. After a successful career in the corporate sector, Bertina chose to transition her skills to the nonprofit sector. Bertina held senior leadership roles at United Way of New York City and the Wildlife Conservation Society where she was responsible for generating over $85 million annually in programmatic funds. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research and received an MBA from Harvard Business School.


She is an engaged storyteller, who leads with heart, committed to moving the mission of NPower to new heights. She is the co-author, together with Susanne Tedrick, of the upcoming book, “Innovating for Diversity: Lessons from Top Companies Achieving Business Success through Inclusivity” to be published by Wiley March 2023.


A native Californian, Bertina is now a proud resident of Brooklyn where she lives with her husband and teenage son.


About Cyversity

Cyversity was created as a 501(c)3 non-profit association dedicated to the academic and professional success of minority cybersecurity students and professionals. Cyversity tackles the ‘great cyber divide’ with scholarship opportunities, diverse workforce development, innovative outreach, and mentoring programs.


Contact Leslie KesselringKesselring Communications for Cyversityleslie@kesscomm.com

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