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Cybersecurity Diversity Foundation to Award Inaugural Cyb"her" Geek Scholarship at RSA(R) Conference 2016

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - Feb 23, 2016) - The Cybersecurity Diversity Foundation, with its mission to support educational and workplace diversity in the field of cybersecurity, will officially debut at next week's RSA Conference in San Francisco, CA. The organization, founded by former Director of US-CERT and founder of MKA Cyber Mischel Kwon, endeavors to engage and provide opportunity and access to all who are interested not only in security careers, but in taking a leadership role in the industry.

The Cybersecurity Diversity Foundation will launch on Tuesday, March 1, during the RSA Women's Leadership Forum Reception, which also features Women in Technology International and Executive Women's Forum. The Cyb"her" Geek Scholarship, a $5,000 award given to a college student of diversity pursuing studies in cybersecurity, will be a feature at the event. The first recipient of the scholarship is Morgan Davis, who is currently a sophomore at Randolph Macon College in Ashland, Virginia. Davis is working towards a Bachelor's of Science in computer science with a minor in Studio Art, and is currently specialized in Python coding and has started to explore the world of automated SOC processes.

"In the 33 years I've been working in technology, we have struggled to encourage and attract a diverse workforce, especially in cybersecurity. Good security requires not only good technology, policy and process, but exceptionally talented people," Kwon said. "I've seen both the challenges and the progress, and have personally supported many well-intentioned and successful organizations that look to provide opportunities."

"However, it is time to take more aggressive action, which is why the Foundation's scholarship program is so important. We need innovative ideas to advance defenders against adversaries, and it is my personal commitment to actively invite more people to bring forth more creative ideas through inclusion, and through all levels and categories of security careers."

While the Cybersecurity Diversity Foundation welcomes the support of corporate sponsors, the Foundation asks them go beyond just making a donation and also embrace specific tenets in pursuit of diversity, while also demonstrating their commitment through action in their own businesses. These tenets include:

  • Publication of diversity statements on public web sites
  • Profiles of those within their organization who represent diversity in leadership, including executive and board positions
  • Enact hiring policies that incorporate blind resume consideration, reviewing candidates on experience and merit, and not influenced by names, gender or race.
  • Financially support efforts in the industry to improve the diversity of the up-and-coming cybersecurity workforce.

The Cybersecurity Diversity Foundation is supported by a board of directors and advisory board that firmly supports the mission of diversity and inclusion in the industry. Board members include: Tiffany Jones, SVP, Client Solutions and Chief Revenue Officer of iSIGHT Partners (FireEye); Mischel Kwon, President and CEO of, MKA Cyber; Roberta Stempfley, Director Cyber Strategy Implementation at The MITRE Corporation; Amit Yoran, President of RSA, The Security Division of EMC; and Elad Yoran, CEO of Security Growth Partners. Advisory board members to date include Jennifer Leggio, SVP, Marketing, Digital Shadows, and Cheryl Peace, Principal Deputy Director, National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force (NCIJTF) at the FBI.

"We need the best ideas in cyber and the best ideas come from approaching problems with a broader perspective," Stempfley said. "I'm excited to be part of an action-oriented organization like the Cybersecurity Diversity Foundation, which focuses on inclusion and diversity in today's cyber workforce.

For more information on the Foundation, visit the organization's website.
Follow on Twitter at @cyberdiversity
Register for the RSA Women's Leadership Forum Reception on Tuesday, March 1, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. PST at the Bluestem Brasserie, which is just down the street from Moscone Center in San Francisco.

About the Cybersecurity Diversity Foundation
The Cybersecurity Diversity Foundation supports diversity and inclusion in the field of security, with a vision of creating a career field that welcomes, supports and provides opportunity and access to all -- from entry level to business operational and executive and board positions. The foundation promotes action that will make a marked difference from providing scholarship funds to championing corporate pledges to fostering workplace diversity. For more information, visit http://www.cyberdiversityfund.org/.