People

Schneck takes senior cyber position at DHS

Phyllis Schneck

Phyllis Schneck, shown here in a 2012 C-SPAN appearance, has been named as the Department of Homeland Security's deputy undersecretary of cybersecurity.

The Homeland Security Department has filled one of its most important cyber vacancies.

Secretary Janet Napolitano announced Aug. 19 via blog post that Phyllis Schneck, currently vice president and chief technology officer for the Global Public Sector at McAfee, has been appointed deputy undersecretary of cybersecurity in DHS's National Protection and Programs Directorate.

Schneck replaces Mark Weatherford, who took a position with the Chertoff Group in April, and Bruce McConnell, who filled in for Weatherford in an acting capacity for several months. McConnell announced in July that he would leave DHS for the private sector.

Napolitano said the deputy undersecretary of cybersecurity position, created in 2011, is vital to DHS's efforts in protecting the nation's critical infrastructure.

"I am confident that Phyllis will continue these efforts, and build upon the foundations laid by her predecessors, to create a safe, secure and resilient cyber environment and promote cybersecurity knowledge and innovation," Napolitano wrote. "Phyllis has been a close partner in our cybersecurity mission for many years."

Schneck's appointment plugs one of the gaps in leadership that have plagued DHS in recent months – Napolitano herself is leaving in September.

Schneck's background should be a welcome addition to DHS, where her two biggest challenges are likely to be carrying out President Barack Obama's cybersecurity executive order and expanding the agency's internal cyber efforts.

She emerged as a candidate for the job in July, in part because of her background in high-performance computing and cryptography. At McAfee, Schneck was responsible for public security and global threat intelligence applications, strategic thought leadership centered on technology and policy in cybersecurity, and several other initiatives. Outside her private sector job at McAfee, Schneck serves as chairman of the board of directors of the National Cyber Forensics and Training Alliance, and previously served as Chairman of the NIST Information Security and Privacy Advisory Board.

About the Author

Frank Konkel is a former staff writer for FCW.

The Fed 100

Read the profiles of all this year's winners.

Featured

  • Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump at a 2016 campaign event. Image: Shutterstock

    'Buy American' order puts procurement in the spotlight

    Some IT contractors are worried that the "buy American" executive order from President Trump could squeeze key innovators out of the market.

  • OMB chief Mick Mulvaney, shown here in as a member of Congress in 2013. (Photo credit Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

    White House taps old policies for new government makeover

    New guidance from OMB advises agencies to use shared services, GWACs and federal schedules for acquisition, and to leverage IT wherever possible in restructuring plans.

  • Shutterstock image (by Everett Historical): aerial of the Pentagon.

    What DOD's next CIO will have to deal with

    It could be months before the Defense Department has a new CIO, and he or she will face a host of organizational and operational challenges from Day One

  • USAF Gen. John Hyten

    General: Cyber Command needs new platform before NSA split

    U.S. Cyber Command should be elevated to a full combatant command as soon as possible, the head of Strategic Command told Congress, but it cannot be separated from the NSA until it has its own cyber platform.

  • Image from Shutterstock.

    DLA goes virtual

    The Defense Logistics Agency is in the midst of an ambitious campaign to eliminate its IT infrastructure and transition to using exclusively shared, hosted and virtual services.

  • Fed 100 logo

    The 2017 Federal 100

    The women and men who make up this year's Fed 100 are proof positive of what one person can make possibile in federal IT. Read on to learn more about each and every winner's accomplishments.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group