CMMC board preps for staff changes


The governing body in charge of standing up and running the Defense Department’s unified cybersecurity standard for contractors is preparing to shift to a more permanent staffing arrangement.

Since it officially stood up in January 2020, the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification Accreditation Body (CMMC-AB) has been run by industry professionals volunteering their time, often in addition to their primary careers.

“The AB is in the process of hiring professional staff to provide the needed level of effort for continuing its mission,” Karlton Johnson, the body’s chairman, said. “That will allow those on the board to transition from hands-on working members to the true advisory role that all boards are chartered to fill.”

Johnson said the transition had long been a part of the body’s plan “for continuity of operations as the effort grows.”

The announcement comes after two board members, Nicole Dean and Ben Tchoubineh, chair of the AB’s training committee, stepped down from their roles after 15 months to “focus on their full-time careers.”

According to Johnson, the AB is planning to hire several professional staff members who will be paid, the details of which will be announced at a future time. In terms of timeline, they’re planning to have transition for Dean complete by March 23 and for Tchoubineh by April 30.

Johnson said both Dean and Tchoubineh will stay on to facilitate a transition of their responsibilities.

The staffing shift comes as the AB is working to build out the ecosystem needed to train and certify organizations and individuals who will provide cybersecurity assessments for defense contractors.

DOD plans to begin rolling out the CMMC requirement in contracts for up to 15 pilots this year.

This story was updated with new information on March 16.

About the Author

Lauren C. Williams is senior editor for FCW and Defense Systems, covering defense and cybersecurity.

Prior to joining FCW, Williams was the tech reporter for ThinkProgress, where she covered everything from internet culture to national security issues. In past positions, Williams covered health care, politics and crime for various publications, including The Seattle Times.

Williams graduated with a master's in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park and a bachelor's in dietetics from the University of Delaware. She can be contacted at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @lalaurenista.

Click here for previous articles by Wiliams.


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