2021 Fed 100
Federal 100: James Saunders
Chief Information Security Officer
Small Business Administration
A big force at SBA.
Saunders’ leadership was indispensable in ensuring the security of SBA’s response to legislation that required the rapid distribution of nearly $700 billion in loans and grants to companies affected by the pandemic. His team incorporated security into new cloud-based systems, including a Lender Gateway that was built in eight days, and continued to protect agency systems despite a significant increase in malware, phishing and other threats to SBA and small businesses. As the agency added nearly 15,000 new employees, Saunders did not lose security visibility. He proactively ensured that field workers could connect from public, unsecure networks without compromising SBA systems.
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