Former NSA, national intelligence director to keynote cybersecurity symposium
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Two high-level U.S government officials, one current and one former, will headline the 11th annual CERIAS Symposium scheduled for March 30 and 31 at Purdue University.
John "Mike" McConnell, a former director of national intelligence and of the National Security Agency, will provide one of the two keynote addresses during the symposium on cybersecurity. He will speak March 30. Rand Beers, appointed by President Obama to serve as undersecretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, will deliver the second keynote on March 31.
The symposium also will feature panel discussions on both days and a "fireside chat" led by CERIAS executive director Eugene H. Spafford, McConnell and Beers on the opening day. CERIAS - the Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security - is the nation's leading interdisciplinary academic center for research and education in information assurance, security, privacy and digital crime.
"There have been dramatic increases in corporate espionage and criminal activity over the last decade," Spafford said. "Mike McConnell and Rand Beers have been at the forefront of U.S. national security efforts during this challenging time. Their knowledge and experience in cybersecurity threats is quite extensive."
McConnell was commissioned in the U.S. Navy in 1967 and retired in 1996 as a vice admiral after 29 years of service. During his naval career, he served as director of the NSA from 1992-96. He also worked as intelligence officer for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the U.S. Secretary of Defense during Operation Desert Shield/Storm.
He was U.S. director of national intelligence from February 2007 to January 2009. Before his time with the NSA, McConnell was senior vice president with the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, and he returned to that role after serving as director of national intelligence.
Beers was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 19, 2009, to direct NPPD's integrated efforts to reduce risks to physical, cyber and communications infrastructures. The agency collaborates with all levels of government, the private sector and non-government organizations, and international bodies to prevent, respond to and mitigate threats to U.S. national security from acts of terrorism, natural disasters and other catastrophic events. He has served as counselor to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano since January 2009 and will continue in that capacity while directing activities of NPPD.
His career has included service in the U.S. government in a number of senior roles, including assistant secretary of state for international narcotics and law enforcement affairs (1998-2002) and as a member of the National Security Council staff under four presidents.
Symposium participants will examine developing technologies and research that is under way in academic, government and commercial laboratories. Discussions also will center on how the evolution of information security policies and research funding have both facilitated and hindered information security research.
Cost to attend is $360 for the general public and $180 for nonprofit, government and non-Purdue academics. There is no charge for Purdue students, faculty and staff. More information about the symposium is available online at http://www.cerias.purdue.edu/site/symposium2010
Writer: Jim Bush, 765-494-2077, email@example.com
Source: Eugene H. Spafford, 765-497825, firstname.lastname@example.org
Note to Journalists: Journalists wanting to cover either keynote address or the symposium can contact Jim Bush at 765-494-2077, email@example.com