I’ve lived my life with a few core drivers – drivers instilled in me by my parents that I try to pass on to my children: shoot for the stars by exercising and challenging your brain, pursue a career that you will enjoy, and make a positive impact in the world. The intersection of these three drivers is narrow and aspirational, I know, but the underlying guidance has always been clear: you can—and should—make a positive difference to the world….and you should find some joy in doing so.
I’m honored, humbled and thrilled that I am now squarely at this intersection point in my career with the opportunity to serve the security community as the content director for the RSA Conferences globally. Through this transitional period with Jeanne, an amazing and wonderful mentor, my eyes have been further widened to the commitment and involvement of so many of you to making RSA Conference the place where the world talks security. It takes a Village. “Talking security” isn’t easy—it involves debates, research, differences of opinions, willingness to share issues, and challenges to status quo—your unbridled passion to make the world a better place inspires me. I am lucky to inherit a program that is solid, surrounded by industry gurus who volunteer their time and perspective in various program committee capacities. These are the experts who drive the content, reviewing thousands of submissions to recommend just the right mix to address issues that are current and important for all of us. As a bonus, getting to work with Hugh Thompson as the program chair—what’s not to love about that (also keeps me safe from pick-pocketing monkeys)!?
My career has followed an interesting path to reach this point. I started with a leading e- learning company. Who would have thought that years later I would draw on what I learned about instructional design and distance learning to help maximize the learning environment for Conference participants? Technology continues to provide new opportunities to better capitalize on and engage the human mind, making what we learn and how we learn it a very personal journey. I then moved into security. As Alex Bender introduced me, I have had the opportunity to dig far and wide into security drivers and trends with a wealth of global industry analysts for many years, shaping my understanding of the evolving security landscape. I also had the opportunity to be deeply involved for eight years with the standards community via my experience with the Liberty Alliance and then the Kantara Initiative. This standards exposure firmly tattooed on my mind the power of a community of driven people from different companies, geographies, job types, and disciplines to work together to solve problems. There is power in ongoing diversity, discussion and debate. It does, indeed, take a Village.
We are a community—a very powerful community—with an opportunity to continue to positively impact the world. I want to represent you and your perspectives with the content offered through RSA Conference, both physically at the event and through ongoing engagement. I want to know what you think. I want to hear how you like to learn and engage. I want to make sure you always recognize yourself in the RSA Conference experience. Find me on LinkedIn and we’ll engage. I welcome your perspective as I strive to serve you and the security community as we shoot for the stars together…and hopefully find some fun along the way, too.