October 22, 2011    /    by

Weatherford an Excellent Choice for DHS Deputy Undersecretary for Cybersecurity

Mark Weatherford has been named as the new deputy undersecretary for cybersecurity at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Mark is a thoughtful executive who has both military service and hands-on experience dealing with every aspect of our cyber ecosystem. I am confident that he is the right person for this job as we head into 2012.

According to Politico and other sources, Mark Weatherford has been named as the new deputy undersecretary for cybersecurity at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Mark will fill the role formerly held by Philip Reitinger, who resigned in May.

Politico wrote: “Weatherford will manage the department’s cybersecurity operations, which include overseeing the agency's partnership with the private sector and security of the dot-gov network. The Obama administration gave DHS an elevated role in managing the federal government’s cyber defenses in its legislative proposal released this spring, making Weatherford a key player for the government.”

Weatherford is currently the Chief Security Officer at the North American Electricity Reliability Council NERC), and will begin his new role with DHS in mid-November.

Mark is well known amongst state and local government leaders for many reasons. He was the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) in both Colorado and in California. Mark was also a regular security blogger and columnist for Government Technology Magazine and PCIO Magazines. Some of his posts can be found here.   

Mark has been a leader in the wider security community for years with a wealth of knowledge and expertise. He was active in several cross-government organizations including the Multi-State Information Sharing & Analysis Center and National Association of State CIOs.

 In my opinion, Mark is an excellent choice by DHS. I think he will do a great job and be a respected friend and colleague to state and local government technology and security leaders around the country. He understands our needs and vulnerabilities, and Mark also grasps the global cybersecurity problems facing America.  

 More than that, Mark is a thoughtful executive who has both military service and hands-on experience dealing with every aspect of our cyber ecosystem. He “gets it” when it comes to addressing the vast task in front of him, including the training needs and culture change that is required for governments, private sector businesses and even families to succeed online. Mark’s an enabler who wants to get meaningful projects done to protect our sensitive data and critical infrastructure from attacks.

While this endorsement may sound too positive with no negatives, I have no hesitation in backing Mark Weatherford.  No doubt, he has a very tough road ahead. There will be new threats, politics and unexpected challenges from all over the place. How long he stays in this role may be determined by events beyond his control. Nevertheless, I can think of no one better to help the cyber community right now.

 I'm glad Mark took the job, and I wish him all the best. I am confident that he is the right person for this job as we head into 2012.

What are your thoughts on this appointment?