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Pennsylvania CISO Erik Avakian Announces Departure

After more than a decade and a half of service with the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, CISO Erik Avakian announced his forthcoming departure to pursue an opportunity in the private sector.

Erik Avakian.
Pennsylvania Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) Erik Avakian has announced his impending departure from the role in an email announcement forwarded to Government Technology from the Pennsylvania Office of Administration.

In the announcement, Avakian said that after almost 16 years with the commonwealth — and 12 and a half years as CISO — he has decided to pursue an opportunity in the private sector.

“I am extremely grateful and feel blessed for the opportunity to work over the past 16 years with the Pennsylvania Office of Administration and to be able to serve our great citizens of our commonwealth through public service,” he wrote. “This job has provided me with an incredible opportunity to serve, work with an outstanding team, and to build and foster relationships that will endure for years to come.”

Avakian was appointed to the CISO position in 2010. Throughout this time with the commonwealth, he has pushed for increased awareness of cybersecurity risks as well as prevention strategies, especially as the cyber landscape has evolved.

“When we look at cyber, it’s such a complicated topic that requires a team sport methodology,” he told GT in 2019.

In his statement, he underlined the value of this collaborative approach in the work that has been done with the commonwealth throughout his tenure with the Pennsylvania Office of Administration.

His final day in state service will be Oct. 21.

Editor's Note: The attribution in this article has been updated.