The Road to TechConneXt: Renee Forney, Cybersecurity Specialist

The Road to TechConneXt: Renee Forney, Cybersecurity Specialist

Renee Forney is a seasoned cybersecurity expert. SC Magazine, the leading journal for IT security professional named her “a woman of influence” in the cybersecurity industry.

Her reputation and skills have also earned her the trust of our nation. Currently the acting Deputy Chief Information Officer of Cybersecurity at the Department of Energy, Forney was also an executive director at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

In her current role at the DOE, she advises senior officials on integrating cybersecurity, risk management, and implementing enterprise information resources management.

She is also an adviser for the White House’s Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative, the Defense Industrial Base Sector, which focuses on information safeguarding and critical infrastructure protection, and the Mission Executive Council.

Forney also has experience in the private sector. As Division Program Manager at Unisys, she collaborated with the Unisys Director of Enterprise Security Initiatives for the U.K., and she has assisted in developing a security framework model for Unisys Federal.

In an interview with SC Magazine, Forney noted that, with a shortage of qualified personnel, it’s a vibrant time for cyber professionals, and that she would like to see more enter government service. “Recruitment efforts are increasing at every level and assembling the most efficient job description is key,” she said.

Entry into the cybersecurity industry is particularly opportune for people of color. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), while speaking at an event hosted by the International Consortium of Minority Cybersecurity Professionals (ICMP) said, “There is currently a shortage of qualified cybersecurity professionals in the United States, which is predicted to grow to 1.5M by 2019. There exists an opportunity to address both the cybersecurity workforce shortage and the underrepresentation of minority groups in the technology industry.”

Forney holds a Bachelor of Science from DeVry University, a Master of Science in Engineering Management from George Washington University, as well as Certification Information System Security Professional (CISSP) and Project Management Professional (PMP) certifications.