• Head shot of Senior Fellow Francesca Spidalieri smiling at the camera

    Gov. Raimondo Appoints Pell Center Senior Fellow to RI Cybersecurity Commission

    NEWPORT, R.I.—Pell Center Senior Fellow for Cyber Leadership Francesca Spidalieri has been appointed by Governor Gina M. Raimondo to the newly established Rhode Island Cybersecurity Commission (RICC).

    The new commission is tasked with developing a clear strategy to make Rhode Island more secure and resilient to cyber threats while simultaneously fostering innovation and economic development opportunities in the state.  The Executive Order establishing RICC was signed in May 2015, and its members met in June to set goals and a timeline for their work.

    “I am honored to be a part of the governor’s cybersecurity commission,” Spidalieri said. “Working with colleagues in both the public and private sector from across the state gives us a great opportunity to help position Rhode Island as cybersecurity leader. I hope our recommendations to Governor Raimondo will serve as an example for other states to follow.”

    Spidalieri_RICCCSpidalieri’s first task for the commission will be to brief its members during their first public summit on July 16, 2015, at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport.  Her presentation will review examples of how other state governments have structured and organized their responses to cyber threats.  Her research and findings in this area will also be the subject of an upcoming Pell Center report: “State of the States on Cyber.” The Pell Center will host the afternoon session of the July summit on frameworks for protection and resiliency, and the entire summit on October 15th focused on industry and workforce development.

    In addition to her review of other state responses to cyber threat, Spidalieri will provide input and expertise for the commission’s working group on Workforce Development and Skills Training.   The working group is charged with conducting an assessment of the current cybersecurity workforce development and education activities in Rhode Island, including curricula, certificates, and training credits offered, and to develop a set of recommendations that address both gaps and opportunities.  Several of Spidalieri’s studies at the Pell Center explore similar issues, giving her and the commission a ready-body of knowledge from which to draw.

    “Francesca’s appointment to the Rhode Island Cybersecurity Commission speaks to all that she has accomplished at the Pell Center,” said Pell Center Executive Director Jim Ludes. “She’s played a giant role in our development of real expertise in cybersecurity leadership.  So this appointment isn’t just an opportunity—it’s recognition for her role as a thought leader in the state.  We’re grateful to her for all she’s done, and happy that other people see it too.”

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