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Spidalieri to address state's cybersecurity commission during its first public summit

Francesca Spidalieri, Pell Center Senior Fellow for Cyber Leadership at Salve Regina University and a newly appointed member of the Rhode Island Cybersecurity Commission established by Gov. Gina Raimondo, will address fellow commissioners during their first public summit on Thursday, July 16, in Newport.

Spidalieri will present examples of how other state governments have structured and organized their responses to cyber threats, as well as providing expertise for the commission’s Workforce Development and Skills Training session. Her research and findings in this area will be the subject of an upcoming Pell Center report: “State of the States on Cyber.”

The summit is being held at the U.S. Naval War College Thursday morning, while an afternoon session will be hosted by the Pell Center in Ochre Court, Salve Regina’s main administration building on Ochre Point Avenue.

The commission is tasked with assessing cybersecurity infrastructure and activities within all executive branch agencies and recommending ways to enhance the resiliency of government operations. It is also examining ways to expand economic growth of the cybersecurity sector and workforce.

The commission includes the directors of the Emergency Management Agency, the Rhode Island National Guard, the Department of Public Safety and other state agencies concerned with commerce, as well as private sector and academic representatives. It is chaired by Scott DePasquale, CEO of Utilidata, a software company based in South Providence.

Spidalieri heads the Pell Center’s cyber leadership project and the Rhode Island Corporate Cybersecurity Initiative that supports senior business leaders and decision makers who can affect change and make the state’s corporate community more secure and resilient to cyber incidents. She lectures regularly on cybersecurity issues and teaches a graduate course, "Management of Cyber Opportunities and Threats," which is now a core component and distinctive feature of Salve Regina's MBA program.

She has authored several reports and publications, including “One Leader at a Time: The Failure to Educate Future Leaders for an Age of Persistent Cyber Threat,” “Cybersecurity Workforce Handbook: A Practical Guide to managing Your Workforce,” “Joint Professional Military Education Institutions in an Age of Cyber Threat” and “Professionalizing Cybersecurity: A Path to Universal Standards and Status.”

For more information about the Pell Center and its cybersecurity initiatives, call the Center at (401) 341-2927.