Donna S. Bennett was named Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) for the U.S. Department of State in April 2021 and is a career member of the Senior Executive Service.
Bennett provides expert policy, technical, program, and oversight support to the Department of State on all cybersecurity matters. She directs compliance with current and emergent federal cybersecurity mandates and fulfills reporting requirements to State Department leadership, the Office of Management and Budget, and Congress.
Bennett previously served as deputy chief information security officer at the U.S. Department of Commerce and chief information security officer at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). At FEMA, she was responsible for the unprecedented Identity, Credential, and Access Management integration of Personal Identity Verification smart cards for single sign-on access of all assets within the FEMA Enterprise Network.
As a security industry veteran, Bennett brings over 25 years of experience leading large enterprise information security architecture programs, policy, operations, and modernization. Bennett has served in various cybersecurity leadership positions throughout the U.S. Navy and the Department of Defense. Following her distinguished Naval service, she worked in industry as an enterprise network architect, refurbishing networks while ships were awaiting their next deployment cycle.
Bennett managed the cybersecurity of the Unified Atlantic Region Network Operations Center at the Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Atlantic. She was the senior information assurance officer for the U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa. In this role, she planned and implemented the security of applications and networks in support of several maritime domain awareness programs.
Bennett holds a BS in Computer Information Systems from Saint Leo University and an MS in Information Assurance from Norwich University. She is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Senior Executive Fellows Program and has earned various technical and cybersecurity certifications.
Her awards include the Global CISO 100 Award, the National Security Agency’s Frank B. Rowlett Award, the Joint Civilian Service Commendation Award, Civilian of the Year, the FedScoop Federal Leadership Award, WashingtonExec Pinnacle Awards Cybersecurity Executive of the Year, the Federal 100, FedScoop Top 50 Women in IT, and the Discovery and Innovation in Government IT Award for Cybersecurity.
Outside the office, Bennett is an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland Global Campus where she teaches cybersecurity management, policy, and information technology.