March 23

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State and local governments faced evolving and increasingly sophisticated cyber threats – and that was before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, employee work has changed dramatically and agencies have new endpoints to protect with a perimeter that no longer exists. At the same time, they must confront novel attempts by cybercriminals who will use a crisis situation to their advantage.

Join Governing and Government Technology for our first conversation as part of our Cybersecurity Resilience Initiative on March 23 at 10 a.m./1 p.m. Eastern. Hosted by Teri Takai, former CIO of the U.S. Department of Defense and current co-director of the Center for Digital Government, our panel will discuss:

  • How cyber risks have increased since employees started working remotely
  • How threat actors are taking advantage of the pandemic
  • What responsibility employees should have for maintaining data privacy
  • How the endpoint is changing and how this increases risks


Teri Takai

Teri Takai — Moderator

Co-executive Director, Center for Digital Government

Teri Takai is the Co-executive Director of the Center for Digital Government, a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government. She worked for Ford Motor Company for 30 years in global application development and information technology strategic planning. From Ford, she moved to EDS in support of General Motors.

A long-time interest in public service led her to the government sector, first as CIO of the State of Michigan, then as CIO of the State of California, and subsequently the CIO of the U.S. Department of Defense, the first woman appointed to this role. She then served as the CIO for Meridian Health Plan. She is a member of several industry advisory boards.

Teri has won numerous awards including Governing Magazine’s Public Official of the Year, CIO Magazine’s CIO Hall of Fame, Government Technology Magazine’s Top 25 Doers, Dreamers & Drivers, the Women in Defense Excellence in Leadership Award, and the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service.

Kevin Ford

Kevin Ford

Chief Information Security Officer, North Dakota

Kevin Ford started as the CISO of North Dakota in November of 2019. His previous role was CISO of CyberGRX in Denver, CO, one of the top cybersecurity start-ups in the nation, where he was responsible for expanding cybersecurity, privacy and risk management capabilities to protect the security information of over fifty thousand organizations, including Fortune 100 clients, from growing, global online threats. He previously served in senior consulting roles for Deloitte where he advised the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Indian Health Service, local governments, and multiple private sector customers on cyber-risk management initiatives and digital privacy. Kevin also served as a member of the NIST Cybersecurity Framework development team and served as a cyber-risk manager for NASA.

He holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in philosophy and history from the University of Maryland, where he also received a Master of Science in cybersecurity. He is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional with advanced certifications in cybersecurity and cybersecurity policy. He is also the recipient of a Deloitte Cybersecurity Graduate Award and a 2016 NASA Achievement Award.

Lester Godsey

Lester Godsey

Chief Information Security Officer, Maricopa County, AZ

Lester Godsey is the Chief Information Security and Privacy Officer for Maricopa County, AZ, which is the fourth most populous county in the United States.

With over twenty-five years of higher education and local government IT experience, Lester has spoken at local, state, and national conferences on topics ranging from telecommunications to project management to cybersecurity and data. Lester has taught at the collegiate level for over twelve years in the areas of technology, business, project management, and cybersecurity. The author of numerous trade journal and online magazine articles, he is CISM (Certified Information Security Manager) and PMP (Project Management Professional) certified. He holds a BA in Music and a MS in Technology, both from Arizona State University.

His current areas of professional interest center around IoT (Internet of Things) technology and Data Management and the juxtaposition of these disciplines with cybersecurity.