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ACSC HOSTS WHITE HOUSE CYBER LEADER, KEMBA WALDEN

On September 7, the Advanced Cyber Security Center (ACSC) hosted Kemba Walden, the Principal Deputy National Cybersecurity Director, for a roundtable session on collaborative cybersecurity on the MIT campus thanks to ACSC Board Member Marc Zissman of MIT Lincoln Lab. ACSC participants also included Schneider Electric's Fred Cohn, Black Kite CEO Paul Paget and Harvard Belfer Center's Lauren Zabierek, among others from industry and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The interactive session provided an opportunity for the ACSC to share its work and focus on public-private collaboration which has been promoted by previous White House cyber leaders as a model.


Principal Deputy Walden shared the four priorities for the relatively new Office of the National Cyber Director and the first director, Chris Inglis. Those priorities are:

  • Federal Cohesion – making sure the federal government is effectively collaborating, cooperating where possible, and aligning standards and requirements

  • Resource Alignment – measuring risk and re-aligning resources to improve federal cybersecurity

  • Resilience – promoting efforts to improve federal resilience and shift focus from absolute defense to resilient planning

  • Professional Intimacy – being responsive to private sector needs, better communicating federal equities and intelligence, and being a respected, valued, and trusted partner to external stakeholders

In addition, Ms. Walden provided some insight into the forthcoming National Cyber Strategy and her work on cybersecurity harmonization.


Participants in the roundtable discussed a range of topics, from the response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine to the challenges updating academic curricula at all education levels. There was a clear message from participants that the ONCD could provide real value with a concerted effort to flatten regulations to reduce redundancy and variation at all levels – federal, state, and even international. Other recurring themes included the threat to the supply chain and the challenge with securing such a long tail, keeping up with the speed of the changing threats, and the need to grow the nation’s cyber workforce.

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