NSA’s Debora Plunkett to speak at Capitol College President’s Forum

The Innovation and Leadership Institute’s President’s Forum series at Capitol College is proud to present its fall speaker, Debora Plunkett, director of the Information Assurance Directorate (IAD) at the National Security Agency, Oct. 27.

Plunkett, one of the government’s top authority figures in the realm of cybersecurity, will address the importance of cybersecurity and the role the Information Assurance Directorate has in helping to improve national security.

“As never before, the IA Directorate is in the forefront of information assurance,” Plunkett says, “from providing hands-on, real-time support to the development of more secure communications infrastructures, to deploying and operating sensors that detect malicious activity and inadvertent disclosures, to providing expertise in both building and maintaining secure communications infrastructures, to being a key national leader on cyber defense.”

The President’s Forum is a joint program of the Office of the President and the Innovation and Leadership Institute that brings distinguished speakers and panelists to campus to share their insights on innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership.

“It is an honor for Capitol College to be hosting such a forward thinker and proven leader,” said Dr. Vic Maconachy, vice president for academic affairs. “As the newly appointed director for information assurance, Plunkett leads an organization which has been addressing issues in cybersecurity and providing solutions which span beyond technology to encompass policy and the human factor, bringing the nation toward an era of assured cyber sharing.”

This free event is open to the public. Staff, faculty, students, alumni and friends of the college are especially invited, beginning at 12 p.m. in the Avrum Gudelsky Memorial Auditorium. Directions to campus can be found at www.capitol-college.edu/visit. Space is limited, so be sure to RSVP by Oct. 20 to Noemi Santana at 301-369-2800, ext. 3622. Media representatives attending should contact Rebecca Steiner, 301-369-2800, ext. 3015.

Capitol College is the only independent college in Maryland dedicated to education in engineering, computer science, information technology and business through practices of leadership and innovation. Founded in 1927, Capitol offers associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees, a doctor of science in information assurance, professional development training and certificates. Academic programs are grounded in centers of excellence; these include the Space Operations Institute, the Critical Infrastructures and Cyber Protection Center, the Innovation and Leadership Institute, and the Center for Space Science Education and Public Outreach. The college campus is located in Laurel, Maryland, a suburban setting midway between Baltimore and Washington, DC.

About Debora Plunkett
Debora Plunkett serves as director of the Information Assurance Directorate (IAD) at the National Security Agency. On behalf of the director, NSA, the IAD is the focal point for cyber security, cryptography and information systems security for all national security systems. Specific responsibilities include developing and deploying IA capabilities, research and development activities to generate IA techniques and solutions, ensuring the availability of IA products and solutions, and understanding the threat to and vulnerability of national security systems.

In addition to previously serving as the deputy director of IAD, Plunkett also served as assistant deputy director for customer relationships in the SIGINT Directorate. She was responsible for determining SIGINT dissemination policy and practices, and ensuring mechanisms were in place to promote the widest possible distribution of NSA products while enabling the protection of sensitive sources and methods.

From 2000-01, Plunkett served as a director on the National Security Council at the White House. In this capacity, she assisted in the development and coordination of national policy on critical infrastructure protection and cyber security issues. In 2007, Plunkett was awarded the rank of Meritorious Executive in the Senior Cryptologic Executive Service by the President of the United States.

Plunkett graduated from Towson University with Bachelor of Science degree. In 1999, she was awarded an MBA from Johns Hopkins University. She is a graduate of the National War College. Plunkett completed the Executive Development Seminar, the IC EXCEL Seminar, and the IC Intelligence Fellows Program, and the Harvard Law School program in conflict management and negotiations.

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