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Who is on Fortinet’s new Public Sector Advisory Council?

By Jessie Chiang
Wed 8 Jun 2022

Fortinet has announced the creation of its new Public Sector Advisory Council (PSAC), which the company says expands its commitment to secure public sector organisations worldwide.

Fortinet says the public sector is an important part of the collective ability of all organisations to enable digital acceleration across government and society and to develop sound public policies that allow progress in cybersecurity and digital services.

It says in recent years, cybercriminals and nation-states have increased their attacks, in volume and sophistication, against all types of public sector organisations and critical infrastructure.

Fortinet says ransomware and other cyber threats are top-of-mind for organisations ranging from local governments and public health facilities to rural elementary schools and utility cooperatives agencies. 

The idea behind the Fortinet PSAC is for members to help steer and advise how to best guide public sector organisations through the evolving security challenges and technology needs to address these challenges. 

Fortinet CEO, founder, and chairman of the board Ken Xie says as cyber adversaries continue to threaten digital economies and critical infrastructure globally, it is vital that organisations are prepared to defend against the growing cyber threat. 

"Fortinet has a long-standing commitment to partnership and collective insight that facilitates smart policy and collaboration efforts in response to the evolving threat landscape," he says.

"As a trusted partner to the public sector and private industry, the establishment of the Advisory Council furthers these efforts in the United States as well as worldwide."

Fortinet's Public Sector Advisory Council

Chairperson - Gary Locke 

Mr Locke was a former U.S. Ambassador to China, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, and Washington's governor.

Fortinet says Locke's innovations in government efficiency, customer focus, and priority-based budgeting, as well as successful and under-budget management of high-risk initiatives, have won him acclaim from nationally recognised authors and organisations, including Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. 

Mr Locke is currently the interim president of Bellevue College, the third-largest higher education institution in Washington State, serves on the two corporate boards and is the chairman of Locke Global Strategies. 

Rachelle Chong 

Rachelle Chong is a nationally recognised California regulatory lawyer and technology strategist who assists innovative clients before the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). 

Fortinet says Chong has also been a law partner at two international law firms (Graham & James and Coudert Brothers), the general counsel for two start-ups, Broadband Office and Sidecar, vice president of government affairs for a national cable company, the special counsel for the California Emerging Technology Fund, and senior policy counsel for the California Technology Agency (the CIO office of the state). 

She founded her solo law and lobbying practice in 2013 and serves as CEO of R36 Solutions, LLC, a national strategic consulting company. Fortinet says Ms Chong is a seasoned corporate board and advisory board member, serving at present on the advisory board of the Electric Power Research Institute, Anterix, Prologis, and the T-Mobile External Diversity and Inclusion Council. 

General Clapper 

The Honourable James R. Clapper served as the fourth and longest-tenured U.S. Director of National Intelligence until January 2017. In this position, Mr Clapper led the United States Intelligence Community and served as the principal intelligence advisor to the President of the United States of America. 

Mr Clapper has also served as the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) director and transformed it into the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). He was also a consultant and advisor to Congress and the Departments of Defense and Energy and a member of various government panels, boards, commissions, and advisory groups. 

Peter Jennings 

Peter Jennings was most recently the executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI - Australia's leading think-tank on national security). He worked in senior roles in the Australian Public Service on defence and national security, serving previously as the deputy secretary for Strategy in the Defence Department (2009-12); Chief of Staff to the Minister for Defence (1996-98) and Senior Adviser for Strategic Policy to the Prime Minister (2002-03). 

General Sir Richard Shirreff 

General Sir Richard Shirreff began a 37-year career with the British Army, where he commanded soldiers on operations at every level. This included combat in the Gulf War as a tank squadron leader and again in Iraq as a divisional commander.

In February 2016, Sir Richard Shirreff co-founded Strategia Worldwide Ltd, a global risk advisory company serving clients across different industrial sectors. It has recently acquired by Sigma7 Global Risk Outcomes, of which he is also executive vice president.

Suzanne Spaulding 

Suzanne Spaulding serves as a member of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission. She is also a senior adviser for homeland security and director of the Defending Democratic Institutions project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).  

Previously, Ms Spaulding served as undersecretary for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), where she led the National Protection and Programs Directorate, which has transitioned to become the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). 

Fortinet says Ms Spaulding has worked in the executive branch in Republican and Democratic administrations and on both sides of the aisle in Congress. She was general counsel for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and minority staff director for the House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. She also spent six years at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), where she was assistant general counsel and the legal adviser to the director's Nonproliferation Center. 

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