Center for Internet Security President and CEO William F. Pelgrin Retires After Distinguished Career Dedicated to Improving Cybersecurity

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The CIS board appoints Jane Holl Lute as its new CEO and Steven J. Spano as President and Chief Operating Officer

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William Pelgrin's outstanding vision and commitment have elevated CIS on the national and international stages.

The Center for Internet Security (CIS) today announced that its President and CEO, William F. Pelgrin will be retiring on May 31st. Mr. Pelgrin’s outstanding career spanned nearly four decades and was largely dedicated to advancing the state of cybersecurity across the world. During the past five years at the helm of CIS, he has been the catalyst for expanding the role of the CIS into a highly valued cybersecurity resource for public and private sector entities both nationally and internationally.

The CIS board of directors has appointed Jane Holl Lute, former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as CEO. Ms. Lute is internationally known for her distinguished career as an officer in the United States Army, as a Special Adviser to the Secretary General of the United Nations, and at DHS. She served on the National Security Council supporting two U.S. presidents and has advised many world leaders on the importance of cybersecurity. Ms. Lute most recently served as President and CEO for the Council on CyberSecurity, a nonprofit organization that integrated with CIS in January 2015.

Brig. Gen. Steven J. Spano (ret.) has been named President and Chief Operating Officer of CIS. Steven brings three decades of leadership experience with the United States Air Force where he led IT policy and operations organizations in command assignments across the globe. During his highly distinguished military career, General Spano held a number of joint assignments including at the National Security Agency. For the past five years, Mr. Spano has served as the General Manager, Defense and National Security for Amazon Web Services Worldwide Public Sector. He was one of the key leaders who helped launch and build Amazon’s Public Sector business.

Mr. Pelgrin’s departure caps an extraordinarily successful career that has included highly visible leadership roles in both the public and private sectors, including serving as New York State’s first Chief Information Security Officer. For the past twenty years, Mr. Pelgrin has served as an authoritative expert and advocate for improving cybersecurity policy and practice. He has long championed the need for raising the levels of cybersecurity readiness and response. His collaborative management approach was the impetus behind the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC), which he established in 2003 to provide a central resource for state and local governments to share information between and among members in order to detect, defend against and respond to cyber threats. The MS-ISAC, which now includes members from all 50 states, hundreds of local governments and several U.S. Territories and tribal entities, is recognized by DHS as one of the most successful information sharing organizations.

John M. Gilligan, chair of the CIS board of directors said: “William Pelgrin’s outstanding vision and commitment have elevated CIS on the national and international stages as a trusted leader in cybersecurity, and he has positioned CIS to be responsive to the ever-changing security threat landscape. I am pleased that Will has agreed to remain with CIS as a board member. CIS is in very capable hands under the new leadership of Jane Lute, who has a tremendous reputation and track record of success that will be put to work for our collective benefit.”

Mr. Pelgrin said: “It has been my honor to lead CIS in such an important mission space and to work with a tremendously talented and dedicated team. I thank John Gilligan and the entire board for their support of me, and believing in the joint vision to bring CIS to where it is today. I look forward to watching CIS grow to new heights and contributing to those efforts as a board member. Jane Lute has one of the most impressive backgrounds of anyone I know and is deeply passionate about CIS’s important mission. I am positive that under her leadership CIS will achieve even more impressive accomplishments over the next few years. Adding Steve Spano will round out the leadership team that embodies the principles of collaboration and passion for making a positive difference that will carry CIS well into the future.”

Ms. Holl Lute said: “William Pelgrin has left an incredible legacy that has made an indelible, global impact on cybersecurity. I look forward to building on that momentum and, in collaboration with Mr. Spano, leveraging our focus on people, technology, and policy to create a cyber world in which best practice becomes common practice.”

Mr. Spano said: “CIS has a long-standing reputation for excellence and I am proud to join such a respected organization. Working together with Ms. Lute and the entire CIS team, we will forge new ground and continue to build upon the vision that Will conceived.”

For more information about CIS, visit or follow CIS on Twitter at @CISecurity.

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Krista Montie
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