Cyber Awards Winners 2017

Congratulations to the 2017 Cyber Award Winners

View video interviews with some of the winners.

Federal-Defense, Intelligence

Essye Miller
Essye Miller
Deputy Chief Information Officer for Cybersecurity, Department of Defense

As the Deputy CIO for Cybersecurity at the Department of Defense, Essye Miller is responsible for coordinating cybersecurity standards, policies, and procedures with other Federal agencies, coalition partners, and industry. She is dedicated to providing our war fighters with superior IT and cyber capabilities that empower them to deliver on their mission. Ms. Miller has been instrumental in the development of the DoD’s Cyber Scorecard 2.0, which automates cyber reporting to help the DoD better understand threats and how to respond to them. She takes a holistic approach to cybersecurity, ensuring it is a top consideration in every decision the DoD makes, while fostering information and resource sharing across government.

State and Local/Education

John McCaffrey
Chief Information Officer, Westchester County, New York

As the CIO for Westchester County, New York, John McCaffrey oversees an IT department that is responsible for the planning, designing, and supporting of all technology vision, as well as all business process design for the county and municipalities through its extensive shared services program. Named one of Government Technology magazine’s “Top 25 Doers, Dreamers & Drivers of 2017,” John and his team have received recognition as one of the nation’s top digital counties. Under his leadership, John is innovating with shared services and making careful investments in technology that will benefit citizens, government employees and agencies alike. John is a realist – he knows that no matter how secure a system may be, there are always vulnerabilities, and he works tirelessly to secure the county’s systems and data to protect all county constituents.

Robert O’Connor
Chief Information Security Officer, Maricopa County, Arizona

As CISO for Maricopa County in Arizona, Robert O’Connor developed a proactive data classification and discovery project, while simultaneously addressing the growing need to protect the county’s mobile workforce. Under his leadership, the county developed an aggressive cyber defense strategy to focus on integrating a proactive mobile threat protection solution that established standards for both local businesses and local government. In addition, Robert oversaw the creation of a data protection platform that secured the county’s cloud environment in advancer of migration. Through his work, Robert sets the standard to which regional enterprise IT teams address data protection in Maricopa County.

U.S. Congress/Capitol Hill

Congressman John Ratcliffe

As the Congressman for the 4th Congressional District of Texas and Chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection, Mr. Ratcliffe has worked to ensure that cybersecurity remains a top priority in the House of Representatives. He authored the Strengthening State and Local Cyber Crime Fighting Act of 2017, which was signed into law by the President. Congressman Ratcliffe knows how critical it is for state and local law enforcement to be provided with the tools and training they need in order to combat cybercrime and protect our communities and works closely with private sector partners and stakeholders to improve the nation’s cybersecurity posture.

Congressman Thompson
Congressman Bennie Thompson

As the Congressman for the 2nd Congressional District of Mississippi, Mr. Thompson has long recognized the importance of securing our nation from cyber threats. Congressman Thompson was one of the first Members of Congress to focus on cybersecurity as a national security issue, having begun work on it more than a decade ago. He has made securing our nation’s electoral system from cyber threats a top priority and along with several senior Members of Congress launched the Congressional Task Force on Election Security. The Task Force is a forum for members to hear from professionals with expertise in cyber security, and to identify policy recommendations to mitigate and prevent future cyberattacks.

Cyber Awards Alumni


  • Chris ChristensenState of Michigan
  • Michael DentFairfax County
  • Jennine GilbeauDepartment of Homeland Security
  • Master Sergeant Robert HarrisAir Force Global Strike Command
  • Congressman Will Hurd(R-TX)
  • Jason LimTransportation Security Administration
  • Trevor SmithAir Force Global Strike Command
  • Senator Mark Warner(D-VA)


  • Gary GallowayDepartment of State
  • Mark GowerState of Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services
  • Ronald James KingUSDA National Finance Center
  • Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI)
  • Richard NaylorDefense Security Service
  • Achim PurdyChesterfield County Public Schools, Commonwealth of Virginia
  • Senator John Thune (R-SD)


  • Chiyun- Kwei Chiang Montgomery College/MC Cyber Watch
  • Michael Daniel Special Assistant to the President and Cybersecurity Coordinator
  • Patrick Dowd NSA
  • Lieutenant General Ronnie Hawkins DISA
  • Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-TX)
  • Michael Watson VITA/Commonwealth Security and Risk Management
  • Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
  • Veda Woods Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board


  • Rickey T. Branning U.S. Postal Service
  • Senator Tom Carper (D-DE)
  • Kristopher Cox J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College (JSRCC)/Virginia Community College System
  • Cornelia Rogall-Grothe Federal Republic of Germany
  • Governor Rick Snyder State of Michigan
  • Major General Suzanne M. Vautrinot 24th Air Force


  • Dion Herbert Department of State
  • Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX)
  • Alex Pettit State of Oklahoma
  • Tony Sager National Security Agency


  • Trent Carpenter State of Michigan
  • Senator Tom Carper (D-DE)
  • Michael Dent Fairfax County Government
  • Priscilla Guthrie Office of the Director of National Intelligence
  • Doug Jacobson Iowa State University
  • Chuck McGann U.S. Postal Service
  • Ron Ross National Institute of Standards and Technology