Two-Day Aspen Cyber Summit to Explore Frontlines of Systemic Risk, Next Generation of Threats, Safeguarding America’s Energy, and More, September 29 and October 6

September 27, 2021

Online event to feature top leaders from NSA, CISA, Justice Department, FBI, Pentagon, and Department of Energy, as well as the nation’s first-ever National Cyber Director and voices from Capitol Hill

Contact: Jon Purves
Senior Media Relations Manager
The Aspen Institute

Washington, DC, September 27, 2021 — The senior leaders of the US government’s cybersecurity response will headline the sixth annual Aspen Cyber Summit, a two-day event held this week and next, that explores pressing national security issues in a year that has been dominated by major incidents, from SolarWinds to ransomware.

The Aspen Cyber Summit, organized by Aspen Digital, a program of the Aspen Institute, will take place on Wednesday, September 29, and on Wednesday, October 6, and will also feature speakers from the security industry, nonprofit sector, and more. Sessions will cover critical topics such as the next generation of threats, safeguarding American energy, and newfound momentum for legislation.

The Summit will kick off on September 29 with a fireside chat between new CISA Director Jen Easterly and the Hewlett Foundation’s Director of the Cyber Initiative, Kelly Born, on Easterly’s top priorities as the second-ever leader of the Department of Homeland Security agency charged with protecting the nation’s civilian cybersecurity and critical infrastructure. Later that day, the NSA’s Director of Cybersecurity Directorate, Rob Joyce, and Aspen Digital’s Director of Cyber Initiatives, Garrett Graff, will discuss the next generation of digital threats.

The second day of programming, which takes place on October 6, will open with a conversation featuring Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco. Afterwards, three members of Congress, Rep. John Katko, Sen. Angus King, and Rep. Yvette Clarke will come together to speak on the future of cybersecurity legislation.

The complete agenda with session titles is included below. Those seeking to register to attend or learn more can visit

Programming for the 2021 Aspen Cyber Summit is free to the public online. Participants must register to attend. In addition, the event will be covered on social media. Follow @AspenDigital and @AspenCyber on Twitter, and join the conversation using #AspenCyber. A full recording of both days will be posted online after-the-fact.

The media is invited and encouraged to cover this event, crediting the Aspen Cyber Summit. Should newsrooms need assistance in pulling footage, please contact the staffer listed on this press release.

This year’s Summit is made possible by presenting sponsor PwC, as well as Autodesk and McKinsey & Company.

AGENDA — 6th Annual Aspen Cyber Summit, September 29 and October 6, 2021

(Speakers and sessions are subject to change)

Wednesday, September 29, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. ET

11:00 a.m. ET Welcome Remarks 

  • Vivian Schiller, Executive Director, Aspen Digital

11:05 a.m.       Fireside Chat: Meet the New CISA Director

  • Jen Easterly, Director, Cybersecurity and Information Security Agency
  • Kelly Born, Director, Cyber Initiative, Hewlett Foundation

11:35 a.m.       Monsters Under the Bed: Demystifying Systemic Cyber Risk 

  • Jay Healey, Senior Research Scholar, Columbia University
  • Jonathan Welburn, Researcher, RAND Corporation
  • Window Snyder, CEO, Thistle Technologies

12:15 p.m.       Watchers on the Wall: Can Innovation Keep the Internet Safe?  

  • Ang Cui, CEO, Red Balloon Security
  • Sam King, CEO, Veracode
  • Wael Mohamed, CEO, Forescout

1:00 p.m.               Bad Company: Where Nation-States Meet Organized Crime

  • Paul Abbate, Deputy Director, FBI
  • Mieke Eoyang, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Cyber Policy, Department of Defense
  • Sean Joyce, Global Cyber and Privacy Leader, PwC

1:45 p.m.         Keys to the Kingdom: On the Frontlines of Systemic Cyber Risk

  • Noopur Davis, CISO, Comcast
  • Stephen Schmidt, CISO, Amazon Web Services
  • Ron Green, CSO, Mastercard

2:30 p.m.         Fireside Chat: The Next Generation of Threats

  • Rob Joyce, Director, Cybersecurity Directorate, National Security Agency
  • Garrett Graff, Director, Cyber Initiatives, Aspen Digital


Wednesday, October 6, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. ET

11:00 a.m. ET  Welcome

  • Vivian Schiller, Executive Director, Aspen Digital

11:05 a.m.       Fireside Chat with the Deputy Attorney General 

  • Lisa Monaco, Deputy Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice

11:30 a.m.       Bits, Bytes, and Batteries: Safeguarding America’s Energy Power 

  • David Turk, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy

12:00 p.m.       When Failure is Not an Option: Protecting the Electric Grid

  • Pedro Pizarro, CEO, Edison International
  • Joy Ditto, CEO, American Public Power Association
  • Connie Lau, CEO, Hawaiian Electric

12:45 p.m.       Machines within Machines: Artificial Intelligence in Cyberspace

  • Frederick Chang, Chair, Computer Science Department, Southern Methodist University
  • Nidhi Rastogi, Research Scientist, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

1:15 p.m.         The Time is Now: New Momentum for Cybersecurity Legislation

  • John Katko (R-NY-24)
  • Angus King (I-ME)
  • Yvette Clarke (D-NY-9)

2:00 p.m.         When the Sky Falls: Protecting Orbital Infrastructure 


2:30 p.m.         Making History: The First National Cyber Director

  • Chris Inglis, National Cyber Director, White House

3:00 p.m.         The Grey Zone: Offense as the New Defense


3:30 p.m.         Closing Remarks and Adjourn

  • David Forscey, Managing Director, Aspen Cybersecurity Group


Aspen Digital empowers policy-makers, civic organizations, companies, and the public to be responsible stewards of technology and media in the service of an informed, just, and equitable world. Part of the Aspen Institute, it shines a light on urgent global issues across cybersecurity, the information ecosystem, emerging technology, the industry talent pipeline, tech and communications policy, and innovation. The program then turns ideas to action and develops human solutions to these digital challenges.

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners. For more information, visit

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