As the Presidentially-appointed, Senate-confirmed Under Secretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) at the Department of Homeland Security from 2011-2017, Suzanne Spaulding was effectively the CEO, with a $3 billion budget and a workforce of 18,000, charged with strengthening cybersecurity and protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure. Her recognized expertise in understanding threats such as counterterrorism and cybersecurity helped drive the transformation of the organization to ensure comprehensive assessment and management of physical and cyber risks and bring greater agility and unity of effort to an organization that had experienced dramatic growth through acquisition of new entities and missions over several years.
In her role at DHS, Under Secretary Spaulding supported interagency security operations across the country, including National Special Security Events. She worked extensively with CEOs and other executive officials on understanding threats and managing risks, across all industry sectors, particularly commercial facilities, electricity, communications, information technology, and financial services. She worked with many foreign governments on critical infrastructure and cybersecurity, including negotiating agreements with China and Israel. Her responsibilities also included security regulation of the chemical industry, biometrics and identity management, emergency communications, and the Federal Protection Service. Under Secretary Spaulding served on the Board of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), the independent authority established by Congress to manage the complex and unprecedented effort to deploy the first nation-wide public safety broadband network.
Ms. Spaulding has spent over 35 years in the private sector and in government working security issues, including as Managing Partner of the Harbour Group and a principal in the Bingham Consulting Group. Following the attacks of 9/11, she worked with key critical infrastructure sectors including the electricity, nuclear power, and chemical sectors, and served as Security Counsel for the Business Roundtable. In 2002, she was appointed by Virginia Gov. Mark Warner to the Secure Commonwealth Panel to advise the governor and the legislature regarding preparedness issues.
Ms. Spaulding has served in both Republican and Democratic Administrations and for both sides of the aisle in Congress. She was General Counsel for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (1995-1998) and Minority Staff Director for the U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (2003-2004). She also spent six years at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), where she was Legal Adviser to the Director of Central Intelligence’s Nonproliferation Center (1989-1995).
In addition, Ms. Spaulding was the Executive Director of two congressionally-mandated commissions: the National Commission on Terrorism and the Commission to Assess the Organization of the Federal Government to Combat the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction. She was a member of the CSIS Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th President and a consultant on the Advisory Panel to Assess Domestic Response Capabilities for Terrorism Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction and on the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Ms. Spaulding is a Member of the Aspen Institute’s Homeland Security Group; former Chair of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Law and National Security; and founder of the Cybersecurity Legal Task Force. She was a Senior Fellow at the Homeland Security Policy Institute, George Washington University; and a Member of Harvard University’s Long-Term Legal Strategy Project for Preserving Security and Democratic Freedoms in the War on Terror. She was also on the boards of the Critical Incident Analysis Group (CIAG) and the Lawyers’ Alliance for World Security (LAWS). She is on the faculty of the National Association of Corporate Directors. Ms. Spaulding has convened and participated in numerous academic and professional advisory panels, been a frequent commentator in public media, and often testified before Congress.
Ms. Spaulding earned her J.D. and B.A. at the University of Virginia.