News Room | Press Releases

For immediate release: September 30, 2014
Contact: Kayla Leslie

NASCIO Celebrates State Chief Information Security Officer’s with Jarrett Scholarship


Nashville, TN., Monday, September 29 — The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO), awarded the Thomas M. Jarrett State Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) Scholarship to three deserving CISO’s during the 2014 Annual Conference in Nashville.

This is the second year for the scholarship program, which was created to pay homage to Thomas M. Jarrett, past president of NASCIO (2004 - 2005), for his passion for cybersecurity. The scholarship grants current CISO's the opportunity to attend the NASCIO Annual Conference.

The following individuals were selected to receive this year’s scholarship due to their dedication and leadership in cybersecurity:

Chris Letterman, Chief Security Officer, State of Alaska

"Chris Letterman took over the SSO in 2013 in the midst of a crisis,” said Jim Bates, CIO State of Alaska. “He has effectively, in that short time frame changed the security culture from what was perceived by our stakeholders ‎and customers as law enforcement to one of public safety. He has become the great collaborator and has brought needed focus to our State's future in terms of Risk Management and Cybersecurity."

Kevin Burns, Chief Security Officer, Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Bill Oates, Commonwealth CIO for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts said, “We in Massachusetts are fortunate to have a CISO with Kevin’s expertise, experience, and dedication. I am so pleased that Kevin’s hard work has been recognized by NASCIO, giving him the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas and best practices with peers from across the nation at this year’s conference. I am confident that the learnings Kevin brings home to Massachusetts will help us in our robust and ongoing cybersecurity efforts.”

Deborah Snyder, Acting Chief Information Security Officer, State of New York

“Deb Snyder is an accomplished government policy and cybersecurity industry leader, and brings a wide range of knowledge, skills and experience to the challenges of dealing with today’s rapidly changing information management landscape,” Brian Digman, CIO, State of New York. The recent transformation of New York State’s information technology services necessitated a clear vision of the role and value of information security in enabling the State business needs. As Acting NYS Chief Information Security Officer, Deb established our Enterprise Information Security Office organization and core functions, and set the strategic direction for business-aligned security risk management, consistent standards and practices, enhanced threat monitoring and incident management capabilities, skills training and awareness. Her passion, dedication and leadership in cybersecurity have enabled us to progress efforts quickly and effectively. She is an invaluable resource to our senior leadership team, and an outstanding choice for this well-deserved recognition.”

Learn more about the recipients at