NASCIO Recognizes State Chief Information Security Officers with Jarrett Scholarship

SALT LAKE CITY, Ut., Monday, October 12 — The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) awarded the Thomas M. Jarrett State Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) Scholarship to three deserving CISOs during the 2015 Annual Conference in Salt Lake City.
This is the third 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 CISOs 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:
Danielle Alvarez, Chief Security Officer, State of Florida
Since the establishment of the Agency for State Technology (AST) on July 1, 2014, Alvarez has been working diligently to develop strategy, policy, and process for the state of Florida. Alvarez has effectively operated in all major information technology (IT) silos, strategically positioning her to thread security into all operational platforms and processes. She is currently leading the Florida Cybersecurity Framework adoption effort, as well as the statewide Risk Assessment.  Alvarez’s scholarship nominator, Florida Chief Information Officer Jason Allison said “with Danielle leading these initiatives, Florida is directed to a more secure and resilient future.”
John Essner, Chief Security Officer, State of New Jersey 
Through Essner’s leadership, the state of New Jersey’s Executive Branch adopted and implemented the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, completed a strategic plan, and completed a risk assessment (GAP Analysis); Essner also initiated the precursor to the New Jersey Cybersecurity Integration Cell (NJCCIC) which provides a consolidated approach to cybersecurity. Essner has provided leadership for the Information Analysis Center, a training for state employees on their role in preventing negative cyber events, asset classification implementation and maintenance, cyber incident management and reporting, and mobile device management implementation and integration. New Jersey Chief Information Officer Steven Emanuel nominated Essner for this honor.
Bill Nash, Chief Information Security Officer, State of Wisconsin
Nash has been instrumental in Wisconsin’s transition to an enterprise-wide cybersecurity plan, producing a comprehensive enterprise security roadmap from the ground up.  As a leader, Nash focuses on empowering others to make decisions that protect the state. He was heavily involved in the rollout of the state’s cybersecurity awareness training program which provides state employees with fundamental cybersecurity concepts and steps they can take to protect state systems.  Nash was nominated for the scholarship by David Cagigal, chief information officer for the state of Wisconsin.
Learn more about the recipients at