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WIT.Connect - Women in Defense & Cybersecurity
Hilton McLean Tysons Corner
7920 Jones Branch Drive
McLean, VA 22102

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Thursday, October 19, 2023, 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM EDT
Category: WIT.Connect Programs

Protecting sensitive data is critical for mission success, both on and off the battlefield. The Pentagon has been tackling this through cybersecurity approaches like Zero Trust architecture, as well as embracing emerging technologies like 5G and AI. But even with all that work there is a long road ahead as the threat landscape evolves. 

This panel brings together accomplished women in defense and cybersecurity to discuss tackling complex cyber threats, bolstering resilience and shaping strategic policies. Our esteemed panelists will also shed light their experience as women in cybersecurity and enhancing recruitment, mentorship and career progression of women within the cybersecurity domain.

Registration Fees (includes two drink tickets and heavy hors d'oeuvres)
$50 WIT Members
$85 Non-members

Online Registration has closed, but you are welcome to walk in and register.

Event Speakers

Dorothea "Dee" D. Escalera
Director of Cybersecurity, Program Executive Office for Manpower, Logistics and Business Solutions (PEO MLB)
U.S. Navy

Dorothea “Dee” D. Escalera is a Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR) employee who serves as the Cybersecurity Director for the Program Executive Office for Manpower, Logistics and Business Solutions (PEO MLB) since 2020. She oversees and manages PEO MLB’s organizational cybersecurity support with collateral duties providing subject matter expertise as the Package Submitting Officer across the Risk Management Framework (RMF) spectrum and the Navy’s Authority-to-Operate process in support of PEO MLB’s seven portfolios.

Prior to reinvigorating her federal career with the Navy in 2020, Ms. Escalera worked in the private sector as an executive risk management and cybersecurity consultant. Previously, she worked as the Director of Risk Management for Peloton Systems Inc., a company providing risk and compliance services, cybersecurity, and cloud computing, to the federal government and private sector. In this position, she was the Senior Cybersecurity Engineer, providing leadership and technical expertise to the executive support team in implementing RMF and providing guidance to the Department of State Chief Information Officer, Chief Information Security Officer and staff on new methodologies and concepts for the Assessment and Authorizations (A&A) process and Federal Information Security Modernization Act (FISMA) compliance.

Ms. Escalera has served the United States for more than 35 years, first as a member of the United States Army retiring as Sergeant First Class (SFC/E7) in 2007 after more than 22 years of service and as an industry consultant and federal civilian for 13 years specializing in threat intelligence, cybersecurity and risk management. Her diverse knowledge, skills and experience in leadership, operations, risk management, research, analysis and investigations give her a unique perspective on today’s cybersecurity challenges. She has supported a number of federal government and Department of Defense (DOD) organizations including: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of State, Department of Health and Human Services, Library of Congress, Indian Health Services, Joint Force Headquarters DoDIN, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command (FLTCYBERCOM)/U.S. TENTH Fleet (C10F), Intelligence Security Command (INSCOM-Army), National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC), National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force (NCIJTF), and the Defense Cyber Crime Center (DC3).

Ms. Escalera earned a bachelor’s degree in homeland security with concentrations in disaster recovery and continuity of operations and a master’s degree in digital forensics and cyber investigations from the University of Maryland Global Campus. She holds graduate certificates in cybersecurity technology and foundations of cybersecurity from UMGC. She was awarded a Navy Civil Service Achievement Medal in 2022.

Nancy Kreidler
Specialist Leader, Government & Public Services
Deloitte & Touche LLP

Ms. Nancy Kreidler currently works for Deloitte in Government and Public Services Advisory within the Cyber & Strategic Risk practice. She is a senior advisor supporting the Army account in the areas of cybersecurity, IT modernization, software engineering, and other Army initiatives.  Ms. Kreidler is also serving as a subcommittee member on the Army Science Board providing independent advice and recommendations on matters that the Secretary of the Army deems important to include scientific, technological, manufacturing, logistics and business management functions.

Ms. Kreidler has supported DOD/Army for more than 37 years (25 years as a civilian) and is recognized as a subject matter expert in cybersecurity and risk management domains.  Ms. Kreidler retired from the Senior Executive Service (SES) as the Army Director of Cybersecurity, Deputy Chief of Staff, G-6. She was formally the Army Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) under the Army Chief Information Officer (CIO)/G-6 where she served as a principal advisor to the CIO/G-6 and other senior Army leaders. Ms. Kreidler worked in the Program Executive Office, Command, Control, Communications – Tactical (PEO C3T), Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland for over 18 years as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Cybersecurity Program Manager. Ms. Kreidler has a BS in Computer Science and MS in Software Engineer from Monmouth University. Ms. Kreidler is a certified International Coach Federation (ICF) leadership executive coach as well as being certified as a Gallup Strengths coach.

COL Martiza Lagares
Chief, Data Operations Division, Strategic Operations
U.S. Army

COL Maritza Lagares is currently serving as the Chief of the Data Operations Division to the Headquarters, Department of the Army (HQDA), Strategic Operations (DAMO-SO). She was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology receiving a direct commission into the U.S. Army Military Police Corps. She later received a Master of Public Administration from Old Dominion University, a Master of Arts in Computer Resource Management from Webster University, a Master of Science in Government Information Leadership from the National Defense University, a Master of Science in National Security Strategy from the National War College and a Doctorate of Science from Capitol Technology University.

Her work experience includes Data Center Management, Critical Infrastructure Protection, Contingency, Disaster Recovery Operations, Chief Information Officer, Cyber Operations, Cloud Security and Data Operations.

COL Lagares has held a variety of Army positions, including Company Executive Officer, Company Commander, Aide De Camp, Secretary of the General Staff and Executive Officer to the Army Chief Information Officer. Her previous assignments have included Chief, Operations Branch, Personnel Information Systems Directorate, United States Human Resources Command, Alexandria, VA; Deputy, Advanced Concepts and Technology, United States Army Cyber Command, Fort Belvoir; Cyber Organizational Integrator, Headquarters Department of the Army, Force Management, Washington DC; Deputy Commander, Army Reserve Cyber Protection Brigade, Adelphi MD and Chief Security Officer Army Cloud, Headquarters Department of the Army, Office of the Chief Information Office, Washington DC. Her Deployments include Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Her military education includes the Military Police Officer Basic Course, Military Police Officer Advanced Course, Combined Arms Service and Staff School, Information Systems Management Course, Command and General Staff College and the National War College.

COL Lagares’ awards include the Legion of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Iraq Campaign Medal. She is authorized to wear the Amy Staff Badge, German Armed Forces Badge and the Danish Contingent March Medal.

Rosalynn Pittman
Chief, Cloud Cybersecurity Division, Enterprise Cloud Management Agency
U.S. Army