Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency Introduction

A relatively unsophisticated hack of the Colonial pipeline company's operation at the start of the summer this year shut down nearly half of the East Coast’s fuel supply for a few days in what turned out to be the largest ever cyberattack on American infrastructure. To make things more distressing, the Colonial hackers were all but a small criminal group.

Yet, these attacks have become more common and are on the rise. Reported Ransomware attacks alone cost the USA Billions of dollars annually.

American infrastructure is behind in adopting technological capabilities needed to protect itself against such mischief especially from hostile states. Therefore it is paramount to have a frontline research and operations team to coordinate and enhance our defense.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is that organization, and it is our privilege to have its Executive Assistant Director for Infrastructure Security Dr. David Mussington discuss how CISA is tackling the major cyber/infrastructure security issues the USA is currently facing, and how it plans to bridge the divide between private technology firms and the Federal government to develops tools.

He will share his perspective on the future of our digital lives and work in a global and more hostile world, and how it can be made inclusive and safe. And for those interested in rolling up their sleeves and joining the technological forefront of our cyber defense, he will discuss careers at CISA.

Time will be allocated for Q&A.

Cosponsored by:
  • MIT Club of Washington DC
  • Yale Club of Washington DC
  • Harvard Club of Washington DC
  • Columbia Club of Washington DC

Dr. David Mussington, BA/MA University of Toronto, PhD Carleton University
Executive Assistant Director for Infrastructure Security, CISA

Dr. David Mussington serves as the Executive Assistant Director for Infrastructure Security at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) as of February 2021. As Executive Assistant Director, he helps lead CISA’s efforts to secure the nation’s critical infrastructure in coordination with government and the private sector. Key areas of focus include vulnerability and risk assessments; securing soft targets and crowded places; training and exercises; and securing high-risk chemical facilities.

Prior to joining CISA, Dr. Mussington was Professor of the Practice and Director for the Center for Public Policy and Private Enterprise at the School of Public Policy for the University of Maryland. His research and teaching activities focused on cyber-physical system risk management, election cybersecurity, and critical infrastructure security risk management.

In 2010, he was senior adviser for cyber policy in the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), later serving on the Obama administration’s National Security Council staff as Director for surface transportation security policy. In the former role, he led preparation and release of the 2011 Defense Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace, which was DOD’s first enterprise-wide cyber strategy document.

Dr. Mussington has a Doctorate in Political Science from Canada’s Carleton University. He also received a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Toronto. He undertook post-doctoral work at Harvard’s Belfer Center where he was a MacArthur Scholar, and at the U.K.’s International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).

Defend Today, Secure Tomorrow

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) works with partners to defend against today’s threats and collaborates to build more secure and resilient infrastructure for the future. CISA’s new logo officially launched April 30, 2020 and has layers of meaning representing the Agency and its mission. 

The threats we face—digital and physical, man-made, technological, and natural—are more complex, and the threat actors more diverse, than at any point in our history. CISA (pronounced phonetically like ‘sissa’) is at the heart of mobilizing a collective defense as we lead the Nation’s efforts to understand and manage risk to our critical infrastructure.

Our partners in this mission span the public and private sectors. Programs and services we provide are driven by our comprehensive understanding of the risk environment and the corresponding needs identified by our stakeholders. We seek to help organizations better manage risk and increase resilience using all available resources, whether provided by the Federal Government, commercial vendors, or their own capabilities.



Lead the National effort to understand and manage cyber and physical risk to our critical infrastructure.



A secure and resilient critical infrastructure for the American people

What We Do

CISA builds the national capacity to defend against cyber attacks and works with the federal government to provide cybersecurity tools, incident response services and assessment capabilities to safeguard the ‘.gov’ networks that support the essential operations of partner departments and agencies.

From helping to secure the COVID-19 supply chain to supporting free and fair elections – See what CISA accomplished in 2020.

We coordinate security and resilience efforts using trusted partnerships across the private and public sectors, and deliver technical assistance and assessments to federal stakeholders as well as to infrastructure owners and operators nationwide. CISA also delivers insights on these assessments related to current capabilities to identify gaps, which—along with an examination of emerging technologies—help determine the demand for future capabilities (both near- and long-term).
CISA enhances public safety interoperable communications at all levels of government to help partners across the country develop their emergency communications capabilities.

Working with stakeholders across the country, CISA conducts extensive, nationwide outreach to support and promote the ability of emergency response providers and relevant government officials to continue to communicate in the event of a natural disaster, act of terrorism, or other man-made disaster.

The National Risk Management Center (NRMC) is housed within the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). NRMC is a planning, analysis, and collaboration center working to identify and address the most significant risks to our nation’s critical infrastructure.

NRMC works in close coordination with the private sector and other key stakeholders in the critical infrastructure community to: Identify; Analyze; Prioritize; and Manage the most strategic risks to our National Critical Functions—the functions of government and the private sector so vital to the United States that their disruption, corruption, or dysfunction would have a debilitating impact on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination.

November 17, 2021 at 6:30pm - 8pm



Alumni Leadership Team


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