(ISC)2 – the non-profit membership association of certified cyber security professionals – has appointed Mary-Jo de Leeuw as the organisation’s director of cyber security advocacy for the EMEA region. In this role, de Leeuw will work to encourage corporations, Governments, academic institutions and others to collaborate on strong cyber security policies, legislation and education throughout EMEA in order to drive recruitment and professional development for the next generation of cyber security leaders.
de Leeuw – who was recently ranked by Secure Computing magazine as one of the UK’s 50 most influential women within the cyber security realm – will also actively promote a safe and secure cyber world.
“As our recent research has shown, our industry has a long way to go to narrow the cyber security workforce gap,” explained (ISC)2 CEO David Shearer CISSP. “That’s where Mary-Jo’s experience will be so helpful to our membership. Her background is not only as a strategic consultant herself, but also as a community builder and connector of women in business around the world. We need more women driving the conversation. Mary-Jo has a proven track record of creating interest and excitement around the subject of cyber security.”
Based in The Hague, The Netherlands, de Leeuw will report to Deshini Newman, (ISC)2 managing director for EMEA. “As we continue our vision to make a difference in the region, it’s vital to have strong leaders like Mary-Jo joining our mission to inspire a safe and secure cyber world,” said Newman. “I’m absolutely delighted that Mary-Jo is joining the EMEA team. Her enormous commitment and contributions to empowering women in technology will aid the diversity agenda. Her insights globally will be a great asset for (ISC)2 in the EMEA region as we serve our growing membership.”
Commenting on her new appointment, de Leeuw observed: “Ever since my first Commodore 64, I’ve been fascinated by bits and bytes and the implications of cyber security on how we connect. I cannot think of a better avenue for devoting my energy than promoting the cyber security industry with (ISC)2 and creating opportunities for those who are interested in joining the profession.”
Strategic development and performance improvement
de Leeuw joins (ISC)2 after serving as an associate partner for cyber security and innovation at Revnext, a Dutch consulting firm that advises executive management within Governments, listed companies and NGOs in the areas of high-technology innovation, strategic development and performance improvement. In her role, de Leeuw advised such entities as the Dutch Cyber Collective, the Dutch Forensics Incident Response and the Dutch Cyber Chain.
Prior to Revnext, de Leeuw spent 15 years as managing director of Bee-u.nl, another strategic consulting firm, working on IT security issues with organisations such as The Hague Security Delta, the National Cyber Security Centre, DUNEA Dutch Water Industry and ING Bank.
de Leeuw has also donated her services as the founder and president of the Platform Internet of Toys, an international community that consults on the security implications for connected toys to make them more secure. She was also co-founder and vice-president of the Women in Cyber Security Foundation, a discipline-specific community for women in cyber security, and has served on the boards of the ALL Women Economic Forum, Women Leaders Digital Europe, CyberTRUST and Coding Girls.
de Leeuw holds a Bachelor of IT degree from the University of Applied Science in Utrecht, is a winner of the Cyber Security Excellence Awards for Europe 2018 and has also won the global ‘Iconic Women 2017: Creating a Better World for All’ Award.
de Leeuw now joins (ISC)2’s globally-renowned team of cyber security advocates, which also includes John McCumber (director of cyber security advocacy for North America) and Tony Vizza (director of cyber security advocacy for the Asia-Pacific region).