University of California Taps DHR Global to Find CISO 

March 21, 2022 – Chicago-based executive search firm DHR Global has been enlisted to find a chief information security officer (CISO) for the University of California (UC) Office of the President in Oakland. Leading the assignment are Kathryn Ullrich, managing partner in the search firm’s Silicon Valley office, and Ed Flowers, managing partner, chief human resources and diversity practices, in Atlanta. The new CISO will report to the university’s chief information officer, said DHR Global. The individual will be accountable for and bear shared responsibility for information security across the University of California system. The position collaboratively leads the development and implementation of a shared vision for information security across all UC locations that measurably reduces the university’s cyber risk.

In collaboration with UC location executives and chief information security officers, the position is responsible for collaboratively developing and implementing a university-wide information security program and for coordinating operational execution across all UC locations, said the search firm. The position collaboratively leads the design, deployment, management, and review of information security processes that safeguard the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of all UC information assets. The CISO identifies critical business risks related to information security and advises senior leadership on risk acceptance and mitigation strategies. “Ultimately, the position has shared responsibility and is accountable for information security across the university,” said DHR Global. “The UC CISO has responsibility for executive communication and consultation with university executives and leaders, and to the various constituents via the federated CISOs. The position manages a team of experts, directing its work, providing mentorship, guidance, and performance assessment, and fostering an inclusive work environment.”

Key Requirements

Candidates must have advanced knowledge of information technology security functional areas, and broad knowledge of IT sufficient for strategic planning, technology assessment, and direction. They should have the ability to create, communicate, and motivate around an innovative cybersecurity vision. Leadership experience working in a large complex and decentralized environment is required as well.

Candidates must have excellent leadership abilities and team building skills. Demonstrated experience building diverse teams, working with a dynamic diverse organization, and cultivating a supportive and inclusive work environment is critical. Experience working in higher education, healthcare, and/or research environments, including supporting research R1 institutions, is a plus. Advanced knowledge of common information security management frameworks, including NIST Cybersecurity Framework, ISO 27000 series, CIS Controls, HITRUST CSF, NIST 800-53 and 800-171 to demonstrate technology skills is important. And, ideally, the successful candidate must have demonstrated thought leadership in the security industry.

The University of California is a system of 10 campuses, five medical centers, the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and three affiliated national laboratories. The university’s fundamental mission is teaching, research, and public service. Founded as California’s first and only land grant institution in 1868, UC has about 285,000 undergraduate and graduate students, and a workforce of about 240,000.

Related: The Challenge of Recruiting Cybersecurity Talent

The UC Office of the President (UCOP) is the university’s headquarters. UCOP supports campuses and students through systemwide funding and programs. It manages the university’s multi-billion dollar operations and investments. UCOP also coordinates activities that allow a complex and unique system to operate efficiently as one university, furthering its public interest, academic and research missions. It oversees and manages programs that serve the entire university system.

Global Search Firm

Since 1989, DHR Global has been a leading, privately held provider of executive search solutions with more than 50 wholly owned offices spanning the globe. The firm’s consultants specialize in all industries and functions, providing senior-level executive search, management assessment and succession planning services tailored to the qualities and specifications of its client base.

Ms. Ullrich is a member of the technology, professional services, private equity, and diversity practices. She partners with technology, software and services corporations as well as private equity and venture-backed companies to recruit and place senior executives in new and emerging technology companies in the Bay Area and throughout the U.S. She focuses on CEO, COO, C-suite, and VP-level executive leaders with skills in disruptive and innovative technologies such as AI, autonomous vehicles/future mobility, cloud services, cybersecurity, data analytics, healthcare technology, IoT, payments, and SaaS. She also has a search specialty in CIO, CISO, chief data officer, and information technology executives for leading academic and academic medical institutions.

Mr. Flowers brings more than 35 years of senior-level human resources experience to his clients across all industry sectors. He has helped to grow the firm’s presence across the U.S.. Mr. Flowers is a member of DHR’s North American executive committee, where he helps to create, inform, and shape firm strategies and has a voice in guiding the company’s major decisions. He has also served as senior vice president and chief people officer for Corelle Brands. Before that, Mr. Flowers was senior vice president and chief human resource officer for the Russell Corp., global vice president and chief human resources officer for Merisant Co., and global vice president human resources for Monsanto Agriculture Co.

Related: Demand for Cybersecurity Talent Sets Salaries Soaring

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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