Nearly two weeks after FedScoop reported the Department of Homeland Security was planning to name McAfee executive Phyllis Schneck as its head of the cybersecurity division, the department has confirmed the appointment.
Schneck, who has served as McAfee’s vice president and chief technology officer for global public sector since 2009, is replacing Mark Weatherford, who left DHS in April after 18 months. Bruce McConnell, the temporary replacement, announced he was leaving in July.
“McAfee takes great pride in the strong partnership we have with the U.S. government, and governments around the world,” Michael DeCesare, president of McAfee, said in a statement. “Phyllis has long been a trusted and valued member of the McAfee team who has helped build these partnerships. We congratulate her on her appointment to the Department of Homeland Security, and we know she will do an outstanding job as deputy undersecretary for cybersecurity.”
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano lauded Schneck’s 14-year-long “distinguished presence” in the security community, highlighting her roles on numerous boards and committees.
“Phyllis has been a close partner in our cybersecurity mission for many years,” Napolitano said, specifically mentioning the eight years Schneck spent as chairman of the FBI’s InfraGuard national board of directors, a private sector-engagement program.
During her time as chair, Napolitano said, Schneck was responsible for founding InfraGard Atlanta, expanding the InfraGard program to more than 30,000 members nationwide and bolstering a relationship between InfraGard and DHS.
“Equally impressive, Phyllis holds three patents in high-performance and adaptive information security, and has six research publications in the areas of information security, real-time systems, telecom and software engineering,” the DHS secretary added.