Kiersten Todt Named Chief of Staff for CISA

Over the past four years, Todt has led CRI from conception to one of the leading global cybersecurity resources available to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

September 13, 2021

3 Min Read


NEW YORK, Sept. 13, 2021 – Kiersten Todt, the Managing Director of the Cyber Readiness Institute (CRI), has been appointed chief of staff for the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Over the past four years, Todt has led CRI from conception to one of the leading global cybersecurity resources available to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Under Todt’s leadership, CRI has focused on the central role of human behavior in cybersecurity and developing practical resources organizations can use to create a culture of cyber readiness. The Institute has built a membership of premier companies, including Apple, ExxonMobil, General Motors, Mastercard, Microsoft, PSP Partners, and Principal, and The Center for Global Enterprise.

CRI’s Champion Network has grown to include nearly 90 organizations representing a reach of more than two million SMEs around the world. Downloads of the Institute’s free tools and resources have exceeded 140,000, and through a series of global webinars, CRI has reached over 90,000 individuals and SMEs in the past two years.

“We are grateful for Kiersten’s leadership. Her stewardship enabled CRI to go from an idea to a global organization that will forever leave an imprint by making cybersecurity part of the cultural DNA of every small business,” said Sam Palmisano, Co-Chair of CRI and Chairman of The Center for Global Enterprise. “We look forward to continuing the great work that Kiersten began four years ago.”

In her time at CRI, Todt has testified before the House of Representatives on small business cybersecurity and recently led the development of a White Paper urging the Biden Administration to take specific actions to protect SMBs from cyber attacks. As a thought leader, Todt has established CRI as a leading resource for media on small business cybersecurity and has been featured in major media outlets.

Todt designed CRI’s flagship Cyber Readiness Program in collaboration with cyber experts from companies and organizations worldwide. The Program, launched in 2018, is designed to be clear and accessible for SMEs regardless of size, technical expertise, geography, and industry and focuses on human behavior, embedding basic cyber policies and processes into an organization. In May, CRI added the Cyber Leader Certification Program, the first professional credential program designed to train cyber leaders. Additionally, CRI has produced over fourteen easy-to-understand guides for the most urgent challenges confronting SMEs today, including ransomware, a hybrid workforce, and using outside vendors.

CRI was launched in July 2017 by senior executives who served on the President’s Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity and Todt, who served as the Commission’s Executive Director. The Institute was established as a non-profit initiative to follow up on the recommendations of the Commission Report, with a specific focus on providing prescriptive, accessible, and free content and tools to improve the resilience and cyber readiness of SMEs to secure global value chains.

Chris Caine, President of The Center for Global Enterprise, will lead the search for a new managing director to continue the mission of CRI.

About the Cyber Readiness Institute
The Cyber Readiness Institute is a non-profit initiative that convenes business leaders from across sectors and geographic regions to share resources and knowledge that inform the development of free cybersecurity tools for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). The Institute is housed within The Center for Global Enterprise, a New York-based non-profit applied research organization. CRI was co-founded by the CEOs of The Center for Global Enterprise, Mastercard, Microsoft, and PSP Partners, and Kiersten Todt, as a follow-up action from the work of the 2016 President’s Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity. Members also include Apple, ExxonMobil, General Motors, and Principal. Our mission is to advance the cyber readiness of SMBs to improve the security of global supply chains. CRI’s resources focus on human behavior and emphasize employee education and awareness. To find out more, visit

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