Extending Cyber Defense Across America: Lessons Learned from ‘Shields Up’ at the Regional, State, and Local Level




As part of the launch of NSI’s new Cyber and Tech Center, NSI was excited to host, “Extending Cyber Defense Across America: Lessons Learned at the Regional, State, and Local Level.” The panel discussed how regional, state, and local cybersecurity readiness has adapted as a result of lessons learned from the Russian invasion of Ukraine – in particular how localities have implemented collective and collaborative cyber defense best practices.


  • Iranga Kahangama, Assistant Secretary for Cyber, Infrastructure Risk, and Resilience Department of Homeland Security
  • Alicia Lynch, Fmr. SVP and Chief Information Security Officer Cognizant
  • Kelly Moan, Chief Information Security Officer, City of New York
  • Jamil N. Jaffer (moderator), Founder and Executive Director, National Security Institute

Iranga Kahangama: Iranga Kahangama is the Assistant Secretary for Cyber, Infrastructure, Risk, and Resilience at the Department of Homeland Security. Previously, he served at the White House in the National Security Council as Director for Cyber Incident Response. In that role, he was the principal author of Executive Order 14028, Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity. He also oversaw the Federal Government’s response to a wide range of malicious cyber activity, including the Russia-attributed SolarWinds incident, China’s exploitation of Microsoft Exchange servers, and ransomware attacks on Colonial Pipeline, JBS Foods, and Kaseya Software. Prior to the NSC, he served as a senior policy advisor at the FBI, working on an array of cyber, internet, and technology policy issues. This included leading the FBI’s program on internet governance, where he was part of the US delegation to various internet governance forums including the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). He earned a Master of Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.


Alicia Lynch: Alicia Lynch joined Cognizant in July of 2021, bringing more than 30 years of intelligence, security, and cyber experience. Alicia retired as a Colonel from the US Army in 2012, where she served as both an intelligence and cyber officer in every echelon, from Company to National, while leading units from team-sized to commanding a Brigade. Since 2012, she has leveraged her technical experience in commercial executive level positions focused on cyber and security. Alicia recently held titles including CISO at SAIC, deputy CISO at Accenture Federal Services, and VP of Enterprise Solutions at a cyber-startup. She is an active member and supporter of many organizations, such as WashingtonExec CISO Council, Zoom’s CISO Council, and NVTC’s Cybersecurity and Privacy Community of Interest.



Kelly Moan: Kelly Moan serves as the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) of the City of New York (NYC). In this role, Ms. Moan leads the Office of Technology and Innovation’s (OTI) Cyber Command to protect, defend, and respond to cyber threats across the city. Prior to her appointment as the City’s CISO, Ms. Moan served as the CISO for the New York Police Department (NYPD). Throughout her career, she has taken a holistic and mission driven approach to cybersecurity, with a strong focus on collaboration. Prior to joining the NYPD, Ms. Moan was a Division Chief for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in Washington, DC. She led the security architecture and engineering team, building and deploying emerging technology to enhance cybersecurity defenses for the Department. She also served as the FedRAMP Joint Authorization Board (JAB) Technical Representative to the CIO, providing subject matter expertise on securing cloud technologies. At other points in her career, Ms. Moan held roles supporting the DoD and USCERT. She also served as an Intelligence and Operations Briefer for the Secretary of Homeland Security. Ms. Moan holds an undergraduate degree from American University and a graduate degree from Pennsylvania State University.


Jamil N. Jaffer (Moderator): Jamil N. Jaffer is the founder and executive director of the National Security Institute at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School. He previously served as chief counsel and senior adviser to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and, among other roles, as an associate counsel to President George W. Bush in the White House.



Thank you to the contributors who participated in this important discussion.