Companies continue to face cyber security threats and data breaches daily, such as the Solar Winds and Colonial Pipeline breaches and various ransomware attacks, despite all efforts to prevent them. In fact, cyber risks are the top business concerns worldwide in 2022, according to the Allianz Risk Barometer.

Senior-level executives in cybersecurity will develop the tools and knowledge needed to develop cybersecurity policies as well as their own leadership approach through the Executive Cybersecurity Leadership Program offered by the Technology & Leadership Center in the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis. The six-month certificate program, which begins with its first cohort in April 2022, includes two on-campus residencies and weekly virtual classes and culminates in a capstone project that will be evaluated by several members of McKelvey Engineering’s National Council.

“From Day 1, the program initiates a process of deep professional development designed for decision-makers at the executive level,” said Joe Scherrer, executive director of professional education and director of the cybersecurity strategic initiative in the McKelvey School of Engineering. “As such, we seek individuals who have a passion for growth and are inspired to go further as leaders.”

The program — the first of its type offered by McKelvey Engineering — caters to executive and rising executive cybersecurity and IT professionals, such as chief information security officers, chief security officers, chief information officers, chief technology officers, chief executive officers in the cybersecurity industry, and those preparing for executive-level roles in security. Applicants must have 12 or more years of work experience with demonstrated career progression, experience in cybersecurity or information technology that will contribute to the classroom, and the ability to work in teams and to complete a six-month program.

Instructors for the classes are cybersecurity executives at top companies from around the nation who work in the field every day and will share real-life experiences. Courses will cover such topics as cybersecurity governance, management, frameworks and risk; security strategies; policy, regulations, compliance and insurance; data analytics; and incident response, among other applicable topics.

“Our goals for the Executive Cybersecurity Leadership Program are to produce cybersecurity leaders with the enhanced depth and breadth of cybersecurity, leadership and management knowledge needed for success in their positions; to implement the broader executive mindset required for leadership success at the enterprise level; and to enrich and extend professional networks across industries and backgrounds,” Scherrer said. “Because everyone shares the same problems and challenges, this industry is very collegial. It’s very important to build that network to have people with whom you can pick up the phone and talk candidly about these issues.” 

For more information or to apply visit here.


The McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis promotes independent inquiry and education with an emphasis on scientific excellence, innovation and collaboration without boundaries. McKelvey Engineering has top-ranked research and graduate programs across departments, particularly in biomedical engineering, environmental engineering and computing, and has one of the most selective undergraduate programs in the country. With 140 full-time faculty, 1,387 undergraduate students, 1,448 graduate students and 21,000 living alumni, we are working to solve some of society’s greatest challenges; to prepare students to become leaders and innovate throughout their careers; and to be a catalyst of economic development for the St. Louis region and beyond.

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