When Essye Miller, then deputy chief information officer for cybersecurity at the Department of Defense, spoke to the Alabama chapter of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association this summer, she discussed how much information technology has changed since she joined the field.

Even words such as virus and cloud have taken on new meanings in the ever-changing landscape of the cyber world, she said. Miller emphasized that government needs more innovation and ways to attract young people to cybersecurity.

By 2021, Cybersecurity Ventures predicts there will be 3.5 million cybersecurity job openings. 

Miller graduated from Talladega College in 1985 with a Bachelor of Arts degree and began her federal civil service career as an information systems specialist intern. She got in-field cybersecurity training at the Standards Systems Center on the Gunter Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala.

Miller also joined the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA), a member-based, non-profit organization that has helped members advance information technology, communications, and electronics capabilities since 1946. The association has 31,184 individual members, 139 chapters, and 1,630 corporate members.

Over her federal career, Miller has served in various leadership positions in both the Army and Air Force.

In 1992, she moved to Headquarters Air Combat Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va. There she held positions of increasing responsibility for policy and guidance airborne, space and deployed command and control systems support, and as a senior manager for communications and information technology professionals.

Prior to joining the Department of Defense Chief Information Office, Miller was the director of cybersecurity for the Army CIO/G-6.

She was also the Army’s senior information assurance officer and responsible for the development, implementation, execution, and oversight of the Army’s Cybersecurity Program.

From November 2010 until August 2014, Miller served as director of information management and the chief information officer, Headquarters Air Force, Office of the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force in Washington, D.C.

Previously she served in various positions throughout the Air Force, including the Air Force Communication and Information Center; Air Force Office ofWarfightingg Integration and Chief Information Office at the Pentagon; Air Combat Command at Langley Air Force Base; the 75th Communications and Information Directorate; and Deputy CIO at Hill Air Force Base in Ogdon, UT.

As a member of the Senior Executive Service, she has served as director, Headquarters Air Force Information Management; Headquarters Air Force Chief Information Officer and liaison to the Pentagon Architecture Council. She also managed the Air Force Declassification Office, Air Force Publications Distribution Office, Headquarters Air Force Multimedia Services and Enterprise Business Solution

This week, Department of Defense Deputy Secretary Patrick Shanahan announced that Miller will take over the role of acting chief information officer, effective Dec. 8, 2017.

In this role, Miller serves as a primary adviser to the secretary of defense for information management, information technology, and information assurance, as well as non-intelligence space systems; critical satellite communications, navigation and timing programs; spectrum; and telecommunications.

In her regular role within the defense department, Miller serves as deputy CIO for cybersecurity and senior information security officer.

In addition to her Bachelor of Arts degree from Talladega College, Miller earned a Master of Business Administration from Troy State University and a Master of Strategic Studies from Air University in Montgomery, Alabama.

She is a 2016 graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in National and International Security Studies and Acquisition Level III certified in Information Technology.

The mission of U.S. Cyber Challenge is to find 10,000 of Americans to fill the ranks of cybersecurity professionals where their skills can be of the greatest value to the nation.

USCC works with the cybersecurity community to bring accessible, compelling programs that motivate students and professionals to pursue education, development, and career opportunities in cybersecurity.

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