Schneider leaving federal CISO role for private sector

Grant Schneider, the federal chief information security officer, is leaving government.

Schneider is joining the Venable law firm as a senior director of cybersecurity services.

“From time to time, I contemplate what’s next for me and I’ve been having that conversation with myself and thought it good timing for me to move on,” Schneider said in an interview with Federal News Network. “We have gotten a lot done in the last two years that I’ve been Federal CISO and really over the last five years since I’ve been at OMB.”

Grant Schneider is leaving after two years as the Federal Chief Information Security Officer.

Schneider, who also is the co-chairman of the Federal CISO Council, joined OMB as deputy Federal CISO in 2016 and has been in government since 1993. He was dual-hatted as senior director of cybersecurity policy for the National Security Council for almost three years. He left that NSC role in February.

“Grant has set the bar for federal cybersecurity leadership, providing vision and guidance, driving ongoing program and performance enhancements, and by being the consummate partner for CIOs and CISOs,” said Josh Moses, the former chief of the cyber and national security branch in the office of Federal CIO. “He is always willing to take the time to meet with agency leadership, understand their challenges, and develop mutually agreeable approaches for tackling the tough issues.”

Schneider said his last day will be the end of August.

At Venable, Schneider said he will focus on many of the same things he worked on in government, improving cybersecurity, particularly of cloud services, supply chain risk management and identity management.

Currently, there is no deputy federal CISO so it’s unclear who will be acting federal CISO while the Office of Management and Budget figures out who will step into the role interim basis.

“Grant has been operating at the highest levels of government for many years, and his understanding of the national and international cybersecurity landscape is hard to match,” said Ross Nodurft, the senior director of cybersecurity services at Venable and a former chief of cybersecurity at OMB. “Additionally, Grant has deep knowledge and appreciation for the operational aspects of cybersecurity that underpin the policy space. We look forward to him joining the team and bringing his unique perspective to bear on behalf of Venable’s clients, including the Cybersecurity Coalition, the Better Identity Coalition, and the Center for Cybersecurity Policy and Law.”

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Moses added Schneider has helped lead nearly every major cyber initiative over the last five year, including the cybersecurity national action plan, the massive cyber incident at the Office of Personnel Management, the National Cyber Strategy, supply chain legislation and many others.

“On a personal note, I am grateful for the opportunities that Grant afforded me and the OMB team, allowing us to offer our advice and present the best solutions available to enhance federal cybersecurity. I’m thankful for his mentorship and the government is thankful for nearly three decades of dedication to the mission,” he said.

Before coming to OMB, Schneider spent 21 years at the Defense Intelligence Agency where he started as program manager working on classified networks and IT infrastructure and rose to be DIA’s CIO for seven years.