DHS hires new CISO; Former cloud security lead lands new job

DHS named Hemant Baidwan as its new chief information security officer and ZScaler hired former acting director of FedRAMP Brian Conrad.

The Department of Homeland Security has a new chief information security officer.

Zscaler makes a key hire of a former federal technology leader to expand its global reach and influence.

These are two of the most recent federal executives on the move.

Eric Hysen, the DHS chief information officer, announced on Monday that Hemant Baidwan will be the new CISO, taking over for Ken Bible, who retired on March 29.

Hemant Baidwan is the new chief information security officer at the Homeland Security Department.

“Hemant has been instrumental in enhancing the department’s cybersecurity posture,” Hysen wrote in an email obtained by Federal News Network. “His background spans both the public and private sectors, where he has excelled in IT development, agile application deployments and strategic expansion globally.”

Meanwhile, Zscaler is hiring Brian Conrad, the former acting director of the cloud security program known as FedRAMP, Federal News Network has learned.

Conrad, who left the General Services Administration on March 22, will be the new director of field compliance authorizing authority liaison.

“We want Brian to own all the relationships with all the FedRAMP-type of agencies or organizations across the globe,” said Stephen Kovac, the chief compliance officer and head of global government affairs at Zscaler. “Many countries have similar organizations like FedRAMP, which act as an authorizing agency. Many are going down the path of secure by design as well, which we think will be huge internationally, so you’ve got programs that are maturing and may not be where FedRAMP is today, but all are trying to mature their processes. Brian has worked with all these folks over the years, but has been more of a friendly coach to many of these agencies. By him joining, this will allow us to build out global practice and build those relationships.”

Kovac said companies ranging from Japan to Singapore to Spain to India to United Kingdom are maturing their cloud security oversight organizations.

He said Conrad can bring a technical acumen to the conversation that will benefit Zscaler as well as the organizations themselves.

“From the earliest days of the FedRAMP program, Zscaler has been an innovator, working to ensure the federal government can deliver modern digital government services, securely,” Conrad said in a release. “Implementing a zero trust cybersecurity framework is mission-critical for every organization, and we must stay focused on separating the signal from the noise. I’m excited to join a team that aligns with my vision of building a secure global digital ecosystem.”

Conrad’s decision to join Zscaler comes after he spent the last five-plus years working for GSA. He was the acting FedRAMP director for the last three years.

Brian Conrad, who left as acting director of FedRAMP on March 22, is joining Zscaler.

GSA is hiring a new FedRAMP director and held information sessions about the position on Monday and today.

Before joining GSA and FedRAMP, Conrad was an officer in the Marines Corps where he worked the Marines Systems Command, the Marines Corps College of Distance Education and several other commands. After retiring from the Marines Corps, Conrad worked at Booz Allen Hamilton before coming back to federal service.

Similar to Conrad, Baidwan joined the government after spending the early part of his career in industry.

Baidwan has been the deputy CISO at DHS since 2021 and has worked in the CIO’s office since 2015 in an assortment of cyber roles.

He also worked at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement directorate as the governance and risk management section chief.

With Baidwan taking on the new role, Hysen said Antonio Scimemi will be the acting CISO. Scimemi has overseen the CISO cybersecurity assessments division and led the effort to develop the agency’s unified cyber maturity model.

He also was the deputy CISO and acting director of IT operations at ICE.

Copyright © 2024 Federal News Network. All rights reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

Related Stories

    FNNFedRAMP, OMB, JAB, Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP)

    FedRAMP acting director Conrad to step down

    Read more
    Department of Homeland Security

    Developing cyber workforce ‘first and most important’ to implementing cyber EO

    Read more