By Nikki Cabus

Governor Ron DeSantis Appoints Christine Vanderpool to the Florida Cybersecurity Advisory Council

Read Time 3 Minutes

Just last month, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of Palm Beach County’s Christine Vanderpool to the Florida Cybersecurity Advisory Council. 

Christine Vanderpool is the Vice President of IT Strategy, Architecture and Chief Information Security Officer for Florida Crystals Corporation.

Florida Crystals Corporation is a fully integrated cane sugar and agriculture company in Palm Beach County. Florida Crystals’ subsidiary, ASR Group, jointly owned with Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida, is the world’s largest cane sugar refining and marketing company, with refineries in Louisiana, California, New York, Maryland, Canada, Mexico, England, Portugal and, with a joint venture partner, Italy. Its products are marketed through its brand portfolio: Florida Crystals®, Domino®, C&H®, Redpath®, Tate & Lyle® and Sidul®. Florida Crystals’ FCI Residential subsidiary develops, constructs and manages luxury multi-family communities in urban and infill areas.

Vanderpool is also a current Board Member of the South Florida Tech Hub and serves as Chair of the Evanta Chief Information Security Officer Florida Governing Body. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of New Mexico. Christine was also named the 2019 Cyber Security Woman Leader of the Year and the 2020 recipient of Global Technology Executives Who Matter Award.

Vanderpool simply stated that she is “deeply honored and excited to be appointed to the council.”

Passed during the 2021 Regular Legislative session of the Florida Legislature, the Cybersecurity Advisory Council was established. According to Cyber Florida, “the Council is tasked with helping state agencies protect their information technology resources from cyber threats and incidents by assisting the Department of Management Services in establishing and implementing cybersecurity best practices.” Seven individuals were appointed to the original task force in 2021.

Other members of the Florida Cybersecurity Advisory Council include:

  • Mike McConnell, VADM, USN, Ret., Cyber Florida Executive Director and former director of US National Intelligence and the National Security Agency
  • Jaromy Kuhl – Professor and Dean, University of West Florida
  • Pedro Allende – Former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure, Risk and Resilience Policy, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Linda Reid – Vice President of Security, Walt Disney Company
  • Eli Dominitz – Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Q6 Cyber
  • Jason Raymond – Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer, GuideWell and Florida Blue
  • Benjamin Miron – Vice President of Infrastructure and Cybersecurity, NextEra Energy

The council shall be comprised of the following members:

  • The Lieutenant Governor or his or her designee.
  • The state chief information officer.
  • The state chief information security officer.
  • The director of the Division of Emergency Management or his or her designee.
  • A representative of the computer crime center of the Department of Law Enforcement, appointed by the executive director of the Department of Law Enforcement.
  • A representative of the Florida Fusion Center of the Department of Law Enforcement, appointed by the executive director of the Department of Law Enforcement.
  • The Chief Inspector General.
  • A representative from the Public Service Commission.
  • Up to two representatives from institutions of higher education located in this state, appointed by the Governor.
  • Three representatives from critical infrastructure sectors, one of whom must be from a water treatment facility, appointed by the Governor.
  • Four representatives of the private sector with senior level experience in cybersecurity or software engineering from within the finance, energy, health care, and transportation sectors, appointed by the Governor.
  • Two representatives with expertise on emerging technology, with one appointed by the President of the Senate and one appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

In a recent Online Sunshine article, it was written that “Beginning June 30, 2022, and each June 30 thereafter, the council shall submit to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives any legislative recommendations considered necessary by the council to address cybersecurity. Beginning December 1, 2022, and each December 1 thereafter, the council shall submit to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a comprehensive report that includes data, trends, analysis, findings, and recommendations for state and local action regarding ransomware incidents.”