Sylvia Acevedo, Cybersecurity Person of the Year. Photo: Cybercrime Magazine.

Sylvia Acevedo, Girl Scouts of the USA CEO, Named 2018 Cybersecurity Person Of The Year

Cybersecurity Ventures bestows first annual award on lifelong Girl Scout, STEM champ, and advocate for girls and youth education  PR Newswire Press Release

– From the Editors at Cybersecurity Ventures

Northport, N.Y. – Oct. 17, 2018

Cybersecurity Ventures announced that Sylvia Acevedo, the CEO for the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA), has been named its 2018 Cybersecurity Person Of The Year.

“Sylvia Acevedo is a catalyst for the most important initiative we’ve witnessed in the cybersecurity industry over the past year,” says Steve Morgan, founder and Editor-In-Chief at Cybersecurity Ventures. “She has a vision and passion for teaching STEM and cybersecurity skills to a huge corps of young girls, many of whom will become our world’s future cyber-fighters.”

With the introduction of 18 new Cybersecurity badges, 1.8 million Girls Scouts of all ages will be able to explore opportunities in STEM while developing problem-solving and leadership skills.

Given a worldwide deficit of 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs expected by 2021, up from 1 million in 2014, the Girl Scouts have the potential to produce more future cybersecurity students and workers than any other organization globally.

“I’m truly honored to receive this recognition from Cybersecurity Ventures. Bringing cybersecurity programming to Girl Scouts has been a passion project of mine for the past two years, and I’m thrilled with the impact we are making with partners like Palo Alto Networks and Raytheon,” says Sylvia Acevedo. “When Girl Scouts surveyed girls about the STEM skills they wanted to learn, ‘cybersecurity/white-hat hacking’ appeared high on the list. Because girls want to know how to protect themselves online, how to protect their homes and families, how to combat cyberbullying. Our programming gives them the tools they need to do all of this—and ensures American competitiveness in the cybersecurity arena.”

The GSUSA’s initiative has received strong industry support from cybersecurity industry leaders.

“As a former Girl Scout myself and a Women of Distinction in STEM award winner from the Hornets’ Nest Girl Scout Council, I can’t think of a more worthy individual for this award than Sylvia Acevedo, the CEO for the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA),” says Theresa Payton, former White House CIO (2006-2008) and Deputy Commander of Intelligence on CBS’ TV show Hunted.

“Our industry has needed a mighty force to create a renaissance in rethinking how we recruit and retain talent, especially women, in cybersecurity,” adds Payton, CEO at Fortalice Solutions, a cybersecurity firm made up of former White House cyber operatives and national security veterans. “Her dynamic and persuasive case to create the Girl Scouts’ Cybersecurity badges is paving the way for a better, more diverse future workforce.”

Sylvia Acevedo accepted the Cybersecurity Person of the Year award, presented by Georgia Reid, Deputy Editor at Cybercrime Magazine, published by Cybersecurity Ventures, in Northport (Long Island), N.Y. on Friday, October 12.

About Sylvia Acevedo

Sylvia Acevedo, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, is a longtime advocate for underserved communities and girls’ and women’s causes. She was a member of the GSUSA Board of Directors from 2009 to 2016 and an officer and member of its Executive Committee. Bio

About Girl Scouts of the USA

Girl Scouts unleashes the G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ in every girl, preparing her for a lifetime of leadership—from taking a night-time hike under the stars to accepting a mission on the International Space Station; from lobbying the city council with her troop to holding a seat in Congress; from running her own cookie business today to tackling cybersecurity tomorrow.