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Excelsior College’s Amelia Estwick Recently Selected by the Department of Veterans Affairs for a 2021 Trailblazers Award



Amelia Estwick, PhD, director of the National Cybersecurity Institute (NCI) at Excelsior College, was recently recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Women Veterans 2021 Trailblazers: Women Veterans Leading the Way campaign. Estwick was one of 27 individuals selected and recognized for how their military service and experiences have contributed to their roles as leaders and advocates where they work and live.

Estwick is a seasoned cybersecurity professional with more than 20 years of combined military and government IT experience within the U.S. intelligence community. She has held multiple technical leadership positions within the federal government and spent 10 years directly leading strategic and tactical cyber operations at the National Security Agency. Estwick’s research in cybersecurity and computer science focused on global threat intelligence, network security, and information security. As the NCI director, Estwick provides thought leadership for Excelsior’s cybersecurity initiatives. She is passionate about educating the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.

Estwick shared, “I am so humbled and honored to be selected for the 2021 Women Veteran Trailblazers initiative. As a woman veteran working in the cybersecurity industry for over 20 years, I’ve seen how important it is to have various perspectives at the table to protect and defend our nation against cyber threats. I advocate for women, veterans, and under-represented groups because I believe it’s a national imperative to have a diverse, equitable, and inclusive cybersecurity workforce.”

Estwick’s expertise in cybersecurity research, training, and academic initiatives was highlighted when she provided testimony on Capitol Hill, appearing before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Innovation in 2019 to discuss “Growing and Diversifying the Cyber Talent Pipeline.”

Beyond her many accomplishments, Estwick is a trailblazer at Excelsior College and in the field of cybersecurity. Provost John Caron said, “Amelia’s expertise in the cybersecurity field has helped the College and helped NCI fellows pursue cybersecurity careers. She is passionate about solving the hard problems facing cybersecurity, such as how we process big data and how AI is changing the future of work. Amelia is also passionate about engaging with learners who are seeking pathways to careers in cybersecurity.”

In addition, Estwick assisted Excelsior College in becoming a Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE), a designation received from the National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Schools meet rigorous requirements in order to receive CAE designation, and their degree programs are required to map to the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NIST/NICE). Estwick also co-chairs the CAE-CDE Cybersecurity Education Diversity Initiative (CEDI) Coalition, which gives support to minority-serving institutions to build, grow, and sustain cybersecurity educational programs.

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