Global CISO Forum 2024 Speakers

Elizabeth Stephens


Elizabeth is the CEO of DBS Cyber LLC, a company whose mission is to protect American families. She is a cybersecurity expert with a distinguished background leading intelligence teams in high-stakes environments. Formerly the Director of Data Center Cyber Risk Intelligence at Microsoft, Elizabeth’s work focused on the safety of critical digital infrastructure. Her experience includes evaluating cyber risks, providing actionable intelligence, and developing best practices to secure cloud operations.

A Nashville native and Memphis born retired United States Marine Corps veteran, Elizabeth completed three combat deployments to Iraq. Following her graduation from the United States Naval Academy, she earned an MS in Business Administration and Management from Boston University. She is also capstone pending in the Masters in Cybersecurity Program at California State University and has completed a MS in Public Leadership from USF.

Elizabeth’s career is marked by a trailblazing spirit. She holds the distinction of being the first black female graduate of the Naval Academy to become a selected Fleet Naval Aviator in the Marine Corps. Her other firsts include piloting the CH-46E, attaining tactical aircraft commander status, and becoming the first woman to fly the MV-22 Osprey. Elizabeth’s courage and leadership earned her an Individual Air Medal for her exceptional actions during a critical period in the first democratic elections in Iraq’s history.

The cyber threat landscape is a battlefield. Outdated defenses leave us vulnerable. This manifesto unveils strategies for proactive risk management, intelligence-driven action, and a culture of cyber vigilance ‚Äì it’s the modern survival guide for individuals and organizations.

Jim West

Jim West possesses more than 32 years’ experience in the Information Technology field with over 20 years focused within Cybersecurity. He has worked in the IT and Security industry across many sectors of commercial, space, federal, and defense with expertise in Biometrics, Risk Management, Security Analysis, and Network and Systems Auditing. Jim holds multiple certifications which include; CISSP-ISSEP, ISSMP, GSLC, GCIH, GSNA, GPEN, G2700, PMP, C-CISO, S-CISO and many others. Jim has been invited to speak at Cyber Security conferences and events worldwide to include the NSA IA Symposium, Texas Technology Summit, CSfC Tech Day, TechNet Korea, Global CISO Forum, Cyber Bowl, Best Cyber Ranger, and many others. He was shortlisted as a finalist for Personality of the Year for the 2018, 2019, and 2020 Cyber Security Awards, and won in 2021. Jim was recently awarded the 2024 Cyber Leader of the Year award by Cyber First. West is also an award-winning author and writer. Jim’s “Cyber Security and Test Tips” eBook placed in the “100 Best Cyber Security Books of All Time” list by For years he has developed and overseen IT and Cybersecurity strategy and solutions which solve complex problems for National Security systems and networks. West possesses a wide range of IT specialization to include systems integration, enterprise-wide and cloud security, network engineering, penetration testing, and more.

There is an undeniable need for security policies and mitigation strategies to review more security principles than the common CIA triad of confidentiality, integrity, and availability that most security professionals are trained on.

Dr. Joe Perez

NC Department of Health & Human Services

Dr. Joe Perez is a remarkable professional who has made an impressive impact on the world of IT, health & human services, and higher education. With advanced degrees in education, Joe started his career as an educator and continued to further his education by earning a doctorate in education with a double minor in computers and theology. His career focus changed to IT in the early 1990’s when he started working as a Computer Consultant at NC State University. Three promotions later, Dr. Perez ended his successful 25-year career at NC State as Business Intelligence Specialist when he took another promotion to become Senior Business Analyst at the NC Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) in the fall of 2017.

Notably, Dr. Perez was featured on a billboard in the iconic Times Square, a testament to his remarkable achievements and influence in the world of IT, health & human services, and higher education. This recognition, along with his Top 10 Thought Leader Rankings in IT Strategy & Big Data on Thinkers360, LinkedIn Top Voice in Data Analytics, and Gartner Peer Community Ambassador of the Year, reflect his dedication and impact in the industry.Having achieved significant success throughout his career, Dr. Perez’s accomplishments include being promoted to Senior Systems Analyst and Team Leader, a position he has excelled in while showcasing his expertise and leadership skills. In addition to his full-time analytics/BI leadership role at DHHS, Joe was named fractional Chief Technology Officer at a North Carolina firm in October 2020. An Amazon best-selling author with multiple #1 new releases, more than 17,000 followers on LinkedIn, and several professional certifications, he has consistently proven to be a much sought-after resource, highly-recommended international keynote speaker, data analytics & visualization expert, and specialist in efficiency and process improvement.

Perez, a recipient of the IOT Industry Insights 2021 Thought Leader of the Year award, speaks at numerous conferences each year, and continues to be in high demand to this day, expanding his reach into more than twenty countries around the globe, impacting thousands. Thanks to these outstanding accomplishments and influential presence as a leading expert in the industry, Dr. Perez has been welcomed into several prestigious Thought Leader communities and invited to co-host an online talk show called Mind2Mind.

Dr. Perez’s passion for teaching has never waned, whether as a speaker, workshop facilitator, podcast guest, conference emcee, or team leader; inspiring countless individuals to strive for excellence. He cherishes spending time with his wife and children, who he considers to be the “”””best things that ever happened to me.”””” Besides being a gifted musician, singer, pianist, and composer, Joe serves as a speaker, interpreter, and music director for his church’s Hispanic ministry. He even manages to publish a monthly military newsletter, The Patriot News, which has gained widespread recognition. His unwavering commitment to his community is an inspiration to all. To stay in shape, Perez hits the gym, and he loves watching Star Trek reruns to relax. “”””I’m a firm believer that if I’m not innovating, then I’m stagnating,”””” says Joe. His devotion to innovation, his boundless energy, and his constant drive for excellence are the hallmarks of a truly exceptional individual.

How do you get from being in data denial to being data-driven? Why should you care? Do you make business decisions only with your gut? What do KPIs have to do with ROI? Get answers to these questions and more. Discover how to overcome cognitive bias and see the relevance of the four V’s of Big Data.

Keyaan Williams

Cyber Leadership and Strategy Solutions, LLC

Keyaan J Williams has been building and managing cybersecurity and privacy programs to support enterprise risk management for more than two decades. After many years in various departments of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), he started a global consulting firm that supports government, critical infrastructure, and commercial customers. Keyaan actively serves as a board member for commercial and non-profit companies. He also serves as a mentor and advisor for corporate directors and early-stage entrepreneurs. He regularly shares interesting insights on LinkedIn based on ideas he has published in books and professional journals.

The stress and pressure facing CISOs is the result of the role being misclassified, out of position, underfunded, and a dumping ground for anything that nobody else wants to deal with. This session will focus on what the CISO should do and where the role fits in an organization to maximize value.