Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and Associate Vice President for Information Security

Last updated: May 12, 2023

People walking in front of Drumheller foundtain with the UW Information Technology on the right side.

The Opportunity at a Glance

Position details


UW Information Technology (UW-IT)

Position level:

UW-IT Executive Leadership Team


University of Washington
Seattle, Washington, USA


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The University of Washington, one of the nation’s preeminent public research universities, invites nominations and applications for the position of Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and Associate Vice President for Information Security. Reporting to the Chief Information Officer (CIO), the CISO will lead the development of the University’s strategic security direction, foster collaboration and community amongst institutional technology and security organizations and oversee the people and services of the Office of Information Security.

The UW has recently authorized a substantial, multi-million-dollar investment in cybersecurity, reflecting our commitment to continuous investments in a secure technology ecosystem. As the new CISO, you will be responsible for spearheading the implementation of this significant initiative, strategically allocating resources and driving transformative change to further mature our information security program.

This presents a unique opportunity to shape the future of cybersecurity at the UW, ensuring our cutting-edge research, scholarship and administrative operations are protected from evolving threats. Join us on this exciting journey as we strive to create a secure and resilient digital landscape that empowers our community and supports the University’s mission.

Our University

Many people walking through The Quad with a fast facts graphic on the right: $9.5 annual UW budget, 60,000 2022-23 enrollment, 6th global ranking among all universities.Since our founding in 1861, the University of Washington has been a hub for learning, innovation, problem solving and community building. Driven by a mission to serve the greater good, our students, faculty and staff tackle today’s most pressing challenges with courage and creativity, making a difference across Washington state — and around the world.

UW is recognized as one of the most innovative public universities in the world, and consistently ranks among the top public universities as well. We are home to seven Nobel Prize winners, 17 MacArthur Fellows, 189 members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, and 193 fellows in the American Association for the Advancement of Science. We are also the top recipient of federal research dollars among public universities.

“#10 Best Big Cities in U.S.,”-Condé Nast Traveler, 2022 Reader’s Choice Award

Our faculty and staff are dedicated to our students and their success. This spring, more than 65,000 students applied to become a Husky, one of the largest applicant pools in the school’s history. This makes us a people-driven university, with public service and positive impact deeply ingrained in our culture.

“I’m often asked about my vision for the UW, and my answer has always been simple: to be the top public university in the world in terms of positive impact,” UW President Ana Mari Cauce said.

In this unique setting, the CISO position is not simply about information technology and security — it is about people. With more than 100,000 students, faculty, and staff across three campuses, medical facilities and global research operations, we are looking for a thinking partner, collaborator and source of innovative ideas to position information security in support of teaching, learning and research across the University’s three campuses.

Our Home

Image of the Seattle skyline with Fast Facts on the right: 4.3 Million metro area population, 8 major sports teams, and 200 mile of shoreline.In the last decade, more than 600,000 people moved to the central Puget Sound metropolitan area — and more than 100,000 of them to Seattle, the hub of one of the most economically powerful regions in North America.

These new residents came for various reasons, many of them attracted by the region’s natural beauty and its significant leadership role in education, technology and medical research. Even the large Silicon Valley tech companies have opened offices in Seattle, going after a large pool of homegrown talent.

The UW plays a significant role in the daily life of the city. Some might say we are a city in our own right, with tens of thousands of people coming and going from campus every day. There are other universities in the metro area, but none is more ingrained in the hearts of our residents than the UW. We are all Huskies who wear purple and gold.

What can you expect from living and working here? An international city with a worldly outlook, a hub of technology respected across the globe. Our region is home to Microsoft, Amazon, T-Mobile USA, Starbucks, Costco, Nordstrom, Alaska Airlines, REI, Zillow and Tableau. Did you know UPS got its start in Seattle? So did Paccar, the truck company, and the legendary Boeing Company, which still builds planes in the region.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, our neighbor and often partner in research, pioneered the treatment of blood cancers, and has three Nobel laureates. The list goes on and on.

Of course, we are not just about work. The UW encourages a healthy life-work balance, and the beauty of the region provides plenty of opportunities for all kinds of fun activities, from the mountains to the sea. Seattle and its neighboring cities have a rich sports, culture and arts scene, with plenty of live music, theater and festivals all year round.

Commitment to Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

The University of Washington is deeply committed to fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture where everyone in our community can thrive. In this spirit, we acknowledge the unique and enduring connections to the land and waterways of the Coast Salish peoples, including the Duwamish, Suquamish, Snoqualmie and Muckleshoot nations, whose ancestral territories encompass the Puget Sound region.

As we pursue this CISO search, we recognize the importance of cultivating strong, collaborative relationships with tribal governments and honoring their sovereignty.

UW is dedicated to advancing various DEI initiatives that support our community’s unique needs. Some of these initiatives include the Race & Equity Initiative, which engages the entire university community in critical conversations and actions to create a more just and equitable campus; the Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity, which aims to increase diversity, ensure access and promote success for underrepresented students and faculty; and the UW Tribal Relations office, which works to strengthen and sustain the partnerships between the University and tribal nations, Indigenous communities and Native organizations in the region.

The University also offers numerous affinity groups, cultural and resource centers and training programs that focus on fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment for all. The UW’s commitment to DEI also extends to its hiring practices, staff development and decision-making processes.

We actively encourage candidates from diverse backgrounds, including Indigenous peoples and those with experience working with tribal communities, to apply. By embracing diversity and fostering respectful partnerships, we aim to create an enriching environment that supports the University’s mission and upholds our commitment to equity and inclusion for all.

More About the CISO Position

The UW is seeking a dynamic and experienced business leader who is ready to drive, innovate and transform cybersecurity across our diverse campuses while fostering an inclusive and collaborative environment to support teaching, learning and research.

As the CISO, you will be expected to embrace and model organizational diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) competencies. You must understand the impact of technology on historically marginalized communities and ensure that security solutions are inclusive and accessible to all members of the University community.

Collaboration will be a key part of this position, with key stakeholders at UW Bothell, UW Tacoma, UW Seattle, UW Medicine, UW Schools and Colleges and global research operations. As a federated system, being able to influence, as well as develop and maintain relationships, is critical to success.

The CISO will provide leadership to the security team of 36 staff, which includes identity and access management, risk management, threat intelligence and security operations. The information security team is competent, hardworking and high performing. The ideal candidate will bring a blend of technical acumen, strategic focus and strong leadership.

The CISO will oversee a budget of approximately $13 million, which includes a recent multi-million-dollar permanent budget increase, further underscoring the University’s long-term commitment to investing in cybersecurity. This means the CISO will possess strong business acumen, demonstrating an in-depth understanding of fiscal management principles and practical experience in budgeting. This individual will need to effectively allocate resources, optimize financial operations and maintain a keen awareness of the financial landscape to support the organization’s security initiatives.

To excel in this position, the CISO must possess a unique set of skills that balances both strategy and policy aspects, as well as technical and security operations expertise. Strong leadership, political acumen and the ability to balance competing interests and priorities are essential.

This role requires effective collaboration with stakeholders across the organization, aligning with a cohesive security strategy and ensuring the integration and security of multiple technology platforms and systems. The CISO’s success depends on their ability to seamlessly blend high-level strategic thinking with hands-on technical and security operations skills.

You can find the full set of requirements for the CISO position at UW Hires. If you think you have what it takes, we encourage you to apply now.

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