Panel: Bridging the Cybersecurity Talent Gap


There is a global shortage of security/privacy professionals who can provide technology leadership, test and secure network systems, and provide training in protecting proprietary software. Managing the security of data, infrastructure, and AI/ML algorithms is crucial to keeping a company competitive and functioning. In what ways can government, academia and private industry work to fill Canada’s talent gap and strive to be cybersecurity and privacy leaders in the world?

Facilitator: Anindya Sen – Associate Director, CPI – Director; Professor at the Department of Economics -UWaterloo

Anindya Sen is a professor in the Department of Economics where he has taught since 1998 and is the current director of the master’s program in public service. He served as Associate Chair (Graduate Studies) in Economics before serving as Program Director and recently served as Acting Associate Dean of Co-operative Education and Planning in the Faculty of Arts. Prior to working at the university, Professor Sen was an economist with the Competition Bureau of Industry Canada. He is also associate director of CPI.

Professor Sen has been part of the Masters in Public Service program since its inception as a member of the interdisciplinary curriculum development team. His research interests focus on the economics of public policy, with a focus on estimating the statistical effects of government intervention. In this regard, he has published research on the impacts of higher cigarette taxes on smoking, the effects of a higher minimum wage on employment and poverty, the relationship between clearance rates and crime , and the consequences of incentive programs on electricity consumption. His work on the effects of retail alcohol and marijuana deregulation has been recognized and quoted in the National Post, The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star. Professor Sen’s current research interests focus on the functioning of data markets and understanding how individuals choose optimal levels of privacy in their online engagement.

Panelist: Deborah Clark-Forster

As a Senior Account Executive with the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, Deborah (Deb) Clark-Forster is passionate about growing the burgeoning cybersecurity industry in Ontario, Canada.

Deb is committed to accelerating market development for domestic businesses while helping international businesses grow and thrive in one of the world’s fastest growing cybersecurity hubs.

With over two decades of experience, Deb has developed inimitable expertise in client engagement and stakeholder relations in the investment and trade space. Her acute knowledge of the digital economy has earned her an excellent reputation as one of the province’s leading cybersecurity champions..

Panelist : Sanjeev GillAssociate Vice President of Innovation and Executive Director of WatSPEED – UWaterloo

Sanjeev Gill is currently Associate Vice President of Innovation and Executive Director of WatSPEED at the University of Waterloo. Previously, he worked at IBM for 21 years. Some of his roles there included National Industry Leader for Research, Global Client Executive and Business Unit Executive. Gill holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and an Engineering degree from Dalhousie University.

Panelist : Ryan WestmanSenior Manager, Threat Intelligence – eSentire Threat Response Unit

As Sr. Manager, Threat Intelligence, Ryan is responsible for demystifying the threat landscape for eSentire’s Threat Response Unit. Its goal is to detect and respond to threats before they become risks to eSentire’s customers.

Prior to eSentire, Ryan spent three years at Deloitte Canada, helping to build, develop and establish a Threat Intelligence & Analytics team. Prior to Deloitte, Ryan was a member of the Federal Public Service of Canada for over 5 years, employed by Public Safety Canada in politics and in the Canadian Armed Forces, in a variety of roles including Influence Activities and Civil-Military Cooperation .

Ryan holds a BA in Political Science and History from Wilfrid Laurier University, an MA in Counter Terrorism from the University of Central Lancashire; where he conducted primary research on individual perceptions of terrorism through social media, and a master’s degree from the University of Waterloo, and is a GIAC Certified Cyber ​​Threat Intelligence Analyst.

Panelist : Ken Barker – Director of ISPIA – University of Calgary

Ken Barker Ph.D., FCIPS, ISP, ITCP is a professor of computer science at the University of Calgary. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Alberta (1990) and has many years of experience working with industrial computer systems. He is interested in systems integration, distributed systems, database systems, and the privacy and security of data repositories. He was Dean of Science and Director of Informatics at the University of Calgary. He is director of the Institute for Security, Privacy and Information Assurance at the University of Calgary and president of the Alberta organization of the Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS Alberta). He is a founding director of the National Cybersecurity Consortium (NCC) and chairs the Initiation Transition Committee (C-ITC). He is a Fellow of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, a Fellow of the Canadian Computer Society, a Senior Member of the IEEE, and a Life Member of the CMA. He is president of CIPS Alberta and past president of the Canadian Computing Association (CACS/AIC) in addition to having served on the Computer Science Accreditation Council.. As director of research laboratories at the University of Calgary and the University of Manitoba, he supervised over 70 graduate students, in addition to several postdocs and research assistants. Dr. Barker has published over 250 peer-reviewed publications.

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