The MiC Board of Directors







Mary N. Chaney, Esq., CISSP, CIPP/US - On the MiC With Interview

Chairman, CEO & President 

[email protected]

Mary N. Chaney, Esq., CISSP, CIPP/US has over 25 years of progressive experience within the fields of Information Security, Privacy and Risk Management. She graduated from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio with a B.S.B.A with a S.T.E.M. related focus in Information Systems, graduated Salutatorian and Summa Cum Ladue from Texas Southern University, Thurgood Marshall School of Law and became a licensed attorney in the State of Texas in 1999.  

Ms. Chaney began her career journey by serving as a Special Agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Los Angeles. Mary’s global experience includes executive level information security and privacy roles with GE Capital (NYSE: GE), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), Comcast Corporation (NYSE: CMCSA) and Esperion Therapeutics (NASDAQ: ESPR). At GE Capital, she was the Director of Incident Response where she led a team responsible for supporting over 14,000 GE Capital Americas end-users. At Johnson & Johnson, she was the Director of the Security Operations Center, where she led the 24x7 Global Security Operations Center that monitored over 130,000 employees across 250 businesses. At Comcast Corporation, Mary was a Senior Director of Information Security, in the Global CISO’s office, which had oversight responsibilities for both Comcast Cable and NBC Universal for cyber risk management. At Esperion, Mary is the Director of Information Security and Privacy, having direct responsibility for creating and addressing risk in both information security and privacy. 

Mary’s entrepreneur endeavors include starting and running MBS Information Security Consulting, LLC (MBS) and most recently Mary opened the Law Offices of Mary N. Chaney, P.L.L.C, The Cyber Security Law Firm Of Texas, with the specific mission of helping translate and advise, Boards of Directors, CIO's, CISO's and General Counsel's on how to legally protect their company from cyber related risk.

Mary serves the overall cybersecurity community in multiple ways. She has served on several advisory boards including: Post University; ChickTech; CompTIA© Cybersecurity Advisory Board; The Cyber Law Consortium; and The Cyber Future Foundation. Mary is an adjunct professor with the University of Cincinnati, where she teaches online courses in cybersecurity to assist with the development of the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. Lastly, she recently launched her own nonprofit, Minorities in Cybersecurity, Inc. (MiC) which focuses on support, leadership and career development for women and minorities in cybersecurity. 

Kavya Pearlman Headshot









Kavya Pearlman - On the MiC With Interview

Board Member

Kavya Pearlman is the Information Security Director at Linden Lab; protector of two virtual world economies, Second Life and the latest social VR platform called Sansar. She is one of the Top 20 influencer in Cybersecurity as voted by IFSEC, shortlisted in the prestigious Rising Star of the Year category for Women in IT Award 2019 and San Francisco Business Times 40 under 40 awards winner for class of 2019. Kavya started her security career as a Network Security Analyst with Allstate Insurance in Chicago. That’s also, when she started her own cybersecurity research company, Cautelare LLC. In 2015, Kavya moved to San Francisco to join a corporate immigration law firm as ISMS Manager. Kavya advised Facebook Third party Security Team during 2016 US Presidential Election. 

Prior to Linden Lab, Kavya advised Facebook Information Security Team on mitigating Third Party Security Risks. Kavya graduated from DePaul University, Chicago with a Masters in Network Security and hold a CISM (Certified Information Security Manager) certificate from ISACA. Kavya is also certified PCI-DSS ISA (Internal Security Assessor) and PCIP. 

Kavya is a representative of what a woman can do in spite of adversity, especially if she puts her mind to it. Until 2011, Kavya was a cosmetologist and cutting hair for $10 and hour. It was then she read Cyberwar by Richard Clark and saw a window into the future. She could foresee what is happening in today’s threat landscape. Kavya has worked for organizations like Facebook and now a prominent speaker and advocate for women in security. She has successfully implemented multiple security and privacy frameworks including NIST-CSF, ISO27001, EU-US Privacy Shield, PCI-DSS3.2 and most recently GDPR.

Kavya is an active contributor to various International Security Standards including NIST Special Publications, NIST Cloud Computing Program (NCCP) and Cyber Threat Intelligence Exchange by Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) , Consultant and C-level Executive Coach for GDPR preparation and compliance. She is also a member of advisory board - CISO Council North America. For her work and contribution to security industry, Kavya recently won an award for being minority CISO of the year 2018 by International Consortium of Minority Cybersecurity Professionals (ICMCP).

Kavya Grew up in India and came to the United States in 2007. Besides cyber security Kavya's other passions are VR (Virtual Reality), Privacy and Ethics in immersive and new technologies including Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. It is Kavya’s dream to use advance technologies to bridge boundaries between governments in order to develop and implement cyber security solutions plus workforce AND “simplify security”.

Dena Haritos Tsamitis Head Shot










Dr. Dena Haritos Tsamitis - On The MiC With Interview

Board Member

Dr. Dena Haritos Tsamitis has led Carnegie Mellon University's (CMU) Information Networking Institute (INI) as director since 2004. Her efforts have prepared the next generation of information networking, security and mobility professionals equipped to be the movers and shakers of the tech industry. A student advocate and mentor of women in technology, Dena is passionate about increasing diversity in STEM fields. 

Under her leadership, Carnegie Mellon earned three distinct cybersecurity designations from federal agencies as a National Center of Academic Excellence for its merits in information assurance and cyber defense, research and cyber operations. Through these efforts, Dena is the principal investigator on the National Science Foundation (NSF) CyberCorps® Scholarship for Service (SFS) and the Department of Defense Information Assurance Scholarship Program (IASP) and has been awarded approximately $28M in federal scholarships under these programs for students who serve our nation.

Dena is a founding director of Carnegie Mellon CyLab, for which she spearheaded efforts in cybersecurity education, training and outreach. Among other education initiatives, she led the NSF-funded Information Assurance Capacity Building Program (IACBP), an intensive summer program to help build information assurance education and research capacity at minority-serving colleges and universities. Ninety-one faculty from 48 institutions over nine years benefitted from this program. 

Currently, Dena is a trustee of the American College of Greece and serves on the board of advisors for RSA Conference, the Executive Women's Forum, RedMarlin, Inc., Prime Tech Partners and the Norfolk State University Information Assurance Research, Education and Development Institute. 

Carnegie Mellon honored Dena with the 2012 Barbara Lazarus Award for Graduate Student and Junior Faculty Mentoring and in 2017, she was named as the first recipient of the endowed Barbara Lazarus Professorship in Information Networking. For her leadership and impact, Dena was named 2018 Woman in IT Security Power Player by SC Magazine and received the 2008 Women of Influence Award, presented by Alta Associates and CSO Magazine. Prior to joining Carnegie Mellon in 2000, Dena had a variety of technology roles in industry. She holds a doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania.

VJ Viswanathan Headshot










VJ Viswanathan

Board Member

VJ Viswanathan is a transformational technology executive recognized for unyielding integrity, fostering collaboration and thoughtful communication fueled by a natural sense of curiosity. As part of the executive team, VJ adds real value and expertise to an organization through strong business and technology acumen, entrepreneurial rationale, relentless focus on people and a desire to innovate and deliver results.

With 20 years of pioneering Cyber Security, Privacy, Compliance and Risk Management experience, VJ has a detailed track record of designing, implementing and leading highly successful programs, products & services at multinational brands spanning CPG, Telecom, Media, Supply-chain & Finance segments.

As a recognized thought leader in the industry he has delivered the first of its kind "Supply Chain Security" & “Omni-channel Risk management” frameworks. As a published author and featured keynote speaker at global industry events, he approaches disruptive digital paradigms with innovation, creativity and compelling communication. VJ has developed a unique intelligence sharing network with his key industry peers, national & international law enforcement and defense groups to collectively combat evolving cyber threats.

VJ mentors startups, serves as a Board member for growth stage companies. As a strategic advisor to VC & PE firms, he specializes in developing market analysis, competitive product road map and guides in opportunity mapping. As a trusted advisor to corporate board directors, corporate controllers and audit committee leaders, VJ evaluates and audits cyber security program for technical effectiveness and operational business alignment.

VJ is passionate about animal rights and giving back to the technology & security industry. He coordinates a rescue & foster care group for large breed dogs. He is actively engaged with academic institutions and professional groups to develop the next generation talent through teaching, opportunity mapping, coaching and facilitating scholarships for cyber security education.

Veda Woods Headshot







Veda T. Woods - On The MiC With Interview

Board Member

Veda T. Woods is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of a nonprofit, Protect Us Kids Foundation, and serves as a cybersecurity advisor and social activist against commercial sex trafficking of youth on the Internet. 

Spanning over approximately 20 years, Ms. Woods strategic leadership focuses on cyber policies and decision-making processes that protect and respect human rights by design. She strives to employ systematic and holistic information assurance strategies in cybersecurity, information governance, privacy and risk management; focused on securing healthcare, financial, law enforcement, defense and intelligence information.

From 2009 until 2015, Ms. Woods served on a political appointment as the Chief Information Security Officer and Deputy CIO for the former Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board (“Board”). The Board was a federal agency created after the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, with an accountability mission to help identify fraud, waste and abuse of data related to the $840 billion stimulus bill (American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009), as well as the spending oversight of Hurricane Sandy funds. 

As a cybersecurity executive at a leading global financial services firm, Veda is accountable for cybersecurity threat oversight in support of ensuring a transparent, consistent and comprehensive program for managing operational risk across the firm globally. She also participates on national and international working groups, seeking best practices in cyber research, data governance, risk management and policy to support strategic initiatives.

Veda has received numerous awards for her contribution towards secure technology innovation and maintains a passionate commitment to continuously support women and minorities in STEM/STEAM. Because of her personal testimony of overcoming adversity, from humble beginnings growing up in one of the most volatile inner cities of Chicago, and navigating non-inclusive environments throughout her career, Ms. Woods’ purpose is to pave it forward by doing what she deeply understands as being her personal life’s work. It is her desire to provide a positive social impact, in support of humanitarian organizations, by applying her expertise towards protecting those without a voice from the global violence of cyberspace.

Vernecia Gofffney

Board Member - On The MiC With Interview

Vernecia Goffney has nearly ten years of professional experience in the field of Information Security.  She recently held a position as a Senior Threat Intelligence Support Coordinator at Louisiana-based public utility, Entergy Corporation.  In this role Vernecia was responsible for processing cyber and physical threat intelligence to determine potential threats and impacts and implementation of mitigation to defend Entergy’s enterprise.

Vernecia worked in various industries including government, financial services, retail, and electric utility. This includes a diverse background in Information Security, with roles as an Information Assurance Analyst, Senior Vulnerability Management Analyst, Identity and Access Management Analyst, and more.  

She holds a Masters of Science degree in Systems Engineering from George Washington University and a Bachelors of Science degree in Computer Engineering from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

Besides Information Security, Vernecia enjoys spending time with her family and friends and traveling as much as possible.  






Franklin Donahue

Board Member - On The MiC With Interview

Franklin has 25 years of experience assessing, developing and managing physical security, cybersecurity, business risk, and fraud management organizations. Franklin's diverse experience includes service in the United States Marine Corps, Big 4 consulting, various cybersecurity and risk management leadership positions, and serving as Chief Information Security Officer at Fortune 100 companies. Franklin has developed and managed complex global cyber programs and established effective and efficient DevSecOps, digital transformation, mergers and acquisitions, IoT and OT, security testing and assurance programs, as well as security strategies. Franklin received his undergraduate degree at the University of Washington, Seattle and two Masters Degrees at Carnegie Mellon University where he was a research assistant at USCERT. Currently, Franklin is the managing member of The Donahoe Advisory Group and is a board member of Lynx Technology Partners, and Minorities in Cybersecurity.

Renee Forney

Board Member

Anthony W. Reed

Board Member - On The MiC With Interview