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Chris Painter

former US State Department Coordinator for Cyber Issues and White House Senior Director for Cybersecurity Policy

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Biography

Chris Painter is a globally recognized leader and expert on cybersecurity, cyber policy, Cyber Diplomacy and combatting cybercrime.

He has been on the vanguard of US and international cyber issues for over twenty-five years—first as a leading federal prosecutor of some of the most high-profile cybercrime cases in the country, then as a senior official at the Department of Justice, the FBI, the National Security Council and finally as the world’s first top cyber diplomat at the State Department. He has helped drive, initiated or been involved in virtually every major US cyber policy for over a decade and has created innovative new organizations and approaches to deal with threats and take advantage of opportunities in cyberspace. Among other things, he currently serves as a Commissioner on the Global Commission for the Stability of Cyberspace, a member of the Board of Directors for the Center for Internet Security and has been named the Bartels World Affairs Fellow for 2017-18 by Cornell University.

In his most recent government role as the nation’s top cyber diplomat, Mr. Painter coordinated and led the United States’ diplomatic efforts to advance an open, interoperable, secure and reliable Internet and information infrastructure and advised the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of State on these emerging issues. The pioneering office that Mr. Painter established — the Office of the Coordinator for Cyber Issues — was the first high-level position and office dedicated to advancing the diplomatic aspects cyber issues ranging from national security to human rights matters anywhere in the world. Today more than 25 countries have created similar positions. In this role, Mr. Painter worked closely with the White House, other agencies, the private sector and civil society to create and implement US international cyberspace policies. These crosscutting issues include promoting norms of responsible state behavior and cyber stability, preventing cyber conflict, enhancing deterrence, advancing cybersecurity, fighting cybercrime, promoting multi-stakeholder Internet governance and advancing Internet freedom. Among many other things, Mr. Painter was instrumental in negotiating a landmark agreement regarding the theft of intellectual property with China, negotiating a comprehensive cyber cooperation agreement with India, using diplomatic and other tools to combat high-profile cyber attacks and intrusions, and launching first of their kind “whole of government” cyber dialogues and capacity building programs with dozens of countries in Europe, Asia, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa. He and his team also spearheaded the promotion of an international framework of cyber stability that includes building a consensus around norms of acceptable behavior and getting agreement on transparency and confidence-building measures designed to reduce the risk of miscalculation that could inadvertently lead to cyber warfare.