As Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary (PDAS) for Information and Technology and Deputy Chief Information Officer, Mr. Cussatt oversees the planning and operations of the $4B, 8,000-employee strong, Office of Information and Technology (OIT). He previously served as OIT’s Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), where he provided strategic leadership to a team of cybersecurity specialists and leading various cybersecurity programs and risk management activities to ensure secure and reliable operation of VA information systems.
Mr. Cussatt has over 25 years of public and private sector IT implementation and oversight experience, and was previously with the Office of the DoD Chief Information Officer (CIO) for 12 years. During his tenure as DoD Deputy Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), he oversaw the department’s cybersecurity policy development, strategic planning and engagement, cyber workforce management and maintenance, cybersecurity portfolio management, and information technology (IT) risk management, and also was the Director of the DoD International Cybersecurity Program. In 2014, he was selected by the 28 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) nations as the National Co-Chair of the NATO Information Assurance/Cyber Defense Capability Panel which is the source for policy development and advice on technical aspects of cyber defense matters within the NATO Alliance. He recently finished a three and a half year term as Tri-Chair for the Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS) Subcommittee, which provides a national forum to establish minimum security standards and doctrine for US national security systems. Under his leadership, the Subcommittee published dozens of Federal cybersecurity policies. Since 2007, Mr. Cussatt has been a member of the US Federal Government’s Joint Task Force Transformation Initiative, a partnership between the US Civil, Defense, and Intelligence Agencies that develops minimum standards and guidelines used across the Federal government. The Joint Task Force Transformation initiative successfully unified the US Federal Government’s disparate cybersecurity standards by publishing 5 National Institute for Standards and Technology, or “NIST” special publications, including the NIST Security Control Catalog, and the NIST Risk Management Framework. He was twice awarded the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Medal for Exceptional Civilian 2018 Service (in 2014 & 2016), the OSD’s highest level career medaled award.