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RICET, or the Regional Initiative for Cybersecurity Education and Training, is a collaborative effort to build and strengthen a foundation in cybersecurity education, training, and workforce for the Americas. This event provides an opportunity for community members and thought leaders from education, government, industry, and non-profits to explore ways of developing a curriculum for the current and future cybersecurity workforce. This event is hosted by Florida International University and the Organization of American States in cooperation with the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education.

The inaugural RICET Conference will take place virtually on Tuesday, September 14th from 12 – 4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Available in English, Spanish & Portuguese.

RICET2021 is free and open to the public.

Conference Panels

  • Curriculum Development (includes K-12): This panel will examine the best practices in cybersecurity curriculum development from across the Western Hemisphere. The discussion will center on how to best utilize the NICE framework in building cybersecurity career pathways beginning with K-12 and through the college/university systems.
  • Diversifying the Cybersecurity Workforce: This panel will examine new angles to diversifying the cybersecurity workforce including targeting traditionally underrepresented populations. This includes neurodivergent learners, women, and those from non-technical academic backgrounds. Case examples from across the Western Hemisphere will be highlighted emphasizing new and innovative approaches to solving the cybersecurity workforce gap.
  • Reskilling and Upskilling: This panel will examine solutions on how to keep learners, including employees, prepare throughout their lifetime learning given the evolving cybersecurity landscape. Best practices in upskilling and reskilling will be offered to quickly transition workers from non-cybersecurity roles into cybersecurity roles.


Welcome Remarks - 12:00 PM EST  

  • Brian Fonseca, Director, Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy, Florida International University
  • Rodney Petersen, Director, National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Ambassador Nestor Mendez, Assistant Secretary-General, Organization of American States (OAS)
Panel 1: Curriculum Development - 12:45 PM EST
  • Karen Wetzel, Manager, NICE 
  • Blair Taylor, Associate Professor, Department of Computer and Information Sciences, Towson University 
  • Mary Graft, Business Process Analyst, Organizational Performance, Business & Finance Support Services, Arizona State University
  • Moniphia O. Hewling, Founder and CEO, eMRock Digital Consultants, Cyber Crimes and Security Consultant
  • Moderated by Randy Pestana, Director of Education and Training, Cybersecurity@FIU, Florida International University

Break - 1:45 PM EST 

Panel 2: Diversifying the Cybersecurity Workforce - 2:00 PM EST 

  • Teresa Thomas, Program Lead, Neurodiverse Talent Enablement, The MITRE Corporation
  • Krista Gauthier, Founder and Executive Director, Sliding Doors STEM & Dyslexia Learning Center (SDSquared)
  • Silvia Beltrán, Customer Service Manager, Trend Micro Mexico 
  • Moderated by Brian Fonseca, Director, Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy, Florida International University
Panel 3: Reskilling and Upskilling - 3:00 PM EST 
  • Paola Vega Castillo, Costa Rica Minister of Science, Technology and Telecommunications Government of Costa Rica
  • Leticia Gammill, Cisco Security Channels Leader and President & Founder WOMCY, Latam Women in Cybersecurity
  • Juanita Rodriguez Kattah, Counselor, Embassy of Colombia in the United States
  • Carlos Leonardo, UNICARIBE Director of CSIRT-RD, National Cybersecurity Center
  • Moderated by Cristina Rodriguez-Acosta, Assistant Director for Institutional Relations, Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy, Florida International University
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