Heather Ricciuto

Academic Outreach Leader

Heather is Global Leader of IBM Security’s Academic Outreach Program, partnering with educational and research institutions around the globe to develop top cybersecurity talent and close the skills gap.

She is the co-leader of IBM’s Women in Security Excelling (WISE) Business Resource Group. With 825 members, WISE aims to bring awareness and change to the cybersecurity gender gap through education, events and youth outreach. Heather is particularly passionate about inspiring our youth to aspire to careers in STEM, and about driving awareness around the cybersecurity skills and gender gaps. She is a proud Co-Founder of #IBMCyberDay4Girls, a program designed to build cybersecurity awareness amongst middle school girls. To date the #IBMCyberDay4Girls program has touched the lives of approximately 800 girls in the US, Canada, Australia and South Africa. In 2018, the program will expand to reach an additional 1000 girls around the globe as part of IBM’s #SkillsBuild challenge.

Heather enjoys both writing and public speaking. She has been called upon to speak at industry-leading events, such as SIGCSE, GTEC and NICE K12 on the topics of the cybersecurity skills gap, the gender gap, the importance of cybersecurity education in K12, and IBM’s New Collar initiatives. She regularly contributes to SecurityIntelligence.com, IBM Security’s online publication, via blogs, news articles and podcasts, and she has been interviewed by other online publications, including CSO Online and ISMG Network.

She is the proud recipient of two IBM Diversity and Inclusive Leadership Ambassador Awards for her work in the advancement of women in technology in the area of Supply Chain management.

Heather strives to inspire others by sharing her passion for leadership and learning. She believes that if we are not learning, we are not growing. Her passions include workforce diversity, the advancement of women, volunteering, continuous learning, travelling, and spending time with her family.d on the boards of the Ontario Society of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons, the Ontario Association of Dental Anaesthesia, and Oxford County Dental Society.