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Governor DeWine Appoints Kirk Herath as Cybersecurity Strategic Advisor

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced today that Kirk Herath has been appointed to the role of Cybersecurity Strategic Advisor, a new position created within his administration. Herath will guide Ohio’s wide-ranging cybersecurity efforts across agencies, including  the Adjutant General’s Office, the Ohio Department of Administrative Services, and the Ohio Department of Public Safety.

“Throughout my tenure as Governor, my administration has worked to stay ahead of the curve in being prepared to prevent cyberattacks against state government, but we can always do more to be prepared,” said Governor DeWine. “Kirk Herath has decades of experience in cybersecurity and data privacy. I am pleased that Kirk will bring this expertise to the State to ensure Ohio leads the nation in cybersecurity and resiliency and its cybersecurity workforce.” 

“Kirk Herath is a skilled leader in cybersecurity and we have been very fortunate to have his expertise for many years as a part of both the CyberOhio and InnovateOhio advisory boards,” said Lt. Governor Jon Husted. “With cyber threats changing every day, the creation of this new position is critical to help keep our state safe, and I’m grateful Kirk is willing to continue putting his many years of experience to use on behalf of all Ohioans.”

Herath currently serves as Chairman of CyberOhio, the State of Ohio’s Cybersecurity Advisory Board. CyberOhio was established in 2016, during Governor DeWine’s term as Ohio Attorney General, as a collection of cybersecurity initiatives aimed at helping Ohio businesses and private companies fight back against cyberattacks. Since the start of the DeWine Administration, CyberOhio’s advisory board has been housed within InnovateOhio, but will now take a significant role in advising Herath in his new position.

Herath is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at both Ohio State’s Moritz College of Law and Cleveland State’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.  He retired as Vice President, Associate General Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer for Nationwide after 32 years.  Most recently, Kirk served as a Principal at Pillars Consulting Group, where his practice focused on data protection organization design, privacy practices and cybersecurity law.  He also served on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee from 2005 to 2011.

Herath received undergraduate degrees in political science and history from the University of Cincinnati and has a master’s degree in international affairs from the American University in Washington, D.C.  He holds a Juris Doctorate from Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio and is admitted to the Ohio Bar.  Herath is also a Certified Information Privacy Professional/US and Certified Information Privacy Professional/Government.

To create this position, Governor DeWine signed Executive Order 2022-07D.