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Chris Furlow speaker

Chris Furlow

speaker location icon Washington DC, USA

Leading authority on homeland security and cybersecurity public policy

President, Ridge Global (2012-present)

20+ years of experience in government, business, and public affairs

Chris Furlow is President of Ridge Global, the international risk management consulting firm founded by Tom Ridge, the first US Secretary of Homeland Security. Mr. Furlow leads Ridge Global’s professional staff and operations, helping Fortune 500 companies, non- profits, associations and academic institutions manage security and resilience as business imperatives. He specializes in assisting corporate C-Suite leaders manage increasing cyber risk and efforts to improve enterprise security and resilience.

Mr. Furlow is Chairman of the US Chamber of Commerce Cyber Leadership Council and engages extensively on legislation and public-private collaboration for cybersecurity and resilience. He speaks often on the topics of risk management and cyber security policy and has been a fixture of the US Chamber’s Cybersecurity Conference series in cities across the US, leading discussions about digital leadership in the C-Suite and at the Board level. He has addressed international audiences on similar topics in countries to include the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, and Brazil.

Mr. Furlow has led Ridge Global’s development of a first-of-its kind cyber education program for corporate board members in collaboration with the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and world- renowned CERT-Software Engineering Institute of Carnegie Mellon University.

A veteran of the White House and Capitol Hill, Chris Furlow has held Senior Executive Service positions in two US Federal cabinet agencies. He was appointed Executive Director of the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) during the historic stand-up of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). On behalf of Secretary Ridge, he led operations of the Department’s principal advisory board and its multi-disciplinary committees for state and local government, first responders, the private sector and academia. During his service, the HSAC produced reports that addressed a range of emerging policy, operational, training and funding issues.

Previously, Mr. Furlow served as Director for State Affairs in the White House Office of Homeland Security (OHS) where, just after the 9/11 attacks, he led development of the network of state homeland security advisors; supported new state and local intelligence, information sharing and threat warning protocols, and; served as homeland security policy liaison to governors and other state officials on behalf of the Executive Office of the President. At the White House, he was a member of the OHS Incident Support Group (ISG) providing intergovernmental coordination on events of “national significance.”

Mr. Furlow is a former Deputy Assistant Secretary at the US Department of Commerce where he directed agency outreach to governors, mayors and legislators on policy, trade, and economic development issues. In the 1990s, he served as a senior staff member to US Rep. Jim McCrery (R-La.) of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Mr. Furlow is a graduate of Louisiana State University and is a former Senior Fellow of the Homeland SecurityPolicyInstituteatTheGeorgeWashingtonUniversity. HeisacurrentmemberoftheUSChamber of Commerce National Security Task Force, the National Emergency Management Association (US) private sector committee, the Homeland Security Committee of The Project for the Common Defense, and the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House, London).

  • “Cyber in the C-Suite and on the Board”
  • “The Global State of Cybersecurity”
  • The Cascading Impact of a Cyber Attack on the Energy Grid”
  • “The Human Elements of Cybersecurity”
  • “Cyber for CPAs”
  • “Impact of Cybersecurity Legislation, Regulation and Policy on Business”
  • “Cybersecurity and Environmental, Health and Safety: Impacts and Challenges”
  • Cascading Impact of a Cyber Attack on the Energy Grid”
  • The Human Elements of Cybersecurity”
  • “Potential Consequences of Offensive Cyber Operations”

Our Comment

"Chris is highly regarded for his expertise in the homeland security sector, and is particularly adept in drawing support more robust public-private collaboration on cybersecurity. He offers valuable insights into how organisations can best protect themselves, and respond to, the increasing range of cyber threats."

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