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Initial RSA Conference 2019 keynote lineup released

RSA Conference 2019's diversity and inclusion initiative appears to be paying off, as the initial keynote speaker lineup has equal representation for men and women speakers.

RSA Conference 2019 announced its initial keynote lineup this week, which reflected the pledges it made as part of its diversity and inclusion initiative.

The initiative, released earlier this month, included a long list of efforts the event team was working on to make the 2019 RSA Conference more representative of the infosec community, such as prompting the elimination of all-male panels on the keynote stages, and changing the language in the call for speakers submission form to emphasize the importance of diversity.

RSA Conference 2019 will have two different keynote stages: One will be for sponsors, panels and "esteemed guest speakers," and the other will be for sessions for industry experts that are targeted at a broader audience.

The West Stage for sponsors will host the cryptographers' panel, which is traditionally an all-male panel. This year's cryptographers' panel will look different than in previous years -- though, not dramatically. Returning to the panel will be Whitfield Diffie, Adi Shamir and Ronald Rivest. A new, female voice on the panel will be from Shafi Goldwasser, director of the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing. The panel will be moderated by RSA's CTO Zulfikar Ramzan.

The SANS Institute panel will be on the same stage and includes Heather Mahalik, director of forensics engineering at ManTech and instructor at SANS Institute; Ed Skoudis, instructor at SANS Institute; and Johannes Ullrich, dean of research at SANS Technology Institute. It will be moderated by Alan Paller, the research director and founder of SANS Institute.

IBM's keynote speech will be given by Caleb Barlow, vice president of IBM Security, X-Force Threat Intelligence, and Mary O''Brien, the general manager of IBM Security. Cisco has also sent a pair of speakers for its keynote -- Liz Centoni, senior vice president and general manager of IoT at Cisco, and Matt Watchinski, vice president of the global threat intelligence group at Cisco Talos.

Some new faces will also represent McAfee on the keynote stage. The company has historically sent CEO Chris Young to speak, but this year Dr. Celeste Fralick, chief data scientist of McAfee, and Steve Grobman, senior vice president and CTO of McAfee, will take the stage together.

In total, 21 women will be on the RSA Conference 2019 keynote stage, along with 22 men -- including panelists and panel moderators.

For the 2018 conference, the initial lineup featured one woman speaker and more than 20 men.

The full keynote lineup can be found on the RSA Conference 2019 website.

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