Theresa Payton, CEO and Chief Advisor
Theresa Payton is one of America’s most respected authorities on Internet security, net crime, fraud mitigation, and technology implementation. As White House Chief Information Officer (CIO) in the Office of Administration at the Executive Office of the President from 2006 to 2008 – – the first woman ever to hold that position — she administered the information technology enterprise for the President and 3,000 staff members. Prior to her time at the White House, Theresa Payton was a senior technology executive in banking. She spent 16 years providing banking solutions using emerging technologies and assisting the banks with being first to market or a quick follower, improving revenue, and at the same time fighting back the fraudsters. Payton founded Fortalice in 2008 as a security, risk, and fraud consulting company. She lends her expertise to government and private sector organizations to help them improve their information technology systems. In 2010, she was named by Security Magazine as one of the top 25 “Most Influential People in Security.”
Payton has a Master of Science in Management Information Systems from the University of Virginia. She also earned a double major with a Bachelor of Arts in both Economics and Business Administration with a certification in Computers from Immaculata University and graduated cum laude. She earned her certification in graduate banking studies from the Graduate Banking School at Louisiana State University.
Payton is frequently sought out by the media to comment on emerging security and privacy issues, is a cyber expert for the syndicated program America Now, and is also the co-author of two books, Privacy in the Age of Big Data: Recognizing Threats, Defending Your Rights, and Protecting Your Family and co-author of Protecting Your Internet Identity: Are You Naked Online? Her newest book, Privacy in the Age of Big Data, was recently featured on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show. At the close of the interview, Jon Stewart said to Theresa, “This is the discussion of our era, and you are smack in the middle of it”.