Heard on Campus: Chandra McMahon

“I love security. I love the offense and the defense of it. The bad guys are innovating just as much as the good guys in terms of their defense. Our job as defenders is to see all that. I love the fact that being in security, innovation happens each and every day. It’s not two football teams going at it. Think of it as one football team on the field, with every other football team going at you all at once. That, for me, is really exciting. It’s never boring.

“Every year of cyber is equal to 10 years of experience because this field is so dynamic and changing. Any job you take in that first year, you’re going to compress and get more experience in that year. You’re going to learn more and be exposed to more because of what’s going on in the cyber world right now.”

--Chandra McMahon, senior vice president and chief information security officer at Verizon, is responsible for setting information security strategy, policy, standards, architecture and processes. McMahon and her team work with and across Verizon’s business units to protect its customers and its leading networks.

McMahon has briefed White House and Congressional staff, and various U.S. Government leaders on cyber security matters. A sought-after speaker, she has been active in promoting cybersecurity information-sharing partnerships between the U.S. Government and industry.

McMahon holds a bachelor of science degree in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from Virginia Tech as well as a master’s degree in Engineering Science from Penn State University. 

McMahon spoke on April 11, 2016 at IST Startup Week, a week-long celebration showcasing talented innovators and entrepreneurs from around the country. View the schedule or watch live streaming events at ist.psu.edu/startup.  

Last Updated April 12, 2016