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DOE Assistant Secretary for Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response Visits NETL Morgantown

U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Assistant Secretary for the Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER) Karen S. Evans visited NETL in Morgantown Thursday, April 11 to meet with laboratory leadership and discuss ongoing DOE efforts aimed at improving cybersecurity.

The visit was a return to Morgantown for Evans. She earned an MBA and a BA in chemistry from West Virginia University.

NETL Director Brian Anderson, Ph.D., said that under Evans’ leadership, CESER is leading DOE’s efforts to secure U.S. energy infrastructure against all hazards, reduce the risks of and impacts from cyber events and other disruptive events, and assist with restoration activities. He said her visit to NETL in Morgantown featured specific lab tours and in-depth discussions on how the laboratory can assist CESER in its national mission.

In partnership with companies across the energy sector, CESER plays a vital role in coordinating Federal and state government strategies. CESER, along with energy sector partners, prepares for emergencies through exercises such as Clear Path and Liberty Eclipse that help DOE, industry, and government partners test and improve plans and prepare for future R&D needs.

CESER helps test components, like monitoring tools for information systems and control networks. In addition, CESER supports advancing the state-of-the-art in operational technology cyber threat detection and threat mitigation initiatives that capitalizes on other existing information-sharing programs and Cybersecurity for the Operational Technology Environment (CyOTETM) concepts by creating a centralized data sharing and analysis platforms for threat data based on feedback from industry. 

Evans was confirmed as the Assistant Secretary for CESER by the U.S. Senate August 28, 2018, and sworn in by U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy, Dan Brouillette, in September.

Before being nominated by President Donald J. Trump to lead CESER, Evans served in the public sector as a top information technology (IT) official at the Office of Management and Budget under President George W. Bush. She has also served as DOE’s chief information officer.

Prior to her DOE service, she was director of the Information Resources Management Division, Office of Justice Programs in the U.S. Department of Justice. She also worked with the National Park Service, the Office of Personnel Management, and the Farmers Home Administration. Most recently, Evans was the national director of the U.S. Cyber Challenge, a public-private program designed to help address a skills gap in the cybersecurity field.