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Chief Digital Risk Officer

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Champaign, IL
Closing date
Jul 25, 2021

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Title:Chief Digital Risk Officer Job Category:Academic Professional Location:Urbana and/or Chicago and/or Springfield Description:

The University of Illinois System is seeking a seasoned information security, risk, and governance professional to be responsible for establishing and maintaining the University of Illinois System's digital risk management (DRM) program. Digital Risk is comprised of the challenges related to continuous change and increasing complexity in the U of I System's operations, technology, and threat environments as they relate to cybersecurity, privacy, compliance, business continuity, and risk management. The CDRO will serve as the dedicated U of I System advocate for digital risk management and support the implementation of the recommendation made by the System-wide Task Force on Cybersecurity; formulate cybersecurity strategy, collaborate across U of I System to grow risk-aware culture, report metrics to executive leadership, and manage and oversee shared digital-risk services; and, add capacity for cybersecurity functions at all levels to focus on execution, operations, and organizational specific needs.

The CDRO proactively works with university and other partners through a shared governance approach to implement practices that meet agreed-upon policies and standards for digital risk. The CDRO advocates for and supports existing functions to ensure that information assets and flows are adequately protected. The CDRO also partners with existing functions to oversee assurance activities related to the availability, integrity, and confidentiality of information owned or processed by the U of I System. As a result, the CDRO understands and articulates the impact of risk on U of I System operations and communicates this to the Board of Trustees, executive leadership, and other senior stakeholders so they can balance this with their risk appetite and investment levels.


Duties and Responsibilities Include but are not limited to the following:

  • Lead the DRM practice across the U of I System to ensure consistent and high-quality digital support of the U of I System's mission.
  • Develop a digital risk vision and strategy that enables and facilitates the U of I System's objectives and ensures senior stakeholder buy-in and mandate.
  • Develop and enhance an up-to-date DRM framework based on industry-recognized standards (such as NIST) including:
  • Facilitate a digital risk governance structure through the implementation of a hierarchical governance program. Understand and interact with related disciplines through committees to ensure the consistent application of policies and standards.
  • Provide regular reporting and metrics on the status of the digital risk program to the CFO, enterprise risk teams, senior leaders, and the Board of Trustees to guide resource allocation decisions and promote a digital risk culture.
  • Collaborate with the U of I System privacy and cybersecurity groups to provide a common set of services to allow the universities and the hospital to focus on their organizational specific needs.
  • Lead development of a rolling three-year digital risk roadmap to execute and maintain effective digital risk governance and programs.
  • Coordinate reporting of digital risk incidents and events across the System. Track digital risk incidents and events, identify trends, share information across the System, and work with stakeholders on strategies to reduce risk.
  • Provide guidance related to information flows in the digital ecosystem to ensure adherence to legal and regulatory standards.
  • Required Qualifications and Experience

  • Bachelor's degree in a related field.
  • Certifications: At least one of the following: CISSP, CRISC, CISM, HCISSP, CIP/US, CIPM.
  • Demonstrated leadership as a visionary leader and advocate with sound knowledge of business management and a working knowledge of digital risk and cybersecurity technologies covering the academic, research, business, and digital environment.
  • Understanding IT as well as the overlap of technology and the physical world and oversees cybersecurity and risk management activities to support the achievement of institutional objectives.
  • Minimum of 10 years of experience in a combination of risk management, information security, and IT with at least five years in a senior leadership role.
  • Demonstrated experience with oversight of digital risk programs, in coordination with senior leadership in finance, risk, security, compliance, and key functions, preferably in a higher education environment.
  • Experience delivering timely reports to executive board-level leadership, coordinating, and leading, and partnering with governance and advisory groups and varying stakeholders and leaders at multiple levels and functions across a large enterprise environment.
  • Proven track record and experience in developing digital risk policies and procedures, as well as successfully executing programs that meet the strategic objectives.
  • Experience leading and motivating cross-functional, interdisciplinary teams to achieve tactical and strategic goals.
  • Experience working with common digital risk management frameworks, such as ISO/IEC 27001, ITIL, COBIT, and ones from NIST.
  • Demonstrated excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated customer service and stakeholder management skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain high security/privacy controls when dealing with sensitive information.
  • Knowledge and understanding of relevant legal and regulatory requirements, such as FERPA, HIPAA, GDPR, GLBA, PCI-DSS, PIPA, BIPA.
  • Poise and ability to act calmly and competently in high-pressure, high-stress situations.
  • Must be a critical thinker, with strong problem-solving skills.
  • High degree of initiative, dependability, and ability to work with little supervision, while able to react and adapt to change.
  • High level of personal integrity, as well as the ability to handle confidential matters professionally, and show an appropriate level of judgment and maturity.
  • Demonstrated ability to create a strategic vision related to digital risk.
  • Experience leading in a higher education institution is preferred but not required.
  • Qualifications:

    To apply, please submit a cover letter and resume to [email protected] no later than July 25, 2021.

    A more detailed position profile is available upon request.

    The University of Illinois System conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer of employment. Background checks will be performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The University of Illinois System requires candidates selected for hire to disclose any documented finding of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment and to authorize inquiries to current and former employers regarding findings of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment. For more information, visit

    The University of Illinois System Office is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer dedicated to building a community of excellence, equity, and diversity. The System Offices welcome applications from women, underrepresented minorities, individuals with disabilities, protected veterans, sexual minority groups and other candidates who will lead and contribute to the diversification and enrichment of ideas and perspectives.

    Close Date:07/25/2021


    Since its founding in 1867, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has earned a reputation as a world-class leader in research, teaching, and public engagement.


    A talented and highly respected faculty is the University's most significant resource. Many are recognized for exceptional scholarship with memberships in such organizations as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Academy of Engineering. 

    Our faculty have been awarded Nobel Prizes, Pulitzer Prizes, and the Fields Medal in Mathematics.The success of our faculty is matched by that of our alumni: 11 are Nobel laureates and another 18 have won Pulitzer Prizes.

    Academic Resources

    Academic resources on campus are among the finest in the world. The University Library is one of the largest public university collections in the world with 11 million volumes in its 37 unit libraries. Annually, 53,000,000 people visit its online catalog. Students have access to thousands of computer terminals in classrooms, residence halls, and campus libraries for use in classroom instruction, study, and research.


    Students and scholars find the University an ideal place to conduct research. The Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology is a model for interdisciplinary research, where eighteen research groups from sixteen University departments work within and across three broadly defined themes: biological intelligence, human-computer intelligent interaction, and molecular and electronic nanostructures. The University is also home to the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA).

    Undergraduate Education

    The University has a fundamental commitment to undergraduate education. Nearly 28,000 undergraduate students are enrolled in nine undergraduate divisions, which together offer some 4,000 courses in more than 150 fields of study.

    Undergraduate admission is highly selective. In the 2001 freshman class, students in the middle 50% had ACT scores between 25 and 30 and ranked between the 83rd and 96th percentiles of their high school graduating classes.

    The University enrolls over 9,000 graduate and professional students in more than 100 disciplines. It is among the top five universities in number of earned doctorates awarded annually in the United States.

    Also integral to the University's mission is a commitment to public engagement. Each year about 65,000 Illinois residents participate in scores of conferences, institutes, courses, and workshops presented statewide. Research and class projects take students and professors off campus to share expertise and technical support with Illinois farmers, manufacturing firms, and businesses. In a typical year, student volunteers log more than 60,000 volunteer hours.

    The Arts

    A major center for the arts, the campus attracts dozens of nationally and internationally renowned artists each year to its widely acclaimed Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. The University also supports two major museums: the Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion; and the Spurlock Museum, a museum of world history and culture. 

    Other major facilities include the multipurpose Assembly Hall (16,500 seats); Memorial Stadium (70,000 seats), site of Big Ten Conference football games; and the Intramural-Physical Education Building, one of the largest recreational facilities of its kind on a university campus.

    Inclusive Illinois, one campus, many voices

    Inclusive Illinois is the University’s commitment to cultivating a community at Illinois where everyone is welcomed, celebrated, and respected. Illinois is about how we value difference to make a difference.

    As evidence of the University’s commitment to enhance the working, living, and learning environment for faculty, staff, and students, the University will encourage a standard of conduct and behavior that is consistent with the values of inclusivity. In an environment of inclusivity, there is no place for acts of hatred, intolerance, insensitivity, bigotry, threats of violence, harassment or discrimination.

    Inclusive Illinois, one campus, many voices

    Inclusive Illinois is the University’s commitment to cultivating a community at Illinois where everyone is welcomed, celebrated, and respected. Through education, engagement, and excellence, each voice creates the Inclusive Illinois Experience.

    How can we appreciate difference to make a difference?

    Illinois is the place where we embrace difference. We embrace it because we value it. We value it because we know that we have so much to learn from each other in our living, learning, and working environment.

    Illinois is the place where we recognize the power of possibility and where great potential is realized. Inclusive Illinois is the vision of that place: a vision made real by leadership and commitment.

    Illinois is the place where consensus is forged by discourse and where everyone’s contributions are recognized: significant contributions that elevate us because they are informed and enhanced by race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity, age, physical ability, religion, class, and national origin. We are enriched by these perspectives, and we are united by the very discourse that brings these views together.

    It is a process. It is transformative. And we celebrate the remarkable changes we set in motion here … taking an important step … crossing boundaries … starting with our own.

    It all starts with each of us: with our willingness to embark on the journey in the search for answers, and with our openness and acceptance of the answers we find. Illinois is the place where it all comes together.

    Learn more about how Inclusive Illinois promotes diversity here.

    Commitment to Equal Opportunity

    The commitment of the University to the most fundamental principles of academic freedom, equality of opportunity, and human dignity requires that decisions involving students and employees be based on individual merit and be free from invidious discrimination in all its forms, whether or not specifically prohibited by law. Among the forms of invidious discrimination prohibited by the University policy but not law is discrimination, including harassment, on the basis of sexual orientation. Complaints of invidious discrimination in violation of University policy are to be resolved within existing University procedures. The policy of the University of Illinois is to comply with all federal and state nondiscrimination, equal opportunity, and affirmative action laws, orders, and regulations. The University will not engage in discrimination or harassment against any person because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, disability, unfavorable discharge from the military, or status as a disabled veteran or a veteran of the Vietnam era. This nondiscrimination policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in University programs and activities

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