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Chief Information Security Officer

Duke University
Durham, North Carolina (US)

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Four-Year Institution

Job Details

Chief Information Security Officer

Duke University, a private, AAU-member, research-intensive university, seeks an accomplished and strategic leader to serve as its next Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). Reporting to the Vice President for Information Technology/Chief Information Officer (VPIT/CIO), the CISO will bring University stakeholders together in a commitment to information security best practices that appropriately balance mission, risk, and regulation.

The CISO is responsible for the ongoing development and delivery of a comprehensive University-wide information security strategy that adequately protects information assets, aligns with and supports the risk posture of the University, and meets applicable compliance and regulatory requirements. The CISO leads the Information Technology Security Office (ITSO) and Identity and Access Management (IAM) teams in working collaboratively with colleagues and partners across technology and user communities to protect Duke’s information assets through the evaluation, development, implementation, management, and evolution of effective information security practices. The CISO aligns those programs and practices with institutional strategy, seeking to optimize the campus security technology practices amid changes in needs and environmental landscape, both internally and externally. This requires continually balancing of the need for added protections against the community’s need for effective and easy to use IT services, as well as balancing the impacts of security with the University’s commitments to protect privacy. Achieving this requires the CISO to stay abreast of changing regulatory, legal, and legislative requirements, monitor the threat landscape to anticipate new threats, and plan, take, and as appropriate mandate actions to advance the cybersecurity of the University. The CISO will operate in Duke’s collaborative environment where faculty, students, and other stakeholders are regularly consulted as to the impact of the cybersecurity developments on their work.

Duke’s next CISO will assume leadership of a mature, well resourced, and respected program stewarded by a talented, collaborative team. ITSO comprises 14 full-time professional staff. 10-15 students drawn from Duke and neighboring colleges and universities staff the SOC, typically on one- to two-yearlong internships. Equally mature and well-resourced is the IAM team, which comprises eight full-time staff who use sophisticated automated means for managing the electronic identity lifecycle for ~100,000 accounts across the University and Health System as well as the access control and authentication infrastructure.

A full version of the position description can be found here.


Success in the role requires a range of experiences and a core set of interpersonal skills that will ensure strategic leadership of the Information Security and Identity Management units and will enable effective engagement within OIT and across the University’s decentralized organizational environment.


  • Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of seven years of experience directly related to the duties and responsibilities specified, or an equivalent combination of education and experience Extensive knowledge of and experience in a leadership position in a higher education setting or in a similarly complex, decentralized, multi-stakeholder environment Knowledge of sound management and administration principles and practices for managing direct reports; effective interpersonal communication, human relations, and team-building skills Extensive background in and understanding of the spectrum of Information Technologies and how IT Security fits into it Advanced knowledge of IT Security best practices and developments A current and comprehensive grasp of IT Security risks and challenges in a global context Mature diplomacy skills and the ability to moderate between competing parties Knowledge of systems and project management principles and practices Demonstrated negotiation skills Ability to explain technical issues and policies to non-technical partners Excellent oral and written communication skills Ability to foster and maintain good working relationships with faculty, administrators, students, senior management, and other IT leaders Ability to develop and manage budgets and assess technical proposals


  • IT security management experience in a higher-education environment Professional credentials relevant to information security A graduate degree

To Apply

Duke University has retained Opus Partners ( to support this recruitment. Craig Smith, Partner, and Abigail Maynard, Senior Associate are leading the search. Inquiries, applications, and nominations should be sent to The search process will unfold with the greatest possible attention to candidate confidentiality. Required application materials include a resume and cover letter. The cover letter should reflect how candidates’ qualifications and experience match those described in the full position description.


Duke University prohibits discrimination and harassment and provides equal employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status. Duke is committed to recruiting, hiring, and promoting qualified women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans. For additional information about Duke’s policies on an equal opportunity, affirmative action, and diversity, equity, and inclusion, see



Read our Diversity Profile History

Duke University was created in 1924 by James Buchanan Duke as a memorial to his father, Washington Duke. The Dukes, a Durham family that built a worldwide financial empire in the manufacture of tobacco products and developed electricity production in the Carolinas, long had been interested in Trinity College. Trinity traced its roots to 1838 in nearby Randolph County when local Methodist and Quaker communities opened Union Institute. The school, then named Trinity College, moved to Durham in 1892, where Benjamin Newton Duke served as a primary benefactor and link with the Duke family until his death in 1929. In December 1924, the provisions of indenture by Benjamin’s brother, James B. Duke, created the family philanthropic foundation, The Duke Endowment, which provided for the expansion of Trinity College into Duke University.Duke Campus

As a result of the Duke gift, Trinity underwent both physical and academic expansion. The original Durham campus became known as East Campus when it was rebuilt in stately Georgian architecture. West Campus, Gothic in style and dominated by the soaring 210-foot tower of Duke Chapel, opened in 1930. East Campus served as home of the Woman's College of Duke University until 1972, when the men's and women's undergraduate colleges merged. Both men and women undergraduates now enroll in either the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences or the Pratt School of Engineering. In 1995, East Campus became the home for all first-year students.

Duke maintains a historic affiliation with the United Methodist Church.

Home of the Blue Devils, Duke University has about 13,000 undergraduate and graduate students and a world-class faculty helping to expand the frontiers of knowledge. The university has a strong commitment to applying knowledge in service to society, both near its North Carolina campus and around the world.

Mission Statement

Duke Science"James B. Duke's founding Indenture of Duke University directed the members of the University to 'provide real leadership in the educational world' by choosing individuals of 'outstanding character, ability, and vision' to serve as its officers, trustees and faculty; by carefully selecting students of 'character, determination and application;' and by pursuing those areas of teaching and scholarship that would 'most help to develop our resources, increase our wisdom, and promote human happiness.'

“To these ends, the mission of Duke University is to provide a superior liberal education to undergraduate students, attending not only to their intellectual growth but also to their development as adults committed to high ethical standards and full participation as leaders in their communities; to prepare future members of the learned professions for lives of skilled and ethical service by providing excellent graduate and professional education; to advance the frontiers of knowledge and contribute boldly to the international community of scholarship; to promote an intellectual environment built on a commitment to free and open inquiry; to help those who suffer, cure disease, and promote health, through sophisticated medical research and thoughtful patient care; to provide wide ranging educational opportunities, on and beyond our campuses, for traditional students, active professionals and life-long learners using the power of information technologies; and to promote a deep appreciation for the range of human difference and potential, a sense of the obligations and rewards of citizenship, and a commitment to learning, freedom and truth.Duke Meeting

 “By pursuing these objectives with vision and integrity, Duke University seeks to engage the mind, elevate the spirit, and stimulate the best effort of all who are associated with the University; to contribute in diverse ways to the local community, the state, the nation and the world; and to attain and maintain a place of real leadership in all that we do.”

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