Some of the top cybersecurity professionals from across the Federal government and the private sector gathered Thursday evening at Morton’s in Washington, D.C., to honor the 2023 class of Cyber Defender award winners.

“Tonight we are celebrating our 2023 Cyber Defenders to recognize their achievements, and we are awarding each our Leonidas statue, which represents courage and resiliency,” said Caroline Boyd, Principal of Government Programs for MeriTalk, at the awards ceremony held as part of MeriTalk’s Cyber Smoke gathering. “We’d like to say thank you for all that you should do to keep our country safe,” she said.

Check out the complete list of winners here, and what some of them had to tell us at the award presentation last night:

“I am very pleased and honored to have received this award, it definitely feels awesome, and we appreciate it.” – Lilian Herrera, Mobile Services Manager, Cybersecurity Shared Services Office (CSSO), Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

“It feels pretty good, I am so honored to have received this award!” – Lynette Sherrill, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Information Security and Chief Information Security Officer, Department of Veterans Affairs

“I’m very pleased. Being named as a Cyber Defender allows me to share how we protected the federal government better for the last few decades.” – Joseph Sharon, Director, CDM Program Management Office, OCIO/EOD, Department of Homeland Security

“I just feel honored that people would recommend me to be recognized for the work that we’re trying to do.” – Russell Marsh, Director, Cyber Operations, National Nuclear Security Administration

“I’m very humbled to receive this award again. I give the credit to my team who are just amazing. And honestly, I’m just honored to be able to work in this market serve the mission of our customers.” – Bill Rucker, President, Trustwave Government Solutions

“I feel honored to be selected for this award. MeriTalk is a great partner and I’m very happy to be recognized with this prestigious award.” – Gary Barlet, Federal Chief Technology Officer, Illumio

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.