David McKeown, Defense Leader and  2024 Cyber Summit Opening Keynote Speaker

Photo of David McKeown/ U.S. Department of Defense

David McKeown, Defense Leader and 2024 Cyber Summit Opening Keynote Speaker

David McKeown of the U.S. Department of Defense is handpicked by the Potomac Officers Club as the opening keynote speaker at the 2024 Cyber Summit. He has valuable insights on cyber’s pervasive and burgeoning impact across the federal government.


Learn more about David McKeown’s professional journey as a foremost defense and cyber leader.


An Introduction to David McKeown


David McKeown at the press release of the DoD Zero Trust Strategy and Roadmap at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
Photo of David McKeown/ DVIDS


David McKeown has taken on the roles of Senior Information Security Officer and Deputy Chief Information Officer for Cybersecurity at the Department of Defense since November 2020.


In these capacities, Mr. McKeown provides expert policy, defense-wide oversight on technical and program operations, and integration support across all DoD initiatives on cybersecurity. He also oversees the department’s cybersecurity programs and related governance processes.


David McKeown leverages his expertise to forge partnerships with the private sector to strengthen the DoD’s cybersecurity operations and missions. He also represents the Secretary of Defense and DoD Chief Information Officer at international discussions and negotiations on cybersecurity topics.


David McKeown graduated from Indiana University South Bend with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. He also holds a Master of Science in Computer Science from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.


Related article: Breaking Down the DOD’s New Defense Industrial Base Cybersecurity Strategy


David McKeown’s Professional Background


David McKeown’s career at the U.S. Department of Defense has spanned over 30 years, 27 of which are spent in the Air Force and eight as a government civilian.


Before becoming the DoD’s Deputy CIO and Senior Information Security Officer, Mr. McKeown was the Director of Enterprise Services at the Department of Justice. From September 2019 to November 2020, he led a team of over 300 technical professionals and managed an annual budget of $125 million.


Previously, David spent four years at the Joint Service Provider as the Chief of the Cybersecurity and Enterprise Service Centers. 


Spending the majority of his time at the U.S. Air Force, David McKeown served as:


  • Chief of Information Assurance Division, from 2011 to 2013
  • Commander of the 5th Communications Squadron, from 2009 to 2011
  • Commander of the 609th ACOMS Operations Flight, from 2008 to 2009
  • Division Chief of the Current Operations and Network Operations, from 2004 to 2008
  • Commander of the 6th Communications Squadron Mission Systems Flight, from 2001 to 2004
  • Commander of Detachment 1 of the 33rd Training Squadron, from 1998 to 2001
  • Lead Systems Architecture Engineer, from 1991 to 1996
  • Fire Protection Crew Chief, from 1986 to 1988
  • Fire Protection Specialist, from 1984 to 1986


These roles enabled him to develop the acumen and competence in cybersecurity operations, network security, and contract procurement.


Outside of executive management, Mr. David McKeown worked in the education sector as an adjunct professor of computer programming and fundamentals. He taught at the Northern Virginia Community College, the Metropolitan Community College, and his alma mater, Indiana University South Bend.


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Join the 2024 Cyber Summit to unlock the power of cyber in the private and government sectors.


David McKeown Tapped as the 2024 Cyber Summit Opening Keynote Speaker


David McKeown’s extensive career in cybersecurity is paramount to the safety of many federal agencies’ networks and IT security. For this reason, the Potomac Officers Club taps the DoD Deputy CIO to deliver the opening keynote at the 2024 Cyber Summit.


The 2024 Cyber Summit, to be held on June 6, 2024, will gather the foremost cybersecurity experts and officers from the private and public sectors. They’ll illuminate the role of cyber in ushering monumental transformations, propelling efficiency, and unlocking capabilities to achieve the seemingly impossible.


The 2024 Cyber Summit is one of the Potomac Officers Club’s most anticipated events in 2024. Become a member and get access to exclusive content and other POC events.


What are David McKeown’s Industry Contributions?


Businessman secures data with encryption and network security, protecting transactions.
Photo by Thapana_Studio/ Shutterstock


Among David McKeown’s notable accomplishments was leading the department’s initiatives to achieve zero-trust goals in 2023. His efforts in helping the DoD build a culture of zero trust, protect information systems, and accelerate technology frameworks earned him his first Wash100 award in 2023.


Subsequently, on February 16, 2024, David McKeown announced that the Department of Defense had published a strategy and implementation plan to accomplish its zero-trust goals by 2027.


He highlighted that the three crucial steps for the DoD to achieve its zero-trust mission are to leverage cloud services, adopt tailored on-premise platforms, and thoroughly understand the current cyber environment.


In addition to cybersecurity, the DoD Deputy CIO is investigating potential artificial intelligence applications suitable for the DoD’s zero-trust strategy. He noted that AI will be imperative to identify and track anomalous behavior that deters the success of warfighters and maintenance operations.


You might also want to read: New DOD Defense Industrial Base Cybersecurity Strategy Aims to Elevate Department’s Position in Cyber Domain; Kathleen Hicks Quoted

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