University Hosts White House Office of the National Cyber Director

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By University Communications
Tuesday, 04 23 2024

The event highlighted the region's cyber job opportunities and challenges

White House GuestsSAN ANTONIO — A&M-San Antonio recently hosted the White House Office of the National Cyber Director (ONCD) for a special event about cybersecurity and cyber workforce opportunities and challenges. The ONCD advises the President of the United States on cybersecurity policy and strategy, working to advance national security, economic prosperity, and technological innovation.   

Special guests included Acting Principal Deputy National Cyber Director Jake Braun, who discussed expanding the cyber workforce pipeline. Braun previously served as Senior Counselor for Transformation to the Secretary of Homeland Security.  

Texas A&M University-San Antonio is one of nine Hispanic-Serving Institutions designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity by the National Security Agency.  Braun’s visit to A&M-San Antonio was part of the ONCD’s National Cyber Workforce Education Roadshow. 

“A&M-San Antonio is one of the region’s leaders in cyber education and research, with innovative and affordable undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as the NSA/DHS CDE certificate,” said Dr. Jeong Yang, Director of the Center of Information Technology & Cyber  Security. “These programs prepare our students for in-demand careers in computer science, cyber security, and information systems.” 

The ONCD event got underway with a cyber stakeholder roundtable, featuring representatives from the region’s top businesses, nonprofits, and educational institutions. Discussions focused on how to grow and sustain the region’s cyber workforce. Braun also held a listening session with University students to learn about their experiences in cyber education and the opportunities and challenges they’ve faced in joining the cyber workforce.  

The visit culminated in a “Tech Fiesta,” with a roundtable discussion featuring representatives from the Cyber Education and Training Assistance Program, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the National Security Agency, Texas. The panelists discussed their roles in the San Antonio cyber ecosystem and offered tips for students.  

“We’ve learned so much here about what’s working, and we’re going to take that back to DC and amplify your achievements,” said Braun, who added that the federal government is responding to the challenge of filling good-paying cyber jobs, including over 36,000 vacancies in Texas, with 4,500 openings in the San Antonio area.  

“We are honored that the ONCD chose to hold this informative and educational event at A&M-San Antonio,” said Dr. Mohamed Abdelrahman, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. “It demonstrates the University’s growing role in ‘Cyber City USA’ and how we are not just educating students, but also strengthening the region’s cyber workforce with ready-to-hire graduates.” 


About Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Established as a stand-alone university in 2009, Texas A&M University-San Antonio is a comprehensive four-year public university that reflects the culturally diverse, heritage-rich community it serves. Situated on nearly 700 acres in South San Antonio, the University offers 39 undergraduate degrees and 23 graduate degrees to about 7,620 students. A&M-San Antonio is home to the Henry G. Cisneros Institute for Emerging Leaders, the Cyber Engineering Technology/Cyber Security Research Center, and the Mays Center for Experiential Learning and Community Engagment. The University holds the Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) designation and is one of 39 higher education institutions in the U.S. to have received the Seal of Excelencia certification from Excelencia in Education for its support of Latino student success. More than 77 percent of A&M-SA students identify as Hispanic, and approximately 72 percent are the first in their families to attend college. A&M-San Antonio is a military-embracing institution; the University was recently awarded the 2023 Gold Veteran Education Excellence Recognition Award (VEERA) from the Texas Veterans Commission. Visit for more information. #onamission