Grant Schneider steps down as federal CISO, heads to private sector

A nearly three-decade career in federal IT comes to a close.
Grant Schneider, Federal CISO, White House, National Security Council
Grant Schneider speaks Dec. 3, 2019 at the Security Transformation Summit presented by Fortinet and produced by FedScoop and StateScoop. (Scoop News Group)

Grant Schneider, who has spent nearly three decades in the federal government, is leaving his post as the Trump administration’s chief information security officer for the private sector.

Schneider is joining the Washington, D.C., office of law firm Venable as a senior director of cybersecurity services, the firm said in a statement Tuesday. Ari Schwartz, a Venable executive who worked in the Obama administration, lauded Schneider’s work as a federal official on supply chain security and encryption.

Schneider spent more than 20 years at the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon’s spying arm, culminating in a multi-year tenure as chief information officer. He was also a senior official at the Office of Personnel Management in 2015 and 2016 as the agency continued to cope with the fallout of its massive 2014 data breach.

At the National Security Council, Schneider was influential in cybersecurity policymaking. He headed the Vulnerabilities Equities Process, the government mechanism for deciding whether to horde software bugs for intelligence purposes or disclose them to the private sector so they can be fixed.


It’s unclear who will succeed Schneider as federal CISO. Neither the Office of Management and Budget nor the NSC immediately responded to a request for comment Tuesday on Schneider’s departure. Federal News Network was first to report on the move.

Schneider is the latest senior technology official to leave the federal government following the departure of Federal CIO Suzette Kent in July.

Sean Lyngaas

Written by Sean Lyngaas

Sean Lyngaas is CyberScoop’s Senior Reporter covering the Department of Homeland Security and Congress. He was previously a freelance journalist in West Africa, where he covered everything from a presidential election in Ghana to military mutinies in Ivory Coast for The New York Times. Lyngaas’ reporting also has appeared in The Washington Post, The Economist and the BBC, among other outlets. His investigation of cybersecurity issues in the nuclear sector, backed by a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, won plaudits from industrial security experts. He was previously a reporter with Federal Computer Week and, before that, with Smart Grid Today. Sean earned a B.A. in public policy from Duke University and an M.A. in International Relations from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

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