AWS Security Blog

AWS Verified episode 5: A conversation with Eric Rosenbach of Harvard University’s Belfer Center

I am pleased to share the latest episode of AWS Verified, where we bring you conversations with global cybersecurity leaders about important issues, such as how to create a culture of security, cyber resiliency, Zero Trust, and other emerging security trends.

Recently, I got the opportunity to experience distance learning when I took the AWS Verified series back to school. I got a taste of life as a Harvard grad student, meeting (virtually) with Eric Rosenbach, Co-Director of the Belfer Center of Science and International Affairs at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. I call it, “Verified meets Veritas.” Harvard’s motto may never be the same again.

In this video, Eric shared with me the Belfer Center’s focus as the hub of the Harvard Kennedy School’s research, teaching, and training at the intersection of cutting edge and interdisciplinary topics, such as international security, environmental and resource issues, and science and technology policy. In recognition of the Belfer Center’s consistently stellar work and its six consecutive years ranked as the world’s #1 university-affiliated think tank, in 2021 it was named a center of excellence by the University of Pennsylvania’s Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program.

Eric’s deep connection to the students reflects the Belfer Center’s mission to prepare future generations of leaders to address critical areas in practical ways. Eric says, “I’m a graduate of the school, and now that I’ve been out in the real world as a policy practitioner, I love going into the classroom, teaching students about the way things work, both with cyber policy and with cybersecurity/cyber risk mitigation.”

In the interview, I talked with Eric about his varied professional background. Prior to the Belfer Center, he was the Chief of Staff to US Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter. Eric was also the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Global Security, where he was known around the US government as the Pentagon’s cyber czar. He has served as an officer in the US Army, written two books, been the Chief Security Officer for the European ISP Tiscali, and was a professional committee staff member in the US Senate.

I asked Eric to share his opinion on what the private sector and government can learn from each other. I’m excited to share Eric’s answer to this with you as well as his thoughts on other topics, because the work that Eric and his Belfer Center colleagues are doing is important for technology leaders.

Watch my interview with Eric Rosenbach, and visit the AWS Verified webpage for previous episodes, including interviews with security leaders from Netflix, Vodafone, Comcast, and Lockheed Martin. If you have an idea or a topic you’d like covered in this series, please leave a comment below.

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Steve Schmidt

Steve is Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer for AWS. His duties include leading product design, management, and engineering development efforts focused on bringing the competitive, economic, and security benefits of cloud computing to business and government customers. Prior to AWS, he had an extensive career at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, where he served as a senior executive and section chief. He currently holds 11 patents in the field of cloud security architecture. Follow Steve on Twitter.