CIT Alumna, Dr Donna O'Shea is appointed as Chair of Cybersecurity at CIT
Published on: Sunday, 23 August 2020
Dr Donna O’Shea, a CIT computer science graduate and current Head of Department of Computer Science, has been appointed as Chair of Cybersecurity at CIT. This professorial level post is the first to be awarded nationally under the Senior Academic Leadership Initiative (SALI) that was introduced earlier this year by Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D. The goal of the SALI initiative is to accelerate progress in achieving gender balance at the senior academic level across Irish Higher Education. The funding awarded for CIT’s proposal for this senior leadership position is testament to the Institute’s high national standing in Cybersecurity as well as its championing of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) among students and staff, as well as throughout its community-wide interactions.
The Chair of Cybersecurity is a nationally funded research leadership position that involves supporting the development of cybersecurity talent and research capability within CIT as well as working with other higher education institutions, research institutions and industry to ensure that Ireland is competing globally as an attractive location for investment in a sector that is on track to double its current 6,000 Irish jobs total to 12,000 by 2030.
CIT already hosts Cyber Ireland, the IDA-funded national representative body for the sector, which Dr O’Shea was instrumental in establishing. As Chair of Cybersecurity, Dr O’Shea will continue to play a strong role in determining how the sector will progress in the coming years as well as helping to address the critical shortage of females currently in senior research positions in the field and working towards benefiting Ireland’s future talent pool by drawing more women to the sector. As the southern region’s first ever female Head of Department of Computer Science, Dr O’Shea is already very active in addressing and promoting gender and inclusion in the region through engagement with companies such as McKesson (pharma and IT group), in partnership with the SFI Centre for Research Training in Advanced Networks and Sustainable Societies (ADVANCE), to offer innovative new Computer Science PhD scholarships specifically for females.
CIT is among the country’s first colleges to invest in cybersecurity, offering an MSC in Cybersecurity for the past two years. Working closely with industry, CIT continues to expand its programmes in line with changing industry needs.