President Biden Announces Appointments to the President’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council

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President Joe Biden announced his intent to appoint highly qualified and diverse industry and government leaders as members of the President’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC), which advises the White House on how to reduce physical and cyber risks and improve the security and resilience of the nation’s critical infrastructure sectors. Appointees include:

Deneen DeFiore is an accomplished technology and risk management executive with experience across multiple critical infrastructure sectors. She has developed expertise in advising global companies and their most senior executives on technology, cybersecurity, compliance, and digital risk decisions related to products, services, significant initiatives, and ongoing operations. DeFiore currently serves as Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer at United Airlines. She is responsible for leading the cybersecurity organization to ensure the company is prepared to prevent, detect, and respond to evolving cyber threats; as well as initiatives on commercial aviation cyber safety risk, improving cyber resilience, and representing United in working with international partners to reduce cyber safety risk world-wide across the aviation ecosystem. She has received many industry awards & honors and is an inductee of 2021 Chief Security Officer Hall of Fame. She is passionate about diversity in the tech industry and promoting STEM education.

Joshua Descant is CEO of REV/REV Business, a leading broadband and telecommunications provider headquartered in Southeast Louisiana’s Capital Region. With decades of history providing regional communications access and data security services, REV builds and maintains critical network infrastructure services for a wide array of industry sectors and consumers in Louisiana with expansions along the gulf region. Creating and supporting an extensive infrastructure presence throughout the industrial port corridor of South Louisiana, REV is an important strategic component to the United States’ energy needs, and foreign and domestic trade. With 25 years of extensive leadership experience in the telecommunications and media industries, Descant currently serves on the leadership committee of USTelecom (a dedicated alliance of connectivity executives representing local and regional broadband innovators); is a member of The Committee of 100 for Economic Development, Inc. (C100), representing the Capital Region of Louisiana; is a member of the Ascension Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors; and is proud to have formerly served in the United States Marine Corps. He holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi.

Clara Pratte has advocated for tribal communities nationwide on economic development and sustainable growth. She grew up on the Navajo reservation and has committed her work to poverty alleviation, economic empowerment, and advancing tribal sovereignty. Today she assists and advises tribes nationwide on economic development matters. She founded Strongbow Strategies, a government services firm, in 2013 and joined the Navajo Power leadership team in 2018 to implement new energy development models on the Navajo Nation. Her past experience includes serving as the Tribal Engagements Director for the Biden-Harris campaign and transition, Navajo Nation Chief of Staff, the Navajo Nation Executive Director of the Washington D.C. office, the National Director of the Office of Native American Affairs of the U.S. Small Business Administration. She has won numerous awards including the 2020 Pritzker Emerging Environmental Genius Award (UCLA) and 2020 Native Disruptor Award (Native Business Magazine).

Anthony Thomas is President and CEO of Windstream. He was appointed to the position in December 2014. Thomas has more than 20 years’ experience in the communications industry. Thomas served as the chief financial officer for Windstream from August 2009 through September 2014. During his five-year tenure as CFO, Thomas played an integral role in Windstream’s expansion by completing seven acquisitions totaling more than $5.6 billion in transaction value. In addition, Thomas has deep capital market expertise, having led almost $10 billion in debt transactions. Thomas joined Windstream as controller following the spinoff from Alltel Corp. He held a variety of financial and operational leadership roles at Alltel after joining the company when it merged with 360 Communications in 1998. Before entering the communications industry, he was with Ernst & Young in the telecom practice. He holds a master’s degree in business administration from Wake Forest University and a bachelor’s degree in accountancy from the University of Illinois.

President Biden Announces Appointments to the President’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council