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Operational Technology Defender Fellowships


Application Deadline: OCTOBER 15, 2021

Protecting the nation’s energy infrastructure from modern threats is vital to maintaining national security, a vibrant economy, and public health and safety. Security managers serve as a utility’s first line of defense against cyber-enabled sabotage and physical security breaches, ranging from financially motivated material theft to reconnaissance to deliberate attacks in cyberspace and in the physical world. While their role is critical, their work is challenging, and resources are limited.

To better support these front-line managers, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER) created the Operational Technology (OT) Defender Fellowship Program. This highly selective education program offers middle- and senior-level OT security managers in the U.S. energy sector an opportunity to more fully understand the cyber strategies and tactics that adversarial state and non-state actors use in targeting U.S. energy infrastructure, and how the U.S. government is postured to counter these adversarial activities.

The fellowship is sponsored by the Department of Energy (DOE) and hosted by Idaho National Laboratory (INL), with support from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies Center on Cyber and Technology Innovation (CCTI).


Ideal candidates have the following characteristics:

  • Be in a management role in a U.S. energy sector asset owner or operator organization, with decision-making authority and oversight responsibility for the security or operations of operational technology systems – senior enough to influence the strategy and tactics of the organization, and in touch with how the work is performed on the front lines
  • Have the support of their manager and of the organization’s leadership
  • Commit to the requirements of the fellowship, including attending quarterly in-person seminars and completing assigned activities between seminars to build utility perspective and promote information sharing
  • Be a U.S. citizen (required)
  • Currently holds an active federal security clearance

Official Website: Operational Technology Defender Fellowships



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