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Governor Carney and Delaware's Chief Information Security Officer Elayne Starkey Named Winners of the SANS Institute's 2017 Difference Makers Awards

Honored for Leadership in Finding New Ways to Develop Delaware's Cyber Security Workforce

  • Bethesda, MD
  • December 5, 2017

SANS Institute today announced Governor Carney and Delaware's Chief Information Security Officer Elayne Starkey have been named among the winners of the 2017 SANS Difference Makers Award. The Difference Maker Awards were created to honor the unsung heroes in cyber security whose innovation, skill, and hard work have resulted in real successes in information security.

"Delaware's Congressional delegation have been leaders in cybersecurity for more than a decade. Here we see Delaware once again being 'first in the nation.' And Elayne Starkey did a spectacular job at giving students in Delaware a chance to discover their talent - in some cases their hidden talents. Kudos," said Alan Paller, National Program Manager, U.S. CyberStart and Director of Research, SANS Institute.

Governor Carney was recognized for his leadership in finding new ways to develop the cyber-capable workforce by bringing CyberStart pilot program to students in Delaware. CyberStart is a forward-thinking skills program designed to inspire the next generation cyber security professionals while identifying talented young Americans. In addition to providing a unique learning opportunity and scholarships for students, the program can lead to job growth and improved cyber security in Delaware.

The CyberStart pilot program was managed by Ms. Starkey who in just two weeks, with the help of her communications team, signed up 359 Delaware students; 47 percent of whom qualified for the CyberStart Game. Of the nearly 3,300 students competing from seven states, four Delaware high school and college students were in the top 50 nationally. A total of 20 Delaware students won CyberStart scholarships for more advanced education in cyber security.

Participant Soohan Kim, a junior at Dover High School sent a note to Governor Carney saying, "Thank you so much for sponsoring CyberStart. This truly was an incredible experience that allowed me to learn so much. I am definitely considering a career in cyber security because of this program."

To learn more about the SANS Difference Makers Awards, visit:

About SANS Institute

The SANS Institute was established in 1989 as a cooperative research and education organization. Today, SANS is the most trusted and, by far, the largest provider of cyber security training and certification to professionals in government and commercial institutions worldwide. Renowned SANS instructors teach more than 60 courses at In-Person and Live Online cyber security training events, and more than 50 courses are available anytime, anywhere with our OnDemand platform. GIAC, an affiliate of the SANS Institute, validates practitioner skills through more than 35 hands-on, technical certifications in cyber security. The SANS Technology Institute, a regionally accredited independent subsidiary, offers a master’s degree, graduate certificates, and an undergraduate certificate in cyber security. SANS Security Awareness, a division of SANS, provides organizations with a complete and comprehensive security awareness solution, enabling them to easily and effectively manage their ‘human’ cybersecurity risk. SANS also delivers a wide variety of free resources to the InfoSec community including consensus projects, research reports, webcasts, podcasts, and newsletters; it also operates the Internet's early warning system – the Internet Storm Center. At the heart of SANS are the many security practitioners, representing varied global organizations from corporations to universities, working together to support and educate the global information security community. (