Christopher Cleary

Christopher Cleary was named the Department of the Navy Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and Director of the DON CIO Cybersecurity Directorate in October 2019. In this role, he is responsible for maintaining the security of DON data and information, regardless of where it resides. He is also responsible for meeting Communication Security standards, implementing identify management solutions, setting policy and standards across the DON enterprise, and ensuring DON alignment to the DOD cybersecurity architecture. Chris reports directly to the DON CIO.


Before returning to his roots in the Navy, Chris was working in the commercial sector as Vice President of Business Development and Strategy for Leidos’s Cyber & SIGINT Solutions Operation, based in Columbia, Maryland. Chris’s other commercial experience includes Director of Business Development, Tenable; Client Partner, Verizon Enterprise Solutions; Director of Cyber Intelligence, L3 Communications; President, Vir-Sec Government Services; and Senior Manager of Intelligence Programs, Sparta.


Chris is a retired Naval Reserve Officer who served 16 of 24 years on active duty in a variety of leadership roles supporting several commands including, US CYBER COMMAND, National Security Agency (NSA), Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), Assault Craft Unit TWO, and USS Simpson (FFG-56). Prior to receiving his commission Chris spent four year as an F/A-18 Hornet avionics technician serving with The Desert Gladiators (VFA-106). Chris has deployed four times, twice supporting combat operations in Iraq.


He is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Program Management Professional (PMP). He has been a lecturer at the United States Naval Academy, Federal Aviation Administration, Naval Postgraduate School, The New School of Design, Montreat College, DEFCON Security Conference, and the National Defense University.


Chris graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1996 and he obtained a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College in 2012. Chris and his wife of 24 years has four children.


He holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from George Washington University, an M.A. in National Security Studies from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, and a B.S. magna cum laude in Emergency Medical Services from George Washington University.