Susan Côté-Freeman

Heather Ricciuto

Global Leader, Academic Outreach Program
IBM Security

Heather Ricciuto is Global Leader of the Academic Outreach Program at IBM Security. Heather strives to address the skills gap through education.

She is the co-leader of IBM’s Women in Security Excelling (WISE) Business Resource Group. With approximately 900 members, WISE aims to bring awareness and change to the cybersecurity gender gap through education, events and youth outreach. Heather is particularly passionate about inspiring our youth to aspire to careers in STEM, and about driving awareness around the cybersecurity skills and gender gaps. She is a proud Co-Founder of IBMCyberDay4Girls, a program designed to build cybersecurity awareness amongst middle school girls. The IBMCyberDay4Girls program has touched the lives of 2.5K girls in the US, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Argentina, Nigeria, UK, Ireland and India since its launch in October 2016. 

Heather has been called upon to speak at industry-leading events, such as SIGCSE, GTEC, CyberSmart, 3CS, NICE K12 and RSA Conference on the topics of the cybersecurity skills gap, the gender gap, the importance of cybersecurity education in K12, and IBM’s New Collar initiatives. She regularly contributes to SecurityIntelligence.com, IBM Security’s online publication, via blogs, news articles and podcasts, and she has been interviewed by other online publications, including CSO Online, ISMG Network, EdTech Magazine, cnbc.com and ITSP Magazine.

Heather serves as an advisor on several cybersecurity program, conference and competition committees including Durham College, Northeastern University (Toronto), University of Guelph, National CPTC, 3CS and ICTC’s Youth Leadership Council. She is the proud recipient of two IBM Diversity and Inclusive Leadership Ambassador Awards for her work in the advancement of women in technology in the area of Supply Chain management. In 2018, CyberNB/ONB recognized Heather for her efforts to education youth about cybersecurity.