Daniel Payne, a senior vice president and the chief security officer for ManTech, has been appointed chair of the WashingtonExec Chief Security Officer Council for 2023-2024.
Payne joined ManTech in 2019 after a 37-year career as a senior counterintelligence professional with the CIA. As CSO, he is responsible for strategizing ManTech’s security game plan and meeting security requirements. Payne considers security from personnel to assets to facilities, from digital security to emerging threats.
Payne’s role involves creating ManTech’s security policies and ensuring they maintain high standards of security. He supervises a team of security experts who handle U.S. government contracts that need access to classified information governed by the National Industrial Security Program and other security guidelines.
Prior to joining ManTech, he was director of the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency, and deputy director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Before that, he was deputy chief of counterintelligence and held several senior leadership positions for the CIA.
Payne was also on WashingtonExec’s Top 15 CSOs to Watch in 2022 list.
Below, Payne shares more about his experience and perspective he brings to the CSO Council, what he hopes to accomplish as chair, plans in the works and more.
Based on your extensive experience, what are some of the focus areas/hot topics you want to discuss with the council this year?
A number of key focus areas/hot topics that I would like to engage the Council on are: methods that adversaries are using to steal our national secrets; the security threat ⏤ and advantages ⏤ caused by constantly changing technology; proving with tangible data how security impacts the bottom line of cleared industry; and developing impactful security metrics for company leadership.
How will your personal and career experience and expertise within the CSO community help lead the council in discussions on trending security-related topics?
Having served as the director of DCSA, the agency responsible for industrial security oversight of approximately 13,000 companies involved in classified work, I have a very keen understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of security within industry. Additionally, I know how adversaries are targeting industry to steal our nation’s secrets and critical technology. In collaboration with the CSO Council members, these insights will help drive the group’s agenda.
What does it mean for you to be chairperson of this council?
It is an honor to collaborate with such an esteemed group of security executives to enhance the security profession in private industry by sharing our collective knowledge and experiences, bridging government security and private sector security and providing advice and guidance that protects our national security.
Do you feel there is great value in connecting industry executives with government officials to discuss topics facing the CSO community? If so, why?
Yes. The prestigious members of the CSO Council, individuals who have had impressive careers in private industry and government, are in the unique position of having a clear understanding of and making a significant positive impact on government’s challenges and methods of operations ⏤ and industry’s operating boundaries and pain points. The CSOs on the WashingtonExec CSO Council are in an ideal position to work with government security leaders in addressing issues of concern to both government and industry.
Do you have any unique plans yet for the council?
Yes. Recognizing the tangible evidence of the impact security has on the bottom line of companies is important. The issue security faces is two-fold. First, the end result of the most exceptional security program is that nothing bad ever happens. Second, if nothing bad ever happens, company leadership then begins questioning why they need to spend so much money on security. I have seen this play out many times throughout my career. That’s why a key goal for me as council chair is to equip members with strong metrics and evidence they can leverage with their leadership for success.
What do you hope to accomplish as chair of this council, and what do you hope council members get out of your leadership?
The WashingtonExec CSO Council has an enormous amount of talent and expertise to develop solutions that address and resolve many of the security issues all of our companies are facing. Through our collaboration, we can ensure that the national security information held by our companies receives the highest level of protection. Defeating our adversaries is a team effort.