Fortinet Announces Public Sector Advisory Council

SUNNYVALE, Calif. – Jun 7, 2022

Ken Xie, Founder, Chairman of the Board, and CEO at Fortinet

“As cyber adversaries continue to threaten our digital economies and critical infrastructure globally, it is vital that organizations are prepared to defend against the growing cyber threat. Fortinet has a long-standing commitment to partnership and collective insight that facilitates smart policy and collaboration efforts in response to the evolving threat landscape. As a trusted partner to the public sector and private industry, the establishment of the Advisory Council furthers these efforts in the United States as well as worldwide.”

News Summary

Fortinet® (NASDAQ: FTNT), a global leader in broad, integrated, and automated cybersecurity solutions, today announced its Fortinet Public Sector Advisory Council (PSAC). The Fortinet Council includes highly esteemed global leaders, including: Gary Locke, Rachelle Chong, James R. Clapper, Peter Jennings, Sir Richard Shirreff, and Suzanne Spaulding. The members have excelled in a variety of government roles and missions and understand firsthand the value of public-private partnership and the critical importance of cybersecurity today.

As part of the Council, members will contribute strategic counsel and leadership on some of the world’s most critical cybersecurity challenges across the breadth of the public sector—both within the US and internationally, expanding Fortinet’s commitment to securing public sector organizations worldwide.

Fortinet is Committed to Securing the Public Sector

The public sector is an important part of the collective ability of all organizations to enable digital acceleration across government and society and to develop sound public policies that enable progress in cybersecurity and digital services. In recent years, cybercriminals and nation states have increased their attacks, in volume and sophistication, against all types of public sector organizations and critical infrastructure in efforts to steal classified information, disrupt government operations, cripple critical infrastructure, and erode citizens’ trust in government.

Ransomware and other cyber threats are top-of-mind for organizations ranging from local governments and public health facilities to rural elementary schools and utility cooperatives agencies. For many of these organizations, their mission requires strategies, solutions, and counsel that can meet specific objectives, enable trusted operations, and meet sector-specific compliance and regulations guidelines. The Fortinet PSAC and its combined expertise will help steer and advise as to how to best guide public sector organizations through the evolving security challenges and technology needs to address these challenges.

Federal Advisory Board Members Biographies

Public Sector Advisory Council Chairperson

The PSAC will be helmed by Gary Locke. As Chairperson of the Council, Mr. Locke will provide leadership to the PSAC.

Gary Locke

As Governor of the State of Washington, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, and America’s Ambassador to China, Mr. Locke has been a leader in the areas of education, employment, trade, health care, human rights, and the environment. His innovations in government efficiency, customer focus, and priority-based budgeting, as well as successful and under-budget management of high-risk initiatives, have won him acclaim from nationally recognized authors and organizations, including Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. In his two-terms as Governor, the State of Washington was ranked one of America’s four best managed states.

Mr. Locke is currently Interim President of Bellevue College, the third largest higher education institution in Washington State, serves on the two corporate boards and is Chairman of Locke Global Strategies.

Mr. Locke attended Yale University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in political science and received his law degree from Boston University.

Rachelle Chong

Rachelle Chong is a nationally recognized California regulatory lawyer and technology strategist who assists innovative clients before the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Rachelle is proud to be the first Asian American Commissioner of both the FCC and the CPUC, serving under President Clinton and Governor Schwarzenegger.

Ms. Chong is a deep regulatory expert on telecommunications, broadband, spectrum, cable, broadcast, transportation network companies, electric vehicles, smart grid, microgrid, and autonomous vehicle regulation. She works to inspire companies and communities to bridge the Digital Divide, to adopt advanced technologies for grid modernization, cybersecurity and disaster recovery, and to explain the intersection of communications and energy transformation during an era of climate change escalation.

In addition to her eight years of federal and state public service, she has held roles that include as a law partner at two international law firms (Graham & James and Coudert Brothers), General Counsel for two start-ups Broadband Office and Sidecar, Vice President of Government Affairs for a national cable company, Special Counsel for the California Emerging Technology Fund, and senior policy counsel for the California Technology Agency (the CIO office of the state). She founded her solo law and lobbying practice in 2013, and also serves as CEO of R36 Solutions, LLC, a national strategic consulting company.  Ms. Chong is a seasoned corporate board and advisory board member, serving at present on the advisory board of the Electric Power Research Institute, Anterix, Prologis, and the T-Mobile External Diversity and Inclusion Council.

Ms. Chong holds a law degree from UC Hastings College of the Law, and dual B.S. degrees from UC Berkeley.

General Clapper

The Honorable James R. Clapper served as the fourth and longest-tenured U.S. Director of National Intelligence until January 2017.  In this position, Mr. Clapper led the United States Intelligence Community and served as the principal intelligence advisor to President of the United States of America.

Mr. Clapper began his military career in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and it culminated as a lieutenant general in the U.S. Air Force as the 11th Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.  His intelligence-related positions over his 32 years in uniform included Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence at Headquarters, US Air Force during Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm, and Director of Intelligence for three combatant commands: US Forces, Korea; Pacific Command, and Strategic Air Command.  Directly following his retirement from an active military position, Mr. Clapper worked in industry for six years as an executive in three successive companies with the Intelligence Community as his business focus. He also served as a consultant and advisor to Congress and to the Departments of Defense and Energy, and as a member of a variety of government panels, boards, commissions, and advisory groups.

Mr. Clapper returned to the government two days after 9/11 as the third Director of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA), serving in this capacity for almost five years, transforming it into the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) as it currently exists. Prior to becoming the Director of National Intelligence, Mr. Clapper served for over three years in two Administrations as the second Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, where he served as the principal staff assistant and advisor to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary on intelligence, counterintelligence, and security matters for the Department.  In this capacity, he was also dual hatted as the Director of Defense Intelligence for the DNI.

Mr. Clapper earned a bachelor’s degree in government and politics from the University of Maryland, a master’s degree in political science from St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, Texas, and an honorary doctorate in strategic intelligence from the then Joint Military Intelligence College.

Peter Jennings

Peter Jennings was most recently the Executive Director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI – Australia’s leading think-tank on national security). He worked in senior roles in the Australian Public Service on defense and national security, serving previously as the Deputy Secretary for Strategy in the Defense Department (2009-12); Chief of Staff to the Minister for Defense (1996-98) and Senior Adviser for Strategic Policy to the Prime Minister (2002-03). Before that, Mr. Jennings held several senior executive service positions in defense including First Assistant Secretary International Policy and First Assistant Secretary Coordination and Public Affairs, Deputy Director of the Defense Imagery and Geospatial Organization, and Head of the Strategic Policy Branch.

Mr. Jennings studied at the London Business School as a Sloan Fellow and was awarded an M.S. with Distinction. He has an M.A. in International Relations from the Australian National University and a Fulbright Fellow at M.I.T..

General Sir Richard Shirreff

General Sir Richard Shirreff began a 37-year career of service with the British Army, where he commanded soldiers on operations at every level. This included combat in the Gulf War as a tank squadron leader and again in Iraq as a divisional commander.  In addition, he had extensive staff experience at brigade, Army headquarters, and in the Ministry of Defence. He commanded NATO’s Allied Rapid Reaction Corps. His final military assignment was as NATO’s 4 Star Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (DSACEUR).

In February 2016 Sir Richard Shirreff co-founded Strategia Worldwide Ltd, a global risk advisory company serving clients across different industrial sectors and was recently acquired by Sigma7 Global Risk Outcomes, of which he is also Executive Vice President. He was educated in England, and graduated from Exeter College, Oxford where he is also an honorary fellow.

Suzanne Spaulding

Suzanne Spaulding serves as a member of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission and is also senior adviser for homeland security and director of the Defending Democratic Institutions project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

Previously, Ms. Spaulding served as undersecretary for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), where she led the National Protection and Programs Directorate, which has transitioned to become the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). In that role, she managed a $3 billion budget and a workforce of 18,000 charged with strengthening cybersecurity and protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure, including election infrastructure. Ms. Spaulding has worked in the executive branch in Republican and Democratic administrations and on both sides of the aisle in Congress. She was general counsel for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and minority staff director for the House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. She also spent six years at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), where she was assistant general counsel and the legal adviser to the director’s Nonproliferation Center. Following the attacks of 9/11, Ms. Spaulding worked with key critical infrastructure sectors as they reviewed their security posture and advised the CEOs of the Business Roundtable.

Ms. Spaulding earned both her law degree and undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia.

Additional Resources

About Fortinet

Fortinet (NASDAQ: FTNT) makes possible a digital world that we can always trust through its mission to protect people, devices, and data everywhere. This is why the world’s largest enterprises, service providers, and government organizations choose Fortinet to securely accelerate their digital journey. The Fortinet Security Fabric platform delivers broad, integrated, and automated protections across the entire digital attack surface, securing critical devices, data, applications, and connections from the data center to the cloud to the home office. Ranking #1 in the most security appliances shipped worldwide, more than 580,000 customers trust Fortinet to protect their businesses. And the Fortinet NSE Training Institute, an initiative of Fortinet’s Training Advancement Agenda (TAA), provides one of the largest and broadest training programs in the industry to make cyber training and new career opportunities available to everyone. Learn more at, the Fortinet Blog, or FortiGuard Labs.

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Other trademarks belong to their respective owners. Fortinet has not independently verified statements or certifications herein attributed to third parties and Fortinet does not independently endorse such statements. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein, nothing herein constitutes a warranty, guarantee, contract, binding specification or other binding commitment by Fortinet or any indication of intent related to a binding commitment, and performance and other specification information herein may be unique to certain environments. This news release may contain forward-looking statements that involve uncertainties and assumptions, such as statements regarding technology releases among others. Changes of circumstances, product release delays, or other risks as stated in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, located at, may cause results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in this press release. If the uncertainties materialize or the assumptions prove incorrect, results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and assumptions. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements. Fortinet assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, and expressly disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

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