SpiderOak Secure Comms Adds Admiral Winnefeld Jr to Advisory Board

SpiderOak Mission Systems, provider of cryptographically-secure communication and collaboration products, is pleased to announce that Admiral James A. “Sandy” Winnefeld, United States Navy (Retired) has joined the company’s Federal Advisory Board. The Advisory Board provides critical insight and guidance to SpiderOak in aligning business strategy and product development with the unique needs of the public sector.  Winnefeld brings nearly forty years of government and military experience from his time in the Navy, serving four years as the ninth vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the United States’ number two-ranking military officer.

Admiral Winnefeld is a tremendous addition to our advisory board and brings an extensive understanding of the cyber-threat landscape challenging secure communication and collaboration in our most sensitive environments,” said David Pearah, SpiderOak CEO. “His guidance will be critical in assuring our products, technology, and strategy are best positioned to meet these challenges and improve mission outcomes for our federal clientele.”

Admiral Winnefeld joins an already impressive advisory board team including Lieutenant General Ken Tovo, U.S. Army (Retired), counterterrorism and cybersecurity expert Nancy Dillman, and internationally renowned political scientist and management scholar Professor Daniel Diermeier, applying their collective perspectives and defense and intelligence-industry expertise to the success of the company’s expanding portfolio of products – including the CrossClave secure communication and collaboration solution, and new in-the-works offerings for trusted application development and secure management of spacecraft and payloads.

A 1978 graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology, Admiral Winnefeld holds a degree in Aerospace Engineering. He began his naval service as a fighter pilot, flying the F-14 Tomcat during several deployments to the Western Pacific and Arabian Gulf regions, and continued his career instructing at the Navy Fighter Weapons School (also known as TOPGUN) and serving as senior aide-de-camp to General Colin L. Powell.  He commanded a fighter squadron, the amphibious ship USS CLEVELAND, and the aircraft carrier USS ENTERPRISE.  As a flag officer, he commanded a carrier strike group, two NATO commands, the United States 6th Fleet, United States Northern Command, and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).  He retired in 2015. 

2020 saw a massive shift of federal employees moving from physical to virtual or work from home environments. These people rely on communication and collaboration software to effectively do their job. Unfortunately, most products in this space are not designed to meet the federal government’s exacting security requirements, and continuing to use them exposes the nation to significant risk,” said Admiral Winnefeld. “SpiderOak products have been specifically designed to operate in even the most contested environments, securing the confidentiality and integrity of the most sensitive collaborative efforts. I look forward to getting this capability into the hands of the people who need it most.

Admiral Winnefeld is a frequently published author and a director or advisory board member for companies operating in a broad spectrum of business sectors.  He currently serves as Distinguished Professor at the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at Georgia Tech, where he is also a member of the Engineering Hall of Fame.  He is a senior non-resident fellow at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and is chairman of the Georgia Tech Advisory Board.  Admiral Winnefeld and his wife, Mary, are co-chairs of SAFEProject.US, a national nonprofit committed to helping reverse the epidemic of drug overdose fatalities in the United States.

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