Shari Lewison has been named Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) of the University of Iowa. Lewison has served in this key role on an interim basis since December. She successfully facilitated the transition of Jane Drews’ retirement, and showed great leadership in bringing the healthcare and university IT security teams together as one team, as an early step in the integration of Health Care Information Systems and OneIT.
Lewison brings a wealth of IT experience to the position. She will lead efforts to evaluate security risks and develop strategies to ensure data and systems are adequately protected. She is responsible for developing an information security plan which promotes secure IT systems, services, and programs, and will develop and enforce the university’s security policies. The CISO office identifies architectural requirements to maximize security, coordinates security incident response and resolution, and provides education to technology users and campus partners.
Lewison’s IT career spans 30 years, 15 of them focused on security. She was CISO at UIHC before the teams merged, and previously held IT security leadership positions in the educational testing and financial services industries. She is a graduate of the UI Tippie College of Business Professional MBA Program, and earned a B.A. in computer science and art from Luther College. Her experience in the field includes application development, project management, information systems auditing, and management.
The cybersecurity landscape is evolving in speed, complexity, and significance. Formalizing collaboration between the UI and healthcare security teams under Lewison’s leadership presents an opportunity to expand the overall security capability for the UI. It brings together experience, expertise, tools, and perspectives from both teams to create more depth and efficiency. Integrating the academic and healthcare perspectives provides a higher level of prevention, detection, and response, and supports a more consistent IT environment for faculty, staff, and students who work in both areas.
"The role of CISO is critical to protecting UI information assets," says Associate Vice President and Chief Information Officer Steve Fleagle. "Shari is well equipped to lead this charge, with significant experience in the field, proven leadership capability, knowledge of the institution, and strong relationships on and beyond campus. Please join me in welcoming Shari to her new role."