Cyrus J. Walker - Chief Executive Officer
Cyrus is an experienced Information Security industry executive with a diverse technology background. He has served in several executive-level capacities in the commercial and academic sectors of the Information Security and Computer Forensics industry.
Cyrus pioneered the concept of Applied Computer Forensics™ and related forensic analysis models and processes that are now being used by Data Defenders to aid election jurisdictions in ensuring the operational integrity of the their electronic voting systems. In addition to his responsibilities at Data Defenders, Cyrus serves as a subject matter expert on Cyber terrorism defense and Incident Response Management at the University of Arkansas' Cyber Defense Analysis Center (CDAC) which is funded and directed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Cyrus is the former chairman of the Computer Security and Computer Forensics department at the Wilbur Wright College campus of the City Colleges of Chicago, one of the nation's leading computer forensics and information security professional development programs.
Prior to Data Defenders, Cyrus spent 12 years in technology consulting where his engineering & management expertise in High Speed Network Design were used to design and test carrier broadband interoperability which served as the foundation for development of the broadband-based Internet that currently serves the country today. Cyrus was recognized for his groundbreaking work and leadership in 1995 by President Bill Clinton.
Cyrus's theoretical work on Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) network design was published in the IEEE conference journal on Modeling, Analysis and Simulation of Computer and Telecommunications Systems in 1997.
Cyrus holds a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois.
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Lester McCarroll - Principal of Business Development
Lester McCarroll is a Principal of Business Development at Data Defenders.
Lester specializes in providing cybersecurity, technology management, and professional services to commercial and municipal customers.
His responsibilities at Data Defenders include building and managing Data Defenders' business development operations, strategic planning, and marketing operations.
Because of his significant technical and product management experience, Lester also provides management, guidance, and support for Data Defenders' strategic product development.
Lester's background includes, guiding strategic planning for the Institute of Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago; creating shared goals and initiatives amongst new faculty and partners at Argonne Labs.
This also includes facilitating the development of program management capabilities to ensure execution of the resultant plans, and identifying the key operational processes and policies necessary to support research,
hiring, curriculum development, student recruiting and support, development, and corporate partnerships.
In 2010, Lester was contracted by the Chicago Urban League to provide Executive Coaching for clients in the nextONE Business Accelerator program; guiding leadership teams' and individual leaders to the higher levels of performance required to elevate their business results.
He also helped design and launch TechAdvantage@IIT and the Enhancing Technology for Small Businesses (ETSB) programs in partnership with the Illinois Institute of Technology.
As the consultant and facilitator, he has provided coaching, technology planning, business modeling, and marketing strategy for over 100 clients in a range of industries to foster economic development in Chicago.
During a ten-year tenure at Motorola as Vice President of Product Development, Lester impacted the company in a number of fundamental areas of marketing and product planning, international strategies and operations,
country management coordination, wireless infrastructure and feature sets for telecommunication carriers, software development processes, diversity market and employee development, and mentoring.
Lester started his career at AT&T Bell Laboratories at the age of 15 as a summer intern. After receiving degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1983 and Stanford University in 1984,
he rejoined Bell Labs, leading development and project management of various digital services systems, hardware, software releases, and features for the switching business prior to joining Motorola in 1994.
Lester is a member of the 100 Black Men of Chicago, a mentoring organization; and is responsible for chairing their annual College Scholarship Fair.
He is also currently on the Leadership Advisory Committee of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Steering Committee for the YMCA's Black and Latino Achievers Program.
He served on the board of the Southside/Wabash YMCA in Chicago for a number of years, and was a member of the Executive Committee of the National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science, Inc. (GEM) from 2000 to 2003.
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