Sorene Assefa GFCE Advisory Board member

Sorene is the Coordinator of Cybersecurity and Connected African Girls Initiative of the Digital Center for Excellence in the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

Prior to joining UNECA, She worked at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) HQ for the Office of the Secretary-General as an Information Technology System Officer and later as a Technology Analyst. At the ITU, she played instrumental roles in Emerging Trends, Internet Governance Public Policies, and of course, Cybersecurity, specifically the implementation of critical national mechanisms for the prevention of and in response to Cyber incidents such as Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs), analysis and implementation of international frameworks for Cybersecurity Policies and Standards, development of toolkits, and provision of technical training and capacity building in line with ITU’sCybersecurity mandate.Through her research works and professional responsibilities, Sorene continues to support African nations aimed at strengthening their national Cybersecurity postures and harmonizing their efforts with international frameworks by actively participating in global discussions that promote cyber diplomacy.

As the founder and Managing Director of Cyber Czar, her contribution is conspicuous in promoting, empowering and attracting more young African women to play an increasing role in STEAM and ICTs, especially Cybersecurity and Internet governance.She currently serves on the steering committee of the Network of African Women in Cybersecurity (NAWC), which empowers women to lead gender-neutral cybersecurity initiatives.Furthermore, Soreneis pursuing a PhD at the University of Cape Town, researching the implications of the Cyber Sovereignty discourse on Cybersecurity and National Security in South Africa.

She has a BSc Honours in Computer Science (Cum laude) and an MSc in Computer Science from the University of Johannesburg. In addition, she is also a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP®), a Certified Information Security Manager (CISM®), PRINCE2, ITIL®, COBIT ®, and ISO/IEC 27001. In addition to being one of Mail & Guardian’s 200 young South Africans, Sorene was a finalist for (ISC)2’s International Cybersecurity Professional competition. She also received the “2018 inspiring fifty South Africa” – award recognizes women in technology and innovation who excel in STEM fields. Sorene is passionate about sharing her knowledge and expertise, especially in empowering and amplifying Women in Cybersecurity Cybersecurity, Privacy, Internet Governance, Cyber Diplomacy, and Data Justice.

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