Christopher Cleary was named the Department of the Navy Chief Principal Cyber Advisor (PCA) in November 2020. In this role, he is responsible for advising the Secretary of the Navy, Chief of Naval Operations, and Commandant of the Marine Corps and implementing the Department of Defense Cyber Strategy within the Department of the Navy (DON). Prior to being appointed as the PCA he was the DON Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and Director of the DON CIO Cybersecurity Directorate.
Before returning to his roots in the Navy, Chris worked in the commercial sector as Vice President of Business Development and Strategy for Leidos’ Cyber & SIGINT Solutions Operation, based in Columbia, Maryland. Chris’s other commercial experience includes Director of Business Development, Tenable; Client Partner, Verizon Enterprise Solutions; Director of Cyber Intelligence, L3 Communications; President, Vir-Sec Government Services; and Senior Manager of Intelligence Programs, Sparta.
Chris is a retired Naval Reserve Officer who served 16 of 24 years on active duty in a variety of leadership roles supporting several commands including, US CYBER COMMAND, National Security Agency (NSA), Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), Assault Craft Unit TWO, and USS Simpson (FFG-56). Prior to receiving his commission, Chris spent four years as an F/A-18 Hornet avionics technician serving with The Desert Gladiators (VFA-106). Chris has deployed four times, twice supporting combat operations in Iraq.
He is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Program Management Professional (PMP). He has been a lecturer at the United States Naval Academy, Federal Aviation Administration, Naval Postgraduate School, The New School of Design, Montreat College, DEFCON Security Conference, and the National Defense University.
Chris graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1996 and he obtained a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College in 2012.