Rhode Island has hired its first cybersecurity officer: former utility executive Mike Steinmetz.

Mike Steinmetz will serve as the Governor's principal policy advisor on cybersecurity and will be charged with developing and implementing a comprehensive state-wide cybersecurity strategy. Steinmetz will also serve as the state's homeland security advisor.

"Modern infrastructure is more than just roads and bridges," said Governor Gina Raimondo. "It's also the digital connections we're making faster and more frequently than ever before. In the ever-changing technology ecosystem, it is imperative that Rhode Island stay up to speed. With valuable assets like the U.S. Naval War College in Newport and a strong defense contractor community, our state is uniquely positioned to improve both the state's security and the state's economy. I look forward to working with Mike in his new role to develop a clear strategy to prepare the public and private sectors for the technological challenges of the 21st century."

Steinmetz comes to the position after having worked for more than a decade on cyber and other security issues in both the private and public sectors. He most recently served as both Director of Strategy and Planning and Director of Governance and Compliance within the Digital Risk and Security Division of National Grid. He also previously served as a Director of Computer Network Operations at the U.S. Department of Defense for three combatant commanders, where he planned and employed special technical operations, and as the Deputy Chief of Staff of a cyber-related organization at the National Security Agency.