The following press release was published by the U.S. Dept. of Energy, Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response on Sept. 15. It is reproduced in full below.
Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is now accepting applications for the next cohort of its Operational Technology (OT) Defender Fellowship, which is aimed at expanding the cybersecurity knowledge and capabilities of U.S. energy sector cyber defenders. The fellowship is a unique, tailored, and highly selective training and education program for middle- and senior-level OT cybersecurity and operations managers from all parts of the U.S. energy sector, including electricity, oil, natural gas, and renewable energy companies.
“DOE’s OT Defender Fellowship program continues arming senior cybersecurity leaders with the tools and strategies necessary to combat cyber criminals and nation state actors targeting U.S. energy infrastructure," said Puesh Kumar, Director for DOE’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER). “The cybersecurity of critical infrastructure in the United States continues to be a priority for this Administration. DOE, as the sector risk management agency for the U.S. energy sector, will continue to build upon these efforts with private industry partners."
CESER launched the OT Defender Fellowship in 2020 in collaboration with DOE’s Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and with support by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ (FDD) Center for Cyber and Technology Innovation (CCTI). The OT Defender Fellowship offers one cohort per year, with approximately 15 participants for the 2023 iteration. Participants will attend four in-person sessions, including a scenario-driven capstone exercise where the cohort will demonstrate the understanding of key federal cybersecurity policies, roles and responsibilities, public and private collaborative programs and themes, and other takeaways learned throughout the year.
Through the program, OT security managers from across the energy sector build relationships with their peers and with cyber experts in U.S. government departments and agencies to gain greater understanding of the OT threat landscape and strengthen their capabilities to defend critical energy infrastructure.
Throughout the year, Fellows will engage with the Department of Energy (DOE), Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Office of the National Cyber Director (NCD), National Security Agency, Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), Transportation Security Administration (TSA), other federal agencies and congressional experts.
The 2022 cohort includes energy sector asset owners and operators from organizations across the country.
For more information and to apply for the OT Defender Fellowship, visit