avatar for Maria C. Suarez

Maria C. Suarez

University of Southern California
Director Information Security

Maria C. Suarez is responsible for leading the information security program development for USC.  USC consists of 8 international campuses across 4 continents and the health sciences campus. This includes 15 affiliated hospitals and academic medical research center, consisting of two acute care hospitals with 471 beds, a community hospital with 158 beds, 5 outpatient facilities, and physician practices throughout Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties serving more than 1.5 million patients annually.

Previously, she was “CISO” at the City of Hope National Cancer Center  and Beckman Research Institute in Duarte, California, responsible for expanding the Information Security Program at the enterprise level.

She was one of 3 finalists in the “Women of Influence” award in the government/higher education sector.   Influential recognized as one of Computer World’s Premier 100 IT Professionals in January 2005 for her thought-leadership in laptop encryption, audit trails, and, managing vendor security risk. 

Maria’s award-winning experience in the field of Information Technology has evolved within the higher education, healthcare and financial services industries. She is characterized as a leader bridging business and information technology specializing in information security, risk management, data privacy and regulatory compliance.

Maria’s professional contributions have been applied at Fortune 32 and Fortune 500 companies as well as a major hospital system within the NYC area.

Her technical training stemmed from her years as programmer analyst with one of the “Big Four” public accounting firms where she gained experience in multiple technical platforms and more importantly the need for attention to the people and processes supporting technologies.

She has held leadership positions as Director of Information Security Strategy, and Policy, Security Assurance Officer, Privacy Officer and Director of Internet/Intranet Technologies. It is from this latter role’s focus on e-business portal development where Maria’s concern with the confidentiality of sensitive information grew exponentially.

She has an MBA in Computer Information Systems from St. John’s University in NYC, with an undergraduate degree in Mathematics from the City University of New York. She is a certified information security professional (CISSP), a certified information security manager (CISM), a certified information systems auditor (CISA), and, certified in the governance of enterprise IT (CGEIT).

My Speakers Sessions

Friday, May 16

10:00am PDT