Boston 2020 keynote


"280,000 employees and the intersection of cybersecurity, privacy, and physical security."

Paul Connelly


Topic Summary:

The story of the CISO that took on the responsibility to create a single approach on strategy, programs, and priorities to drive more efficiency and effectiveness for his company.


Paul Connelly is Vice President of Information Protection & Security and Chief Information Security Officer for HCA Healthcare.  He leads the teams and programs for Cyber Security, Privacy, Identity & Access, Information Lifecycle Management, and Physical Security that protect the company’s 185 hospitals, more than 1200 outpatient and Physician clinics, 260,000 employees, and 31 million patient encounters each year.  

Paul started as an information security analyst at the National Security Agency in 1984, spent nine years as Chief Information Security Officer at the White House, and six years as a partner leading an information security audit and consulting group at PricewaterhouseCoopers. He has led HCA’s program since 2002.

Highlights of Paul’s career include:

  • The first Chief Information Security Officer at the White House, serving under Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.
  • The first civilian Presidential Communications Officer, leading communications and emergency support for the President during travel throughout the world.
  • Inducted into the White House Communications Agency Hall of Fame in 1998.
  • Winner of the top award for Information Security achievement in the federal government (Frank B. Rowlett Trophy) in 1992.
  • Winner of the Information Security Executive of the Year award for the private sector for North America in 2009.
  • Twenty-two members of Paul’s teams have been hired as Chief Information Security Officer at other organizations.

Paul is a graduate of the Naval War College National Security Studies program, has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Resource Economics from the University of Florida, and is part of the Leadership Nashville class of 2018.  He is a member of the board of directors for Dismas House, a Nashville not-for-profit supporting men returning from incarceration.


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