Dr. Sean Peisert is a senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where he leads cybersecurity research and development. He is also a full adjunct professor at University of California, Davis, is Deputy Director and Co-PI of Trusted CI, the NSF Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, and editor-in-chief of IEEE Security & Privacy.

His current R&D focus includes usable and useful computer security and privacy solutions, particularly in enabling secure and privacy-preserving scientific data analysis, and improving security in high-performance computing systems, and other research cyberinfrastructure, and power grid control systems. His view of security is as an enabling capability that, when done properly, can allow organizations to operate more effectively.

Dr. Peisert occasionally serves as a consultant to companies and organizations in areas of software, system, and network security strategy and design, and is available on a limited basis as a subject-matter expert advising executives, boards, investors, and entrepreneurs developing or leveraging cybersecurity or privacy-preserving technologies, and for participation on advisory boards.


Dr. Peisert received his Ph.D., Masters, and Bachelors degrees in Computer Science from the University of California, San Diego. His background includes experience in cybersecurity at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the Energy Sciences Network (ESnet), the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC), the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC), and as a full adjunct professor of computer science at the University of California, Davis and health informatics at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine. He is also Deputy Director and Co-PI of Trusted CI, the NSF Cybersecurity Center of Excellence.

He has worked in both R&D and operational aspects of computer security and networking. His R&D work typically focuseses on developing processes and techniques that can provide meaningful, useful, and measurable improvements to and/or insights regarding computer security and its applications.

Recent highlights of the R&D that he has led include:

He was previously Chief Cybersecurity Strategist for CENIC, where he developed cybersecurity strategy and implemented cybersecurity practices for CENIC’s enterprise and external network (CalREN), a high-capacity network in California, relied on by more than 10,000 institutions and 20 million users.

In 2007, he was honored as a Research Fellow by the Institute for Information Infrastructure Protection, funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and in 2014, his work received an award from the Director of Science and Technology for the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).

He has taught university courses in security for health informatics, computer forensics, “insider” threats, and critical systems; advised numerous graduate students; has published more than 125 peer-reviewed papers, invited articles, book chapters, and technical reports; and has given over 100 invited talks and tutorials in a variety of venues.

He is actively involved with the computer security community, as well as communities to which he studies, develops, and applies computer security techniques, including medical and public policy organizations, and other organizations operating critical infrastructure. He works closely with industry, and was a member of the Cybersecurity Research and Development Advisory Committee for the California Joint Utility Program, “California Energy Systems for the 21st Century (CES-21),” a $35M, ratepayer-funded effort.

He has led numerous cybersecurity-related working groups, including co-leading the 2012 Dagstuhl Seminar on Organizational Processes for Supporting Sustainable Security examining issues surrounding insider threats; and leading two workshops in 2015 for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research to establish key needs and directions for a high-performance computing cybersecurity research and development program, culminating in the development of recommendations for hardware/software co-design of future high-performance computing systems to build cybersecurity for data-intensive, scientific computing in from the outset. He also led formation of the DOE Integrated Joint Cybersecurity Coordination Center (iJC3) Cyber R&D Enterprise Cybersecurity Capability (ECC) — an R&D effort composed of 10 DOE National Labs.

In addition to his work in computer security, he spent several years as a Senior Fellow at the San Diego Supercomputer Center working in areas of high-performance computing, compilers, and code optimization.

He is editor-in-chief of IEEE Security & Privacy; member of the DARPA Information Science and Technology (ISAT) Study Group; a member of the Distinguished Expert Review Panel for the NSA Annual Best Scientific Cybersecurity Paper Competition; an ACSA Senior Fellow; a steering committee member and past general chair of the New Security Paradigms Workshop; a steering committee member and past program co-chair of the Workshop on Cyber Security Experimentation and Test (CSET); past chair of the IEEE Computer Society Technical Committee on Security & Privacy; and is a steering committee member and past general chair for the 2015 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, the flagship conference for computer security research. He is an ACM Distinguished Member.


Dr. Peisert can be contacted by email at spp@peisert.net.

Further Information

More information about Dr. Peisert’s R&D work, including his academic publications, security R&D projects, and press items are on his UC Davis and Berkeley Lab web sites.