The Loss of GRF's Cindy Donaldson

It is with broken hearts that we report the passing of Cindy Donaldson, the president of Global Resilience Federation (GRF).

Cindy had a tremendous impact on the professional and personal lives of the GRF staff. And she was truly a leader and visionary in the world of cybersecurity and threat information sharing.

Cindy began working for Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), the former parent company of GRF, in 2014. Under her management the FS-ISAC Sector Services division began supporting threat information sharing for non-financial industries. While there, Cindy led the launch of the Retail Cyber Intelligence Sharing Center (R-CISC), set up the Legal Services Information Sharing and Analysis Organization (LS-ISAO), supported operations for the Oil & Natural Gas ISAC, and created the Energy Analytic Security Exchange.

In 2017, working with FS-ISAC executives, she transitioned the Sector Services division into the Global Resilience Federation. Cindy led GRF’s launch as a completely standalone non-profit, committed to cross-sector sharing and ISAC and ISAO creation and operational support. Since 2017 she has presided over continued GRF growth and improved support and technical capabilities for members. Under Cindy’s leadership, GRF has:

  • Grown to eight member information sharing organizations

  • Codesigned and launched a member communications portal

  • Carefully sourced new data feeds and designed data filtering protocols that ingest and parse millions of Indicators of Compromise

  • Offered more than a dozen new intelligence products

  • Launched two new international sharing partnerships

  • Held what will be an annual summit on security and third-party risk management

  • Created the GRF eXchange for machine-to-machine, cross-sector information sharing

  • Launched the Alliance Program to build strategic partnerships with vendors

Cindy had demanding requirements and pushed GRF staff to achieve more than many thought possible, and in shorter timelines, but she always stressed that family comes first. “Why else are we doing all this,” was a common refrain when staff asked for leave to look after a sick family member, take a vacation, or attend a school event amid ongoing business requirements.

We will miss her day-to-day guidance, sense of mission, and her strategic insight. However, the GRF team is committed to advancing her vision for the company and the concept of mutual defense. We will continue to execute on her 2019 and 2020 plans to further cyber, physical and geopolitical intelligence exchange in ways that meet and expand upon member needs. GRF will continue to be a hub for multi-industry information sharing and the development of new technical capabilities for our supported communities. Cindy would have it no other way.

GRF CEO Bill Nelson will now lead the organization. With any questions, please contact Bill or Patrick McGlone, GRF director of communications: bnelson@grfederation.orgpmcglone@grfederation.org.

Chad McAuslin