TOPEKA, Kansas – Washburn University announced today that Jen Easterly, director of the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, will be the keynote speaker of the Rick Rescorla Homeland Security Lecture Series on April 14, 2022, at noon Central. The virtual lecture, free and open to the public on Zoom, is hosted by Washburn alumnus France Hoang, mcj ’00, and presented by the Washburn University criminal justice and legal studies department.

During the lecture, Easterly will speak on her expertise and experiences during a chat with Hoang. CISA leads the national effort to understand, manage and reduce risk to U.S. cyber and physical infrastructure. The agency connects stakeholders in industry and government to each other and to resources, analyses and tools to help them build their own cyber, communications and physical security and resilience, in turn helping to ensure a secure and resilient infrastructure for the American people.

“I’m honored to join Washburn University’s lecture series in recognition of the heroism, moral courage and selfless service of Rick Rescorla,” Easterly said. “At CISA, we work to reduce risk to the critical infrastructure that Americans rely on every hour of every day, a mission that Rick embodied as director of security at Morgan Stanley, the firm where I worked for nearly five years. Our nation’s resilience depends on each of us as individuals recognizing our role and doing our part – as Rick did – to keep each other safe and secure.”

Rescorla, a Vietnam War veteran, was head of security for Morgan Stanley in the South Tower of the World Trade Center when it collapsed during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He saved hundreds of lives as he evacuated employees. Once outside, he went back in to continue helping with the evacuation. He died when the tower collapsed.

“We are excited to have Director Easterly discuss her background and her role at CISA with Washburn’s criminal justice and legal study students as well as our larger community,” said Melanie Worsley, jd ’07, associate professor of criminal justice, associate dean, School of Applied Studies. “Given the timeliness of this discussion and how cybersecurity and infrastructure security issues affect us all, we hope you will join us for this event.”

Easterly was nominated by President Joseph Biden in April 2021 and unanimously confirmed by the Senate. She previously was head of Firm Resilience at Morgan Stanley, responsible for ensuring preparedness and response to business-disrupting operational incidents and risks to the firm. Easterly has a long tradition of public service, including two tours at the White House, most recently as special assistant to President Barack Obama and senior director for counterterrorism. She also served as the deputy for counterterrorism at the National Security Agency.

Hoang received a master of criminal justice from Washburn University in 2000. He graduated at the top 1% of his class at West Point and also graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center. He served in the President George W. Bush administration as associate White House counsel and special assistant to the president, and he’s worked in all three branches of the U.S. government.

The Rick Rescorla Homeland Security Lecture Series, in its second year, presents a nationally-renowned individual with expertise in a topic of interest related to homeland security. For more information and to find the Zoom link, visit

About Washburn University

Washburn University is a public institution with nearly 7,000 students and 1,000 faculty and staff involved in more than 200 courses of study. Our programs lead to certification, associate, bachelor, master’s, doctor of nursing practice and juris doctor degrees. The choices for students include outstanding bachelor and master’s programs in criminal justice and a curriculum in forensics with five different concentrations.

Since its founding in 1865, Washburn has been providing students of all walks of life a place to realize their dreams. Today, our legacy of affordable, quality education for all continues.

For more information, contact:

Sarah Towle
Washburn University Alumni Association and Foundation

back to top button