Defending and protecting sensitive data is a 24-7, nonstop, global fight. Success depends upon many factors, including the best resources, a great team, and of course leadership that has vision and can craft a winning battle plan.

That’s part of what makes Cisco’s cybersecurity community, The League of Cybersecurity Heroes, so special. It’s a place where our customers can come together, make impactful connections, expand their professional and personal networks, and learn from top experts in their field.

This year we are proud to recognize Dr. Christopher P. Mitchell as this year’s Cybersecurity Defender Award recipient.

Dr. Mitchell and all of this year’s award nominees will be celebrated on June 7th during Cisco Live in Las Vegas, Nevada. Dr. Mitchell and the City of Houston’s thought leadership serve as an inspiration for all, and Cisco Live attendees will benefit from hearing directly from Dr. Mitchell as a featured speaker during Cisco Live.

In his day job, Dr. Mitchell serves as the Chief Information and Security Officer for the City of Houston, Texas, the 4th largest city in America. Dr. Mitchell describes himself as a “student of his craft” – continually learning, evolving, and adapting in the world of cybersecurity.

His experience and strategies have been influenced by an impressive work history. He served in the United States Navy as an Operations Specialist (Surface Warfare/Aviation Warfare). Later, he worked for a cleared major aerospace and defense organization for over 14 years as Director of IT and Information Systems Security Officer where he was responsible for detecting, protecting, and responding to cyber-attacks from nation-states, hacktivist groups, organized criminals, and insiders.

His current role is as challenging as they come. Not only have attackers become more sophisticated, but the vulnerability footprint and risks are greater than ever, especially in Houston where the city will be one of several centerstage in hosting the World Cup in 2026. Additionally, Houston is home to the NASA Johnson Space Center, the largest medical center in the world, and one of the largest ports in the country. Understandably, Houston is constantly targeted by adversaries around the globe.

Something that really stands out about Dr. Mitchell is his dedication and willingness to share his wealth of knowledge. He is always eager to talk security with the Cisco teams and is one of the top speakers at this year’s Cisco Live, in Las Vegas. As Mitchell says: “There are vendors, and then there are partners. Partners are the entities you continually collaborate with, have a long-term relationship with and have a mutual interest in. Cisco is a trusted partner for us.”

Mitchell has instilled a culture, a work ethic, and a standard among his team. As Mitchell explains, “There are millions of people out there. They don’t know you, and you don’t know them, but they are counting on us to get it right.”

The Cisco Global Advocate Awards celebrate and congratulate Dr. Christopher P. Mitchell for his innovation, his spirit of collaboration, and his steadfast determination to cybersecurity.

“I am so honored to be recognized for this award. Cybersecurity is my passion. I always enjoy sharing insights and perspectives across the cybersecurity community. I certainly look forward to continuing the relationship with our trusted partners at Cisco Security as we grow and evolve in this space.”
Dr. Christopher P. Mitchell,
Chief Information and Security Officer, City of Houston

If you know somebody like Dr. Christopher P. Mitchell who you think is an award-worthy cyber defender, who has a passion for security, and who will share and advocate with others, please make sure to share their story with us. Nominate them using this link: We’d love to hear about them.  

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Cristina Errico

Customer Marketing Lead