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Day in the life Deirdre O'Callaghan

Deirdre O’Callaghan
Chief Counsel for Center for Internet Security, Inc.
East Greenish, NY 


6:15 am

Wake up, shower, and head downstairs. I nearly trip over my two dogs — a yellow lab and a Carolina blue heeler. Review my personal email and watch a video of my new grandson, who was born yesterday. For breakfast, I have oatmeal with cranberries and a Diet Pepsi (I know, I know). I check my work emails and calendar.

8:00 am

Out the door for my 10-minute commute. I run two quick errands to the post office and the dry cleaners. At the office, I sign contract checklists and a licensing agreement for our CIS Critical Security Controls, which are a prioritized set of cyber practices developed by leading experts to stop today’s most pervasive and dangerous cyber attacks.

9:00 am

Our director of marketing presents a draft of the company rebranding plan at our weekly executive team meeting. The senior vice president of operations briefs the team on the status of our monitoring efforts with state and local governments, which we do through a cooperative agreement with the US Department of Homeland Security. Following the meeting, I search the USPTO database for new product names and email outside IP counsel for assistance.

10:00 am

My work block. First, I prepare a NDA for a county organization with an infected computer that contains sensitive information, requiring assistance from our Computer Emergency Response Team. Then, I meet with the CFO to discuss the new third-party administrator for our company’s 401K and get an update on the status of insurance pricing for the next year. I review requests from foreign entities for the purchase of CIS Benchmarks membership — which provides access to consensus- based security configurations for operating systems, software, and devices.

11:00 am

Have my photo taken for our new website rollout. Then, I participate in a call with a reseller about developing T&Cs to make our services available on the GSA contract. Follow up on this call with the senior vice president and the vice president of business development.

12:30 pm

Eat lunch at my desk while I order a gift for my 93-year-old father-in-law. I check the ACC Nonprofit Committee eGroup discussions. This forum is great for advice and I use it regularly. It’s been extremely helpful.

1:00 pm

Review routine contract modifications. Exchange emails with a board member who is developing a board survey on governance matters. I confer with a candidate who has accepted a position as a contract administrator (finally, some help!). Check in with the facility security officer to discuss document updates for our cleared facility status.

3:00 pm

The senior vice president of business development and I join a call with a consulting company about potential partnering opportunities.

3:30 pm

Meet with the director of communications to discuss the possibility of conducting outreach on cyber issues to law firms. I consider opportunities to participate in media events. My compromise was to agree to do this!

4:00 pm

Review potential conflicts of interest with an employee and then head to a meeting with the senior director of HR to discuss two employee matters. Jot off an email about my vacation plans to staff. I am a legal department of one, so work goes with me on vacation. Providing advance notice helps those with a deadline plan accordingly.

5:00 pm

Hold a brief meeting with the president regarding a compensation committee call. Review and update my to-do list, which at the moment has items for 24 different people.

6:00 pm

Hit the gym. I am on the elliptical for 45 minutes while watching Seinfeld episodes.

7:00 pm

Dinner with my husband. Beef stew is always better the second day.

8:00 pm

Facebook messaging with family. Update inventory and expense lists for the antiques business that I run in my spare time. Review estate sale and auction listings for the weekend and correspond with an auction house about consigning pieces.

10:00 pm

Let the dogs out and head to bed.