Theresa Payton is a well-known and highly respected national authority on cybersecurity, e-crime and fraud mitigation, and technology implementation. She has over twenty years of advanced business and security technology expertise and leadership at the highest levels of government and in the financial services industry, including being the first woman to serve as Chief Information Officer at the White House.
As the cyber expert on the newsmagazine show America Now, Payton joins hosts Leeza Gibbons and Bill Rancic as she provides tips to help viewers navigate the digital world in a smarter, safer way. She is CEO and president of Fortalice®, LLC, and has served as a key advisor to government and corporate leaders in their efforts to improve the policies, procedures, workforce, and utilization of technology to confront cyber threats. She also holds a Top Secret security clearance and is a member of the FBI’s North Carolina Infragard.
Payton’s first book, Protecting Your Internet Identity: Are You Naked Online? was released in April 2012 by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, and is available via Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
From May 2006 until September 2008, Payton served as Chief Information Officer at the White House. In this role, she provided oversight of the information technology enterprise for the President and 3,000 staff members. She oversaw dramatic upgrades to the IT security posture for the Executive Office of the President and worked closely with security assets of the U.S. Government in the civilian, military and intelligence community. Payton was the first woman to hold this position.
Prior to government service, Payton had a long career in the financial services industry, leading teams focused on improving banking technology and security. Ms. Payton has held senior leadership positions at Barnett Bank/Bank of America, Bank of America, First Union/Wells Fargo. She led strategic planning teams, managed mergers and acquisitions, ran technology operations, internet and call centers, and oversaw fraud and risk management technology operations.
Theresa Payton resides in North Carolina.