President Joe Biden announced Wednesday (Aug. 31) his appointments to his National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC) and Little Rock-based Windstream CEO Tony Thomas has been nominated.
The council advises the White House on how to reduce physical and cyber risks and improve the security and resilience of the nation’s critical infrastructure sectors.
Since its establishment in 2001, the NIAC has conducted dozens of studies to address problems such as: improving intelligence information sharing across government and industry; identifying and reducing complex cyber risks; better preparing for and responding to disruptions that can ripple across multiple infrastructure systems; facilitating cooperative decision-making among senior executives and federal leaders during imminent threats and disaster responses; and addressing the skills gaps and loss of institutional knowledge in key national workforces.
According to a White House press release, the individuals announced for the council are leading senior executives with deep experience across a broad range of sectors including: banking and finance, transportation, energy, water, dams, defense, communications, information technology, healthcare services, food and agriculture, government facilities, emergency services, and higher education.
Thomas is President and CEO of Windstream. He was appointed to the position in December 2014.
Thomas has more than 20 years’ experience in the communications industry leading Windstream through a number of acquisitions and through a bankruptcy.
He holds a master’s degree in business administration from Wake Forest University and a bachelor’s degree in accountancy from the University of Illinois.
Other members of the NIAC include:
Adebayo O. Ogunlesi of New York, Chair
Maria Lehman of New York, Vice Chair
Alan S. Armstrong of Oklahoma
Manu Asthana of Pennsylvania
Camille Batiste of Illinois
Madhu Beriwal of Florida
Deneen DeFiore of Ohio
Joshua J. Descant of Louisiana
Christine H. Fox of Maryland
David L. Gadis of the District of Columbia
Michael D. Hayford of Georgia
Constance H. Lau of Hawaii
Norma Jean Mattei of Louisiana
Clara Lee Pratte of Arizona
Gil C. Quiniones of Illinois
Jorge Ramirez of Illinois
Pasquale Romano of California
Beverly A. Scott of California
Patricia G. Sims of Alabama
L. Vance Taylor of California
Conrad M. Vial of California
Sadek Wahba of Florida
Christopher J. Wiernicki of Texas
Robert O. Work of Virginia
Audrey A. Zibelman of California