Member, Cyber Future Council
Director, Cyber Defense Alliance
Paola Saibene has 21 years of experience in IT Transformation & Business Innovation, having held multiple CIO/ CTO/ CSO/ COO positions in government and in the private sector, including multi-billion dollar enterprises. She has received numerous government awards, including a commendation for her cybersecurity efforts.
Recently, Paola has worked as the CTO for the State of Hawaii, encompassing 18 executive branches, 106 attached agencies and 136 boards and commissions. She is also the President & CEO of Y-SAI (a Texas-based company).
Paola is a pioneer in transforming and innovating in organizations under tremendous scrutiny. She has 15 years of successfully implementing cybersecurity, by utilizing a holistic ecosystem, that cuts cost dramatically and galvanizes the workforce to adopt the strategic initiatives of the organization, through purposeful and meaningful engagement.
She specializes in advancing and progressing environments that have the tightest constraints, face enormous challenges, and have strong limitations. This is accomplished with passion for growth and compassion for the people that must be empowered to execute it.
Paola has worked in all layers of technology, having come up from the trenches and learning the business and operational aspects of the organizations, as well.
She has learned to embrace and outthink obstacles, to remain relentlessly determined to fulfill the mission, and to forge freedom-paths that unshackle the enterprise from chronic issues. Her focus is on delivering tangible and profitable results that don't cost the enterprise a shock to its culture or a misalignment to its operations. This is done by using governance to release innovation, framing value to simplify complexity, and respectfully engaging people to conquer obstacles, lead, and succeed.
Paola’s additional post-graduate degrees in psychology and in literature & linguistics, along with a bachelors in philosophy, are leveraged to communicate powerfully with the entire organization, understanding and addressing the needs of each unit, and rendering supportive engagement from all corners of the enterprise.
Her passion is in infusing digital ethics in the workplace, coupled with a strong customer-centric focus. She does this by relieving many pain points of operation, combining the people-process-technology model with an organizational management framework that is sensitive to the advantages of the digital era. This is done so that the organization can thrive and sustain a continuous competitive edge.