Kathy Boockvar Joins Pitt Cyber

Former Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Kathy Boockvar is joining the University of Pittsburgh’s Institute for Cyber Law, Policy and Security (Pitt Cyber) as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar and an adjunct professor in the School of Law. 

Boockvar joins Pitt Cyber to focus on election security, disinformation, and other issues at the intersection of democracy and technology. She will bring a unique perspective to this role, having overseen Pennsylvania’s participation in the 2020 presidential election and the 6.9 million votes cast during it. As Secretary of the Commonwealth, Boockvar managed the implementation of Act 77 - the most sweeping and bipartisan election law reforms in over 80 years - which for the first time allowed all Pennsylvanians to vote by mail. Boockvar also managed the certification and deployment of new voting systems statewide that met the highest standards of security and accessibility with voter-verifiable paper ballots. 

Most recently, Boockvar served as the Vice President of Election Operations for the Center for Internet Security (CIS), where she led election security initiatives and worked closely with federal, state, and local government on election security practices. Boockvar will also be working with other organizations and institutions during her time at Pitt, including the Brennan Center for Justice and the University of Delaware Biden School of Public Policy. 

“Pitt Cyber is widely recognized and respected as a leader in election security and disinformation issues,” said Boockvar. “As evidenced by the Blue Ribbon Commission on Pennsylvania’s Election Security as well as the Pitt Disinformation Lab, Pitt Cyber is making crucial contributions to ensure continued trust in our democracy. I look forward to working with such an impactful organization, as well as the opportunity to engage with students at the University of Pittsburgh.” 

Before her tenure as Secretary of the Commonwealth from January 2019 to February 2021, Boockvar served as a senior advisor on election modernization to former Governor Tom Wolf, to which she was appointed in March 2018. In August of 2019, she was named co-chair of the Elections Committee of the National Association of Secretaries of State. She received a GIAC Certification in Cybersecurity Fundamentals, her law degree from the American University, Washington College of Law, and her undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Boockvar has also previously served as a poll worker and voting-rights attorney in Pennsylvania. 

“We are pleased to bring Kathy to the University of Pittsburgh,” said David Hickton, founding director of Pitt Cyber. “She has a career’s worth of leadership and experience in dealing with issues that are central to Pitt Cyber’s mission, and issues that are of paramount importance to preserving American democracy. We look forward to working with Kathy and continuing to build upon Pitt Cyber’s work in election security and disinformation issues.”