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ISA announces plans for new leadership of professional staff

ISA executive director and CEO, Patrick Gouhin, will be stepping down. ISA's President, Steven W. Pflantz, announced that a search committee will be formed in the immediate future to identify Gouhin's successor. The selection and announcement of a new executive director are expected to occur in the months ahead. Peggie W. Koon, PhD, CEO and founder of Leading Change, LLC, will serve as interim executive director.

"Pat has been our executive director since 2006 and has been a dedicated employee of ISA," Pflantz said. "Under Pat's leadership, ISA has progressed on many fronts. We will continue to ensure ISA's long-term vitality as we continue our commitment to advance the profession of automation. The board is committed to the strategy work that has been done thus far and is grateful for Pat's leadership in bringing us to this point.".

"This is an exciting time in the history of ISA, and I am proud of what we have achieved and the work we are doing," Gouhin said. "A strong foundation has been laid based on the effort of many passionate volunteer leaders and a wonderfully dedicated staff team that will allow the next executive director to hit the ground running.".

During his tenure at ISA, Gouhin has overseen many significant milestones in the Society's history, including the expansion of ISA's brand family to include the founding of The Automation Federation and the Automation Standards Compliance Institute, and the acquisition of digital media organization Automation.com. The world's only consensus standards for industrial cybersecurity, ISA/IEC 62443, were also developed and expanded under his tenure.

Interim Executive Director Koon's experience and expertise are in strategy development and execution, leadership coaching, and change management. Koon is the former vice president of audience for the Augusta Chronicle/TAC Media, Morris Communications, LLC. She has more than 25 years of experience in information technology, process control, and process automation for both discrete and continuous process industries. She was a General Motors Scholar, earning a BA degree in mathematics from Smith College. She also completed two years of graduate studies in industrial and systems engineering as a General Motors Graduate Fellow at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and she has a PhD in management information systems from Kennedy Western University.

In addition to her experience managing strategic change, Koon has also been a member and leader at ISA for more than 20 years. She has held a variety of prominent roles in the Society, including Society president (2014), chair of the Automation Federation (2015), member of the ISA Executive Board (2016), and chair of Workforce Development for the Automation Federation (2016).

ISA and Siemens partner for industrial cybersecurity awareness

ISA and Siemens have formed a partnership to increase awareness of the need for industrial cybersecurity. The partnership, forged in response to the changing industrial security landscape and growing cybersecurity threats to automation networks and systems, specifically focuses on broadening understanding and adoption of industrial automation security standards.

Both organizations will share expertise in protecting automation environments based on ISA/IEC 62443, a consensus-based series of industrial cybersecurity standards, and appropriate security measures through cosponsored events, webinars, and additional educational resources. Together, ISA and Siemens intend to raise awareness and share best practices of industrial security with owners and operators of industrial equipment.

"Cybersecurity needs to be addressed by industrial companies, as recent global ransomware attacks have demonstrated the possible impacts in the last weeks. Our customers need to adequately manage the associated cyberrisk arising from the vulnerabilities of IT technology combined with the increased connectedness in our digital age," says Henning Rudolf, global head of Siemens Plant Security Services.

The ISA Security Compliance Institute (ISCI) operates one of the first standardized assessment schemes for the ISA/IEC 62443 IACS cybersecurity standards, and this program has been heavily adopted by Siemens as a provider of automation equipment and industrial security services, as well as being a global manufacturing company.

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