Paul Benda has been named as Vice Chair for the Financial Services Sector Coordinating Council (FSSCC), taking over from Christopher F. Feeney who had filled the role for seven years.
FSSCC was established in 2002 by financial institutions to work collaboratively with key government agencies while coordinating critical infrastructure and homeland security activities within the financial services industry. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recognizes the FSSCC as a member of the Critical Infrastructure Partnership Advisory Council on behalf of the banking and finance sector.
A security specialist, Benda was appointed by the American Bankers Association (ABA) as Senior Vice President for Operational Risk and Cybersecurity in March 2021, to help banks of all sizes reduce physical, cyber, fraud and other risks to their daily operations and advocating for policies that enhance overall industry resiliency. Benda first joined ABA in 2018 to oversee both physical and cybersecurity risks. As Senior Vice President, he has expanded ABA’s anti-fraud efforts as well as leading the association’s COVID-19 response, enabling banking systems to stay open without interruption during the pandemic.
In July 2022, Benda joined the Board of Directors at the Cyber Risk Institute, which works to protect the global economy by enhancing cyber security and resiliency through standardization. This adds to his board membership at the not-for-profit, industry-led initiative Sheltered Harbor and at fTLD Registry Services, a coalition of banks, insurance companies and financial services trade associations from around the world.
Benda previously served in multiple roles at DHS, including chief of staff at Science and Technology, senior counselor to the undersecretary and acting deputy undersecretary in the department’s Science and Technology Directorate, and director of the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency.
During his time at DHS’s Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency, Benda helped establish the cybersecurity division, and oversaw and executed SAFETY Act applications and approvals to enhance security capabilities at prominent public venues, including sports stadiums, airports, ports, commercial facilities and urban transportation centers.
Prior to joining DHS, Benda served at the Department of Defense, where he helped to develop the first integrated security master plan for the Pentagon. He has also spent time in the private sector, working as an associate consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton for five years. Here he was the lead technical support for the Director, Special Projects Office and developed an overall building protection strategy for the Pentagon against chemical and biological attack.
Benda served in the U.S. Air Force, rising to the rank of captain. He holds both a master’s and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University.
Of his new FSSCC appointment, Benda said he was honored to be selected as Vice Chair and would do his best to fill the big shoes that Chris Feeney has left.