Friday, January 10, 2020 - 11:00am

Gov. Doug Burgum today announced a first-of-its-kind event in April that will bring together local, regional and national partners involved in North Dakota’s K-20W Initiative to highlight the unique cybersecurity education effort and its goal of “Every Student, Every School, Cyber Educated.”

The Cybersecurity Education and Diversity Policy Summit will take place on April 20 at Bismarck State College.

“We are excited to host Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Sylvia Acevedo and Amit Singh, President of Palo Alto Networks, as leaders who have forged a unique partnership to help elevate cybersecurity as a critical 21st century skill,” Burgum said. “Through this summit we look forward to sharing our statewide model for computer science and cybersecurity education, as well as amplifying our efforts as we move into a new chapter.”

North Dakota’s K-20W Initiative is a statewide effort to provide resources, training and professional development opportunities around computer science and cybersecurity to help students succeed in 21st century jobs, including a focus on helping young women pursue cybersecurity careers.  

According to a study by the nonprofit International Information System Security Certification Consortium, or (ISC)², women remain vastly underrepresented in the cybersecurity industry, holding just 11 percent of jobs globally. The Girl Scouts of the USA and Palo Alto Networks cybersecurity program aims to eliminate gender barriers, while helping to ensure that even girls as young as 5 years old have a foundation primed for future life and career success. 

Prior to the summit’s panel discussion, local girls from the Girl Scouts Dakota Horizon council will participate in an interactive activity focused on teaching cybersecurity and online safety skills, where they will work toward a cybersecurity patch that will be presented at the conclusion of the event.

This summit is free and open to the public and will also be livestreamed. Registration is required at this link:

To learn more about Girl Scouts STEM programming, visit   

WHAT: Cybersecurity Education and Diversity Policy Summit

WHO: Gov. Doug Burgum, CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA Sylvia Acevedo, President of Palo Alto Networks Amit Singh.

WHEN: 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. CT Monday, April 20, 2020 

WHERE: Bismarck State College National Energy Center of Excellence, Bavendick Stateroom, 1200 Schafer St., Bismarck.