Kansas appoints former university CISO as state’s new cyber chief

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly appointed John Godfrey, who's held cybersecurity roles with the state government and state university system, as the new statewide CISO.
Gov. Laura Kelly
Incumbent Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly addresses the crowd during her watch party at the Ramada Hotel Downtown Topeka on November 8, 2022 in Topeka, Kansas. (Michael B. Thomas / Getty Images)

On Friday, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly appointed John Godfrey, the state’s former CISO-in-residence, as the state’s new chief information security officer, who will work within the Kansas Information Security Office to develop and implement information security strategies.

In 2021, he served as a member of the governor’s cybersecurity task force, which delivered a report to the governor’s office that included 41 recommendations to strengthen the cyber protections throughout state and local government agencies. He also chaired the Kansas Cybersecurity Statewide Coordination and Collaboration Subcommittee.

Godfrey also spent a decade working in cybersecurity at Kansas universities, including serving as CISO and associate vice chancellor for information security at the University of Kansas Medical Center for six years and as a senior cybersecurity engineer, systems administrator and information security analyst for five years at Kansas State University.

“John Godfrey’s years of experience in information security give him the unique perspective of the challenges we face when providing secure and dependable digital services to Kansans,” Kelly said in a press release. “I look forward to working with him as he builds on our whole-of-state approach to cybersecurity.”


Godfrey’s appointment comes months after a cyberattack in October hobbled the state’s digital court management system, which was restored in mid-December.

The Kansas Supreme Court recently released an order reinstating electronic filing requirements in district courts, which had been filing new cases and documents on paper while the e-filing system was down.

“This is an exciting time to join the KISO and advance the strategies put in place by my predecessor,” Godfrey said in the press release. “Coordination and collaboration are critical to advancing the cybersecurity posture of Kansas. I look forward to working with this dedicated group of professionals on what’s next for the future of information security.”

Sophia Fox-Sowell

Written by Sophia Fox-Sowell

Sophia Fox-Sowell reports on artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and government regulation for StateScoop. She was previously a multimedia producer for CNET, where her coverage focused on private sector innovation in food production, climate change and space through podcasts and video content. She earned her bachelor’s in anthropology at Wagner College and master’s in media innovation from Northeastern University.

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