Steven J. Spano

Brigadier General, (USAF, Ret.)
President & COO, CIS

Steve-Spano-CIS-COOBrig. Gen. Steven J. Spano (USAF, Ret.) is President and COO of CIS (The Center for Internet Security). CIS is an international nonprofit organization focused on enhancing cybersecurity readiness and response for the public and private sectors. Prior to CIS, General Spano served as the General Manager, Defense and National Security for Amazon Web Service’s Worldwide Public Sector. He was one of the key leaders who helped launch and build the business from its inception in 2011.

Prior to Amazon Web Services, General Spano served over 28 years in the United States Air Force in a variety of leadership roles. He retired in 2011 from Air Combat Command (ACC) where he served as the Director of Communications, Headquarters Air Combat Command, Langley Air Force Base, VA, responsible for IT vision, policy guidance, and resource allocation supporting the command’s warfighting mission.

Before ACC, General Spano served as the CJ6 for Multi-National Forces Iraq where he was responsible for all IT policy, interoperability and network operations supporting all joint and coalition forces. He also served as the principle advisor to the government of Iraq for Information and Communications Technology reconstruction. General Spano has commanded at the detachment, squadron and group levels. In addition, he served in key joint assignments at the National Security Agency, the Joint Staff, and U.S. Forces Korea.

Gen. Spano was born in Albany, N.Y. He graduated from Christian Brothers Academy in 1979, and from Norwich University in Northfield, Vt., where he was commissioned in 1983 through the Norwich ROTC program. He and his wife, Kim, are the proud parents of three daughters: Stephanie, Erica, and Sarah. The couple live in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Gen. Spano's military education, assignments, and accomplishments include:


  • 1983 Bachelor of Science, Business Administration, Norwich University, Northfield, Vt.
  • 1985 Master of Administrative Science, Management, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md.
  • 1986 Distinguished Graduate, Squadron Officers School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.• 1994 Distinguished Graduate, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
  •  1994 Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va.• 1998 Air War College (Correspondence)• 2000 Master of Science, Strategic Studies, Air War College (Residence), Maxwell AFB, Ala.
  • 2006 Senior Executive Fellows, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University


  • Oct. 1983 to June 1984, Student, Communications-Electronics Officer Course, Keesler AFB, Miss.
  •  June 1984 to Feb. 1987, Systems Security Program Manager, National Security Agency, Fort Meade, Md.
  •  Oct. 1986 to Dec. 1986, Student, Squadron Officers School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.• Feb. 1987 to June 1989, Director of Operations, 2115th Communications Squadron, Iraklion AS, Crete, Greece
  • June 1989 to Oct. 1991, Commander, Detachment 12, 435th Communications Group, Rhein Main AB, Germany
  • Oct. 1991 to July 1993, 7th Communications Group, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
  • July 1993 to June 1994, Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
  • June 1994 to August 1994, Student, Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va.
  • August 1994 to June 1997, Information Assurance Action Officer, Joint Staff, J6, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
  • June 1997 to July 1999, Commander, 374th Communications Squadron, Yokota AB, Japan• August 1999 to June 2000, Student, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
  • June 2000 to June 2002, Assistant Chief of Staff, J6, Headquarters United States Forces Korea
  • July 2002 to Dec. 2003, Commander, 89th Communications Group, Andrews AFB, Md.
  • Jan. 2004 to Nov. 2007, Director, Communications, Headquarters United States Air Forces in Europe, Ramstein AB, Germany
  • Nov. 2007 to Nov. 2008, Director, Communications and Information Systems, Multi-National Force—Iraq, Baghdad, Iraq

Major Awards and Decorations

  • Defense Superior Service Medal• Defense Superior Service Medal
  • Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster• Bronze Star Medal• Defense Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
  • Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with four oak leaf clusters
  • Order of National Security Merit, Samil Medal, Republic of Korea
  • National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star
  • Iraq Campaign Medal
  • Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
  • Korean Defense Service Medal

Other Achievements

  • Distinguished Graduate, Squadron Officers School, Maxwell AFB, Ala., 1986
  • Company Grade Officer of the Year, Iraklion AS, Crete, Greece, 1988
  • Company Grade Officer of the Year, European Communications Division, 1989
  • Air Force General Edwin W. Rawlins Award for Innovative Use of C4 Resources, 1991
  • Distinguished Graduate, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., 1994
  • Federal Computer Week's Top 100 Chief Information Officers, 2007
  • Computer World's Premier 100 IT Leaders, 2008