Winter 2010 Distinguished Alumna
DR. FAITH M. HEIKKILA, '81
Dr. Faith M. Heikkila, ’81, is chief information security officer for Greenleaf Companies. She is responsible for overall information security governance and compliance, and oversees the protection of personal and financial information for clients of the Greenleaf Companies, which include Greenleaf Trust, Greenleaf Hospitality Group and Catalyst Development Company.
Heikkila earned a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice from Grand Valley State University in 1981, and was a decorated student athlete, lettering in basketball, softball and field hockey. She gained over 18 years of paralegal and IT project management experience at Varnum, Riddering, Schmidt & Howlett, and Miller, Canfield, Paddock & Stone prior to earning her graduate degrees.
Heikkila earned a Master’s of Science in information systems management from Ferris State University in 1998. She completed her Ph.D. in information systems specializing in information assurance from Nova Southeastern University in 2010, and was honored with the Distinguished Ph.D. Dissertation in Information Systems Award.
Heikkila spent five years as an instructor and chair of computer information systems and administrative services at Davenport University, and was most recently Great Lakes regional security services manager for Atlanta-based Pivot Group.
Heikkila is widely recognized as a leading expert in information security policies and procedures, computer security breaches, e-discovery, regulatory compliance laws, data privacy, and has a vast wealth of knowledge of best information security practices. She is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP) and a Certified Information Security Manager (CISM). She also holds graduate certification in Information Assurance: System Administration in Information Security.
In recognition of her authority in this burgeoning field, Heikkila’s expertise is globally sought through publications, invited lectures and presentations, and in organizing regional conferences. She has held elected positions in professional organizations and serves on numerous boards and committees. In January, she was elected president of the FBI’s Michigan InfraGard Member Alliance executive board, for which she plans training and meetings regarding the protection of critical infrastructure and key resources for the State of Michigan. She recently orchestrated and served as co-chair of the successful Securing the Next Decade: Great Lakes 2010 InfraGard Conference bringing in speakers from the Department of Homeland Security, FEMA, and the FBI.
Heikkila continues to make West Michigan her home.