Bret Fund, Ph.D., SecureSet, Flatiron School

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Additional Info

Job title of nominated professional (or team name)Founder and CEO of SecureSet; Head of Cybersecurity, Flatiron School
Company (where nominated professional or team is working)SecureSet, Flatiron School


Bret Fund, Ph.D., is a lifelong learner and educator. His formal educational pursuits culminated in a Ph.D. in Business Administration and led to an academic career as a university professor. As a professor, Dr. Fund started a student-run venture capital fund. The novel interdisciplinary private equity course partnered with local companies and financiers and developed a proprietary interactive education platform allowing educators to interact with their students beyond the time they were together in the classroom.

In 2014, he combined his passion for education and cybersecurity. He founded SecureSet Academy – a forward-thinking, immersive multi-campus cybersecurity education company offering an industry-leading curriculum for the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. From the start, Dr. Fund, through his work at SecureSet Academy, worked to bridge the talent gap problem within the cybersecurity industry. In summer 2019, Dr. Fund’s leadership led to SecureSet’s acquisition by Flatiron School, a WeWork company. Now, as Head of Cybersecurity for Flatiron School, Dr. Fund is tapped as a thought leader, guiding conversations at the intersection of science, education, and technology.

Dr. Fund recognizes that cybersecurity is an ever-evolving and dynamic industry; thus, he remains at the forefront of these changes to ensure that SecureSet Academy and Flatiron School are teaching the latest trends and threats that companies and nations face. This creates a curriculum for students that is 100% industry-aligned and current, equipping them with the skills necessary to be job-ready upon graduation. He also regularly consults with employers to create new courses that will enable companies to build and strengthen their existing security teams and provide cybersecurity awareness to non-IT and non-security related employees.

Additional Information

1. Dr. Fund has collaborated with and received feedback from over 100 cybersecurity employers to identify specific skill portfolios that an individual will need to possess for entry-level roles within the cybersecurity industry. With those inputs, his team created three industry-aligned cybersecurity education programs, administered to hundreds of students (475 to date), now employed in cybersecurity roles within hundreds of companies throughout the world.
2. Dr. Fund worked with several universities throughout the United States to articulate his three education programs. As a result, universities reviewed, vetted, and agreed to provide university credit (transfer credit) for these programs. The amount of credit an individual can receive ranges from 24 to 33 credit hours for one of Dr. Fund’s cybersecurity education courses.
3. Finally, Dr. Fund serves as an expert on cybersecurity education and talent management. He regularly speaks at security conferences, webinars, podcasts. Quoted in the business press regarding the role of cybersecurity education in helping to solve the talent gap crisis within the industry, Dr. Fund consults with other educators, financiers and executives in the cybersecurity industry to share his perspective on how employing alternative educational approaches produces results that change not only the trajectory of people’s careers but their lives, as well as the safety and security of our country and the companies that operate within and outside of it.