• Information technology •
Chief Information Security Officer and Director, Information Compliance and Risk Management
The Dow Chemical Company
M.Fin., Universidad de Los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia);
B.S., Computer Science Engineering, Universidad de Los Andes
The challenges of maintaining cybersecurity for a major international chemical company are extremely daunting under any circumstances. In a world where cyberwarfare and espionage has supplanted all other threats to intellectual property security and infrastructure, however, they can be dire. In his role as the first Chief Information Security Officer and Director of Information Compliance and Risk Management for the Dow Chemical Company, Mauricio Guerra has proven more than up to the challenge.
Mr. Guerra brings over 37 years of experience to the task of handling over half a trillion cybersecurity events each year. His leadership and vision has vaulted Dow Chemical to the forefront of the industry in leading the fight to secure IT infrastructure. Since taking the helm, he’s revolutionized Dow’s information security strategy – bringing together different experts and functions across the organization, linking Dow’s engineering, manufacturing, operations and IT to create a holistic, enterprise-level approach to cyber security that had never been done before.
In addition to overseeing the company’s enterprise-wide security strategies, he also plays a critical role leading the planning, staffing and execution of Dow’s global IT infrastructure and application projects, helping the company seamlessly adapt to the digital era and leverage technology to help the business thrive.
Born to a large family in Bogotá, Columbia, Mr. Guerra’s early interest in math led him to study computer science at the Universidad de los Andes. His final project led directly to a job as Systems Development manager for the city of Bogotá. His success in implementing a new financial system soon led to an offer to join Bank Las Villas as Information Systems Manager, where he developed the bank’s IT strategy and rolled out new ATM systems.
Recruiters soon noticed his work and in 1989 contacted Mr. Guerra about an I/S Manager position at Dow Colombia. He’s been with the company ever since, implementing the company’s first email system in Colombia and shepherding the firm into the digital age, all while returning to school to earn his Master’s degree in finance.
His hard work and ambition did not go unnoticed. Soon Mr. Guerra was promoted to I/S Manager for Dow Brazil and then all of Dow Latin America, moving his growing family to São Paulo. Adapting to a new language and culture, he successfully implemented global SAP systems in Dow Latin America to support Dow’s plans for business management Globalization.
With such a stellar track record, a move to Dow corporate headquarters in Michigan was practically inevitable for the rising IT star. In 2002, Mr. Guerra was named Director of Dow’s Program Offices and Implementation with responsibility for planning, staffing and implementing Dow’s global IT infrastructure and applications projects. By 2006, he was promoted to Global Information Systems Security Director, the position that led to his current role.
As a member of Dow’s Hispanic Leadership Network for several years, primarily leading the group’s global efforts for employee development and mentoring, Mr. Guerra helped set up Sponsor to Success, a mentoring program open to all Dow employees, but primarily focused on minority employees. He also regularly volunteers his time to promote STEM programs in local schools and colleges.
Last year, Mr. Guerra proudly became a U.S. citizen, however he still maintains his allegiance to the Colombian national soccer team.