Speaking at a session I moderated last month at CyberUK, the British government’s flagship annual cybersecurity event, Anne Neuberger spoke about her extraordinary path, which led her from attending gender-segregated night classes to becoming U.S. President Joe Biden’s deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technology.
“I grew up in a community where women are discouraged from going to college, as part of a focus and a belief that women’s roles are in the home,” said Neuberger, who was raised speaking Yiddish in a traditional Hasidic community in New York. “So to be true to the community and the values I was raised with and also to take first steps toward my own dreams, I attended a women-only night school [and] worked during the day.”
Neuberger rarely speaks about her background publicly. But she told me that “each of us that come from different backgrounds and travel our different journeys … can show, by power of example, what is possible,” while pointing to the need “to be understanding of the fact that sometimes those journeys are challenging and to encourage people to take them step by step.”