Security Industry Association Announces 2024 Winners of the SIA Women in Biometrics Awards –

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Security Industry Association Announces 2024 Winners of the SIA Women in Biometrics Awards

The Security Industry Association (SIA) has named four women biometrics leaders as recipients of the 2024 SIA Women in Biometrics Awards, a globally recognized program presented by SIA with support from sponsor IDEMIA and organizational and media partners AVISIAN, Biometric Update and SIA’s Identity & Biometric Technology Advisory Board and Women in Security Forum. The 2024 awardees, who will be honored at SIA GovSummit, SIA’s annual government security conference, are:

Leire Arbona Puértolas, Legal and Compliance Director, Veridas

Leire Arbona Puértolas has established herself as a leading expert in biometric identity verification and data protection laws since joining Veridas in 2017. She is instrumental in guiding the company’s compliance with international regulations, including the General Data Protection Regulation or Artificial Intelligence Act in Europe, or the California Consumer Privacy Act in the United States, contributing to Veridas becoming a model for compliance and innovation in digital identity services, influencing industry standards and practices worldwide. Arbona Puértolas’ efforts extend beyond corporate compliance; she actively contributes to the legislative process in various countries, advising on laws that shape the future of digital identity verification. She has played a crucial role in legislative developments in Spain and the European Union, and her expertise is frequently sought in international forums on privacy, biometrics and identity management. Arbona Puértolas holds dual degrees in law and business administration from Navarra Public University, Spain, bringing a unique blend of legal insight and business acumen to her role at Veridas. Furthermore, she firmly believes in the necessity of deep technical knowledge to create coherent and updated laws. Arbona Puértolas’ visionary approach drives Veridas’ compliance strategy and enhances its global mission to deliver secure, private and reliable identity verification solutions.

Melissa Conley, Executive Director, Capability Management and Innovation, Requirements and Capabilities Analysis, Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

Melissa Conley is the Transportation Security Administration executive director for capability management and innovation (CM&I) for the Office of Requirements and Capabilities Analysis (RCA). She is a member of the Senior Executive Service. Conley provides enterprise oversight for all TSA operational capabilities throughout their life cycles to ensure proper resourcing and alignment to U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and TSA strategies and priorities. She works with a team of capability managers to integrate all materiel and non-materiel capabilities into the security architecture to ensure a cohesive set of innovative security solutions to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. Additionally, Conley coordinates innovation efforts with stakeholders, including current and emerging technology demonstrations intended to enhance operational capabilities and develop efficiencies. She previously served as deputy assistant administrator (Acting) of RCA and led the strategy and development of TSA’s security architecture and operational capabilities to enhance security and optimize mission performance through analysis and innovation. In addition to her work in advancing TSA’s capabilities for an improved passenger experience, Conley oversaw finance, operations and congressional and industry engagement on behalf of RCA. She previously served as the senior advisor for the Office of RCA, advising on matters relating to capabilities and requirements used in all modes of transportation, and also previously served as the senior advisor for the Office of Security Operations, where she assisted the assistant administrator with security operations for approximately 440 airports nationwide, including a workforce of more than 50,000 employees.

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