Mentoring Monday

Featured Mentor: Ashwin Palekar

Ashwin Palekar is a Cybersecurity Leader with over 15+ years’ experience in Cybersecurity Architecture, Product and Program Management, and Software Development.



Ashwin has worked in various Leadership roles at Microsoft like Lead and Group Program Manager on various cybersecurity technologies, and in securing the Azure cloud. In 2008, Ashwin received Microsoft’s Trustworthy computing security award. He is also the author of popular IETF wireless security protocols. He has been helped many non-profits as a pro-bono volunteer to assess their security and build their cybersecurity defenses. He has been an active mentor at ICMCP since 2018.

Why is it important to become a Mentor?

  • I am keenly aware of the lack of diversity in the cybersecurity profession, and hence am eager to contribute to efforts to right those inequities.
  • Cybersecurity is a vast and tough field to navigate with many different career paths. Having someone to walk with you on that road is crucial to success.
  • Mentoring provides me a channel to give back to the community the knowledge I acquired and continue to acquire. I’m getting just as much back from the conversation. It’s very rewarding and I learn from the mentees as well.




Featured Mentor: Stanley Li

CEO, Netswitch Technology Management




Stanley has founded Netswitch in 2000, holds Masters of Science degree in Telecommunication Management, Bachelors of Finance and Real Estate. He leads the company to become one of the pioneers in Gartner’s Managed Detect & Response Providers Market Guide in 2016 and continues to innovate with the best practices approach in CyberRisk Governance and SecOps Automation for the Small & Midsize Business segment. His social responsibilities including mentoring, board advisor for university curriculum, and commissioner with the City of Richmond, CA.

Why is it important to become a Mentor?

Education is one of the most essential aspects of life, and I felt so fortunate to have the opportunities to have that because my parents have sacrificed themselves to make sure we received the best education they can afford. However, I was young and stupid, that I didn’t treasure that opportunity until I got older, but years have been wasted. When I realized my mistake, I thought if I had a mentor to coach me, I would not have wasted so much time, and I could be in a much better position. Being a mentor is to share my experience with others, so they don’t have to make the same mistakes that I made, hoping to provide the direction like a tour guide, so they don’t have to make too many wrong turns in career and life development.


Positive feedback from Mentees

"The mentor and I formed a valuable relationship that has created opportunity for both of us." Chelsea Levesque

"My experience was great. My mentor was available for me whenever I needed him. He was very flexible and provided great feedback based on his own experiences." - Estela Delgado

My mentor lives in Maryland, and I live in North Carolina. We were not able to physically meet, but we had several--at least 3 or 4--telephone calls that ranged from 45 minutes to well over an hour! We also communicated via email. He provided a listening ear, motivation, and encouragement. If I'm ever in the D.C. area, we will try to meet face-to-face. It was a good match for me because I grew up in the D.C. area, so we had some things in common.” - Sharice Adams


ICMCP's Mentoring Program

Mentoring Program Stats

  • Since the inception of the ICMCP Mentoring Program, we have successfully matched approx. 200 people with a mentor.
  • Stats from most recent cohort
    • 71% of the Mentees who responded to the survey indicated they met with their Mentor once a week. 
    • 100% of the Mentees who met weekly with their Mentor rated their quality of contact time as Excellent and that they would recommend the Mentoring program to someone else.


ICMCP Mentoring Program Plea for Mentors

In 2021, ICMCP's Mentoring Program will conduct a Mentor to Mentee match-ups in the months of April, July and October. The mentoring partnership lasts for 6 months and Mentors meet with their Mentees on average once a week for an hour. We estimate needing upwards of 75 - 100 Mentors over the course of 2021, so I kindly ask that you consider becoming a mentor.

It's a wonderful opportunity to volunteer your time & talents! 

You can apply to become a Mentor by completing the Mentoring Application.