bron lewis

queer activist, technologist, writer, hacker

"The truth is, of course, that there is no journey. We are arriving and departing all at the same time."
David Bowie


biography

Note: I'm non-binary and use they/them pronouns.

Bron Lewis is a security engineer at Redox and on the board of the San Francisco Metropolitan Internet Exchange (SFMIX). At Redox, Bron works on cloud and infrastructure security, automation, monitoring, and much more. At SFMIX, they are involved in automation and systems management. Before joining Redox, Bron worked on security, infrastructure, and diversity & inclusion at Nuna, as well as networks, systems, and automation at internet infrastructure non-profit Packet Clearing House. They have taught network automation tutorials at NANOG, RIPE, and APRICOT. Before computer engineering, their work spanned operations management, project management, and research. They studied issues of rights, justice, and governance in the Global Studies program at The New School in NYC. Mostly, Bron wants to make the world a more just and equitable place for those most marginalized in society.

work

Security Engineer @ Redox
June 2019 - present | Oakland, CA

Board Member @ San Francisco Metropolitan Internet Exchange
April 2017 - present | San Francisco, CA

Consultant @ Two P LLC
March 2016 - present | Oakland, CA

  • Ad hoc client and project consultation including security assessments & training, project planning, project management, tools development, and technical writing.

Senior Security / Infrastructure Engineer @ Nuna
March 2017 - May 2019 | San Francisco, CA

  • Infrastructure and security champion on T-MSIS and MACBIS government contracts, implementing/enforcing security procedures and infrastructure best practices. Managed CI and deployment systems, and updated project infrastructure to meet compliance requirements.
  • Enabled the company to make better data-driven decisions by deploying a new metrics platform (Telegraf, Prometheus, AlertManager, Grafana, PagerDuty). Wrote and deployed CloudFormation, configured platform systems, and implemented CI testing and system metrics.
  • Project lead for stability of infrastructure and security systems, including refactoring deployments (bash, Cloud Formation), implementing CI testing (Jenkins, Goss), and ensuring thorough technical and process documentation.
  • Project lead for implementing metrics exporting and monitoring/alerting, using our internal monitoring platform, on critical security services, including Vault/Consul, OpenVPN, and Duo DAG/DNG.
  • Subject matter expert on Jenkins and CI/CD. Documented and implemented backup and recovery processes. Created a system upgrade plan and plugin management tooling, leading the upgrade of government project CI systems. Increased security by documenting and implementing isolated worker nodes for better access control. Enabled more efficient and safer management of CI system configuration by writing a Python based Jenkins API job management tool.
  • Project lead for foundational work and project planning in preparation for upgrading all Ubuntu LTS systems (14.04 to 18.04), including deployment and testing of a new golden image, build process testing, and investigation of existing package management.
  • Regularly participated in security issue and alert triage, performed thorough security reviews of tools and systems, and partnered with GRC on developing and implementing user education training and campaigns on phishing and physical security.
  • Founder of the LGBTQ+ club and numerous cultural initiatives focused on diversity & inclusion. Co-organizer of the annual company retreat & unconference. Lightning talk organizer. Author of diversity & inclusion articles for the company blog. Awarded the “Explorer” Archetype Award.

Provisioning Engineer @ Packet Clearing House
November 2013 - February 2017 | Berkeley, CA

  • Responsible for first-rack through PoP installation of equipment at internet exchanges worldwide to support DNS & root server operators. Responsible for coordinating and provisioning hardware, shipping, and installation around the world.
  • Developed provisioning automation (Ansible, PXE, VMware) for Cisco server, switch, and router configuration, resulting in an 80% reduction in configuration time for new hardware.
  • Implemented custom provisioning tracking in Jira to track site deployment progress across 8 stages and territories around the world, resulting in greater insight and project forecasting ability.
  • Supported, upgraded, and/or newly deployed equipment to 100+ PoPs/IXPs worldwide over the course of 3 years.
  • Lead developer & systems engineer on internal IT infrastructure automation using Ansible to manage VMs, including user & firewall management, and deployment of special ad-hoc projects.
  • Developed a low-cost Raspberry Pi jumphost for secure remote configuration via serial cable of networking switches and routers.
  • Contributing engineer to the Quad9 DNS resolver project, primarily responsible for writing Ansible configuration to automate provisioning.
  • Attended industry conferences (NANOG, RIPE) and maintained relationships with donors, business partners, and performed outreach to IXPs.
  • Recipient of the Abha Ahuja Fellowship from NANOG in 2014.

Research Manager @ Vision Critical
April 2013 - November 2013 | San Francisco, CA

  • Managed and collaborated on research panels and projects for major technology companies and their marketing and engineering teams.
  • Designed, authored, and programmed research studies focused on consumer perceptions of and interactions with current & emerging technology.
  • Produced research reports on findings for client presentation.

Assistive Technology & Alternate Format Assistant @ The New School
October 2012 - March 2013 | New York, NY

  • Managed technical and logistical material accessibility for students with visual impairments and learning disabilities for Student Disability Services.
  • Created technical and procedural documentation for day-to-day operations and trained new staff on processes.

Project & Community Manager @ Ipsos
May 2010 - October 2011 | New York, NY

  • Focused on utilizing mobile technology for a variety of research initiatives; consulted with client service teams on mobile pilot projects and worked with technology partners; developed mobile-friendly questionnaires.
  • Managed an online research community focused on entertainment and technology (TV, Film, and Consumer Electronics) for use with select clients and to address internal research needs.
  • Developed team social media strategy. Developed internal information management wiki, including bios, photos, and tags for client service team to enable better utilization of expertise across teams.

Senior Project Manager @ OTX
August 2005 - May 2010 | Los Angeles, CA

(Acquired by Ipsos in 2010)

Senior Project Manager, Innovation & Development
December 2008 – May 2010
Managed and executed virtual environment CPG research projects; coordinated with partners to develop and execute new research platforms and testing tools; managed OTX's video game tracking product; worked on OTX's international film tracking product; developed a wiki for internal information management; developed mobile research technology.

Senior Operations Manager
July 2006 - December 2008
Multi-departmental process and logistics expert. Key areas of focus included: translation process, localization, and international projects; development and documentation of processes, automation, tools, system enhancements, and new products; managed creative and engineering teams.

Online Community Manager
August 2005 - July 2006
Built and maintained community relationships with research panels for major organizations, including the development of research communities for major media entities. Responsible for respondent experience and communication across the organization.

Public Relations Intern @ The Jim Henson Company
December 2004 - June 2005 | Los Angeles, CA

  • Drafted proposals, bios, press releases, and website content.
  • Managed Sundance Film Festival itineraries for executives and filmmakers for the premiere of MirrorMask.
  • Managed international & domestic festival and award consideration submissions for multiple projects.
  • Helped organize and run various company events in the greater Los Angeles area.

volunteer

NOC Volunteer @ Chaos Communications Congress
December 2016 - present | Germany

Technical Advisor @ San Francisco Metropolitan Internet Exchange
July 2013 - present | San Francisco, CA

Technical and operational support, ranging from physical infrastructure to systems automation to security. Work has included:

  • Website development (Flask/Bootstrap)
  • Core Ansible automation (website, switch configs, etc.)
  • Security, including patching & deployment
  • Documentation & onboarding
  • Organization of hackdays

Network Team Member & Technical Writer @ Burning Man
August 2014 - October 2014 | Black Rock City, NV

Responsible for technical documentation and creation of the Burning Man IT Network handbook, as well as hands-on installation of the wireless network used by the Burning Man festival. Work included:

  • Mounting & caliberating microwave radios
  • Configuration & deployment of UBNT wireless equipment
  • Configuration of Juniper routers/switches
  • Layer 1 deployments
  • Network troubleshooting

Volunteer @ Flaming Lotus Girls
June 2013 - October 2013 | San Francisco, CA

Volunteer on the Burning Man Honorarium project Xylophage. Learned metal fabrication techniques and trained in fire safety according to Crucible standards.

Regularly participated in work days, including cutting, bending, and welding metal, as well as assisting with minor electronics and other tasks. Assisted with on playa set-up, operations, and tear-down. Managed on playa fire safety shift scheduling and prep, in addition to working multiple safety shifts during art installation operation.

Tutor @ International Rescue Committee
September 2011 - April 2012 | New York, NY

Saturday Learning Series tutor working with refugee high school students from numerous countries, including Liberia, Sierra Leone, Côte d'Ivoire, and Nepal, among others.

Additionally, was an after school program volunteer working with Nepalese refugees ages 5 to 10, providing homework help, arts program supervision, and general program support.

Conservation Volunteer @ ARCAS
July 2011 - August 2011 | Hawaii, Guatemala

Project volunteer focused on sea turtle conservation, environmental education, and mangrove reforestation in Hawaii Park, Guatemala. Conducted nightly beach patrols, released sea turtles, collected research data, interacted with the local community, conducted educational tours for visitors, and helped maintain facilities.

Education Volunteer @ Open Hands
March 2011 | Marrakech, Morocco

Volunteer @ Coalition for the Homeless
September 2010 - December 2010 | New York, NY

Volunteer @ CrisisCamp Haiti
January 2010 | Los Angeles, CA

Organizer @ BarCamp Los Angeles
April 2008 - July 2009 | Los Angeles, CA

Co-organized BarCampLA 6 and 7.

Deeply involved in event logistics, including fundraising & sponsor relations, budgeting, event insurance, security, catering, registration, and general event set-up & tear-down. Secured BCLA7 venue and coordinated the event with venue hosts. Coordinated volunteers to manage day-to-day logistics.

training

Routing Fundamentals @ NANOG
2014 | Bellevue, WA

Community Emergency Response Team @ LAFD
2009 | Los Angeles, CA

Disaster Response @ Red Cross
2009 | Los Angeles, CA

CPR for the Professional Rescuer @ Red Cross
2009 | Los Angeles, CA

education

Global Studies @ The New School
August 2010 - June 2013 | New York, NY

Primary areas of research included refugees, genocide, sexual violence, human trafficking, private military corporations, and international law, with a special focus on Central and Eastern Africa (specifically DRC, Rwanda, Uganda) and other areas of modern conflict (Guatemala, Bosnia, Iraq).

Courses in:

  • 21st Century War
  • [In]Justice & [Dis]Order
  • Africa's World War
  • Human Rights
  • Design and Development
  • Global Outlaws: International Criminal Law
  • Human Trafficking
  • International Law
  • Political Psychology
  • Post Colonial Theory
  • Refugees & Migration
  • Skills for Global Change
  • Urban Homelessness

Special Programs & Organizations:

  • University Student Senate Co-Chair (2011-2012)
  • Global Studies Advisory Council (2011-2012)
  • Democracy & Diversity Institute (2012)
  • Website Redesign Committee (2012)
  • Safe Zone Ally Skills Training (2011)
  • Leading for Social Change (2011)

Democracy & Diversity Institute @ University of Johannesburg
January 2012 | Johannesburg, South Africa

Part of a select group of student from The New School and universities throughout Africa brought together to discuss violence, economics, race, and democracy.

Courses in:

  • Romancing Violence
  • Global Economy: China, India, and Africa

speaking

NetDevOps - Ansible 101 & Ansible 102 Tutorial
APRICOT | February 2017 | Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam | GitHub

Scaling A Volunteer Run Internet Exchange, Or:
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Automation
AutomaCon | September 2016 | Portland, OR | YouTube

NetDevOps - Ansible 101 to Network Nirvana Tutorial
RIPE71 | November 2015 | Bucharest, Romania | GitHub

NetDevOps - Ansible 101 to Network Nirvana Tutorial
NANOG65 | October 2015 | Montreal, Canada | YouTube | GitHub

Network Automation! Lightning Talk
AutomaCon | September 2015 | Portland, OR

Real-World Network Automation Panel
NANOG63 | February 2015 | San Antonio, TX | YouTube


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