Zach Oxendine - 2023 Award Winner
Zach Oxendine

Zach Oxendine, a proud member of the Lumbee tribe from South Carolina, began his career by enlisting in the Air Force in 2014. His outstanding service earned him the Airman of the Year award in 2017. Specializing in Cyber Systems Operations, Zach served actively for 4.5 years before transitioning to the Air Force reserves as a Cyber Staff Sergeant. While enlisted, he achieved an associate’s degree in Information Technology from the Community College of the Air Force.

Now based in Reston, Virginia, Zach is an Engineering Technical Program Manager at Microsoft. His leadership extends to helming the U.S. Indigenous Employee Resource Group at the company. He also spearheads Strategic Initiatives at Natives Rising and is a pivotal member of the Cyber Defense Advisory Board at the University of North Carolina Pembroke.

As co-chair for the D&I National Initiative CyberSecurity Education community, Zach is deeply invested in fostering education. He pioneers STEM camps for high school students and consults on cybersecurity education and workforce development across tribal and rural communities, as well as collegiate programs. Notably, Zach has been a keynote speaker at various esteemed platforms, including the White House and several conferences and colleges.