Four months after his inauguration, the president of the United States, Joe Biden, has named two former National Security Agency (NSA) officials to top cybersecurity roles in his administration.
On Monday, the White House announced the nomination of former NSA deputy director John C. “Chris” Inglis as the government’s first national cyber director. Ex-deputy director of the NSA’s counterterrorism center, Jen Easterly, was named to head up the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).
In a statement announcing the nominees, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said: “I’m proud of what we are building across the U.S. government when it comes to cyber. If confirmed, Chris and Jen will add deep expertise, experience and leadership to our world-class cyber team.”
He added: “We are determined to protect America’s networks and to meet the growing challenge posed by our adversaries in cyberspace—and this is the team to do it.”
News of today’s nominations of Easterly and Inglis was leaked on April 11 by the Washington Post. It isn’t the first time that Biden has elected to fill a top cybersecurity position with a former NSA employee.
Anne Neuberger, whom Biden appointed to the post of deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technology, worked at the NSA between 2013 and 2021.
Jen Easterly, who recently served as the cyber policy lead for the Biden-Harris Transition Team, is head of firm resilience and the Fusion Resilience Center at Morgan Stanley, where she is responsible for ensuring preparedness and response to operational risks to the firm.
Inglis worked at the NSA for nearly 30 years, retiring in 2014 as deputy director after almost eight years in the post.
Other key leadership roles announced by the Biden administration today were John Tien for deputy secretary, Ur Jaddou for director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, Chris Magnus for commissioner of US. Customs and Border Protection, Jonathan Meyer for general counsel, and Robert Silvers for under secretary for strategy, policy, and plans.
Silvers served as assistant secretary for cyber policy at the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) under the Obama administration.