NSA finds one of its own in industry
- By Dan Verton
- Jul 19, 2000
The National Security Agency director last week nominated William Black
Jr., a retired NSA employee who started a new career in the high-tech industry,
to become the agency's next deputy director.
The pending appointment of Black to the NSA's No. 2 position would mark
one of the few times in the agency's 48-year history that top management
has recruited someone from outside NSA for the high-profile post.
Since his retirement from NSA in 1997 after 38 years of service working
to improve intelligence support to the military, Black has worked for Science
Applications International Corp. in the company's information operations
division. Historically, NSA has promoted only current NSA officials to the
deputy director post.
"Bill was a trailblazer in reshaping how NSA supports the nation's military
operations," said NSA Director Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael Hayden in a written
statement. "As a cross between an iconoclast and an innovator, he knows
the greatness of NSA, but he also knows the need to change, adapt and transform."
Black replaces Barbara McNamara, who in April left the position of deputy
director for a new assignment as the special U.S. liaison officer in London.
Intelligence experts said Black's appointment should benefit the agency
as it begins a lengthy transformation process designed to address a laundry
list of bureaucratic problems highlighted last year in a scathing report
by a group of high-level NSA managers. Known as the New Enterprise Team
study, the report prompted Hayden to undertake what he called his "100 Days
"NSA is in the midst of transforming its foreign signals intelligence and
information-assurance missions to operate at the highest possible levels
of both modernization and readiness," Hayden said. "For this agency, change
was — and remains — an imperative."