NSA finds one of its own in industry

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

of Change."

"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."


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