DHS creating cybersecurity, intelligence and policy czars

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Heeding calls from industry and government, the Homeland Security Department is creating a more powerful position in charge of cybersecurity, DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff announced today.

The new assistant secretary for cyber and telecommunications will report to a new undersecretary for preparedness in a new Preparedness Directorate, Chertoff said at a press conference in Washington, D.C.

DHS is splitting its Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Directorate between its two main functions, Chertoff said. The assistant secretary for information analysis will become DHS’ chief intelligence officer and report directly to the Secretary, he said. The assistant secretary for infrastructure protection will be in the new Preparedness directorate.

DHS is creating a central policy office headed by an undersecretary for policy, Chertoff said. The under secretary for policy will have assistant secretaries for policy, the private sector, strategic planning, international affairs and immigration statistics overseeing their own divisions, he said.

The department is creating a new director of operations coordination to help ensure that the new policies are put into action, the secretary said.

The White House announced today that President Bush has nominated Stewart Baker to be DHS’ first assistant secretary for policy. Baker is currently a partner with Steptoe & Johnson, LLP in Washington, D.C. He previously served as general counsel for the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction. Prior to that, he served as general counsel for the National Security Agency.

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