Biden taps Inglis, Easterly for top cyber jobs

John C. Inglis and Jen Easterly (Photos: NSA, Morgan Stanley) 

The White House confirmed plans to nominate John C. Inglis and Jen Easterly to key cybersecurity roles in the Biden administration.

President Joe Biden will nominate John “Chris” Inglis, the former deputy director of the National Security Agency, to become the first national cyber director, according to a statement from National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.

Sullivan also said the White House will nominate Jen Easterly, a veteran intelligence official, to lead the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

Inglis had a hand in establishing the new White House cyber position as a member of the congressional Cyberspace Solarium Commission that recommended its inclusion into the most recent defense policy bill.

The Washington Post, which first reported Inglis’ and Easterly’s nominations, also reported that Rob Silvers, who was previously thought to be in the running to lead CISA, will be nominated to serve as the Department of Homeland Security’s assistant secretary for cyber policy. The White House in a separate statement confirmed that nomination.

“This is a very strong team,” Chris Painter, a cybersecurity expert and former State Department official tweeted Sunday night. “Chris Inglis is one of the smartest & most capable people I have ever known in government or outside it. He has the chops to make the NCD work. I think the world of Rob & Jen as well. Big talent for big challenges.”

Lawmakers and former government officials, such as CISA’s first director Christopher Krebs, have been increasingly vocal in urging the administration to fill some of the government’s most important cybersecurity roles.

The nominations come as the administration continues to cope with the fallout of multiple cybersecurity crises including suspected Russian intelligence operatives breaching the networks of nine federal agencies and around 100 U.S. companies.

If confirmed, Inglis and Easterly, along with Anne Neuberger, the deputy national security advisor, would comprise a trio of NSA veterans in the top administration roles focused on cybersecurity.

Note: This article was updated on April 12 to reflect the White House's announcement of the Silvers nomination.

About the Author

Justin Katz covers cybersecurity for FCW. Previously he covered the Navy and Marine Corps for Inside Defense, focusing on weapons, vehicle acquisition and congressional oversight of the Pentagon. Prior to reporting for Inside Defense, Katz covered community news in the Baltimore and Washington D.C. areas. Connect with him on Twitter at @JustinSKatz.


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