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Trump taps Evanina for counterintel chief

Bill Evanina

The White House nominated William Evanina Feb. 1 to serve as director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center.

Evanina served as director of the NCSC under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence since 2014 and had a front-row seat as the Obama administration grappled with modernizing the security clearance and suitability system following the 2015 Office of Personnel Management breach. Prior to that role, he served at the CIA as the chief of the Counterespionage Group. 

The NCSC is charged with protecting American secrets, overseeing the security clearance process, developing national counterintelligence strategies and assessing insider threats. It also provides guidance to federal agencies on the cyber capabilities of foreign threat actors.

In his role at NCSC, Evanina pushed for the inclusion of continuous evaluation and monitoring in the security clearance process as a way to provide real-time threat indicator updates for federal employees and contractors. He also argued for the incorporation of social media data into an applicant’s background investigation.

Evanina is all too familiar with insider threats. Before becoming NCSC director, he was assigned to lead the 2013 investigation into NSA contractor Edward Snowden, and his tenure as NCSC director has overlapped with a several serious leak cases, including those of Harold Martin, who pled guilty in January 2018, and Reality Winner, whose case is still pending in federal court.

Posted by Derek B. Johnson on Feb 02, 2018 at 11:56 AM


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