The White House announced on Thursday the appointment of Brigadier General (retired) Gregory J. Touhill as the first federal chief information security officer (CISO). Touhill currently serves as the deputy assistant secretary for cybersecurity and communications in the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications at the Department of Homeland Security.
The creation of a federal CISO is a core feature of the Cybersecurity National Action Plan (CNAP), an initiative launched by President Obama in February to strength the nation’s cybersecurity. CNAP included several key short-term and long-term actions including a $19 billion cybersecurity investment and the establishment of a Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity.
Touhill will be responsible for driving cybersecurity policy, planning, and implementation across the federal government, according to a blog post by Michael Daniel, a special assistant to the president and the cybersecurity coordinator, and federal chief information officer Tony Scott.
“In his new role as Federal CISO, Greg will leverage his considerable experience in managing a range of complex and diverse technical solutions at scale with his strong knowledge of both civilian and military best practices, capabilities, and human capital training, development and retention strategies,” wrote Scott and Daniel.
The White House also announced the appointment of Grant Schneider as the Acting Deputy CISO. Schneider, who currently serves as the director for cybersecurity policy on the National Security Council staff at the White House, brings over 20 years of cybersecurity experience to the new role.
“In creating the CISO role, and looking at successful organizational models across government, it became apparent that having a career role partnered with a senior official is not only the norm but also provides needed continuity over time,” said Scott and Daniel.