Biden Beefs Up Cyber Team with NSA, DHS Veterans in Key Roles at White House, CISA, DHS

President Biden has picked former National Security Agency Deputy Director Chris Inglis to serve as the first national cyber director and former NSA deputy for counterterrorism Jen Easterly to lead the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency at the Department of Homeland Security.

Biden has also chosen Rob Silvers, former assistant secretary for cyber policy at DHS, to serve as DHS undersecretary for policy.

Inglis, who left NSA in 2014, is currently a managing director at Paladin. An Air Force veteran, he began his career at NSA as a computer scientist at the National Computer Security Center. As deputy director, he essentially served as the agency’s chief operating officer.

Easterly is a managing director at Morgan Stanley, serving as global head of the firm’s Fusion Resilience Center, and a senior fellow at New America’s International Security program. After her NSA role from 2011-2013, she served on the National Security Council as special assistant to the president and senior director for counterterrorism.

Easterly served more than 20 years in the Army and was responsible for standing up the Army’s first cyber battalion. She was also instrumental in the creation of U.S. Cyber Command, and served as executive assistant to National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice for a time.

Silvers is a partner in the litigation department at Paul Hastings, where he serves as vice-chair of the firm’s Data Privacy and Cybersecurity practice, co-chair of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) practice, and a member of the Investigations and White Collar Defense practice.

During his DHS service, Silvers was the most senior official for cybersecurity policy and was responsible for cyber defense engagement with the private sector. He also served as DHS deputy chief of staff from 2014-2016, senior counselor to the deputy secretary from 2013-2014, and senior counselor to the director at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services from 2011-2013.

Kelli Ann Burriesci has been serving in the acting role at the DHS Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans, which was formerly led by onetime Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf. Brandon Wales has been leading CISA as acting director since former President Trump fired Director Chris Krebs in November for asserting that the presidential election was not fraudulent. The new nominees will be subject to Senate confirmation.

In a tweet today, Krebs praised the selection of Easterly as well as Inglis and Silvers as “brilliant picks.”

“Don’t forget Anne Neuberger as Dep NatSecAdvisor already in place,” Krebs added. “My goodness. This is a team.”

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Bridget Johnson is the Managing Editor for Homeland Security Today. A veteran journalist whose news articles and analyses have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe, Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor and a foreign policy writer at The Hill. Previously she was an editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and syndicated nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. Bridget is a senior fellow specializing in terrorism analysis at the Haym Salomon Center. She is a Senior Risk Analyst for Gate 15, a private investigator and a security consultant. She is an NPR on-air contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, New York Observer, National Review Online, Politico, New York Daily News, The Jerusalem Post, The Hill, Washington Times, RealClearWorld and more, and has myriad television and radio credits including Al-Jazeera, BBC and SiriusXM.

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