The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal 2021 created the Office of the National Cyber Director within the Executive Office of the President. The office will be headed by the United States’s first national cyber director (NCD) and is intended to lead the implementation of national cyber policy and strategy, with a focus on making rapid progress on domestic cybersecurity. The director will serve as the president’s senior adviser for cyber issues.
The creation of the Office of the National Cyber Director comes at a pivotal time in the development of the nation’s cybersecurity and on the heels of one of the most widespread cyber incidents ever inflicted on the country. The nation’s lead cyber agency, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) at the Department of Homeland Security, continues to slowly mature into its crucial role. Still in the midst of the presidential transition, President Biden has begun to organize his staff at the White House, including with the creation of a deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technologies. While Biden has made it clear that cybersecurity will be a top priority for his administration—and the creation of the new deputy national security adviser is certainly indicative of this—many questions remain.