Ryan Makes Appointments to Cyberspace Solarium Commission

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Monday announced that he has appointed Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), Dr. Samantha Ravich, and Frank Cilluffo to the Cyberspace Solarium Commission.

The commission, established by the National Defense Authorization Act, aims to develop a clear path forward for U.S. cybersecurity policy, protecting and securing America’s interests against ever-growing cyber threats from around the world.

“As we face 21st-century challenges, cybersecurity is becoming an increasingly significant piece of our national security,” Ryan said. “These appointees bring significant depth and experience in the cybersecurity field.”

  • Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) served for seven years in the United States Marine Corps, earning the rank of Captain. He served as a Counterintelligence/Human Intelligence Officer and Regional Affairs Officer for the Middle East/North Africa, and was deployed twice to Al Anbar Province in Iraq as a commander of intelligence teams. He served on General Patreaus’ Central Command Assessment Team in the Middle East, and has worked for the National Counterterrorism Center and the Drug Enforcement Agency. He also previously worked as a staff member for Middle East, North Africa and Counterterrorism on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and for a company in the global energy industry.
  • Dr. Samantha Ravich is the chairman of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ (FDD) Transformative Cyber Innovation Lab and the principal investigator on FDD’s Cyber-Enabled Economic Warfare Project. She also serves as a senior advisor at FDD, and is on the organization’s Board of Advisors of the Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance. She is a member of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board and was designated to serve as its vice chair. She previously served as deputy national security advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney, focusing on Asian and Middle East affairs, and as the Republican co-chair of the National Commission for Review of Research and Development Programs in the United States Intelligence Community. Dr. Ravich advises numerous technology, manufacturing, and services companies on cyber and geo-political threats and trends.
  • Frank Cilluffo is an Associate Vice President and the Director of the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security at The George Washington University. He served as special assistant to the president for homeland security under President George W. Bush and was appointed to the Office of Homeland Security following September 11th. He has also held several roles with the Center for Strategic & International Studies. He frequently advises senior officials in the executive branch, armed services, and state and local governments on matters pertaining to national security. He currently serves on the National Council of Advisors for the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, and as the chairman of the National Consortium for Advanced Policing. Mr. Cilluffo has held positions on several national security committees, including the Homeland Security Advisory Council, where he was Vice Chairman of the Future of Terrorism Task Force, the Secure Borders and Open Doors Advisory Committee, and the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review Advisory Council.

The 13-member commission includes the principal deputy director of national intelligence, the deputy Homeland Security secretary, and the deputy secretary of Defense. The House and Senate majority each pick three members, while the minority party in each chamber selects two members. A Republican and a Democrat co-chair the commission, which has full subpoena power with the goal of delivering a report to ODNI, DHS, the Pentagon and the congressional Intelligence and Armed Services committees by Sept. 1, 2019.

Last month, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) named Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) and former Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Fla.) to the commission.

“As one of the leading voices on Cyber issues in Congress as well as the Ranking Member on the Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, Congressman Langevin offers unique insight and critical knowledge of the tools necessary to combat the growing cyberthreat. As a dedicated public servant and former Under Secretary of the Army, Congressman Murphy’s defense and intelligence expertise will be an invaluable addition to this important new commission,” Pelosi said. “Together, they will help defend the security of the American people, while also ensuring that we are ready to utilize the ever-evolving arena of cyberspace to fuel American prosperity into the 21st Century.”

The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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