The National Security Agency’s director of cybersecurity will continue to serve in the next administration as deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technology, according to an announcement of new appointments to the incoming National Security Council.
The incoming administration selected current NSA cybersecurity chief Anne Neuberger along with Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall to serve as deputy national security adviser and homeland security adviser, and Russ Travers to serve as deputy homeland security adviser to work with Jake Sullivan, who was appointed as the next national security adviser.
“These dedicated public servants will be integral in keeping the American people safe and building capacity to prepare for and respond to the full spectrum of threats we face—from cyber intrusions to grid attacks, from possible future pandemics to deliberate acts of terror,” President-elect Joe Biden said in a press release Wednesday. “They will strengthen our resilience to natural disasters, and work with our allies and friends to ensure the cyber rules of the road are made by democracies. Our collaborative, cross-agency approach to national security, including our close work with critical infrastructure and the private sector to protect against threats to the American people, will deliver strong results for all Americans.”
Biden promised to make cybersecurity a top priority as federal agencies and private sector entities work to address a widespread, ongoing hacking campaign officials suspect is an intelligence-gathering effort spearheaded by Russia.
Neuberger, who is well respected within the cybersecurity community, will fill a newly created post within the NSC.
As the leader of a new cybersecurity directorate at the NSA, she pledged from the start to improve poor information sharing practices at the agency. And less than four months in, the NSA accepted attribution for discovering and sharing a major cryptography flaw in Windows 10.
Sherwood-Randall is a Georgia Institute of Technology and a Senior Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. She previously served as deputy secretary at the Department of Energy as well as in foreign and domestic defense coordination posts for the Obama and Clinton administrations, and got her start as an adviser for then-Senator Joe Biden, according to the release.
Travers is a 42-year veteran of the defense and intelligence community. He was fired—without explanation, he said—from his post as head of the National Counterterrorism Center in March by Richard Grenell, a political ally of President Donald Trump. Travers’ dismissal came days after he shared concerns with the intelligence community’s inspector general about a dangerous backslide into mistakes, including lax information sharing, of the pre-9/11 era, Politico reported.