April 12, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Angus King (I-ME), Congressman Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE), and Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), the four legislative members of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, released the following statement regarding President Joseph R. Biden’s nomination of John C. “Chris” Inglis to be the inaugural National Cyber Director (NCD) and Jennifer Easterly to be the Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA):
“We are pleased that President Biden has nominated our fellow Solarium Commissioner Chris Inglis to be the country’s first National Cyber Director. Creating the National Cyber Director was a key recommendation of the Commission, because we need a Senate-confirmed official within the White House to coordinate our cyber defenses. As our adversaries’ attempts to probe our networks become bolder, the need for a leader with statutory authority to coordinate the development and implementation of a national cyber strategy to defend and secure everything from our hospitals to our power grid could not be more clear.
“Chris was instrumental in crafting the National Cyber Director recommendation. His wealth of experience in the highest ranks of government cyber operations and policy making ensured that our proposal was grounded in the reality of today. But Chris’s greatest contribution was his clarity of vision for a future of stability and security in cyberspace, one where the public and private sectors work side-by-side in this critical area. The job will be tough, but there is no one more qualified than Chris. He has our warmest congratulations, and we look forward to offering him our full support as his nomination progresses.
“We also congratulate Jen Easterly on her nomination to lead CISA, the nation’s premiere cybersecurity agency. Jen provided valuable feedback throughout the Solarium Commission’s strategy development sessions as one of our ‘red team’ members. Her incisive mind and tenacity will be great assets to CISA as it continues to mature. Strengthening CISA is an essential part of the Solarium strategy, and Jen is just that – a strong pick.
“Chris and Jen will join an already strong team that includes Deputy National Security Adviser for Cyber and Emerging Technology Anne Neuberger and CISA’s Executive Assistant Director for Cybersecurity Eric Goldstein. Anne and Eric inherited one of the most wide-ranging cyber incidents in U.S. history, and we have all been impressed by their early work to get a handle on SolarWinds and the more recent Microsoft Exchange Server vulnerabilities. We look forward to continuing our work with the Biden-Harris administration to protect the nation from cyber incidents of significant consequence.”
Inglis has served on the Solarium Commission, which is co-chaired by King and Gallagher. Easterly was one of the Commission’s “red team” members who provided feedback during the development of the layered cyber deterrence strategy. The Commission recommended the creation of the NCD, and Langevin’s National Cyber Director Act was included as part of the fiscal year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act. The Commission also recommended strengthening CISA, and several recommendations on that point became law earlier this year. For more information on the Commission, visit: https://www.solarium.gov/.