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August 03, 2022

For America’s Cyberdefense, King Backs Maine Resident for Key Diplomacy Post

Senator King, Co-Chair of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, introduced U.S. Marine Nathaniel Fick by saying “I cannot imagine a better candidate to fill this position”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine), Co-Chair of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission (CSC), today introduced Nathaniel Fick, nominee to be the State’s Department’s Ambassador at Large for Cyberspace and Digital Policy, to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In his opening remarks, King highlighted the significant importance of the diplomatic role which was recommended by the CSC, and urged members of the Committee to expeditiously advance the well-qualified Cape Elizabeth resident’s nomination. The CSC Co-Chair also used his appearance before the Committee to stress the importance of cyberdiplomacy and internationally agreed-upon legal and ethical norms in the 21st century.

“One of [the CSC’s] principal recommendations was the creation of an office or a bureau in the State Department to deal with international issues relating to cyber, and they can be anything from coordinating international response to a cyber-attack to establishing norms and standards in cyberspace, a kind of Geneva Convention of cyber,” Senator King said in his introductory remarks. 

He then added that the United States needs to be “participating in international panels that set standards for the Internet that, frankly, this country has not been as active in as we should be.”

Nathaniel Fick is a Cape Elizabeth, Maine resident and is the general manager of Elastic Security, where he leads Elastic’s information security business. Previously, he was CEO of Endgame, a cybersecurity software company, from 2012 through its acquisition by Elastic in 2019. Fast Company magazine named him one of the One Hundred Most Creative People in Business, and under his leadership, Forbes selected Endgame as one of the one hundred best cloud companies in the world. Fick started his career as a U.S. Marine Corps infantry and reconnaissance officer, including combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. Fick holds a BA in classics from Dartmouth College, an MPA from Harvard Kennedy School, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Touting Mr. Fick’s qualifications and background, Senator King said “If you took a blank sheet of paper and tried to design a person to fit this new position, you would have come up with someone of Nate Fick, extraordinary qualifications and background.” 

Citing his Marine Corps service, King added that Fick “Served in Iraq and Afghanistan, later served as the CEO of a nonprofit, the center for New American Security, at which time he dealt with issues of cyber and international ramifications of cyber. He then has worked in the private sector as the CEO of a software company, again involved in issues of cyber… Immensely well qualified, very thoughtful, engaged in this issue. And I think, as I said, I cannot imagine a better candidate to fulfill this position. And the fact that he's from the state of Maine is simply gravy.”

The Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy (CDP) began operations in April 2022 after its creation was recommended by the Cyberspace Solarium Commission.  The Bureau leads and coordinates the State Department’s work on cyberspace and digital diplomacy. If confirmed, Fick will be the first Ambassador at Large for the Bureau where he will build on the CDP’s work to encourage responsible state behavior in cyberspace and advance policies that protect the integrity and security the United States.

As Co-Chair of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission (CSC), and a member of the Senate Armed Services and Intelligence Committees, Senator King is recognized as one of Congress’ leading experts on cyberdefense and is a strong advocate for a forward-thinking cyberstrategy that emphasizes layered cyberdeterrence. Since it officially launched in April 2019dozens of CSC recommendations have been enacted into law, including the creation of a National Cyber Director.

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