WASHINGTON— On Thursday, June 25, legislation was introduced to create the position of National Cyber Director within the White House. It was put forth by Representative John Katko of New York and a bipartisan group of House lawmakers to oversee national cybersecurity and strategy.
If approved, the director would be nominated by the president and require the confirmation of the U.S. Senate. The director would serve as adviser on cybersecurity issues within the Executive Office of the President. Their task would be to develop strategies with federal agencies and private sector companies. Additionally, the director would be a participant in Homeland Security Council and National Security Council meetings.
The recommendation was initially made by the Cyberspace Solarium Commission after releasing its annual inaugural report in March. The co-authors of the bill are Republican Representative Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin and Democratic Representative Jim Langevin of Rhode Island. The co-sponsors are Democratic Representative Carolyn Maloney of New York and Republican Representative Will Hurd of Texas.
“At the national level, we need a coordinated approach to cybersecurity that ensures individuals, businesses, schools, hospitals and governments are protected against cyberattacks,” said Representative Katko. Katko, who introduced the bill, serves as ranking member of the Subcommittee Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Innovation within the House Homeland Security Committee.
He also added: “This position would be filled by a dedicated cyber expert who would lead a cohesive national cyber strategy that protects our country against cyber threats. This is a significant step forward for improving our national security.”
Having a National Cyber Director has been met with opposition by the Trump administration. In 2018, the weaker role of national cybersecurity coordinator was eliminated entirely.