WASHINGTON, D.C. — Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and U.S. Senator Angus King (I-ME), Co-chairs of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission (CSC), today released the following statement regarding the Biden administration’s announcement of a new permanent National Cyber Director, a position filled by Acting National Cyber Director Kemba Walden since February 2023.
“We are relieved to hear that the Biden administration has finally nominated the permanent replacement for the National Cyber Director and strongly support the decision to select Harry Coker, as we see him as being a natural choice for this position.
“Coker’s long and distinguished career in government has led him to posts in the National Security Agency, Central Intelligence Agency and the U.S. Navy. We firmly believe that this experience – and the expertise and skill set it imbued him with – makes him highly qualified for the position of National Cyber Director.
“Looking forward, it is important to reiterate the necessity of strong, permanent leadership in the Office of the National Cyber Director. The NCD is effectively the ‘coach’ of the U. S. cybersecurity team, and it is important that the leadership is Senate-confirmed and accountable to both the President and Congress. As long-standing Green Bay Packers fans we both know that you can’t win without a great coach.
“We would also like to emphasize our deepest appreciation and gratitude to Acting National Cyber Director Kemba Walden for the fantastic work she has done in guiding our nation’s cybersecurity policy, notably developing and rolling out the National Cyber Strategy Implementation Plan. We hope she continues leading the NCD team through the Senate’s upcoming confirmation process, and maintaining an active role in the nation’s cybersecurity conversation.”
The National Cyber Director plays a key role in leading the development of U.S. cybersecurity policy and strategy and was established following a key recommendation from CSC. Read the administration’s announcement HERE.
As Co-Chairs of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission (CSC), Rep. Gallagher and Senator King are recognized as two of Congress’ leading experts on cyber defense and are strong advocates for a forward-thinking cyber strategy that emphasizes layered cyber deterrence. Since it officially launched in April 2019, dozens of CSC recommendations have been enacted into law, including the creation of a National Cyber Director.