Jim Langevin (D) Congressman from Rhode Island has expressed concern over the delay in selecting a cybersecurity “czar.” Speculation on who will be appointed to the position has resumed since Melissa Hathaway, acting senior director of Cybersecurity under the White House National Security Council, has announced her resignation. She was being considered for the permanent role.
Langevin is chair of the House Cybersecurity Caucus and co-chair of the CSIS Commission on Cybersecurity under President Obama. He said, “I’m certainly disappointed to hear that Melissa is leaving. I thought she was a real asset to the cyber effort, both in the previous administration when she was working on the cybersecurity initiative. It’s a loss to the (Obama) Administration, but I wish Melissa well, and I enjoyed working with her.”
President Obama has made clear that cyber security is a top priority but the recent health care debate has overshadowed the issue.
Other points of concern stem from the lack of definition to the position and undefined status. Debate still rages over whether the cyber “czar“ should be an assistant to the president and be designated a top level adviser. In that case, Langevin is considering legislation to increase assistant positions from 25 to 26 as the President currently has the maximum allowed 25 advisers. Ultimately, he says, the rank will be designated by the president.