White House cyber adviser Melissa Hathaway resigns

Hathaway will leave her current post later this month, according to an article on The Wall Street Journal's Web site

Melissa Hathaway, the Obama administration’s acting senior director for cyberspace, has announced her resignation from that post effective later this month, according to a report on The Wall Street Journal’s Web site.

Hathaway led the Obama administration’s 60-day review of cyber policy earlier this year, and was considered a leading candidate for a permanent cyber coordinator position that President Barack Obama said in May he would establish. That post remains vacant.

Hathaway's team completed the review on April 17 after examining relevant presidential policy directives, executive orders, national strategies, as well as taking input from agencies, industry, academia, the civil liberties and privacy communities, state and international governments, and the legislative branch. The report included recommendations for how the government should move forward including two action plans, one for the near-term and one for the mid-term.

Previously, Hathaway was senior adviser and cyber coordination executive to the Director of National Intelligence, and played a leading role in coordinating the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative started by the George W. Bush administration.

The Journal reported that Hathaway said she was leaving for undefined personal reasons.

In an e-mail, White House Spokesman Nick Shapiro said, “We are grateful for her dedicated service and for the significant progress she and her team have made on our national cyber security strategy.”

Shapiro also said cybersecurity is a major priority for Obama which is why shortly after taking office he directed the National Security and Homeland Security Councils to conduct the cybersecurity review. He also said the Obama is “personally committed” to finding the right person for the cybersecurity coordinator position and that “a rigorous selection process is well underway.”

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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