Dude, Where's My Czar?
Add Melissa Hathaway to the list of cybersecurity experts who don’t want the job of White House cybersecurity czar. Hathaway, a former Bush administration official who led President Obama’s recent 60-day review of the federal government’s cybersecurity efforts, was thought to be a leading contender for the position. But according to The Wall Street Journal, she asked not to be considered for that post about two weeks ago, citing personal reasons. And now she’s resigned her current post as well.
An odd turn of events, considering Hathaway led the administration’s 60-day review of governmentwide cybersecurity preparedness and seemed its likely choice to head up the new cybersecurity office. With the post now vacant and the list of candidates who’ve been considered for the job rumored to have reached at least 30, the administration may have a tough time finding the right person for this difficult job–and convincing him or her to accept it.
“As it stands right now, the cyber czar would have two bosses, the National Security Council and National Economic Council, as well as a chief information officer and chief technology officer,” Greg Garcia, former assistant secretary for cybersecurity and communications at the Department of Homeland Security, told Dark Reading. “In addition, that individual would have to herd all of the cats at DHS and other agencies. Those are big shoes to fill–in fact, I’m skeptical that anyone could succeed in the [cyber czar] job.”
And Garcia’s not the only one. Among other potential candidates who’ve reportedly told the White House they’re not interested: former Republican U.S. Representative Tom Davis of northern Virginia, Microsoft (MSFT) executive Scott Charney, Symantec (SYMC) Chairman John Thompson and retired Air Force General Harry Raduege Jr., the former Defense Information Systems Agency director and co-chair of the Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency.