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Chris Inglis, Biden’s top cyber adviser, plans to leave government in coming months | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware


Inglis plans to leave sometime in January, the former official said. Inglis declined to comment on the record.

Inglis never said how long he expected to say, and it was unclear if he had moved up his departure timeline.

A key player: Inglis took office in July 2021 following unanimous Senate confirmation, and since then, he has steadily built up his new team by hiring outside experts and recruiting cybersecurity officials from other agencies.

Inglis, a former National Security Agency deputy director, repeatedly described his job as a coordinator of the government’s often disparate cybersecurity activities, someone who measured his success by whether the government was increasingly speaking with one voice on cyber issues.

Strategic timing: Inglis’ office has spent months crafting a National Cyber Strategy for the Biden administration, one that’s expected to endorse a more aggressive approach to regulation for critical infrastructure companies. The still-unsettled timing of his departure depends on how the strategy moves through an ongoing White House review process.

“Chris wants the strategy out before he goes,” the former official said.

The backstory: Inglis informed Biden’s team in November that he intended to leave soon, the former official said. He was not asked to say, according to this office. An NSC spokesperson referred to Inglis’ office, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Inglis recommended that the White House nominate his principal deputy, Kemba Walden, to replace him, according to the former official, who said the White House is considering several potential candidates. Walden will serve as acting national cyber director after Inglis leaves.

The status of the cyber strategy: The National Security Council held high-level meetings on the strategy on Dec. 5 and Dec. 14, during which the number-two officials from key departments and agencies discussed the document, according to a current senior U.S. official, who requested anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

The strategy was well received at the Dec. 14 meeting, according to the former U.S. official and the senior U.S. official, with the latter saying it received “widespread consensus.” A third meeting of agency deputies, scheduled for Jan. 9, is expected to tee up the strategy for a final review by Biden’s Cabinet officials.

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