WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump has nominated Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone, head of the Army’s Cyber Command, to be the new director of the National Security Agency (NSA) and the US Cyber Command, officials said.
If confirmed by the Senate, Nakasone will succeed NSA and Cybercom chief Adm. Michael Rogers, who has led the agency since 2014 and announced plans to retire in the spring, White House cybersecurity coordinator Rob Joyce said in a Twitter post.
“An exceptional leader for two exceptional (organizations), he brings great experience and strong cyber background,” Joyce said, referring to Nakasone.
The NSA and US Cyber Command, the military department waging cyber war, have had a shared leadership since the latter was created in 2009, although the Defense Department is studying a split.
The 54-year-old Nakasone has led the Army’s Cyber Command and the ARES task force, which focuses on digital warfare against the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group, since 2016.
In 2016, he was promoted to lieutenant general and is now being promoted to general.
The NSA’s reputation was badly battered in 2013, when former contractor Edward Snowden, who is now in exile in Russia, disclosed details of secret espionage programs that tapped communications without warrants and that the United States used to spy on allied governments.