Acting White House Cyber Director Withdraws Nomination

Written by

The acting US national cyber director has reportedly withdrawn her name for consideration for the permanent role because she was told of concerns about personal debt.

Kemba Walden has impressed many in government after shepherding through a well-regarded National Cybersecurity Strategy and, last week, its implementation plan. She had worked as number two to Chris Inglis and was his preferred successor after he announced his intention to retire eight months ago.

However, Walden was reportedly told recently that despite endorsements from the former director and many other lawmakers, concerns about personal debt means she wouldn’t be considered for the role permanently.

Read more on the National Cybersecurity Strategy: White House Launches National Cybersecurity Strategy.

It’s believed that these personal issues would provide certain senators an opportunity to “give her a rough time” during a confirmation hearing. The process has become highly politicized in recent years, leading to many senior government roles lacking permanent leadership.

The delays are concerning for industry groups, who signed an open letter to President Biden last week.

“We the undersigned organizations respectfully urge President Biden to nominate a national cyber director (NCD) before the end of July considering the ever-changing and increasingly complex cyber landscape,” they argued.

“Swift action is crucial in filling this role to protect our nation against ongoing threats and effectively tackle the challenges that lie ahead of us.”

The White House established the Office of the National Cyber Director (ONCD) in 2021 under Inglis’s oversight.

Walden apparently intends to continue in her current role until a permanent successor is found. The leading contender now is former CIA and NSA official, Harry Coker.

Image credit: amadeustx /

What’s hot on Infosecurity Magazine?