DHS creates new senior cyber position in NPPD

Thursday - 9/22/2011, 9:54am EDT


The Homeland Security Department continues to shift cybersecurity oversight chairs.

Suzanne Spaulding is the new deputy undersecretary for the department's National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD), according to an email from Rand Beers, DHS under secretary of NPPD, obtained by Federal News Radio.

Spaulding replaces Phil Reitinger, who left June 3. Reitinger joined Sony as its chief information security officer in August.

"Suzanne brings a wealth of experience, having spent nearly 25 years working on national security issues in the public and private sectors," Beers wrote in the email to staff. "As deputy undersecretary, Suzanne will focus on efforts to reduce risk and enhance the resiliency of critical infrastructure, secure federal facilities, and advance identity management and verification."

In her new role, Spaulding will oversee the US-VISIT program, infrastructure protection, the Federal Protective Service and the Office of Risk Management and Analysis.

Spaulding is expected to start in early October, Beers said.

Along with naming Spaulding, Beers said Greg Schaffer will move into a new position, the deputy undersecretary for cybersecurity on an interim basis.

"This position will help the directorate ensure robust operations and strengthened partnerships in the constantly evolving field of cybersecurity," Beers said.

Schaffer has been the acting deputy undersecretary and will assume the role of acting deputy undersecretary for cybersecurity until a permanent person is announced in the coming weeks.

Spaulding comes to DHS after serving as a principal for the Bingham Consulting Group in Washington. She also was the minority staff director for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and was the general counsel for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Additionally, Spaulding spent six years at the CIA and served as senior counsel and legislative director for former Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.).

With Beers naming Spaulding to be the deputy undersecretary of NPPD and creating a new deputy undersecretary position for cybersecurity, it continues an ongoing transition in the office, especially around cybersecurity.

Along with Reitinger leaving earlier this summer, DHS saw several other long-time and senior level employees leave. Randy Vickers resigned suddenly in July from his position as head of the U.S. Computer Emergency Response Team (U.S. CERT).

And last week, Sean McGurk, the director of the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center in NPPD, announced he's leaving.

DHS also named Nicole Dean as the new director of the National Cyber Security Division. This means Bobbi Stempfley, who came to DHS to be the director of NCSD, will continue in her role as the acting assistant secretary in the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications for the long-term.

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