Rep. Katko, Congressional Cybersecurity Leaders Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Establish National Cyber Director

June 25, 2020
Press Release

Director Would Lead National Cyber Strategy and PolicyServe as the President’s Principal Advisor on Cybersecurity

WASHINGTON, DC— U.S. Rep. John Katko (NY-24), Ranking Member on the Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection & Innovation Subcommittee, today introduced The National Cyber Director Act, bipartisan legislation that would create the position of National Cyber Director within the White House. The Director would serve as the President’s principal advisor on cybersecurity and associated emerging technology issues, and function as the lead national-level coordinator for cyber strategy and policy. Rep. Katko introduced this bipartisan measure alongside U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin (D, RI-2), Commissioner of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher (R, WI-8), Commissioner of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D, NY-12), Chairwoman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, and U.S. Rep. Will Hurd (R, TX-23), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Intelligence Modernization and Readiness. 

The National Cyber Director would develop and oversee implementation of a National Cyber Strategy, direct and coordinate federal agency cyber activities, collaborate with private sector entities, and participate in meetings of the National Security Council and Homeland Security Council. The position would be appointed by the President, subject to Senate confirmation, and would head an office within the Executive Office of the President.

“At the national level, we need a coordinated approach to cybersecurity that ensures individuals, businesses, schools, hospitals, and governments are protected against cyberattacks,” said Rep. Katko. “For this reason, I introduced The National Cyber Director Act, bipartisan legislation that would establish the National Cyber Director position within the White House. This position would be filled by a dedicated cyber expert who would lead a cohesive national cyber strategy that protects our country against cyberthreats. This is a significant step forward for improving our national security.” 

The creation of a National Cyber Director was a key recommendation in the Cyberspace Solarium Commission’s inaugural report this year. The Cyberspace Solarium Commission is a Congressionally-chartered Commission tasked with developing and recommending a comprehensive national strategy for improving American cybersecurity. The Commission reiterated this recommendation in a recently published pandemic white paper which outlined measures to protect against cyberthreats during the COVID-19 pandemic.