Kemba Eneas Walden, who led a Microsoft program to counter ransomware, will serve as principal deputy national cyber director, the administration is set to announce on Tuesday. Walden will be the “linchpin” for the office and will work closely with National Cyber Director Chris Inglis, a source familiar with the announcement told CNN.
Neal Higgins, who was most recently a senior CIA official focused on cybersecurity and open-source collection, and Rob Knake, a veteran of cyber policy teams in the Obama administration, have also joined the cyber office in senior roles, officials will announce.
The Office of the National Cyber Director is meant to bring coherence to how the federal government responds to major hacks. It’s also charged with keeping a close eye on how agencies manage their cyber defenses in the face of an array of threats from nation-state adversaries and criminal groups.
The new personnel will “accelerate our efforts to protect Americans in cyberspace,” Inglis, who is the principal adviser to President Joe Biden on cyber policy and strategy, said in a statement.