Washington, D.C. – Melissa Hathaway announced Monday that she will resign as the nation’s top cyber security adviser to the Director of National Intelligence. Many believed she would be considered for the post of cyber czar. Her departure date from the Administration is Aug. 21.
Senator Collins, Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released this statement Tuesday:
“Melissa Hathaway’s departure underscores the continued lack of leadership within the Obama Administration on cyber security issues. The loss of her expertise on this issue is unfortunate. However, the White House plan to appoint yet another czar to address this real and growing threat is not the answer.
“Indeed, the Administration should take this time to reconsider the merits of putting a cyber czar within the White House – with no operational authority and shielded from Congressional oversight. Rather, the Administration should work with Congress to establish an effective, accountable cyber leader at the Department of Homeland Security.
“This position should be given real authority over cyber security with the singular focus of protecting America’s critical networks, throughout the federal government and within the private sector. Effective cyber security requires the cooperation of numerous agencies, and the Department of Homeland Security is the nexus of key realms – intelligence gathering and dissemination, security planning and threat assessment, and coordination with law enforcement and private sector officials.
“A czar at the White House – unconfirmed and unaccountable to Congress – cannot create the environment needed to secure our critical networks.”