The US Senate has confirmed Harry Coker as the National Cyber Director, succeeding Chris Inglis. Coker, a former executive director of the NSA, was confirmed on a 59-40 vote. The National Cyber Director role was established in 2021 to address cybersecurity challenges, especially in the wake of the SolarWinds hack, and advise President Biden on cybersecurity policy and strategy.
Coker’s confirmation comes after Kemba Walden, who was initially named acting National Cyber Director after Inglis left, stepped down in November. Drenan Dudley, ONCD’s deputy for strategy and budget, was temporarily assigned to the role until Coker’s confirmation. The ONCD plays a crucial role in developing and implementing the National Cybersecurity Strategy.
During his confirmation hearing, Coker expressed his commitment to continuing the work done by ONCD and its partners. His extensive experience, including leadership positions in the CIA, adds significant expertise to the role. The confirmation was met with enthusiasm from ONCD, highlighting Coker’s four decades of experience in both the public and private sectors.
Coker takes on the National Cyber Director position at a time when cybersecurity threats are on the rise, and effective leadership in this role is crucial for national security. His role involves advising the President on matters of cybersecurity, contributing to policy development, and overseeing the nation’s cybersecurity strategy. Coker’s confirmation brings an experienced leader to the forefront in the ongoing efforts to strengthen the country’s cyber defenses.