The Biden administration is still hashing through its consideration of who to appoint as National Cyber Director, but is due to conclude a review of how it should proceed on the position in the next several weeks.

That was the latest on March 16 from White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, who was asked at a press conference for an update on President Biden’s plan to name a National Cyber Director. The requirement to make that appointment stems from the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which established a new Office of the National Cyber Director in the Executive Office of the President. The nominee for National Cyber Director is subject to Senate confirmation.

Psaki said the White House is in “the middle of a 60-day review on how … the National Cyber Director role should be approached.”

“Clearly, addressing cyber, ensuring there’s an across-government approach is a priority for the President and something that he feels there’s a role for many components of the Federal government to play,” she said. “So we’re going to pursue that role and ensure that we’re approaching it in the right way … in a way that will address the threats we’re facing.”

Psaki added that that Anne Neuberger, who is deputy national security advisor and leading the administration’s response to the Russia-backed SolarWinds hack and the Microsoft Exchange cyber intrusion, “is one of the most impressive people I’ve ever met, but, as a side note, has a great deal of experience at the NSA.”

The press secretary said the review of the SolarWinds attack is continuing, along with allegations of Russian interference in the 2020 elections. “We will see that review through,” she said, while reiterating, “the President reserves the right to decide to respond in a manner and time of his choosing, seen and unseen.”

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.