Gallagher Introduces Jen Easterly to Serve as CISA Director
June 10, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), co-Chair of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, today introduced Jen Easterly, the nominee to serve as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
Rep. Gallagher's full remarks can be found below, and can be downloaded for broadcast/distribution HERE.
"Thank you Senator Peters, Senator Portman, and distinguished members of the Committee, for allowing me to introduce Jen Easterly for her nomination to be the Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. It’s an honor to be here to introduce Jen.
"As the co-Chair of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, with my good friend Sen. Angus King, I cannot over-state what a crucial role the President has nominated Jen to fill. Our bipartisan, public-private Commission assessed that CISA is the most important agency in the execution of federal network security and the development of an effective public-private collaboration to protect our national critical infrastructure. CISA is quite simply on the front lines of ensuring that federal departments and agencies, the private sector, and the American people have the resources to detect, withstand, and respond to cyberattacks.
"Thanks, in large part, to the work of your committee, we have made significant progress on strengthening the Agency so that it can perform this crucial mission. For example, we authorized CISA to perform threat hunting on federal networks to more proactively identify cyber threats to federal assets and systems and begin any necessary mitigation processes sooner. We also elevated the role of CISA Director so that the position is equivalent to that of the TSA Administrator in order to emphasize the importance and stature of the Agency and its leader.
"And when we did that, when we amended the law to elevate the position of CISA Director, we stipulated that a qualified CISA Director would be someone who:
- Has extensive knowledge of cybersecurity, infrastructure security, and security risk management; and
- Has at least five years of experience fostering multi-stakeholder coordination and collaboration on these issues.
"Jen Easterly’s qualifications are well above and beyond those stipulated by the law. Her background is incredible.
"She is currently the head of Firm Resilience and the Fusion Resilience Center at Morgan Stanley. In this capacity, she is responsible for ensuring preparedness and response to business-disrupting operational incidents and risks. Jen joined Morgan Stanley in February 2017 to build and lead the Firm’s Cybersecurity Fusion Center, which is the operational cornerstone of its entire cyber defense strategy.
"And prior to joining the private sector, Jen served for three decades in the federal government. She was the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Counterterrorism, where she led the development and coordination of U.S. counterterrorism and hostage policy. Prior to that, she was the Deputy for Counterterrorism at the National Security Agency, where she was responsible for leading operations to detect and disrupt terrorist attacks against the U.S. and our allies.
"Jen is a two-time recipient of the Bronze Star and she retired from the U.S. Army after more than twenty years of service in intelligence and cyber operations. She was responsible for standing up the Army’s first cyber battalion, she was also instrumental in the design and creation of U.S. Cyber Command.
"She’s a distinguished graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, she holds a master’s degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from the University of Oxford, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar. She’s a real over-achiever.
"And I could go on, but Jen’s accolades and accomplishments are so numerous that we might never actually get to the hearing itself. She was a critical member of our “red team” on the Solarium Commission and I just want to say what an honor it is to be at the same hearing where Senator King, my co-Chair, will introduce our fellow Commissioner Chris Inglis for his nomination as our country’s first National Cyber Director. Jen and Chris are great cybersecurity experts to be sure, but more than that they are also great Americans. They embody what it means to put politics aside and to serve the nation. They will be a great team that introduces the speed and agility into cybersecurity and critical infrastructure protection that I believe is needed to protect our country against the malicious cyber activity that we are seeing.
"So, I look forward to this hearing and to the Committee’s progress on putting Jen to work as quickly as possible as our next CISA Director. Thank you again, Senator Peters, Senator Portman, and the distinguished members of this Committee for your time and for your consideration of Jen’s nomination."