Executive Mosaic is pleased to introduce Gen. Paul Nakasone, commander of U.S. Cyber Command and director of the National Security Agency (NSA), as an inductee into the 2020 edition of the Wash100 for his efforts to protect U.S national security and U.S. elections through cybersecurity initiatives and advancements. This marks Nakasone’s fourth consecutive Wash100 Award.
Cybercom announced plans in December to conduct information warfare activities if Russia attempts to interfere with the 2020 U.S. elections. “In 332 days, our nation is going to elect a president,” Nakasone said at a defense forum.
“We can’t let up. This is something we cannot be episodic about. The defense of our nation, the defense of our elections, is something that will be every single day for as long as I can see into the future.”
In September, Nakasone talked about the lessons learned from the 2018 midterm elections and highlighted efforts to prevent foreign interference during a panel at the Intelligence and National Security Summit. “When we thought about the elections for 2018 last summer, one of the things that we immediately did is we went back and we took a look at 2016.”
A new cybersecurity directorate at NSA has been established. Nakasanone said in October that the new directorate will focus on ensuring the security of the defense industrial base and weapons systems amid the increasing threats facing critical infrastructure.
“We must better protect our nation’s advantage and the defense sector from intellectual property theft,” he said at the FireEye Cyber Defense Summit in Washington. “This means working closely with the defense industries and those who provide cybersecurity solutions to them.”
The Department of Defense has launched a new personnel system – Cyber Excepted Service – to speed up the recruitment of federal cyber professionals. Nakasone said at a House committee hearing that the Pentagon is benefiting from a faster hiring process for cyber employees following the launch of CES.
“We have done over 21 different fairs. We’ve interviewed over 2,700 people. We’ve provided over 90 acceptances for job applications,” Nakasone said of CES. “My perspective, early phase, is I’m a supporter of it. I look forward to continuing to utilize it.”
During a Senate panel hearing, Nakasone suggested the expansion of Cybercom to meet current mission requirements. "My sense as we continue to operate more, as our adversaries continue to improve, that there will be requirements that will probably be outside the 133 teams we have right now."
Nakasone also has identified “persistent engagement” as a key element in his leadership of NSA to address threats posed by adversaries.
Executive Mosaic congratulates Gen. Paul Nakasone for his 2020 Wash100 Award selection.
The Wash100 Award, now in its seventh year, recognizes the most influential executives in the GovCon industry as selected by the Executive Mosaic team in tandem with online nominations from the GovCon community. Representing the best of the private and public sector, the winners demonstrate superior leadership, innovation, reliability, achievement and vision.
Visit the Wash100 site to learn about the other 99 winners of the 2020 Wash100 Award. On the site, you can submit your 10 votes for the GovCon executives of consequence that you believe will have the most significant impact in 2020.