Kemba Walden, Neal Higgins, Rob Knake Take Senior Leadership Roles in Office of the National Cyber Director

The Office of the National Cyber Director has announced the appointment of cybersecurity leaders Kemba Walden, Neal Higgins and Rob Knake to help Chris DeRusha, federal chief information security officer and deputy national cyber director for federal cybersecurity, meet ONCD’s mission to protect U.S. citizens in cyberspace and enable them to benefit from the digital ecosystem.

Walden will serve as the first principal deputy national cyber director, while Higgins and Knake will assume the role of deputy national cyber directors for national cybersecurity and strategy and budget, respectively, the White House said Tuesday.

Each of these leaders brings impressive experience in cybersecurity policy making to our team, and their diverse perspectives will be invaluable as we strengthen our collective defense,” said National Cyber Director Chris Inglis.

DeRusha and Inglis are both Wash100 Award winners.

Walden most recently served as assistant general counsel at Microsoft’s (Nasdaq: MSFT) digital crimes unit and spearheaded the launch of the Ransomware Program. She spent 10 years at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency within the Department of Homeland Security.

Higgins previously worked at the CIA as associate deputy director for digital innovation with oversight of the agency’s cyber operations, data science, secure global communications and open source collection. He is former director of congressional affairs and deputy chief of the WikiLeaks Task Force at the CIA. He held senior staff positions in the Senate.

Knake was a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a fellow at the Harvard Belfer Center’s Cyber Project prior to joining ONCD. He served in the cyber directorate at the National Security Council and National Protection and Programs Directorate, CISA’s predecessor organization, during the Obama administration.

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