Cyber-Czar to Be Named 'Soon'

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2006-08-24 Print this article Print

The Department of Homeland Security is reported to be close to the final stages of the hiring process, and should have a candidate named soon.

WASHINGTON—The Department of Homeland Security will be naming a new Assistant Secretary for Cyber and Telecommunications in the very near future, a DHS spokesperson has told eWEEK.

According to Vallee Bunting, a spokesperson for Preparedness Directorate of the DHS, the department is close to the final stages of the hiring process, and should have a candidate named soon.

Currently, the functions of the cyber-czar are being handled by Robert Zitz, Deputy Undersecretary for Preparedness.

"That is to ensure that cyber and national communications issues stay highly visible within department operations," Bunting said, explaining Zitz's role.

Bunting said that finding the right candidate has been difficult. She said that competition with the private sector was a major factor, but so was finding exactly the right person.

"It takes time to find the most qualified candidate for this position," she said.

Bunting declined to say when the new candidate would be announced, other than to say that it would be "very soon."

DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff promised that a new cyber-security czar would be appointed over a year ago.

The department has received increasing criticism since then over the delays in hiring a person to fill that job.

Check out eWEEK.com's for the latest security news, reviews and analysis. And for insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at eWEEK.com Security Center Editor Larry Seltzer's Weblog.

Wayne Rash Wayne Rash is a Senior Analyst for eWEEK Labs and runs the magazine's Washington Bureau. Prior to joining eWEEK as a Senior Writer on wireless technology, he was a Senior Contributing Editor and previously a Senior Analyst in the InfoWorld Test Center. He was also a reviewer for Federal Computer Week and Information Security Magazine. Previously, he ran the reviews and events departments at CMP's InternetWeek.

He is a retired naval officer, a former principal at American Management Systems and a long-time columnist for Byte Magazine. He is a regular contributor to Plane & Pilot Magazine and The Washington Post.

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