President Obama has made his final selection for the position of NSA director, tapping Navy Vice Admiral Michael S. Rogers as the top candidate to replace General Keith Alexander pending confirmation by the U.S. Senate.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced also announced that Vice Adm. Rogers has been selected to serve as commander of U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) and as the chief of the Central Security Service. Rogers currently serves as the U.S. Fleet Cyber Command commander.
In the midst of an agency-wide crisis resulting from disclosures about the National Security Agency’s aggressive and widespread surveillance operations, Alexander announced his intention to step in March, ending his eight-year tenure.
Also departing the NSA is Deputy Director John “Chris” Inglis, the most senior civilian leader at the at the intelligence agency, who will be replaced by Richard Ledgett.
Officials contend that Alexander and Inglis’s departures are in no way connected to the controversies that have plagued the NSA since revelations by former contractor Edward Snowden rocked the agency with the disclosure of classified documents detailing extensive telephone, email and social-media data collection operations that included surveillance of U.S citizens.
“This has nothing to do with media leaks, the decision for his retirement was made prior; an agreement was made with the (Secretary of Defense) and the Chairman for one more year – to March 2014,” NSA spokeswoman Vanee Vines said in October.
After several years of the NSA and US Cyber Command being under the direction of one chief, top military and civilian leaders had advocated for divorcing the two positions after Alexander steps down, but that turns out to not be the case.
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