U.S. Cybersecurity Official Quits

The resignation of Melissa Hathaway comes as the Obama Administration continues its search for a top cybersecurity coordinator.
The official who led a review of the nation's cyber defenses earlier this year as acting senior director for cyberspace has resigned and withdrawn her application for the nation's top cybersecurity position.

Melissa Hathaway, who led the Obama Administration's 60-day cybersecurity review that created a framework for federal policy, will remain in the White House until August 21. Hathaway has been on leave from her position with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. She is a Bush Administration appointee and helped develop the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative, an ongoing effort in government.

Hathaway didn't respond to an e-mailed request for comment, but told the Washington Post that she felt unable to "continue to drive the change" in federal cybersecurity policy.

In a speech two months ago, President Obama said he would personally select a cybersecurity coordinator, but the position remains unfilled. Hathaway had at one time been considered a strong contender, but her chances may have waned as the White House sought other candidates.

"We are grateful for her dedicated service and for the significant progress she and her team have made on our national cybersecurity strategy," a White House spokesman said in a statement. "Cybersecurity is a major priority for the President."

A number of candidates have turned down the job, and a "rigorous selection process" remains underway, according to the White House. The so-called cyber czar would report to both the National Security Staff and National Economic Council, which could present a challenge if not well executed.

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