Acting DNI Merges Four Organizations to Create IC Cyber Executive

Four cyber-focused organizations in the Intelligence Community (IC) will be combined into an IC Cyber Executive organization, according to an announcement made by Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell.

The move will give the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) a single “focal point for the cyber mission,” said an ODNI press release on May 8.

With his potential successor, Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, testifying before the Senate May 5, Grenell announced several moves that were “under staff and leadership review for over a year,” according the press release. ODNI has not had a permanent leader since Dan Coats stepped down last August.

In addition to the creation of the IC Cyber Executive, ODNI announced two other organizational changes. A new position called the Director’s Advisor for Military Affairs (DAMA) will be established to serve as the director’s principal advisor on military affairs and as a liaison to the Department of Defense. The office’s directorate of National Security Partnerships, an organization that connected the IC with state, local, and private entities to synchronize activities, will be eliminated as part of the organizational moves.

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The individual who will lead the IC Cyber Executive organization or when the changes will take place have not yet been announced. The four ODNI components to be combined also have not been named.

“ODNI will be providing additional information about the IC Cyber Executive in the weeks ahead,” an ODNI spokesperson said in an email to MeriTalk.

ODNI said it notified the Congressional oversight committees in advance of the announcement, in a tweet Friday afternoon. The leadership of the House and Senate intelligence committees did not respond to requests for comment.

Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the co-founder of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus, expressed concern that the consolidation of offices was not done in consultation with Congress.

“The lack of specific details makes it difficult to assess the impact of the changes,” said Langevin, in an email to MeriTalk late Monday. “We need clarity on the elements that are being combined under the Cyber Executive and who will take on this role.”

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