A bill introduced on July 18 by Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-S.D., would establish a rotating consortium of universities with cyber expertise to advise the Department of Defense (DoD) on cybersecurity issues and coordinate academic feedback to DoD requests for assistance.

The National Defense Cybersecurity Consortia Act (H.R. 3840) would establish a consortium open to universities that have been designated as centers of academic excellence by the National Security Agency (NSA) or the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The consortium would designate a chair with a limited term to represent the group and act as the liaison for DoD to distribute requests for assistance and advice. The consortium chair would rotate with a fixed term to provide each university an opportunity for representation.

A spokesperson for Rep. Johnson noted that Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., is likely to introduce a companion bill in the Senate soon. The spokesperson also noted that Dakota State University is an example of an institution that could support DoD cybersecurity efforts as part of the consortium.

The bill will be referred to the House Committee on Armed Services for further consideration.

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