Chris Inglis, the White House’s inaugural National Cyber Director (NCD) will step down from his post next week, an NCD spokesperson told MeriTalk today.

“As the first National Cyber Director, Chris Inglis has set a high bar for future officeholders. His long career in public service has made our nation safer,” House Homeland Security Committee Democrats tweeted on Feb. 8 when the news broke.

The White House spokesperson confirmed to MeriTalk on Thursday that Inglis’ last day will be Feb. 15 – marking nearly two years since President Biden appointed him to the Office of the National Cyber Director (ONCD) and the Senate confirmed him.

An ONCD spokesperson told MeriTalk last month that the current Principal Deputy NCD, Kemba Walden, will immediately take over the NCD position in an acting capacity.

“While we will certainly miss Chris’s leadership, Kemba has the full confidence of the organization and will lead as Acting with deep expertise and passion, just as she has done as the Principal Deputy,” the spokesperson said. “ONCD will continue focusing on delivering the Biden-Harris Administration promise of a safe, secure, and equitable cyberspace.”

Inglis’ departure announcement comes as his office is in the midst of finishing the highly anticipated national cyber strategy, which will provide guidance for the government and beyond on how to better defend networks and systems.

The ONCD spokesperson said their office did not have a comment on the status of the cyber strategy, but the guidance is expected to be released prior to Inglis’ retirement.

“Chris Inglis has done an incredible job as the inaugural National Cyber Director – shaping a strong national cyber strategy and building a productive team. Our nation is safer because of his service,” Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Mark Warner, D-Va., said.

Inglis’ government service spans more than four decades, including almost 30 years with the National Security Agency. He served as the agency’s deputy director from 2006 to 2014.

“Our country owes a debt to Chris for helping to shape cyber policy past, present and future,” Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., said. “I am excited to see what is in store for the ONCD, which Congress created in 2021 to coordinate cyber policy across the federal government.”

“Chris brought our vision to life, helping to build up the office over the last 18 months and tackling some of our most pressing cyber challenges, such as securing the federal network and protecting critical infrastructure,” he continued.

“Kemba Walden, the soon-to-be-acting National Cyber Director, is a seasoned and respected cyber leader,” the congressman said. “I look forward to continuing the tradition of collaboration with her at the helm.”

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Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.