Biden’s Top Pick For Cyber Security Czar Champions Diversity Quotas And Unconscious Bias Training

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Jason Cohen Contributor
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President Joe Biden’s most likely nominee for a top cybersecurity position has championed policies such as diversity quotas and unconscious bias training, according to previous testimony.

Following reporting that acting National Cyber Director Kemba Walden will not be serving permanently due to personal debt issues, former National Security Agency (NSA) Executive Director Harry Coker is most likely to be nominated for the position, according to reports. Coker told lawmakers that the NSA had a goal to hire 33% minorities and 40% women for the year and that “diversity and inclusion directly correlates to positive mission outcomes,” during his testimony at a House Intelligence Committee hearing in 2019.

Further, he stated that minorities must occupy more leadership roles. “We need to have those underrepresented minorities exposed to the broader agency and the broader community, but also to the leadership team.”

“We noticed there was a gap between minority and non-minority [in promotion rate],” Coker added. “Our current senior profile, our senior officers, 32% female, which is quite good, and our minority representation at the senior ranks at NSA is 15%, and for our people with disabilities, it is 7% at the senior ranks.”

Coker told lawmakers that managers and supervisors are required to take “unconscious bias” training. “That is a required training segment for our managers, unconscious bias, to be aware, actually to be self-aware. So we do require that of our managers and supervisors,” Coker said. (RELATED: Biden AI Chair Champions Regulation And Mandated Gov Intervention For ‘Inclusivity’)

Coker delivered a 2018 keynote speech at the Annual Billington International Cybersecurity Summit where he discussed what characteristics he felt were necessary in cybersecurity.

“Smart, diversified, caring professionals are an absolutely essential part of the cybersecurity collective,” Coker stated. “We are in a never-ending innovation race, a race that cannot be won by ideas alone. This race will be won by noble values.”

Coker is currently a senior fellow at the McRary Institute for Cyber and Critical Infrastructure Security.

The House Intelligence Committee passed the Intelligence Authorization Act (IAA) in October 2021, which mandated the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) to publish reports containing “demographic data and information on the status of diversity and inclusion efforts of the intelligence community.”

After the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) posted a video depicting an employee discussing sexual and racial identity in 2021, the agency faced criticism and backlash on Twitter.

The McRary Institute, the NSA and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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