The White House will nominate former National Security Agency (NSA) Executive Director Harry Coker Jr. as National Cyber director, it announced on Tuesday.
President Joe Biden will soon nominate Coker, who would be the second-ever National Cyber director if confirmed, alongside five other individuals to fill key posts in his administration. Coker previously testified that the NSA had certain staff diversity percentages it hoped to reach for the year and promoted the agency’s policy for supervisors to take “unconscious bias” training during a House Intelligence Committee hearing in 2019. (RELATED: White House Announces Artificial Intelligence Vows From Big Tech … But Experts Are Unimpressed)
Congress established the Office of the National Cyber Director in 2021 to organize federal cybersecurity policy and counsel the president, according to Politico.
The NSA had a goal to hire 33% minorities and 40% women, Coker said in his 2019 testimony at the hearing on Diversity and Inclusion in the Intelligence Community. Additionally, he advocated for the necessity to enlist more minorities to occupy leadership roles at the agency.
“We need to have those underrepresented minorities exposed to the broader agency and the broader community, but also to the leadership team,” Coker testified. He also stated that “diversity and inclusion directly correlates to positive mission outcomes,” during his testimony.
“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 informed lawmakers that managers and supervisors are mandated 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.
Coker is currently a senior fellow at the McRary Institute for Cyber and Critical Infrastructure Security and has won multiple awards for diversity, according to the White House. He also served 20 years in the Navy and has more than 40 decades of public service.
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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