Top Cybersecurity Official Resigns

May 20, 2011
Cyber Security, FedCyber Wire
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via National Journal

Phil Reitinger, the Department of Homeland Security’s top cyber and computer crimes official, is resigning just days after the administration launched its most ambitious cybersecurity initiative.

“I have decided that the time has come for me to move on from the Department,” Reitinger wrote in an e-mail to DHS employees this afternoon. Reitinger, who, as deputy undersecretary in DHS’s National Protection and Programs Directorate, was the department’s senior interagency policymaker, said in an interview with National Journal that the timing of his announcement was not meant to signal any disapproval with the White House.

“I am fully supportive of the direction the administration is going. Because there has been a recent spate of announcements, because I think we’ve made a lot of progress, because I think we’ve built a good team, now is the time for me to leave some of the execution and further development to the team,” he said.

Reitinger said he wants to spend the summer with his family — he has young children and he’s been working in cyber security “since they were born.”

He will step down on June 3. On Monday, four Cabinet secretaries unveiled a joint strategy for international cybersecurity coordination, and last week, the administration sent detailed legislative guidance to Congress on a number of critical issues. Reitinger told National Journal he is most proud of the team he put together.

His biggest concern upon departure, he said, is the “challenge” of “keeping cyber on the front burner.”

“It’s easy to say, ‘well, we’ve made progress, let’s go do something else.’ We cannot do that. We have to stay focused like a laser beam,” Reitinger said.

Continued here.