Senior DHS cyber official to step down

Senior DHS cyber official to step down
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Jeanette Manfra, a top official within the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) cyber agency, announced Thursday that she will leave her position at the end of the year.

Manfra, who serves as the assistant director for Cybersecurity and Communications within the DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), tweeted that stepping down was “not an easy decision.”

“After 12 years at DHS, I’ll be leaving @CISAgov at the end of this year,” Manfra wrote. “This is not an easy decision, as it’s been one of my greatest honors to work alongside such a remarkable team on this incredibly important mission.”

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House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonHillicon Valley: Trump turns up heat on Apple over gunman's phone | Mnuchin says Huawei won't be 'chess piece' in trade talks | Dems seek briefing on Iranian cyber threats | Buttigieg loses cyber chief House Democrats request briefings on Iranian cyber threats from DHS, FCC Democrats sound election security alarm after Russia's Burisma hack MORE (D-Miss.) and cybersecurity subcommittee Chairman Cedric RichmondCedric Levon RichmondCongress struggles on rules for cyber warfare with Iran Election security, ransomware dominate cyber concerns for 2020 Trump nominates DHS senior cyber director MORE (D-La.) praised Manfra in a joint statement on Thursday, specifically highlighting her efforts to improve election security and advance the cybersecurity of federal networks.

“She served as a steady hand through CISA’s transition to become an operational component, staying above the political fray to work with Members on both sides of the aisle to ensure CISA will be well-positioned to carry out its critical cybersecurity mission as cyber threats continue to evolve,” Thompson and Richmond said. 

Manfra tweeted that the establishment of CISA last year was one way DHS had “made great strides towards protecting our country from cyber threats.” CISA was formally created through a bill signed into law by President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate Republicans muscle through rules for Trump trial Collins breaks with GOP on attempt to change impeachment rules resolution Roberts admonishes House managers, Trump lawyers after heated exchange MORE in late 2018, out of what was previously the National Protection and Programs Directorate. 

Manfra also thanked the “federal, state, local and private sector partners” of CISA, writing that “this collaboration is key to our success.”

CyberScoop first reported on Wednesday that Manfra would step down.

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Prior to working at DHS in multiple cyber roles, Manfra served as the director for Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity on the National Security Council staff at the White House, and also previously served in the U.S. Army as a communications specialist and as a military intelligence officer. 

Manfra has testified before Congress many times on multiple cybersecurity issues and has served as a public face for CISA at numerous cybersecurity conferences. 

Manfra stepping down marks the first major leadership shakeup for CISA, which has seen its top ranks remain stable despite leadership shifts in other DHS agencies, and in the department as a whole.