Trump nominates DHS senior cyber director

Trump nominates DHS senior cyber director
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpSessions accepts 'Fox News Sunday' invitation to debate, Tuberville declines Priest among those police cleared from St. John's Church patio for Trump visit Trump criticizes CNN on split-screen audio of Rose Garden address, protesters clashing with police MORE on Wednesday formally submitted the nomination for a new assistant director of cybersecurity at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), one of the top-ranking cyber officials at the agency.

Trump nominated Bryan Ware to take over the position from Jeanette Manfra, who last month announced she would step down at the end of the year.

Ware will be in charge of leading DHS efforts, as part of its Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), to defend and strengthen critical infrastructure against cyberattacks.

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Ware currently serves as the DHS assistant secretary for cyber, infrastructure, and resilience policy, where, according to the White House, he is in charge of “leading department-wide efforts to reduce national risks, with a focus on critical infrastructure, cybersecurity, federal network security, countering cyber-crime, and improving the security and resilience of the global cyber ecosystem.”

Prior to serving at DHS, Ware founded and led an artificial intelligence company that was acquired by security analytics group Haystax in 2013. According to the White House, Ware has also been issued multiple patents on artificial intelligence and mobile technology.

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonStates plead for cybersecurity funds as hacking threat surges House members race to prepare for first-ever remote votes Federal watchdog finds chemical facilities vulnerable to cyberattacks MORE (D-Miss.) told The Hill in a statement on Wednesday that Ware was taking on "an enormous task."

"As cyber threats grow more  sophisticated and technology evolves, we will look to the Assistant Director to lead Federal efforts to secure the .gov and help owners and operators of critical infrastructure defend their networks from bad actors," Thompson said. "Importantly, the Assistant Director will play a crucial role in delivering cybersecurity support to State and local election officials as they prepare to administer the 2020 Presidential elections. We wish Bryan Ware luck as he undertakes this important role and look forward to working with him."

Manfra has served at DHS in multiple positions for the past 12 years. CyberScoop reported earlier this month that she will join Google’s cloud division starting in January and serve as the global director of security and compliance on its security team.

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CyberScoop also first reported that Ware would replace Manfra earlier this month, prior to the Trump administration formally submitting Ware’s nomination on Wednesday.

Thompson and Rep. Cedric RichmondCedric Levon RichmondStates plead for cybersecurity funds as hacking threat surges Democrats lobby Biden on VP choice Bottom line MORE (D-La.), the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee's subcommittee on cybersecurity, put out a statement praising Manfra when she announced her resignation last month.

“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 at the time.

--Updated at 12:45 p.m. to include a statement from Rep. Thompson.