Melissa E. Hathaway, who led the Obama administration's 60-day cybersecurity review, has resigned her post as the administration's senior aide on cybersecurity, The Washington Post reports.
Considered a top prospect for filling the administration's newly created cyberczar position, Hathaway said her decision to resign was forced due to the administration's inability to fill the position. It has been two months since President Obama delivered a major address on cybersecurity, revealing Hathaway's findings and articulating a strategy to defend the nation's cyberinfrastructure.
The key recommendation of the review was to create a leadership position that could coordinate cybersecurity policies and activities across government to protect the country's public and private networks.
"I wasn't willing to continue to wait any longer, because I'm not empowered right now to continue to drive the change," Hathaway told the Post in an interview yesterday. "I've concluded that I can do more now from a different role."
A colleague close to Hathaway told the Post that Hathaway believes the delay in filling the cyberczar position is political. Hathaway, who was recruited in 2007 by then Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell to work on cybersecurity issues, presumes her affiliation with the Bush administration damaged her chances.
Whitehouse spokesman Nicholas S. Shapiro said the administration thanks Hathaway for her dedicated service during the 60-day review process and that the president "is personally committed to finding the right person for this job, and a rigorous selection process is well underway."
The Post reports industry officials are frustrated that President Obama has not appointed a cyberczar yet, noting 30 people have been interviewed for the position.
Hathaway's last day on the job will be August 21.