President Biden Nominates NSI Visiting Fellow Jen Easterly to be Director of Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency

April 23, 2021
Contact: Maeve Cronin

President Biden Nominates NSI Visiting Fellow Jen Easterly to be

Director of Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency


Arlington, VA – On April 22, 2021, President Joe Biden officially nominated NSI Visiting Fellow Jen Easterly to be Director of the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).


Ms. Easterly is currently the Head of Firm Resilience and the Fusion Resilience Center at Morgan Stanley, responsible for ensuring preparedness and response to business-disrupting operational incidents and risks to the Firm.  A member of the firm’s Technology Operating Committee and a Trustee of the Morgan Stanley Foundation, she joined the Firm over four years ago after nearly three decades in U.S. government service to build and lead its Cybersecurity Fusion Center, the operational cornerstone of the Firm’s cyber defense strategy.  Over the past year, she co-led the Firm’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, focused on ensuring the safety of Firm personnel and the resilience of the business.


Ms. Easterly previously served on the Obama Administration’s National Security Council as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Counterterrorism and at the National Security Agency as Deputy for Counterterrorism.  Ms. Easterly also has more than two decades of service in the U.S. Army’s intelligence and cyber operations, including standing up the Army’s first cyber battalion, and she is a two-time recipient of the Bronze Star.  Among her many credentials, Ms. Easterly is a distinguished graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and holds a master’s degree from the University of Oxford, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar.


“Jen Easterly is a terrific pick to lead CISA at this consequential time in our nation’s history, particularly as cyber threats are increasing and our nation’s adversaries look to attack American government agencies and the private sector,” said Jamil N. Jaffer, Founder & Executive Director of GMU’s National Security Institute.  “Jen is a consummate national security professional who has served our nation with distinction and honor as a warfighter, a civilian intelligence professional, and a national security leader at the highest levels of our government,” said Jaffer.  “It is hard to find someone with the breadth and experience across the public and private sectors, like Jen, who was instrumental in the stand-up not only of the Army’s first cyber battalion and United States Cyber Command, but also built and led Morgan Stanley’s Cybersecurity Fusion Center.  It is this combination of experience, skill, and leadership that makes Jen the ideal candidate to lead CISA into the future,” said Jaffer, who previously worked with Ms. Easterly on cyber matters during her time at NSA and the White House.


About the National Security Institute
The National Security Institute serves as a platform for research, teaching, scholarship, and policy development that incorporates a realistic assessment of the threats facing the United States and its allies, as well as an appreciation of the legal and practical challenges facing U.S. intelligence, defense, law enforcement, homeland security, and cybersecurity communities.  NSI draws on the experience of its fellows, as well as its highly distinguished advisory board and faculty, to produce timely research and policy materials that deliver insightful analysis and actionable recommendations to senior policymakers in the White House and key departments and agencies, as well as those on Capitol Hill.


About the Scalia Law School
The Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University is defined by three words: Learn. Challenge. Lead.  Students receive an outstanding legal education (Learn), are taught to critically evaluate prevailing orthodoxy and pursue new ideas (Challenge), and, ultimately, are well prepared to distinguish themselves in their chosen fields (Lead).  It has been one of America’s top-ranked law schools for the last fifteen years.


About George Mason University
George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university.  Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls more than 33,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states.  Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity, and commitment to accessibility.