To access the Biden Power Map, sign up for FP Insider, a data-driven subscription service from Foreign Policy that gives professionals critical insights into the global issues impacting their business.

FP Insiders get full access to this and all Power Maps and Special Reports created by FP Analytics, Foreign Policy’s research division.

We work closely with organizations from all sectors to activate FP Insider access at scale—and at maximum savings. Learn more and request an FP Insider demo.

Cyber & Tech: People & Positions
Read Policy Briefing

Cyber & Tech

The Biden Power Players

UPDATED August 19, 2021
  • Jen Easterly

    Director, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

    Relevance to the Biden Agenda:

    As the country’s risk advisor, the CISA director oversees the agency’s effort to defend civilian networks, manage systemic risk to critical national functions, and work with stakeholders to raise the security baseline of the United States’ cyber and physical infrastructure. In April 2021, the Biden administration announced a 100-day plan aimed at protecting the country’s electric grid against cyberattack, which the CISA director will lead in partnership with the Department of Energy and the electricity sector. The White House has described the plan as “a pilot of the administration’s broader cybersecurity initiative,” which is anticipated to address multiple critical infrastructure sectors. However, in addition to increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks, the director faces numerous challenges within the agency. According to reports, the agency is understaffed, with overworked employees, and it is struggling to keep up with multiple competing crises, particularly following budget cuts from the former administration. Although President Biden promised to boost CISA’s budget by $110 million—on top of the $650 million provided under the American Rescue Plan Act—in fiscal 2022 to enable the agency to address the multifaceted cyber-threats, former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson stated that the agency faces a larger challenge with recruiting and retaining talent as it competes with private companies.


    From 2013 to 2016, Easterly served as the senior director for counterterrorism at the National Security Agency (NSA). At the NSA, Easterly was in charge of coordinating all U.S. government counterterrorism policy and hostage-recovery efforts during the of height ISIS’s power. In her prior role at the NSA, Easterly worked alongside General Paul Nakasone and Anne Neuberger on the creation and implementation of U.S. Cyber Command in 2010. After leaving government in 2017, Easterly joined Morgan Stanley as head of its resilience strategy and led the bank’s crisis-management efforts against cyber threats. 

    Points of Interest and Notable Connections:

    Easterly previously worked alongside Chris Inglis and Neuberger at the National Security Agency (NSA), where she served as the deputy director for counterterrorism. She also served in the private sector, leading efforts to prevent cyberthreats as head of Morgan Stanley’s Cybersecurity Fusion Center. To strengthen the U.S.’s cyber-response and prevention, Easterly has advocated for closer coordination and streamlining response protocols and increasing cross-sector cooperation among government agencies, the private sector, and international partners.

    In August 2021, Easterly announced the launch of the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative (JCDC), a defense center focused on enhancing cyber-defense collaboration between the government and private sector. Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, among other private companies, have signed on to assist in building the center. In her Senate confirmation hearing, Easterly also stressed the need to address the shortage of qualified cybersecurity workers and advocated for changing requirements in order expand the hiring pool.

    Key Support Staff | Click names to connect at (login required)
    • Eric Goldstein

      Executive Assistant Director for Cybersecurity, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

    • David Mussington

      Executive Assistant Director for Infrastructure Security, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

    • Nitin Natarajan

      Deputy Director, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

  • Avril Haines

    Director, Office of the National Director of Intelligence

    Relevance to the Biden Agenda:

    As director of national intelligence (DNI), Haines will serve as the head of the U.S. intelligence community (IC), overseeing and directing the implementation of the National Intelligence Program (NIP), acting as the principal advisor to the president, the National Security Council, and the Homeland Security Council for intelligence matters. The DNI plays a key role in bodies such as the Federal Acquisition Security Council (FASC), which was created by Congress in 2018 under the Strengthening and Enhancing Cyber-capabilities by Utilizing Risk Exposure (SECURE) Technology Act. The Council’s goal is to eliminate foreign adversaries from U.S. information and communication technology (ICT) supply chains, and it serves several important functions, including recommending supply-chain risk management and information-sharing on supply chain risk standards. As DNI, Haines is anticipated to uphold a commitment made by the former administration for the federal government to declassify and share more contextual information about cyber-threats with the private sector. In April 2021, Haines presented 2021 Annual Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence which identifies China, North Korea, Russia, and Iran as the key countries that have “demonstrated the capability and intent to advance their interest at the expense of the United States and its allies.” The assessment discusses several threats, including Afghanistan, climate change, the weaponization of space, and Iran’s potential to develop a nuclear weapon.  


    During the Obama administration, Haines served as the deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) while it was undergoing a restructuring to prioritize cybersecurity. She succeeded Antony Blinken as the deputy national security adviser on the National Security Council (NSC) from 2015 to 2017. On the NSC, Haines advised on the Obama administration on its controversial drone strike policy. After leaving government, Haines worked at WestExec Advisors, a strategic advisory firm established by Blinken. As a private citizen, Haines was critical of the Trump administration’s lack of transparency and its failure to protect intelligence officers. Haines is an advocate for the development of international norms and treaties on cyber use and cybercrime, and her most recent work focuses on election security and digital identity protection.

    Points of Interest and Notable Connections:

    Following the Trump administration’s politicization of U.S. intelligence agencies, one major concern for Haines is to safeguard the integrity of the IC and ensure that the community’s work remains apolitical. During her confirmation hearing, Haines asserted her “commitment to bringing non-politicized truth to power.” She also pointed to workforce issues, particularly retention, recruitment, and morale, which dropped particularly amidst attacks by the former administration, as one of her biggest priorities. At the virtual Earth Day summit in April 2021, she echoed Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s words that climate change is at the center of U.S. foreign policy, urging world leaders to fully integrate the climate issue into their national security strategies. Other top intelligence officials have pledged to increase their agencies’ focus on climate, with the CIA announcing that it will add a new category covering the environment into its World Factbook. In addition to climate change, Haines has shared her support for the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran on the condition that Iran would first roll back its violations of the agreement and that a renewed deal would address Iran’s ballistic missiles and its destabilizing actions in the Middle East. Haines has also expressed concern regarding China, calling for the U.S. to take an “aggressive stance,” and has supported President Biden’s calls for imposing costs on cyberattacks, particularly considering the country’s espionage operations targeting U.S. companies. As deputy director of the CIA from 2013 to 2015, Haines was heavily involved in the agency’s internal restructuring process in which the leadership sought to integrate cyber-operations and digital cybersecurity and intelligence-gathering practices across the agency. From this experience, the ODNI’s new counterintelligence strategy emphasizes a “whole of society” approach—a distinct paradigm shift from the IC’s traditional methods of information collecting—to encourage greater private-sector participation in cybersecurity. Haines has also promised to establish a center within the IC on foreign malign influence as well as to provide support to the FBI and DHS with a public written assessment of the threat from QAnon.

    Key Support Staff | Click names to connect at (login required)
    • Stacey Dixon

      Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, Office of the Director of National Intelligence

    • Dawn Meyerriecks

      Director, Directorate of Science and Technology, CIA, Office of the Director of National Intelligence

    • John Sullivan

      U.S. Ambassador to Russia, U.S. Department of State

  • Chris Inglis

    National Cyber Director, Office of the National Cyber Director

    Relevance to the Biden Agenda:

    The national cyber director (NCD) serves as the principal advisor to the president on cyber policy and strategy implementation relating to cyber defense, and on engagement with industry partners and U.S. allies. The director will also serve as the primary point of contact with the private sector as well as state and local governments. The creation of the NCD stems from the Cyberspace Solarium Commission’s recommendation, arguing for the necessity for the NCD to lead national-level coordination of cybersecurity strategy and policy, both within the government and in partnership with the private sector. Disparate, piecemeal attempts across various agencies have hindered the federal government’s responses to cyber crises such as the SolarWinds and Microsoft Exchange hacks. One of the starkest lessons for cybersecurity that experts have noted can be learned from the COVID-19 pandemic is that in times of crisis, centralized leadership to coordinate a whole-of-nation response effort with critical private-sector players is essential to mitigate damages. More importantly, prevention is cheaper and far more effective than a strategy founded on detection and response. On August 2, 2021, Inglis publicly supported the creation of a bureau of cyber data to gather data related to cyberattacks, which had been initially proposed in the Cyberspace Solarium Commission.


    From 2006 to 2014, Inglis served as the deputy director of the National Security Agency (NSA), the agency’s highest civilian position. In his final year at the NSA, Inglis defended the agency against whistleblower Edward Snowden’s accusations that it was conducting widespread, improper surveillance of U.S. citizens. After leaving government, he joined the boards of FedEx and Huntington Bancshares, focusing on cybersecurity issues in the private sector. In 2019, Inglis joined the congressionally established Cyberspace Solarium Commission to help formulate a national strategy to protect all aspects of U.S. life against cyber threats.

    Points of Interest and Notable Connections:

    While at the National Security Agency (NSA), Inglis worked closely with senior administration officials Anne Neuberger and Jen Easterly. From 2014 to 2017, Inglis worked as a managing director at Paladin Capital Group, a private equity firm that invests in cybersecurity, technology, and alternative energy, among other areas.  He also was a senior advisor alongside Avril Haines at WestExec Advisors, a consultancy firm founded by Antony Blinken. There, he consulted for technology companies such as CrowdStrike and Virtru.

    For Inglis, the goal of cybersecurity is to mitigate the frequency and impact that cyberattacks can have on critical systems and services. In his view, information-sharing among federal agencies is one of the biggest barriers to cybersecurity, and as the national cyber director, Inglis has stated that he will focus on adding value and coherence to cybersecurity policy, such as imposing mandated standards on private companies and holding them accountable for lax security measures should hackers successfully gain access to their systems. In addition to enhancing interagency communication and collaboration, Inglis has emphasized the necessity for international cooperation on cybersecurity, particularly from countries that provide safe havens for transgressors, and on issues “transcend[ing] cyber,” namely the need for global economic fairness, which he argues can help level the playing field for U.S. companies competing with tech firms abroad. Domestically, while Inglis and Easterly largely see their roles as promoting cyber hygiene practices across the public and private sectors, Inglis’s priorities are to identify the weaknesses within systems in order to mitigate vulnerabilities that can be exploited by malicious actors and to cultivate a cybersecurity workforce. In particular, he has suggested that the U.S. invest in early education to develop talent and that employers build in greater flexibility in the basic qualifications for some cybersecurity positions.

  • Paul Nakasone

    Commander, U.S. Cyber Command, U.S. Department of Defense

    Relevance to the Biden Agenda:

    As the government investigation into the SolarWinds hack continues, the National Security Agency (NSA), is playing a critical role in the administration’s response as one of the participating agencies in the Cyber Unified Coordination Group (UCG) and, more broadly, providing information and intelligence support to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to work with the private sector more effectively. The Department of Defense (DOD), principally through USCYBERCOM, engages in cyberspace alongside private sector partners to address malicious activity from key countries, namely China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia. As Great Power competition increasingly defines the international arena, the 2018 Defense Department Cyber Strategy emphasizes the necessity for the U.S. to strengthen international alliances and attracting new partners and puts forth a “defend forward” strategy to counter U.S. adversaries’ long-term, coordinated campaigns and attacks that seek to gain economic, military, and political advantage. Since assuming his leadership positions within DOD, General Nakasone has led the Pentagon’s activities to defend against foreign interference in the 2018 and 2020 elections. USCYBERCOM conducted more than 2,000 operations to pre-emptively address foreign threats before hackers could interfere or influence the 2020 elections. USCYBERCOM also notably conducts joint operations with U.S. allies and partners, as exemplified by the Cyber Defense Security Cooperation, conducted as a partnership between the U.S. and NATO ally Montenegro.


    General Nakasone is a four-star general in the United States Army who has served as commander of U.S. Cyber Command at the Department of Defense (DOD) since 2018. Concurrently, he serves as the director of the NSA and as chief of the Central Security Service. From October 2016 to April 2018, he led U.S. Army Cyber Command and has held several leadership positions across the U.S. military with assignments in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Republic of Korea, and the U.S. His most recent overseas posting was as director of intelligence, J2, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command in Afghanistan. General Nakasone has received numerous awards and decorations, including the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, and the Bronze Star, among others.

    Points of Interests and Notable Connections:

    General Nakasone has asserted that his dual-hatted role as commander and director of both agencies enhances the federal government’s ability to respond rapidly to fast-moving cyber-threats by leveraging the intelligence community’s (IC) signals intelligence arm and executing defensive and offensive cyber operations against U.S. adversaries. General Nakasone’s positions are arguably one of the most powerful within the federal government, and since assuming these leadership roles, he has called for a more aggressive U.S. posture in cyberspace, otherwise known as “persistent engagement” and “proactive defense.” For General Nakasone, being proactive means operating outside of U.S. networks where adversaries are preparing and launching operations against U.S. national security interests. Such measures include sustained diplomacy with likeminded countries to enhance intelligence efforts that will enable pre-emptive action against threats and collaboration with U.S. partners and allies in cyber-protection initiatives to combat against common threats (also known as “hunt forward” missions). An advocate for aggressive cyber actions, General Nakasone believes that the best defense is the strong offense in which U.S. cyber-forces go into cyberspace and mitigate threats before they reach U.S. networks and harms U.S. interests. During his confirmation hearing, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin echoed General Nakasone’s sentiments, asserting that the U.S. needs to be more proactive in cybersecurity and operations to counter malicious cyber-campaigns by China and Russia. General Nakasone has expressed concerns regarding the state of U.S. readiness for future attacks as well as attracting and retaining a high-end cyber-workforce. Following the SolarWinds hack, General Nakasone pointed to the IC’s “blind spot” of domestic Internet activity in which adversaries utilize an American Internet service provider, preventing agencies such as the NSA (which is only authorized to monitor foreign Internet traffic) from mitigating threats to U.S. networks.

    Key Support Staff | Click names to connect at (login required)
    • Stephen Fogarty

      Commander, U.S. Army Cyber Command, U.S. Department of Defense

    • John Garstka

      Chief Information Security Officer (Acting), Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, U.S. Department of Defense

    • Matthew Glavy

      Commander, U.S. Marine Forces Cyberspace Command, U.S. Department of Defense

    • Robert Joyce

      Director and Deputy National Manager for National Security Systems, Cybersecurity Directorate, NSA, U.S. Department of Defense

    • Ross Myers

      Commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command, U.S. Cyber Command, U.S. Department of Defense

  • Anne Neuberger

    Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technology, National Security Council, Executive Office of the President

    Relevance to the Biden Agenda:

    Neuberger is leading the administration’s cybersecurity efforts with an emphasis on cyber espionage campaigns following hacks by Russia on SolarWinds and Microsoft Exchange. Her position provides her with tremendous authority as she is responsible for developing options to respond to attacks by a foreign adversary, such as cyber-retaliation or sanctions, perhaps in concert with U.S. partners, and allies. She has the authority to coordinate policy and operations across military, civilian, and intelligence agencies, including cyber-offense operations, as well as to call meetings with deputy secretaries on cyber-policy and operational issues. Neuberger has called for a multilateral effort to combat cyber threats, emphasizing the need for collaboration between the public and private sectors. In her role, she has convened meetings with bipartisan mayors from across the country to discuss ways to prepare for cyber threats in the wake of attacks against cities like Atlanta and Baltimore.

    Following a bipartisan letter by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence criticizing the lack of coordination among federal agencies, Neuberger is leading the Cyber Unified Coordination Group (UCG) to synchronize investigation efforts. In addition to leading the administration’s investigations, she will support the Biden team's efforts to modernize the U.S.’s cyber defenses and enhance the country’s ability to respond rapidly to significant cyber incidents. In the aftermath of the cyberattack on JBS, the world’s largest meat producer by sales, Neuberger released a public letter urging private companies to “ensure” that their cyber defenses accurately address current threats.


    For over a decade, Neuberger has been serving in the NSA. She was most recently the agency’s director and deputy national manager for national security systems within the NSA’s Cybersecurity Directorate. As the NSA’s first director of cybersecurity, Neuberger was tasked with bolstering network and critical infrastructure defense by facilitating information-sharing among the NSA, other government agencies, and the private sector. Neuberger notably led the agency’s election-security effort and served in numerous positions, including the NSA’s first chief risk officer, director of the Commercial Solutions Center, and director of Enduring Security Framework, a public-private partnership designed to share intelligence among company executives about foreign cyber threats. Prior to joining the NSA, Neuberger was special advisor to the secretary of the navy and deputy chief management officer of the navy, a White House fellow, and senior vice president of operations at American Stock Transfer Company, a financial services company that provides stock transfer solutions.

    Points of Interests and Notable Connections:

    As director of the NSA’s Cybersecurity Directorate, Neuberger emphasized the importance of proactively defending against vulnerabilities in emerging technologies such as quantum computing, autonomous vehicles, Internet of Things, and 5G. She also highlighted the necessity for the NSA and the intelligence community writ large to be more transparent and communicative to the American public in what it does, its mission and culture, and the role the intelligence mission plays in a democracy. With these principles in mind alongside her experience working at the nexus of public-private sector partnerships in cybersecurity, Neuberger’s appointment to the deputy national security advisor role indicates that strong responses to cyberattacks will become the norm under the Biden administration.  A close confidante of National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and NSA Director General Paul Nakasone, Neuberger has echoed similar concerns regarding the growing threats of large-scale influence operations that seek to polarize and destabilize civil discourse and democratic processes, namely elections, as well as the weaponization of drones and low-orbit satellite sensor platforms by nation states. Federal Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) Chris DeRusha will support Neuberger’s initiatives as the federal government’s lead cybersecurity strategist and liaison between the White House and other agencies. Ideally, DeRusha should be the one leading the federal response to SolarWinds, rather than Neuberger, given the responsibilities under his role. However, the Federal CISO position notably is yet to be fully authorized and empowered in legislation, as such Neuberger is best positioned to quickly spearhead the necessary actions to address cyber-threats. Broadly speaking, critics note that until formal expectations and authorizations are defined across various cyber-focused positions, the U.S. government will continue to see delays in designating officials to lead cyber incident responses promptly. 

    Key Support Staff | Click names to connect at (login required)
    • Tarun Chhabra

      Senior Director for Technology and National Security, National Security Council, Executive Office of the President

    • Caitlin Durkovich

      Senior Director for Resilience and Response, National Security Council, Executive Office of the President

    • Carole House

      Director for Cybersecurity and Secure Digital Innovation, National Security Council, Executive Office of the President

    • Iranga Kahangama

      Director for Cyber Incident Response, National Security Council, Executive Office of the President

    • Jason Matheny

      Deputy Assistant to the President for Technology and National Security, National Security Council, Executive Office of the President

    • Amit Mital

      Senior Director for Cybersecurity Strategy and Policy, National Security Council, Executive Office of the President

    • John Tien

      Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Other Key Players

Click names to connect at (login required)
  • Lloyd Austin

    Secretary of Defense, U.S. Department of Defense

    Austin was head of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) from 2013 to 2016. As commander, he led a U.S. military campaign against ISIS in 2014, along with approximately 60 coalition partners. Austin left the military in 2016 and joined the boards of several private companies, including Raytheon, a defense contracting firm which has invested billions in the field of cybersecurity. Read more about Austin’s role in the Biden administration here.

  • Xavier Becerra

    Secretary of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

    For over 20 years, Becerra served as a Democratic member of Congress from California. He left the House to become the attorney general of California, where he fought companies like Target, which failed to protect consumers against cyber threats. Becerra also launched probes against Big Tech companies, such as Facebook and Google, under California’s antitrust laws. Read more about Becerra’s role in the Biden administration here.

  • Antony Blinken

    Secretary of State, U.S. Department of State

    During the Obama and Clinton administrations, Blinken served in a number of senior roles in national security and the Department of State. From 2009 to 2013, he was Vice President Biden’s national security advisor. He later became the deputy national security advisor and then the deputy secretary of state. After leaving government, Blinken acknowledged that the U.S. cannot face the threats of cyber warfare alone and must engage with allies to face the challenge. He stated that the U.S. should not engage in a tit-for-tat with Russia and stoop to overt attacks, because then Russian President Vladimir Putin would “win” the moral battle. Read more about Blinken’s role in the Biden administration here.

  • Peter Buttigieg

    Secretary of Transportation, Department of Transportation

    If the Biden administration is able to pass its signature infrastructure legislation, the American Jobs Plan, Buttigieg would oversee significant portions of its implementation. As the legislation stands today, $20 billion is allocated for state, local, and tribal governments to upgrade their cybersecurity infrastructure—an elevated priority in the wake of the Colonial Pipeline hacking.

  • Brendan Carr

    Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission

    In 2017, Carr was nominated by then-President Trump to join the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) Republican majority. Carr had previously served as general counsel at the FCC and as an advisor to former FCC chairman Ajit Pai. He is known as “the FCC’s 5G crusader,” advocating for reform to the FCC’s infrastructure regulations and a scale-up of the U.S.’s 5G capacity.

  • Chris DeRusha

    Federal Chief Information Security Officer, Office of Management and Budget, Executive Office of the President

    DeRusha previously served as the chief security officer for the State of Michigan, a senior security executive at the Ford Motor Company, and the head of cybersecurity at the Biden for President campaign. In the Obama administration, DeRusha held senior cybersecurity positions at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and later served as a senior cybersecurity advisor in the White House.

  • Merrick Garland

    Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice

    Prior to joining the Biden administration, Garland was the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Following the surge of ransomware attacks targeting key industries and critical infrastructure, in the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) FY2022 budget proposal, Garland has requested an additional $150.7 million to combat cyberattacks. If approved, the funding would be the largest increase in the department’s cyber resources in more than a decade and would grow the department’s cyber budget to $1.1 billion. In the aftermath of the Colonial Pipeline hack, the DOJ established a cybersecurity task force that is focused primarily on the threat that ransomware poses. Read more about Garland’s role in the Biden administration here.

  • Richard Glick

    Chairman, U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, U.S. Department of Energy

    Glick is an advocate for upgrading the U.S.’s pipeline infrastructure cybersecurity and has intensified his advocacy after the Colonial Pipeline hack. He will work under Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm to secure energy infrastructure against cyber threats and address inconsistencies in federal cybersecurity regulations between rules for electrical grids as opposed to fuel pipelines.

  • Jennifer Granholm

    Secretary of Energy, U.S. Department of Energy

    As secretary of energy, Granholm is tasked with protecting the nation’s electrical grids and power systems against cyberattacks, such as the Colonial Pipeline and JBS hacks. Along with Richard Glick, Granholm will work to enforce stricter cybersecurity standards outlined in the President’s executive orders. Additionally, Granholm and Jen Easterly are working together on a 100-day cybersecurity pilot program to evaluate and strengthen the electrical grid’s defenses. Read more about Granholm’s role in the administration here.

  • Debra Haaland

    Secretary of the Interior, Department of the Interior

    With Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, Haaland will be responsible for implementing $1 billion in upgrades of broadband infrastructure on tribal lands. Haaland is a passionate advocate for tribal communities, where currently only half of households have access to the internet.

  • Lina Khan

    Chair, Federal Trade Commission

    Khan is a pioneering expert on antitrust regulation to combat Big Tech’s market domination. She was deemed “a new leader” on the subject after publishing her celebrated Yale Law Journal article “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox.” Khan previously served as a legal fellow for former Federal Trade Commissioner (FTC) Rohit Chopra and as counsel to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law. As chair, Khan has appointed several key staff members, including Samuel Levine as acting head of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, Holly Vidova as acting head of the Bureau of Competition, and Erie Meyer as the FTC’s chief technologist. Observers anticipate that under Khan and her staff, the FTC will become more aggressive on Big Tech, particularly given that the commission works closely with the Department of Justice to enforce antitrust law.


  • Eric Lander

    Presidential Science Advisor, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President

    Lander’s posting marks the first time that the head of the Office of Science and Technology Policy will be a Cabinet-level position. In his confirmation hearing, Lander stated that in his role he will be a more prominent and “very active participant” in the cyber defense of the nation’s technology infrastructure. He also pledged to work toward a public-private exchange to cultivate a cybersecurity workforce.

  • Michele Markoff

    Coordinator (Acting), Office of the Coordinator for Cyber Issues, U.S. Department of State

    Markoff has served at the Department of State as an expert on cyberspace in international affairs for over 20 years, most recently in her capacity as acting director of the Office of Cyber Affairs in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Markoff has been instrumental in numerous high-level negotiations in defense and cyber-defense. She negotiated the first cyberspace bilateral confidence-building agreement between Russia and the U.S., implemented two additional confidence-building measures on cybersecurity at the Organization of Security Cooperation in Europe, and was a key advisor during the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) I negotiations.

  • Alejandro Mayorkas

    Secretary of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

    Under former President Obama, Mayorkas served first as the director of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and then as the deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). While at USCIS, Mayorkas oversaw the department’s rapid deployment of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. At the DHS, Mayorkas collaborated and negotiated with foreign governments on efforts to strengthen cybersecurity. Read more about Mayorkas’s role in the Biden administration here.

  • Lisa Monaco

    Deputy Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice

    Monaco is currently serving as the deputy attorney general and was previously the homeland security advisor to President Obama from 2013 to 2017. After leaving the Obama administration, Monaco served as an advisor to Lyft, co-chaired the Aspen Institute’s Cybersecurity Group, and was a partner at O’Melveny, a private law firm, where she co-chaired the firm’s data security and privacy department. In her role at the Department of Justice, Monaco leads the Ransomware Task Force and is also overseeing a 120-day review of the agency’s offensive cyber capabilities as well as its cybersecurity protection measures.

  • David Pekoske

    Administrator, Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

    Pekoske has served as head of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) since 2017 and is currently the acting Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security. After the Colonial Pipeline hack, DHS issued new regulations for pipeline companies to report cyber interference. The agency is also pushing to establish baseline cybersecurity requirements for pipeline companies to protect them against future attacks. Pekoske will work with Jen Easterly to coordinate the pipeline cybersecurity review.

  • Lynne Parker

    Director, National AI Initiative Office, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President

    Parker is the inaugural director of the National Artificial Intelligence Initiative in the White House’s Office of Science and Technology, which is tasked with formulating and implementing a national AI strategy, including research investment, workforce development, and engagement with U.S. allies. She has warned of “societal risks” that AI can pose to international security and civil liberties, criticizing China’s use of AI in its surveillance infrastructure and social credit system. Alongside National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Parker has stated that she is looking to Europe for ways to establish regulations on AI-enabled applications.

  • Gina Raimondo

    Secretary of Commerce, U.S. Department of Commerce

    As governor of Rhode Island, Raimondo cut the top cybersecurity position in the state, despite previously having called protection against cybersecurity threats an “imperative.” Raimondo also prioritized technology, including a $100,000 initiative called “Lean,” which sought to modernize and improve the state government’s technology infrastructure. In the wake of the Colonial Pipeline hack Raimondo encouraged the private sector to strengthen its cyber defenses against ransomware attacks. Read more about Raimondo’s role in the Biden administration here.

  • Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall

    Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, Executive Office of the President

    In the Obama administration, Sherwood-Randall served as the deputy secretary of energy. In that role, she prioritized cybersecurity and protecting vulnerable energy infrastructure. After leaving the Department of Energy, Sherwood-Randall joined the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she lectured on energy, nuclear diplomacy, and climate.

  • Rob Silvers

    Undersecretary for Strategy, Policy, and Plans (Nominee), Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans, Office of the National Cyber Director

    From 2013 to 2014, Silvers was senior counselor to deputy Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. At the DHS, he became the assistant secretary for cyber policy. Silvers was involved with the 2015 cyber agreement with China that banned intellectual property theft through hacking. After leaving the Obama administration, Silvers joined a private law firm with a focus on artificial intelligence and cybersecurity policy.

  • Jake Sullivan

    White House National Security Advisor, National Security Council, Executive Office of the President

    Sullivan was a chief advisor to former Secretary of State Clinton and Vice President Biden during the Obama administration. In 2012, he was instrumental in opening a channel of negotiation with Iran over its nuclear program. In and out of government, Sullivan proposed that international alliances focus on addressing “new problems,” including cybersecurity. Read more about Sullivan’s role in the Biden administration here.

  • Katherine Tai

    U.S. Trade Representative, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Executive Office of the President

    Tai successfully argued two cases before the World Trade Organization (WTO), challenging China’s export quotas on high-technology materials, and she will inherit the task of addressing U.S. concerns over Chinese technology transfers and the use of state subsidies in high-technology industries. As Tai relaunches trade negotiations with Taiwan, one of her priorities will be to secure the supply chain of semiconductors of which Taiwan is a large component. Read more about Tai’s role in the Biden administration here.

  • Bryan Vorndran

    Assistant Director, Cyber Division, FBI, U.S. Department of Justice

    Vorndran was most recently the head of the FBI’s branch in New Orleans from 2019 to 2021, having also served at the branch in Baltimore from 2016 to 2017. In the interim, he was at the FBI’s headquarters, serving as the deputy assistant director of the Bureau’s Criminal Investigative Division. In that role, he worked to combat international criminal enterprises.

  • Christopher Wray

    Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Justice

    From 2003 to 2005, Wray served as the assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Criminal Division. There, he took part in prominent antitrust and counterterrorism investigations. After leaving the DOJ, Wray worked in private litigation practice as a criminal defense attorney.

  • Tim Wu

    Special Assistant to the President for Technology and Competition Policy, Executive Office of the President

    The creator of the term “net neutrality,” Wu has served as an advisor to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), particularly in regards to internet freedom, and to former President Obama as a member of the National Economic Council. His work has significantly impacted Big Tech and its relationship with government; his theoretical analysis became the underpinning of Google’s fight against Chinese internet censorship at the World Trade Organization (WTO).

  • Janet Yellen

    Secretary of the Treasury, U.S. Department of the Treasury

    While serving as the Fed chair, Yellen oversaw a review of U.S. financial institutions’ cybersecurity and warned about the risks cybercrimes posed to the financial sector while seeking to establish standards for financial institutions to secure themselves against cyber threats. She also proposed tax reforms that would increase U.S.-based tech companies’ tax burdens in the foreign countries where they operate. Read more about Yellen’s role in the Biden administration here.

Read the Full Policy Priority Briefing ➞

The Biden Plan for Cyber and Technology Security

Key challenges:

  • Attribution problem makes holding countries accountable to global norms difficult.
  • Lack of multi-stakeholder coordination impedes the development of U.S. cyber defenses.
  • Legal barriers limit domestic visibility in critical technology.