Author: Julia Voo, Harvard Kennedy School
Under Donald Trump, US global leadership on cyber issues came to a screeching halt. But ‘America is back’ under President Joe Biden. Observers can expect sensible, expert-crafted policy that unpicks the policy discord while maintaining the previous administration’s focus on technology competition and trusted networks.
Biden placed seasoned cyber and technology experts at the heart of the National Security Council (NSC) and charged them with coordinating an interagency approach. High-profile appointees included Anne Neuberger, former cybersecurity director at the National Security Agency (NSA); Michael Sulmeyer, senior adviser to the NSA; and General Paul Nakasone, US Cyber Command leader. The Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy has also been elevated to Biden’s cabinet, placing science at the centre of policymaking. These changes are a shift from the past four years, which saw the NSC’s cybersecurity coordinator role terminated and the State Department’s cyber office closed.
Reflecting the need for a more strategic approach towards cyber-attacks, the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act included the creation of a new Office of the National Cyber Director (NCD) within the Executive Office of the President. The NCD is tasked with coordinating cyber defence and deterrence strategies, industry engagement and cybersecurity-related diplomatic initiatives.
Now that the…