Senior cyber official leaves Biden's NSC

Michael Sulmeyer, a senior White House cybersecurity official, has left his position, two people familiar with the matter told POLITICO.

Sulmeyer, a senior director for cyber policy at the National Security Council, left his job on Monday, the people said.

An NSC spokesperson said that Sulmeyer was returning to the Pentagon, where he previously served as a senior adviser to NSA Director and U.S. Cyber Command chief Gen. Paul Nakasone, “after completing the strategic review at the NSC he came over here to do.” The spokesperson did not provide details about Sulmeyer’s new role at the Pentagon, and Sulmeyer himself did not respond to a request for comment.

Sulmeyer’s departure comes as the White House grapples with multiple cybersecurity crises. The NSC has been leading the Biden administration’s response to the SolarWinds cyber espionage campaign, which exposed serious weaknesses in government computer networks. And on Friday, it began dealing with a major cyberattack that forced the shutdown of a pipeline that supplies much of the fuel for the East Coast.

Sulmeyer’s exit also comes as the government’s top two cyber positions, national cyber director and director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, remain vacant, with President Joe Biden only recently nominating people to fill them.

It is unclear who will replace Sulmeyer in his role as co-leader of the cyber directorate. The other co-leader is Jeff Greene, a detailee from NIST who initially joined the NSC as a director for cyber policy but has recently been serving as an acting senior director alongside Sulmeyer.

The NSC’s cyber portfolio falls under Anne Neuberger, Biden’s deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technology.

Sulmeyer joined the NSC at the beginning of the Biden administration. During the Obama administration, he served as the director for plans and operations for cyber policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.


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