Cybersecurity is a top priority for governments on the state, local and federal level. As the United States continues to face growing cyberthreats, the Biden administration has issued new security guidance aimed at protecting the computer systems that end up in sensitive facilities from hacking. Earlier this year, the president issued a national security memorandum with steps forward to protect our critical infrastructure and to develop cybersecurity performance goals. Jen Easterly, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), joins Washington Post Live to talk about the government’s role in protecting from future cyberattacks.


Jen Easterly, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), says Monday’s Facebook outage was a technology issues, not a malicious attack. She added the day-long outage speaks to the issue of “resilience.” “In many ways, you have to expect that a disruption will occur, and therefore, you have to do everything you can to prepare for it..." (Washington Post Live)
Jen Easterly, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), says reporting of cyber incidents is critical for defense. “SolarWinds was largely about a lack of visibility, and if we can’t see it then we can’t effectively defend.” (Washington Post Live)
Jen Easterly, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), share four things everyone can do this Cybersecurity Awareness Month to shore up their systems. (Washington Post Live)

Jen Easterly

Provided by CISA

Jen Easterly is the Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Ms. Easterly was nominated by President Biden in April 2021 and unanimously confirmed by the Senate on July 12, 2021.

As Director, Ms. Easterly leads CISA’s efforts to protect and defend civilian government networks, manage systemic risk to national critical functions, and collaborate with State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial partners as well as with the private sector to ensure the security and resilience of the Nation’s cyber and physical infrastructure.

Before serving in her current role, Ms. Easterly was 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. Ms. Easterly joined the Firm in 2017 to build and lead its Cybersecurity Fusion Center, the operational cornerstone of its cyber defense strategy.

Ms. Easterly has a long tradition of public service, to include two tours at the White House, most recently as Special Assistant to President Obama and Senior Director for Counterterrorism, and earlier as Executive Assistant to National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice in the George W. Bush Administration. A former member of the Defense Intelligence Senior Executive Service, she also served as the Deputy for Counterterrorism at the National Security Agency.

A two-time recipient of the Bronze Star, Ms. Easterly retired from the U.S. Army after more than twenty years of service in intelligence and cyber operations, including tours of duty in Haiti, the Balkans, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Responsible for standing up the Army’s first cyber battalion, Ms. Easterly was also instrumental in the design and creation of United States Cyber Command.

A member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a French-American Foundation Young Leader, Ms. Easterly is the past recipient of numerous fellowships, including the Aspen Finance Leaders Fellowship, the National Security Institute Visiting Fellowship, the New America Foundation Senior International Security Fellowship, the Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship, and the Director, National Security Agency Fellowship.

A distinguished graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, Ms. Easterly holds a master’s degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from the University of Oxford, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar. She is the recipient of the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation American Hostage Freedom Award and the Bradley W. Snyder Changing the Narrative Award.