A Navy admiral is President Obama’s choice to be the head of the National Security Agency, which is embroiled in controversy over its secret surveillance programs and massive collection of phone and Internet data.
Vice Adm. Mike Rogers, the head of the Navy’s Cyber Command and a former intelligence director for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is being appointed to lead the NSA, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Thursday. Rogers also is being nominated to get a fourth star and head U.S. Cyber Command.
Rogers, who replaces Army Gen. Keith Alexander at the NSA, comes into the job facing the challenge of revamping the way the agency collects and stores its data. Alexander plans to retire in mid-March.
The NSA has been rocked by former analyst Edward Snowden’s disclosures detailing widespread surveillance programs that have swept up the phone records of hundreds of millions in the United States.
Rogers’ nomination to head Cyber Command requires Senate confirmation. The NSA job does not, but it will undoubtedly come up at the Cyber Command hearing, as lawmakers air their frustrations with the agency’s data collection program.
Hagel also announced that he is appointing Rick Ledgett to be the NSA’s deputy director, replacing Chris Inglis as the top civilian at the agency.