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The U.S. Cybersecurity Coordinator (popularly called the "cyber czar") was created by the President in 2009 as a Special Assistant to the President. This person acts as the central coordinator for the nation's cybersecurity policies and activities. Among other things, this official chairs the primary policy coordination body within the Executive Office of the President responsible for directing and overseeing issues related to achieving a reliable global information and communications infrastructure.

One of the most visible initiatives in which he has been involved is the implementation of automated, continuous monitoring of federal information systems.[1] Other stated priorities include developing a unified strategy for network security and incident response, and strengthening partnerships with the private sector and other countries.

He works within the Cybersecurity Office of the National Security and with the the federal Chief Information Officer, the federal Chief Technology Officer, and the National Economic Council. However, the position has no direct control over agency budgets, and some observers argue that operational entities such as the National Security Agency (NSA) have far greater influence and authority.[2]


  1. See OMB Memorandum M-10-15.
  2. See, e.g., Seymour M. Hersh, “Judging the Cyber War Terrorist Threat," New Yorker (Nov. 1, 2010) (full-text).