Biden nominates Air Force general to lead NSA, Cyber Command

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden has nominated Air Force Lieutenant General Timothy Haugh to head both the National Security Agency (NSA) and U.S. Cyber Command, a U.S. official said on Tuesday.

The official confirmed a Politico report that cited an Air Force notice sent out Monday.

Haugh is now the deputy commander of the military’s U.S. Cyber Command, reporting to the current NSA and Cyber Command chief, Paul Nakasone.

The NSA is America’s electronic spy agency; Cyber Command is charged with protecting U.S. military networks from digital threats as well as hacking America’s enemies.

Haugh has served in a number of intelligence and cybersecurity roles, including as director of intelligence at Cyber Command and Deputy Commander of Joint Task Force Ares, the U.S. effort to hack Islamic State militants in the Middle East, according to his Air Force biography.

More recently, Haugh served as commander of the Cyber National Mission Force – sometimes described as a kind of digital special operations force. The Senate Armed Services Committee confirmed him in his current position last year.

Haugh has three masters’ degrees, in telecommunications, joint information operations and national resource strategy. He was an ROTC program graduate at Pennsylvania’s Lehigh University, where he majored in Russian Studies.

The NSA, Cyber Command and the White House did not immediately respond to requests seeking comment.

(Reporting by Idrees Ali and Doina Chiacu; editing by Caitlin Webber and Mark Heinrich)