Vice Admiral Mike Rogers Is the Next Head of the NSA

Rogers will head the NSA and U.S. Cyber Command. Richard Ledgett has been appointment deputy director of the NSA.

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Navy vice admiral Mike Rogers will be the next head of the NSA, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced today. His deputy director will be Richard Ledgett, also known as the guy investigating the Edward Snowden leak who once said he'd maybe consider having a conversation about amnesty for Snowden.

Reuters reported back in October that both men were strong possibilities for the positions, with the AP reporting a few days ago that Rogers was the "apparent choice."

Pending Senate approval, Rogers will serve as the head of both the NSA and the U.S. Cyber Command. Per Hagel's statement:

I am pleased that President Obama has accepted my recommendation to nominate Vice Adm. Michael Rogers as Commander of U.S. Cyber Command. And I am delighted to designate him also as Director of the National Security Agency. This is a critical time for the NSA, and Vice Adm. Rogers would bring extraordinary and unique qualifications to this position as the agency continues its vital mission and implements President Obama's reforms.

Hagel also thanked retiring NSA chief Gen. Keith Alexander for "his remarkable leadership of the NSA and Cyber Command for nearly a decade."

The appointment also puts to rest any possibility that President Obama would have separate leaders for the NSA and Cyber Command, as his own NSA review panel suggested.

And while Rogers has a great deal of cryptology experience, the New York Times notes that he has "no public track record in addressing the kinds of privacy concerns that have put the agency under a harsh spotlight."

The Guardian said something similar: "his low-profile commissions have not provided him with a platform to articulate his views on the propriety and appropriate scope of the bulk surveillance of a large swath of world communications."

Alexander is expected to step down in mid-March.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.