Franklin Kramer, a former assistant secretary of defense and well-regarded cyber security consultant, has been interviewed by several senior White House officials in recent weeks, fueling speculation that he is the leading candidate for the administration's top cybersecurity post.   Reuters reported today that Kramer was the "leading" candidate, citing a senior administration official. Reached today in Washington, Kramer declined to comment.

In testimony before the House Armed Services Committee in 2005, Kramer said said that cyber security "is best thought of as part of national security--geo-political and economic, of which technical security is only a limited, though important, part." That jibes with the way the White House conceives of the problem. Kramer has called for a "cyber policy council " along the lines of the National Economic Council and for a "cyber corps," an interagency, multidisciplinary force that could "integrate influence, attack, defense, and exploitation in the operational arena."  Kramer has also advocated a full and open dialog with Americans about the tradeoffs inherent in securing cyberspace. 

After leaving government in 2001 -- he was assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs from 1996 to 2001 --  Kramer became a technology consultant and a lawyer, at the firm of Shea & Gardner in Washington, D.C.  From 2004 to 2006, Kramer earned $416,000 worth of defense contracts.   Kramer has published widely on cybersecurity, and co-authored a foundational policy text, "Cyberpower and National Security," when he was a distinguished research fellow at the National Defense University. Since 2007, Kramer has worked as an adviser for a private international investment firm.

Speaking at a technology summit in Washington today, a White House official said that the new cyber "czar" would be unveiled soon but would not identify the person.

A White House spokesman, Nick Shapiro, declined to comment.  


We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.