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President-Elect Trump Names Cybersecurity Expert to Advisory Position

President-elect Donald Trump has appointed a cybersecurity expert to advise him on counterterrorism issues at the White House. (Reuters photo)
In the current Obama administration, the role of assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism—a position created by President George W. Bush—has been lumped in with the duties of one of the deputy national security advisers.

Tuesday morning, President-elect Donald Trump announced he was elevating back to its own independent Cabinet-level position. He also named Tom Bossert, president of CDS Consulting, a former deputy homeland security and counterterrorism adviser under President George W. Bush, to serve in that capacity.

Bossert's company is a risk management consulting firm, and he is a recognized expert in national and homeland security and enterprise risk management. In his new role with the White House, he will advise Trump on issues related to homeland security, counterterrorism and cybersecurity, and coordinate the Cabinet's process for formulating and executing policy in those matters.

While he served the George W. Bush administration, he advised the president on matters of homeland and national security, counterterrorism, cybersecurity and continuity of operations. He also spearheaded efforts to improve civil government operations, co-authored and edited the National Strategy for Homeland Security of 2007, was a principle author of the lessons learned report on the Hurricane Katrina response and was deeply involved in the development of U.S. cybersecurity strategy.

Bossert has also served as special assistant to the president for homeland security and senior director for preparedness policy. He was director of infrastructure protection policy prior to that.

"I have every confidence that Tom will continue to demonstrate the capacity and insight needed to take on the tough challenges facing the country," said his former boss in the Bush administration, Frances F. Townsend.

In his new role with the Trump administration, Bossert will focus on domestic and transnational security priorities as National Security Adviser-designate Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn (ret.) remains "steadfastly focused on international security challenges." The presidential transition team said the announcement demonstrates the president-elect's "unwavering commitment" to national security.

"Tom brings enormous depth and breadth of knowledge and experience to protecting the homeland to our senior White House team," the president-elect said. "He has a handle on the complexity of homeland security, counterterrorism and cybersecurity challenges. He will be an invaluable asset to our administration."

Bossert has extensive experience in strategic executive roles and currently helps private companies and governments assess and manage their multifaceted, complex risk structures. Additionally, he is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, where he supports the Cyber Statecraft Initiative.

"Tom Bossert is a dedicated public servant and proven national security professional with significant hands-on experience navigating through security crises and challenges," said Kenneth L. Wainstein, a former FBI general counsel, assistant attorney general, and homeland security and counterterrorism adviser. "With his background, Tom is uniquely suited to coordinate the government's homeland security apparatus, and I applaud the president-elect for selecting Tom for this critical White House position."

Bossert was raised in Quakertown, Pennsylvania, received his bachelor's degree from the University of Pittsburgh and his law degree from The George Washington University Law School. He guest lectures at the Naval Post Graduate School and resides in Annapolis, Maryland.

"I am grateful for this opportunity, for the faith President-elect Trump has placed in me, and for the chance to serve again in a position of such extraordinary public trust," he said. "I am looking forward to working closely with Gen. Flynn as we together help the president-elect advance the interests of the United States and its allies.

"Further, I also look forward to maintaining a strong, deeply respectful relationship with the governors, mayors, police and fire fighters, emergency managers, EMS professionals and public health officials that constitute the backbone of our homeland security and our national preparedness."

With regard to cybersecurity, Bossert also noted the U.S. must work toward a "cyber doctrine" that reflects free-market wisdom, private competition and the important but limited role of government. This includes establishing and enforcing the rule of law, honoring the rights of personal property, the benefits of free and fair trade, and the fundamental principles of liberty.

"The internet is a U.S. invention," he said. "It should reflect these U.S. values as it continues to transform the future for all nations and all generations."

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