Chris DeRusha Stepping Down as Federal CISO

In a significant development within the U.S. cyber governance landscape, Chris DeRusha has announced his resignation from the pivotal role of Federal Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). This position, housed within the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), is central to the country’s efforts to strengthen cybersecurity across federal agencies. The announcement was first reported by the Federal News Network on Tuesday, marking a notable transition within the administration’s cybersecurity leadership.

Stepping into the interim role of acting federal CISO is Mike Duffy, who currently serves as the associate director for capacity building in the cyber division at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Duffy is expected to commence his detail as the acting federal CISO in the upcoming week, as revealed by an internal email procured by FNN.

In a statement released to Federal News Network, Clare Martorana, the federal CIO at OMB and a former Wash100 awardee, lauded DeRusha’s contributions to the nation’s cybersecurity posture. “Since day one of the Biden administration, Chris has been instrumental in strengthening our nation’s cybersecurity, protecting America’s critical infrastructure, and improving the digital defenses of the federal government,” Martorana noted, acknowledging the significance of DeRusha’s contributions since his induction.

Chris DeRusha’s tenure as federal CISO since January 2021 has been marked by critical advancements in the country’s cyber defense mechanisms. He played a crucial role in forwarding the implementation of the zero trust strategy among other cybersecurity priorities set forth by the current administration. These efforts have been pivotal in bolstering the nation’s defenses against an increasingly sophisticated cyber threat landscape.

Prior to serving as the federal CISO, DeRusha held significant positions within the cyber and information security sphere. Notably, he was the chief information security officer for the Biden presidential campaign, demonstrably showcasing his capabilities in safeguarding highly sensitive data. His career also includes a tenure as the chief security officer for the state of Michigan, in addition to his role as a senior cyber adviser at the White House. Throughout his service in these capacities, DeRusha has been a steadfast advocate for rigorous cybersecurity measures and has been instrumental in driving forward the nation’s cyber defense initiatives.

The resignation of Chris DeRusha from his role as federal CISO marks the end of a notable chapter in the Biden administration’s cybersecurity efforts. As Mike Duffy prepares to step into the role on an acting basis, the federal cyber community watches keenly, hopeful for continued strength and innovation in the nation’s fight against cyber threats. With the legacy of foundational advancements left by DeRusha, the path forward is poised for continued progress in securing the United States’ digital frontiers.

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