- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Obama administration announced Thursday that it will nominate Vice Adm. Michael S. Rogers to become the next director of the National Security Agency and head of U.S. Cyber Command.

A White House official said in a statement that current NSA official Rick Ledgett, who led the administration’s task force responding to leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, will also be nominated to the deputy leadership of the agency.

A 30-year Navy veteran, Vice Adm. Rogers is trained as a cryptologist, presently heading the Navy’s cyberwarfare program.

His nomination sets the stage for a potentially fierce confirmation battle in the Senate, where lawmakers have ramped up scrutiny of the NSA since the scope of its spying activities on U.S. citizens were exposed last spring in leaks to the media by Mr. Snowden.

If confirmed, Vice Adm. Rogers will suceed Gen. Keith B. Alexander, the NSA’s director since 2005. Mr. Ledgett would replace NSA Deputy Director John C. Inglis, who retired from the agency this month.

Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper praised the announcements Thursday evening, but made no reference to the Snowden leaks.

Vice Adm. Rogers is “highly respected throughout the Intelligence Community and Department of Defense,” Mr. Clapper said in a statement.

“I worked with Mike when I was the undersecretary of defense for intelligence and he was the director of intelligence for the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” Mr. Clapper said. “He is a dedicated career intelligence officer who deeply understands signals intelligence and cyber operations, which makes him uniquely qualified to lead the NSA and U.S. Cyber Command missions.”

“I would also like to congratulate Richard Ledgett on his appointment to serve as the NSA deputy director,” Mr. Clapper said. “Rick was the first ODNI national intelligence manager for cyber, and has had a remarkable career in signals intelligence.”

“His keen insight of the entire intelligence enterprise will serve the NSA and the Intelligence Community well.”

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