- The Washington Times - Friday, September 26, 2014

The National Security Agency has hired its first “chief risk officer” in an attempt to quell public fear that it operates outside the rule of law.

Anne Neuberger, the former director of the agency’s Commercial Solutions Center and aide to the NSA director, has been tapped for the role, the agency confirmed in a press release Wednesday.

“Ms. Neuberger will work closely alongside all senior leaders at the agency. In her first year, she will focus on creating and maturing a methodology and processes to assess the various risks across different missions and work toward meeting specific objectives assigned by the director,” the press release read.

Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the agency’s director, said that Ms. Neuberger would be tasked with helping the agency “to recognize, integrate, and assess the risk-reward value from multiple perspectives to make more informed, timely, and defensible decisions,” the statement read.

Mark Jaycox, a legislative analyst with the Electronic Frontier Foundation who studies the NSA, told technology website Venture Beat that the premise sounds nice, it’s too early to tell how much clout Ms. Neuberger will have within the agency.

“NSA wants to show us that they are making strides towards more privacy protections and a greater self-consciousness of their actions. NSA must do more than create and hire for these positions,” Mr. Jaycox said.

A former NSA official told Venture Beat that Ms. Neuberger’s position would be similar to that of James Clapper, director of national intelligence.

“[Mr. Clapper] ostensibly has oversight of the entire U.S. intelligence community. But he’s really a talking head with no authority,” the official said.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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