Report: White House acting cyberspace chief resigns

Melissa Hathaway, who at one point was considered a leading candidate to fill the "cyberczar" post permanently, tells the Wall Street Journal she's resigning for personal reasons.

Acting White House Cyberspace Director Melissa Hathaway addresses cybersecurity during the RSA computer security conference in April.
Acting White House Cyberspace Director Melissa Hathaway, who has reportedly resigned her post, addresses cybersecurity during the RSA computer security conference in April. James Martin/CNET

Melissa Hathaway, acting cyberspace director for the White House's National Security and Homeland Security councils, has resigned from her post, citing personal reasons, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The White House press office did not immediately respond to a call seeking confirmation of her resignation, but a spokesman has offered an e-mail statement to other publications.

"We are grateful for her dedicated service and for the significant progress she and her team have made on our national cybersecurity strategy," White House spokesman Nick Shapiro said in an e-mail to the publication Federal Computer Week.

The timing of Hathaway's resignation is a bit surprising, given that President Obama was reportedly getting close to choosing a permanent replacement for her post as the country's "cyberczar," a position he created in late May. Hathaway, who had worked for the director of national intelligence in the Bush administration, led the Obama administration's recent 60-day review of the federal government's cybersecurity efforts.

At one point, Hathaway was considered a leading candidate to take over the cyberczar post permanently. But the Journal said she took her name out of the running two weeks ago. "She said she was leaving for personal reasons and that she plans to remain working in the cybersecurity arena," according to the Journal post, which added that her resignation will take effect August 21.

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