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Google hires Homeland Security's former top cybersecurity official

Jeanette Manfra, who led the DHS' efforts on election security, is expected to start with Google Cloud in January.

Jeanette Manfra

Jeanette Manfra was Homeland Security's top cybersecurity official before she left in November 2018.

James Martin/CNET

Jeanette Manfra, the US Department of Homeland Security's former chief cybersecurity official, will be joining Google Cloud in January. 

Manfra led the DHS' efforts to secure the 2018 midterm elections, helping coordinate cybersecurity protections for local voting officials across the United States. News of Manfra's move to Google was first reported by CyberScoop and confirmed by CNET. 

"She will lend her considerable experience in cybersecurity toward helping our customers, particularly those in regulated industries, build and maintain the highest levels of security and trust into their technical infrastructure and services," a Google Cloud spokesperson said in a statement. The DHS' Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) declined to comment.

Manfra will join Google as the global director of security and compliance, as Google Cloud looks to launch a new Office of the CISO team, the company said, using the shorthand for chief information security officer.

She's expected to start Jan. 6, according to a statement from a Google Cloud spokesperson.  

Manfra had spent more than a decade working in the public sector on cybersecurity issues. She was assistant secretary of the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications under the DHS' National Protection and Programs Directorate, which became the CISA last November. Later, she was the CISA's assistant director for cybersecurity.

The CISA was the US' first civilian cybersecurity agency, coordinating cybersecurity responses for critical infrastructure such as energy systems and hospitals. Manfra announced she was leaving the DHS in November

Manfra won't be the only former DHS official at Google. Employees and some lawmakers have protested Google's hiring of Miles Taylor, who previously served as chief of staff to former DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. Taylor had publicly defended President Donald Trump's travel ban. Google has explained Taylor's hiring by saying his work with the company will focus on counterterrorism and national security. 

Originally published Dec. 11, 10:59 a.m. PT.
Update, 11:19 a.m.: Includes more details on Manfra.