Top official departing Homeland Security’s cyber unit

A top official at the Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity agency is departing as DHS gears up for the 2020 election.

Jeanette Manfra, assistant director for cybersecurity at DHS’ Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, is leaving her post at the end of the year, a CISA official confirmed to Fifth Domain.

In a tweet, Manfra described the time as CISA as “one of my greatest honors.”

“We have also made great strides towards protecting our country from cyber threats,” Manfra tweeted. “But we haven’t done this alone. I’d also like to thank all our federal, state, local and private sector partners. This collaboration is key to our success.”

Manfra, aside from CISA Director Chris Krebs, has been the public face of the agency in the last year. She consistently appears at cybersecurity conferences and recently testified before Congress. Democratic Reps. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi and Cedric Richmond of Louisiana, both members of the Homeland Security Committee, praised Manfra for her 12 years of service at DHS in a joint statement.

“She has played an important role in advancing the cybersecurity posture of Federal networks and has helped build stronger, more productive relationships with owners and operators of critical infrastructure to ensure that the Federal government and private sector work together closely to make the cyber ecosystem more secure," they wrote. "And ultimately, she served as a steady hand through CISA’s transitioned to become an operational component, staying above the political fray to work with Members on both sides of the aisle to ensure CISA will be well-positioned to carry out its critical cybersecurity mission as cyber threats continue to evolve.”

She has served in several different position in DHS, where she started as deputy director office of emergency communications, well before CISA was an established agency. During her civilian government career, she also served as a senior counsel to the Homeland Security secretary and was the director for critical infrastructure protection at the National Security Council.

CISA, charged with protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure from cyberattack, has a large portfolio ranging from cybersecurity to physical security. Manfra’s departure comes at a time when the agency is pushing to engage with states to help protect their networks against foreign infiltration and also providing state and local governments with best practices for cybersecurity.

News of Manfra’s departure was first reported by CyberScoop.

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