Orthodox Jewish woman to head NSA’s new cybersecurity directorate

Anne Neuberger is responsible for protecting national security networks and the defense industrial base.

By World Israel News Staff

Anne Neuberger, an Orthodox Jewish woman, was named head of the U.S. National Security Agency’s (NSA) new Cybersecurity Directorate by General Paul Nakasone on Tuesday.

General Nakasone made the announcement at the International Conference on Cyber Security at Fordham University, where he discussed the new directorate for the first time, reported The Wall Street Journal.

The NSA website describes the Cybersecurity Directorate as “a major organization that unifies NSA’s foreign intelligence and cyber defense missions and is charged with preventing and eradicating threats to National Security Systems and the Defense Industrial Base.” It will become operational October 1.

In this position, she will be one of the highest-ranking women at the NSA since Ann Caracristi was named deputy director in 1980.

Neuberger will report directly to four star General Nakasone, commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, the National Security Agency and chief of the Central Security Service.

Neuberger, 43, grew up in the predominantly Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Borough Park, Brooklyn and presently lives in Baltimore. She was educated in the ultra-Orthodox Bais Yaakov day school system for girls. She is a graduate of Touro College, in New York, summa cum laude, and Columbia University, Beta Gamma Sigma, with an MBA and a Master of International Affairs.

The mother of two has worked for NSA for the past 10 years. She “recently oversaw NSA’s election security work leading up to and during the 2018 midterms, which saw expanded efforts from the NSA and the military’s U.S. Cyber Command to detect and deter Russian election interference and share more intelligence with other agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security,” noted The Wall Street Journal.

The Trump administration has taken an aggressive stand towards increasing cybersecurity, especially against foreign adversaries including Russia, China and Iran.

In an autobiography posted by Jewish Action Magazine of the Orthodox Union, Neuberger describes her sheltered upbringing.

“My mother and sister are stay-at-home mothers, and growing up, I didn’t really have any role models of working women,” she wrote. “I heard a lot of ‘a frum [religious] woman can’t do this; a frum woman doesn’t do that.’ But I strongly feel that a woman should use the talents Hashem [God] gave her, and that being frum is not a barrier to professional success.”

She added, “We should change our message to young women and tell them that they can do whatever they aspire to, even if they have to take ten years off to raise a family.”

Neuberger said that seven out of eight of her great-grandparents were killed by Nazis.

“[H]ere I am in a job where I can contribute my skills and make a difference working for the U.S. government,” she wrote. “I feel such a debt of gratitude. I really believe in our country and the ideals it seeks to uphold.”