WASHINGTON (07/19/2000) - The U.S. National Security Agency director last week nominated William Black Jr., a retired NSA employee who started a new career in the high-tech industry, to become the agency's next deputy director.
The pending appointment of Black to the NSA's No. 2 position would mark one of the few times in the agency's 48-year history that top management has recruited someone from outside NSA for the high-profile post.
Since his retirement from NSA in 1997 after 38 years of service working to improve intelligence support to the military, Black has worked for Science Applications International Corp. in the company's information operations division. Historically, NSA has promoted only current NSA officials to the deputy director post.
"Bill was a trailblazer in reshaping how NSA supports the nation's military operations," said NSA Director Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael Hayden in a written statement. "As a cross between an iconoclast and an innovator, he knows the greatness of NSA, but he also knows the need to change, adapt and transform."
Black replaces Barbara McNamara, who in April left the position of deputy director for a new assignment as the special U.S. liaison officer in London.
Intelligence experts said Black's appointment should benefit the agency as it begins a lengthy transformation process designed to address a laundry list of bureaucratic problems highlighted last year in a scathing report by a group of high-level NSA managers. Known as the New Enterprise Team study, the report prompted Hayden to undertake what he called his "100 Days of Change."
"NSA is in the midst of transforming its foreign signals intelligence and information-assurance missions to operate at the highest possible levels of both modernization and readiness," Hayden said. "For this agency, change was - and remains - an imperative."