Former NSA chief, MasterCard CEO among those named to cybersecurity commission

The former head of the National Security Agency, the CEO of MasterCard and the chief security officer of ridehauling giant Uber are among those who are part President Barack Obama's Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity.

The former head of the National Security Agency, the CEO of MasterCard and the chief security officer of ridehauling giant Uber are among those named to President Barack Obama’s Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity.

The ten appointments fill out the membership of the group, which meets for the first time Thursday. The commission has been tasked to investigate ways the nation can strengthen cybersecurity in both private and public sectors by researching topics such as new technology, best practices for identity assurance, federal IT governance, threat information sharing and education. 

The commission was created as part of Obama’s $19 billion Cybersecurity National Action Plan earlier this year. 

Gen. Keith Alexander’s long career in military intelligence culminated as director of the National Security Agency from 2005 to 2014, and he was the first Commander of U.S. Cyber Command from 2010 to 2014. Currently, Alexander serves as Chairman and CEO of IronNet, a firm he founded on leaving government. 


MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga has been in his role with the credit card company since 2010. He took part in the White House’s cybersecurity summit at Stanford University in 2015 where he praised the NIST cybersecurity framework for raising the level of security discussion in boardrooms across the globe. 

Joe Sullivan joined Uber as chief security officer earlier this month after a five-year stint at Facebook. He spent eight years at the Department of Justice, working in the Computer Hacking and IP Unit of the Northern District of California.

Steven Chabinsky, is general counsel and chief risk officer for the high tech cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, which he joined in 2012 after a 17-year long career at the FBI, where he held positions including deputy assistant director for cyber.

In February, Obama named his former national security adviser, Tom Donilon, to chair the commission. Former IBM CEO Sam Palmisano will serve as the vice chair, while former Clinton-era White House official Kiersten Todt will serve as executive director

The commission will meet Thursday at the Commerce Department building in Washington, D.C. A report featuring security recommendations will be given to the president by Dec. 1, and be published within 45 days after that.


The full list of members is: 

  • Keith Alexander  – former Director of NSA, Chairman and CEO of IronNet
  • Annie Anton – Professor and Chair of the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Ajay Banga – CEO of MasterCard
  • Steven Chabinsky –  General Counsel and Chief Risk Officer for CrowdStrike
  • Patrick Gallagher –  Chancellor and CEO of the University of Pittsburgh, former director of NIST
  • Peter Lee – Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Research, former vice chair of DARPA’s Information Science and Technology 
  • Herbert Lin – Senior Research Scholar for Cyber Policy and Security at Stanford University’s Center for International Security
  • Heather Murren – private investor, member of Johns Hopkins University Board of Trustees 
  • Joe Sullivan – Chief Security Officer at Uber
  • Maggie Wilderotter – Former CEO of Frontier Communications

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Greg Otto

Written by Greg Otto

Greg Otto is Editor-in-Chief of CyberScoop, overseeing all editorial content for the website. Greg has led cybersecurity coverage that has won various awards, including accolades from the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. Prior to joining Scoop News Group, Greg worked for the Washington Business Journal, U.S. News & World Report and WTOP Radio. He has a degree in broadcast journalism from Temple University.

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