Defense Information Systems Agency director to retire in July

Air Force Lt. Gen. Charles Croom, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency, plans to retire in July, and President Bush has nominated Rear Adm. Elizabeth Hight, the agency's vice director, to replace him.

Hight, if approved by the Senate, will become the agency's first director from the Navy and also its first female leader. Navy admirals headed the Defense Communications Agency, DISA's predecessor, in the 1960s and from 1978 to 1980. Hight joined the Navy in 1977, first serving at the Naval Communications Area Master Station Western Pacific in Guam. Prior to joining DISA in 2005, she served as the Navy's director of net-centric warfare.

Bernard Skoch, a consultant with Suss Consulting in Jenkintown, Pa., and a former top DISA official, said that Croom brought new intellectual rigor to the agency and he thinks Hight will follow that path. "She's brilliant, " Skoch said.

Croom has not announced his post-retirement plans.

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