NSA leader Adm. Mike Rogers

NSA leader Adm. Mike Rogers INSA

National Security Agency to Unveil Workforce Restructuring in January

Adm. Rogers describes changes aimed at modernizing how the agency executes its mission.

Come January, employees of the National Security Agency will see the fruits of a 10-month “director’s charge” review of the top-secret organization’s structure, its leader, Adm. Mike Rogers, said on Tuesday night.

The modernization effort titled “NSA21,” the first since the late 1990s, will address workforce development; collaboration and integration; innovation; and structure of the organization.

“It’s all about the data and the people,” said Rogers, speaking to an audience of contractors and current and former agency staffers at a banquet of the nonprofit Intelligence and National Security Alliance. One goal is to break down “cylinders” to improve collaboration and use information technology to enhance the mission, he said. “I’m a big believer” in partnership with the private sector and academia.

As NSA director and head of U.S. Cyber Command, Rogers acknowledged that his agency three weeks ago began a new “legal regime” governing its controversial domestic electronic surveillance program, as Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act expired and was replaced by the USA Freedom Act.

“We’re in the early stage of creating an entirely new regime,” the admiral said. Referencing the recently deadly terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif., he said that in contrast to decades past, the agency is increasingly “tying action overseas to what’s happening domestically, and it’s only getting worse.”

Intelligence gathering and privacy protections are not mutually exclusive imperatives, Rogers said. “We must be mindful to do it in the legal framework in which the intelligence people are comfortable. Without the public support by the very citizens we’re protecting,” he added, the program “will have a tenuous future.”

Rogers surveyed the rapidly changing world scene since he last addressed the alliance 14 months ago. He mentioned terrorist attacks from Pakistan to Paris; ISIS’s expansion in Iraq; Putin’s surprise interventions in Ukraine and Syria; and the data breach at the Office of Personnel Management—all while the information technology environment grows more complex. “The challenge of encryption is that the targets get harder to access,” he said. “Cyber is so foundational to what we execute, and it will only get tougher before it gets better. It’s a clear signal we need to accelerate and apply more pressure in a resource-constrained environment, which is not an insignificant challenge.”

With a budget below the president’s request, Rogers said, “I have found myself focused on how to optimize resources, to find more money to reflect the environment of today and tomorrow, not the past. It forces us to come up with formal methods to assess the trade-offs to gain by investing somewhere else.” The recent Iran nuclear deal, Rogers noted, will test NSA’s ability to monitor Tehran’s compliance.

The “biggest constant is the power of the NSA workforce,” Rogers said. “Most people focus on our technology, yet I remind the team that we’re an enterprise powered by motivated men and women who’re up against equally motivated men and women who would do us harm.”

Retention at the NSA is “an amazing 95 percent,” Rogers said, and is almost that high among NSA’s scientists and engineers, in contrast to the norms of Silicon Valley, where employees “migrate” every two to five years. “NSA is a closed eco-system. But we must keep asking ourselves how to stay relevant for the future—we can’t stand pat.”

In a hint of what the NSA21 might contain, Rogers said, “a diverse workforce is better positioned to anticipate challenges of the future—and that means a whole lot more than skin color.”

Though his agency is still the “preeminent signal intelligence organization in the world,” Rogers warned that “if we do nothing [to change], I’m not sure we’ll be able to say that in 5-10 years.” He said he would like “to be able to say to those who will relieve us that we tried to set you up for your world, not ours.”

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.