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John Sullivan: State Dept to Elevate Cybersecurity, Upgrade IT Systems Under Reorganization Plan

The State Department plans to elevate cybersecurity within the agency through the integration of the cyber coordinator post and cyber office into the bureau of business and economic affairs as part of a reorganization plan, MeriTalk reported Wednesday.

“My expectation is that part of the redesign we will have to elevate, to a Senate-confirmed level, the role, and we’ll have to figure out what the title is and where it figures in the bureaucracy,” Deputy State Secretary John Sullivan said Tuesday during his testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

“But our commitment is to elevate and provide the appropriate resources for leadership on this essential issue.”

Sullivan said the proposed restructuring also covers the retention of cyber talent and modernization of the department’s information technology systems in an effort to reduce costs and cyber risks as well as facilitate the decision-making process.

Federal News Radio also reported the State Department also intends to establish a framework for global service delivery, maximize the accountability of foreign assistance and optimize human resources as part of the reorganization plan that seeks to generate $5 billion to $10 billion in savings.

“We need to streamline the policy creation process and optimize and realign our global footprint,” Sullivan said.

“That means taking inputs from the field, turning them into evidence-based recommendations and executing them as quickly as possible,” he added.

Officials from the agency appeared before the House panel to seek congressional help to implement the reorganization, which is based on a survey of the department’s workforce and insights of teams composed of approximately 300 professionals.

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