Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has proposed to combine two State Department offices to create a new bureau that will work to develop and coordinate strategic measures to address cybersecurity and digital economic issues, The Hill reported Tuesday.
Tillerson wrote a Tuesday letter to House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-California) to state his proposal to form the new bureau for cyberspace and the digital economy, which aims to consolidate the department’s office of the coordinator for cyber issues and the office of international communications and information policy within the bureau of economic affairs.
He also proposed to designate an assistant secretary within the agency to oversee cyber policies and “high-level diplomatic engagements” worldwide.
Tillerson said the assistant secretary will be confirmed by the Senate and directly report to the agency’s undersecretary for economic growth, energy and the environment.
“This placement in the department’s structure will ensure close coordination with the other bureaus that report to the under secretary and focus on functional policy issues while closely coordinating with the private sector,” he noted in the letter.
Tillerson’s proposal came a month after the House passed the Cyber Diplomacy Act introduced by Royce and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-New York).