The United States Senate on Tuesday unanimously confirmed President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command.
U.S. Army Cyber Command chief Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone was confirmed via voice vote Tuesday after receiving broad bipartisan support, according to Politico.
Nakasone, who will replace Navy Adm. Mike Rogers in the dual role of NSA director and commander of Cyber Command, enters the office at a time of heightened apprehension over the threat Russia poses to the nation's electrical grid and cybersecurity infrastructure.
The White House previously requested the Senate Intelligence Committee expedite Nakasone's nomination, according to the committee's chairman Sen. Richard Burr (R., N.C.).
During his confirmation hearing, Nakasone told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the U.S. must "impost costs" on its digital adversaries since they had proven they were not afraid of retaliation.
Nakasone also pledged to go after NSA leakers, like Edward Snowden, saying he was "greatly concerned" about potential threats from within the intelligence community.
Nakasone, a Minnesota native, has served in the military since 1986 and has held several high-level positions, including on the Joint Chiefs of Staff and at U.S. Cyber Command. Since 2016, Nakasone has served as commander of U.S. Army Cyber Command. He holds masters degrees from the U.S. Army War College, the National Defense Intelligence College, and the University of Southern California.
Soon after the White House announced Nakasone's nomination, the general earned an early endorsement from his home state's senator, Sen. Amy Klobuchar. The senator, a vocal critic of the Trump administration, said Nakasone was "more than up for" the job.
Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone is from Minnesota and is more than up for this job (and it will be a big one): Incoming NSA chief has a reputation for winning ‘all the important fights.’ Russia will be his biggest test yet. https://t.co/w4mJEcsGcS
— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) April 4, 2018
The NSA and U.S. Cyber Command have shared a leader since the latter's creation in 2009.
A formal transition ceremony between Rogers and Nakasone has been scheduled for Friday, April 27.