Federal CISO Touhill Quietly Resigns


Gregory Touhill, CIO of the Office of Management and Budget, delivers the morning keynote at Cybercon 2016. (Daniel Woolfolk/ Staff)

Gen. Gregory Touhill, the nation’s first federal chief information security officer, charged with setting wide-ranging cybersecurity policies for civilian agencies, officially left the White House on Jan. 17, officials confirmed to Fifth Domain.

Touhill’s abrupt departure comes just four months after he took on the new role within the Office of Management and Budget.

President Obama created the Federal CISO position as part of his Cybersecurity National Action Plan, introduced in February 2016. At the time, the administration planned to name the first cybersecurity lead within three months. Touhill was eventually appointed to the position in September.

The role was meant to act as a focal point for cybersecurity policy within the federal government, though few substantive policies came out during Touhill’s short tenure.

It is unclear whether President-elect Donald Trump will appoint someone to fill the slot after he takes office on Jan. 20.

Prior to his stint at OMB, Touhill served as deputy assistant secretary for cybersecurity and communications at the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Cybersecurity and Communications. Before that, he served as a commander and CIO in the Air Force, where he reached the rank of brigadier general before retiring in 2013.

Touhill’s departure comes on the same day as his boss, Federal CIO Tony Scott, who announced on Twitter Jan. 18 that the previous day was his last.

Politico first broke the news of Touhill’s resignation on Jan. 18.