White House makes Grant Schneider the top cybersecurity official in government

Veteran government IT official Grant Schneider will serve as federal chief information security officer, an influential policy role, OMB announced Thursday.
Grant Schneider speaks Oct. 26 at Dell Technologies' Digital Transformation Summit, presented by FedScoop. (CyberScoop)

Veteran government IT official Grant Schneider will serve as federal chief information security officer, an influential policy role charged with implementing cybersecurity practices across the executive branch, the Office of Management and Budget announced Thursday.

“Grant Schneider brings extensive cybersecurity experience well aligned to lead efforts in securing government systems from cyberattacks,” Margaret Weichert, OMB’s deputy director for management, said in a statement.

“As chief information security officer, Grant will play a key role in making sure the federal government’s technology networks are safe and secure,” she added.

The federal CISO chairs the CISO Council, which allows collaboration across agencies on issues like identity management and vulnerability response.


Schneider had been serving as federal CISO on an acting basis until Thursday. He is also a senior director for cybersecurity at the National Security Council (NSC), where he helps manage the government’s cyberdefense strategy.

In June, the White House tapped Schneider to head the Vulnerabilities Equities Process (VEP), the U.S. government mechanism for deciding whether to horde software bugs for intelligence purposes or disclose them to the private sector so they can be fixed.

Schneider will continue in his role at NSC in addition to the CISO job, a Trump administration official told CyberScoop. That means he will maintain control over the VEP, an NSC spokesperson confirmed.

Known as a steady and experienced policymaker, Schneider has served in various information security roles over the years in the Office of Personnel Management, the Office of Management and Budget and the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Chris Bing contributed to this story.

Sean Lyngaas

Written by Sean Lyngaas

Sean Lyngaas is CyberScoop’s Senior Reporter covering the Department of Homeland Security and Congress. He was previously a freelance journalist in West Africa, where he covered everything from a presidential election in Ghana to military mutinies in Ivory Coast for The New York Times. Lyngaas’ reporting also has appeared in The Washington Post, The Economist and the BBC, among other outlets. His investigation of cybersecurity issues in the nuclear sector, backed by a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, won plaudits from industrial security experts. He was previously a reporter with Federal Computer Week and, before that, with Smart Grid Today. Sean earned a B.A. in public policy from Duke University and an M.A. in International Relations from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

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