Gilbert Herrera named National Security Agency’s research chief

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Gilbert Herrera, a former Sandia National Laboratories employee, has been named chief of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) Research Directorate.

Herrera told The Record that he took the role because he had spent his whole career working on research and technology deployment in an area where he believed the findings would never be challenged. Herrera explained his work as the director of the Research Directorate in an interview with The Record. He stated that the directorate’s role is twofold: to be the agency’s eyes and ears in terms of what’s going on in research, academia, and industry, as well as to assist prevent technological surprises on the inside.

Herrera emphasized the importance of balancing present and future transformational problems, and noted that the directorate has deployed researchers to assist with quick actions in the Ukraine war and has shifted focus from looking at the war on terror to prioritize China, Russia, Iran, and others.

Herrera also expressed optimism about AI’s ability to help research and change industry but expressed reservations about its potential security danger. He stressed the need of quantum-resistant encryption as NIST develops new standards.

Herrera aims to follow this pivot with his leadership team to ensure a balance between the present and future problems. Herrera says his vision is to advance the NSA’s research and development capabilities while remaining vigilant against emerging threats.

The sources for this piece include an article in TheRecord.

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