Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette is replacing the agency's top cyber official, Karen Evans, according to a memo obtained by E&E News.
Alexander Gates from the National Security Agency will replace Evans, according to an email the DOE chief sent to staff today. Gates recently served as the deputy director for cyber in DOE's Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, according to the email.
"Mr. Gates will have delegated authority to direct and oversee the Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER) operations," Brouillette wrote.
Brouillette in the email thanked Evans for her leadership within CESER, including work on testing for vulnerabilities tied to electromagnetic pulses, expanding the agency's data sharing efforts to advance analytic capabilities, and piloting data sharing and analysis with utilities, as well as playing a critical role in overseeing responders following the Puerto Rico earthquake.
Sources say the machinations for Evans' departure are not clear but have been in the works for months.
Evans represented the first person to head up the new CESER office after then-Energy Secretary Rick Perry moved to break out the cyber responsibilities from the Office of Electricity to their own entity in early 2018.
A former top information technology official at the Office of Management and Budget under President George W. Bush as well as a former DOE chief information officer, Evans began her leadership atop CESER in September 2018. She received a voice vote confirmation by the Senate.
Her departure comes the same day the White House officially nominated Undersecretary of Energy Mark Menezes for the deputy secretary slot at the department.