Brandon Wales was designated by President Trump as the Acting Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), on November 17, 2020. As Acting Director, Mr. Wales oversees CISA’s efforts to defend civilian networks, manage systemic risk to national critical functions, and work with stakeholders to raise the security baseline of the Nation’s cyber and physical infrastructure.
Prior to this, he was CISA's first Executive Director, serving as the senior career executive overseeing execution of the Director and Deputy Director’s vision for CISA operations and mission support. He was responsible for leading long-term strategy development, managing CISA-wide policy initiatives and ensuring effective operational collaboration across the Agency.
From August 2017 to December 2019, Mr. Wales served in multiple positions in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary’s office. He started as Senior Counselor to the Secretary for Cyber and Resilience, where he served as the Secretary’s senior advisor on cybersecurity, emergency management, incident response and building a more resilient nation. In January 2019, he was asked to serve as Deputy Chief of Staff (Acting), developing and advancing the Department’s strategic priorities. In June 2019, Mr. Wales assumed the role of Chief of Staff (Acting), assisting the Secretary in overseeing the Department, ensuring close coordination across its operational components and managing interagency relationships.
Prior to the joining the Secretary’s office, Mr. Wales was the Director of the DHS Office of Cyber and Infrastructure Analysis (OCIA). OCIA provided integrated analysis of cyber and physical risks to the Nation’s critical infrastructure.
From 2009-2014, Mr. Wales was the Director of the Homeland Infrastructure Threat and Risk Analysis Center (HITRAC), an all-hazards analytic resource for public and private sector partners covering the full-array of risks facing the infrastructure community. As the Director of HITRAC, he also oversaw the Department’s advanced modeling, simulation, and analysis program, leading a team of researchers conducting ground-breaking and forward-leaning analysis of some of the Nation’s most complex infrastructure challenges.
During his time at the Department, Mr. Wales has been called upon to support a variety of Department-wide initiatives. When the Department began working on the first Quadrennial Homeland Security Review in 2009, Wales was asked to lead the review of the counterterrorism and cyber security mission areas. Following the release of Executive Order 13636, Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity, in February 2013, Mr. Wales led the effort to identify critical infrastructure at potential catastrophic risk from cybersecurity incidents.
Mr. Wales’ contributions have been recognized with an Exceptional Performance Award from the Director of National Intelligence, a DHS Secretary’s Award for Excellence, and a DHS Distinguished Service Medal, the Department’s highest civilian award.
Prior to joining the Department in 2005, Wales served as a national security aide to United States Senator Jon Kyl and as a Senior Associate at a Washington-based foreign policy and national security think-tank.
Mr. Wales received his Bachelor’s degree from George Washington University and his Master’s degree from The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.