CISA Establishes Regional Election Security Advisors to Strengthen Front Line Support to the Election Community
As a retired Army officer and combat veteran, no mission area resonates more deeply with me than safeguarding the security of our elections, the golden thread that runs through our democracy. And I could not be prouder of CISA’s work in this area as the sector risk management agency for election infrastructure security—what we do, and how we do it: every day upholding our sworn oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.
While I am immensely proud of our workforce, it is the state and local officials administering elections—from election directors to clerks to poll workers—who are the true heroes, the sentinels of our democracy. We at CISA stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them as they fulfill this incredibly important mission, and we remain laser-focused on ensuring they have the tools and support they need to ensure the security and integrity of the elections process.
Today at the National Association of State Election Directors summer conference, I had the privilege to meet with election officials from across the nation. Many are overworked and under-resourced. Some have faced harassment and threats to themselves and their families. Yet, all remain undeterred in their mission to serve the nation on the frontlines of our democracy. And they do so with courage, grace, and resilience. The nation owes election officials a debt of gratitude, and they deserve our admiration, our respect, and our support.
In that vein, recognizing the unparalleled importance of elections as a foundational component of who we are as a nation, I announced today that CISA will be committing additional resources to our election infrastructure security mission to enable us to better support the election community. In addition to the cybersecurity and protective security advisors that are already stationed across the country providing frontline service support to address the full range of cyber and physical threats to our critical infrastructure, CISA will now be establishing dedicated election security advisor positions in each of our ten regions. In meeting with election officials over the last two years, it became clear to me that optimally supporting them means meeting them where they are.
These election security advisors will help build even stronger connective tissue between state and local election officials and our team at CISA. They will work directly for our Regional Directors and with our cybersecurity and protective security advisors to ensure CISA’s capabilities and services are being optimally employed to meet the unique needs of each state or locality. Importantly, election security advisors will be experts in the infrastructure, jurisdictional requirements, and operating environments unique to their regions to offer more tailored guidance and support.
This next step in field integration of election security expertise is consistent with CISA’s strategic vision to increase our technical expertise and knowledge in the field—our closest touchpoint with our stakeholders. The introduction of election security advisors builds on similar investments we’ve made at CISA over the past several years with the establishment of cybersecurity advisors and cybersecurity state coordinators, regional external affairs officers, and regional training and exercise coordinators.
As we look to rapidly implement this new capability to support the election community, I’ve asked my senior advisor Cait Conley, who will be leading our election security efforts starting in August, to oversee the recruiting and hiring of our regional election security advisors. A fellow West Point graduate and U.S. Army combat veteran, Cait brings incredible energy, discipline, and vigor to this important mission and has already hit the ground running working hand-in-hand with our election security and resilience team.
As we gear up for upcoming elections, including the 2024 presidential election, we will continue to lean forward and do our part to ensure the American people can have confidence in the security and resilience of our democratic process.