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Jonathan Freed appointed to lead NSA's strategic communications

Jonathan Freed has been appointed as the National Security Agency's new Associate Director for Strategic Communications. Freed, a longtime public relations professional and former journalist, most recently served as a media relations and public affairs executive at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. In making the announcement, Admiral Michael S. Rogers -- Commander, U.S. Cyber Command; director, National Security Agency; and chief, Central Security Service -- emphasized the critical role of both workforce and public engagements at NSA.

Freed's corporate communications and public relations work for Fortune 250 companies; 20 years of journalism and media-management experience, including working as a network correspondent for CBS News and CNN; and desire to raise awareness of the agency's mission make him well suited to lead in the wake of unauthorized media disclosures, Admiral Rogers said.

"We have learned two important lessons in the last 18 months: first, most people across the country (and around the world) understand very little about our foreign-intelligence mission or cybersecurity generally. In addition, greater transparency about our activities is needed -- balanced with the legitimate requirement to protect sources and methods -- in order to enhance discussions about threats to the United States, and what is required to defend against our adversaries. I want to promote a more informed public dialogue," Rogers said. "I want to be proactive in disseminating information about NSA and its many contributions to national security."

Freed said the communications job ahead will involve reaching out to a wide and complex audience.

"I am honored to have the chance to serve at this critical time, to support an agency that works around the clock, protecting our country with the utmost integrity," Freed said. "There is a need to demystify some of what we do. It involves publicly defining yourself rather than letting others do that for you. But it also means being willing to listen to a wide array of opinions. We're looking forward to the conversation."

The senior executive position, which reports directly to Rogers, was advertised nationally last year.

 

 

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