‘Crisis manager and public voice of government’ – National Cyber Security Centre seeks new CEO

Intelligence organisation offers annual salary of up to £190,000 in bid to recruit candidate to replace incumbent chief exec Lindy Cameron, who is leaving shortly for a diplomatic role overseas

The National Cyber Security Centre is recruiting a new leader to serve as the UK’s “crisis manager” in chief in the event of a major cyber emergency.

The organisation confirmed a few weeks ago that incumbent CEO Lindy Cameron is to depart shortly and take on an overseas diplomatic posting. She has been at the NCSC since 2020, have taken over the top job from the organisation’s founding leader Ciaran Martin.

The centre’s third chief executive will be expected to “set the vision and strategy for the organisation and embed an inclusive culture” over the coming years. The post will require “proven, exceptional influencing skills… and ability to deal with the most senior political and official levels of government at both a strategic and tactical level as well as managing the NCSC’s key relationships, including those with international parties”, according to the job advert.

The incoming leader, who will earn a salary of between £147,000 and £190,000, will also serve as a prominent public spokesperson for the NCSC and, in doing so, will need to demonstrate the “ability to translate complex technological issues into easy-to-understand, actionable messages, regularly for the public on national media, and sometimes to very senior non-technical people under real pressure”.  Alongside which, the CEO will also be expected to “command a highly specialised audience with personal credibility”. 

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“You will need to act as a crisis manager within government and as the public voice of HM Government in the event of a serious cyber incident affecting the UK,” the advert added.

In the year to the end of August 2023, the NCSC led a coordinated response to 62 “nationally significant” cyber incidents, including four that “were among the most severe incidents the NCSC has had to manage”.

Despite warnings of its inevitability by previous NCSC leaders, the UK is yet to suffer an attack classed by the cyber centre as a category-one incident – the most severe classification, denoting a “ national cyber emergency… leading to severe economic or social consequences or to loss of life”.

Applications for the CEO role are open until 10am on Monday 8 January. Shortlisted applicants will then undergo a staff engagement panel, a media assessment exercise, and a psychometric testing process – all of which will be held virtually. Final panel interviews will then be held in person in London.

Sam Trendall

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