Evanina resigns as counterintelligence chief

William Evanina, a career intelligence official, is stepping down from the post of director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center.

Bill Evanina

William Evanina, a career FBI agent and senior counterintelligence official, resigned from his position yesterday as director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Evanina announced his departure in a LinkedIn post.

"I want to especially thank the women and men of NCSC, and the Intelligence Community, for being the best in the world," he said. "Commitment to all the traits which matter most; character, integrity, service, commitment, fidelity, and patriotism is a key reason why we are the best in the world at what we do, and how we do it."

Evanina's deputy Michael Orlando will take over NCSC on an acting basis.

Evanina became the NCSC chief in 2014 when it was a career appointment. When a law change mandated Senate confirmation for the post, President Donald Trump nominated him in February 2018 and he was confirmed by a vote of 84-7 more than a year later – the delay coming from a legislative hold placed by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) as part of an unrelated dispute between the lawmaker and ODNI.

Has head of NCSC, Evanina spearheaded an effort to automate aspects of the security clearance process and establish a system for continuous monitoring of clearance-holders. A year ago at a Senate hearing, Evanina said that the continuous evaluation system covered 300,000 people across 26 department and agencies.

Separately, Biden’s nominee to be director of national intelligence, Avril Haines, was confirmed by the Senate on Jan. 20 bv a vote of 84-10. Also on the security front, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed in a tweet today Biden would keep FBI Director Christopher Wray in his role.