The Defense Department this week marked a milestone assuming the responsibility for the federal government’s background investigations and naming a new acting leader.
A June 24 memo from Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Joseph Kernan said this action brings together the missions and workforce of the National Background Investigations Bureau and the Defense Security Service in efforts to increase the government’s focus on security, modernize its processes and capabilities, and better integrate efforts to use trusted people and technologies.
To better represent these missions, DSS now has a new name: the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency.
“This combined team is well positioned to bring greater focus and alignment to U.S. Government-wide efforts to strengthen our trusted workforce, mitigate supply chain threats, protect sensitive information, and bolster counterintelligence capabilities,” Kernan said in the memo.
Additionally, this change comes with the appointment of Charles Phalen, Jr. as acting director of DCSA beginning July 1 until a permanent director is appointed. Phalen will also retain his current role as NBIB director. The current Defense Security Service Director Dan Payne is preparing for retirement.