The guy who is in charge of overseeing national cybersecurity doesn't actually have any experience in the field. In fact, he's bragging about it.
Michael Daniels, the cybersecurity coordinator at the White House, has a degree in public policy and 17 years of experience with the Office of Management and Budget. That's good experience for anyone heading up a government project, but don't you think he should have some computer security knowledge, too?
"You don't have to be a coder in order to really do well in this position," Daniel said, when asked if his job required knowledge of the technology behind information security. "In fact, actually, I think being too down in the weeds at the technical level could actually be a little bit of a distraction."
It's important for high-level government employees to have public policy experience, because it's a big part of the job. But, experience with your specific field is important, too. That's why the Surgeon General is a doctor and the Attorney General is a lawyer.
A cybersecurity chief with little knowledge of actual cybersecurity could put the country in danger by leaving it unprepared for a serious cyberattack.
Washington is full of defense contractors peddling alarmist stories in order to sell their overpriced cybersecurity "solutions." To distinguish genuine threats from trumped up ones, it's hugely valuable to have spent some time in the cybersecurity trenches.
The government is under almost constant cyberattacks from hackers and foreign governments. It's hard to find people with public policy and cybersecurity experience, but in the future the White House should try extra hard to find them. Until then, there's a helpful radio host out there that Daniels can call if he has any questions.