NSA Chief To Step Down

Gen. Keith Alexander will leave his post in the spring

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General Keith Alexander, commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, director of the National Security Agency (NSA) and chief of the Central Security Service (CSS), arrives at the Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington June 12, 2013.

The head of the National Security Agency, which has come under fire in recent months after revelations of domestic surveillance practices, will leave his post in the spring of 2014, a White House official confirmed Thursday.

Gen. Keith Alexander told President Barack Obama of his intention to step down several weeks ago, said Laura Lucas Magnuson, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council.

“When he was extended for the third time as director of NSA and head of Cyber Command in March 2013, General Alexander indicated his interest in retiring in the spring of 2014, Magnuson said in a statement. “General Alexander has served an extraordinary tenure and capably led these agencies through critical periods of growth and transition.”

Alexander has served as director of the NSA since 2005 and head of Cyber Command, a relatively new party of America’s national security apparatus, since 2010.