Obama Taps Navy Man to Lead NSA

Michael Rogers nominated to take over spy agency at a time its under harsh scrutiny

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U.S. Navy / AP

This Oct. 5, 2011, photo, provided by the U.S. Navy, shows Vice Adm. Michael Rogers. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is announcing that Rogers, the head of the Navy's Cyber Command, has been chosen to be the next chief of the NSA.

The Obama administration announced Thursday its nomination of a navy vice admiral to lead the National Security Agency, tapping a new chief at a time when the spy agency is under a microscope after revelations of its massive domestic surveillance programs.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that Vice Admiral Michael Rogers would replace General Keith Alexander in the agency’s top position when Alexander retires. If confirmed by the senate, he’ll also head the U.S. Cyber Command. Rogers’ nomination comes as NSA is under fire for its bulk collection of phone and Internet data and snooping on world leaders, revelations leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Rogers is “uniquely qualified” to lead the agency.

“Mike’s Navy career spans more than 30 years of distinguished service to the nation, and he is highly respected throughout the Intelligence Community,” Clapper said in a statement. “He served in numerous leadership and cryptological roles… [and] deeply understands signals intelligence and cyber operations.”