Lindy Cameron, head of UK NCSC, to leave cyber agency for diplomatic posting


Lindy Cameron, the chief executive of the United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), is set to depart her job early next year to take up a diplomatic posting, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the move.

The departure comes early for Cameron, who had been expected to stay in her role until 2025. The NCSC, which is a part of intelligence agency GCHQ, is now advertising for her successor, with the listing uploaded to the British government’s civil service jobs site on Wednesday morning — although applicants need not currently be civil servants.

Following publication, a spokesperson for NCSC confirmed that Cameron was leaving for an overseas post.

“We are very grateful for her leadership during her three-and-a-half year tenure and wish her all the best in her next role,” they added.

Cameron, who began her career in the civil service at the Department for International Development (DFID), leaves the NCSC after just over three years in the role, having entered the office amid the COVID-19 pandemic in August 2020.

The location of her new diplomatic posting is not yet known. Cameron was previously posted to both Iraq and Afghanistan during the wars in those countries, and eventually became DFID’s director general (DG) for the Middle East.

Her career at DFID, a department that has since been rolled into the Foreign Office, also saw her stationed in Africa and Asia.

Tom Tugendhat, the United Kingdom’s minister for security, previously described Cameron as “an exceptional leader” and said he first met her “17 years ago in Afghanistan where her courage and integrity was as important then as it is now.”

Cameron, who was born in Belfast, subsequently became a DG at the Northern Ireland Office before joining the NCSC, where she was the second person to head the agency following its establishment in 2016 and the first woman to do so.

During her tenure at Nova South — the agency’s high-rise headquarters in London — Cameron steered the NCSC through providing defensive cyber support to Ukraine amid the Russian invasion, tackling the rising volumes of ransomware attacks impacting Britain, and addressing the threat posed by state-aligned groups.

“We have learned a lot about our resilience in light of the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, which remains the most sustained and intensive cyber campaign ever,” Cameron wrote in her foreword to the NCSC’s latest annual review.

“The NCSC will only be successful in its mission if we are the strongest organisation we can be. We must continue to evolve as the UK’s national technical authority on cyber security, deepening our expertise and continuing to increase the diversity of our workforce,” she stressed.

Applications for the NCSC CEO role, which pays between £147,000 – £189,000 ($184,000 – $236,000) depending on experience, close on 8 January.

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Alexander Martin is the UK Editor for Recorded Future News. He was previously a technology reporter for Sky News and is also a fellow at the European Cyber Conflict Research Initiative.


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