The Biden administration named a career CIA officer to coordinate the intelligence community’s response to election threats posed by Russia, China, and other adversaries on Friday.
Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines appointed Jeffrey Wichman as election threats executive, according to a spokeswoman for Haines, Nicole de Haay. Wichman spent more than 30 years at the CIA, including in senior counterintelligence and cyber roles, de Haay said. The New York Times was the first to report on his appointment.
The appointment comes as efforts to establish a new intelligence center dedicated to preventing foreign meddling in American democracy have stalled. While experts and intelligence officials agree that the proposed Foreign Malign Influence Center is necessary, negotiations over the center’s size and budget have stalled.
The election threats executive is responsible for coordinating election security efforts across the intelligence community’s 18 members, which include agencies that detect and deter cyberattacks, disinformation campaigns, and efforts to influence politicians and policy debates.