DISA taps rear admiral as its new vice chair

The agency selected communications specialist Rear Adm. Nancy Norton to help oversee its information technology and cyber operations.
(Getty Images)

The Defense Information Systems Agency went to the Navy for its next vice chair, selecting Rear Adm. Nancy Norton to help oversee its information technology and cyber operations.

DISA said on its website that Norton, a 30-year Navy veteran, assumed the role following the departure of former vice chair Air Force Maj. Gen. Sarah E. Zabel, who left the agency on Aug. 21 to become the director of information technology acquisition process development in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition.

“I am really pleased to be here and honored to have a role in supporting [DISA Director Army Lt. Gen. Alan R. Lynn] in leading this organization. It is an honor to be selected to serve as the vice director and to work with this wonderful workforce,” she said in a statement.

Before heading to DISA, Norton served as director of both Warfare Integration for Information Warfare, and the Command, Control, Communications and Cyber Directorate of the U.S. Pacific Command.


She also served as a command, control, communications, computers and intelligence, or C4I, officer during Operation Enduring Freedom in 2001 following the 9/11 attacks and was later responsible for fleet C4 issues for the U.S. 6th Fleet.

As vice chair, Norton said she would focus developing a joint network with mobile capabilities, uilitizing an agile workforce at DISA and promoting cyber protections centered on the user.

“We [also] need to get the basics of cyber hygiene right,” she said in a statement. “We still have an awful lot of work [to do] across the DOD, and well beyond that, in the federal and commercial sectors and across the board in industry [to keep our systems safe].”

As the Department of Defense’s IT and cyber innovation arm, DISA manages an $11 billion annual budget and oversees defense IT operations as well as federal projects like the cybersecurity of the National Background Investigations Bureau.

Carten Cordell

Written by Carten Cordell

Carten Cordell is a Senior Technology Reporter for FedScoop. He is a former workforce and acquisition reporter at Federal Times, having previously served as online editor for Northern Virginia Magazine and Investigative Reporter for, Virginia Bureau. Carten was a 2014 National Press Foundation Paul Miller Fellow and has a Master’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He is also a graduate of Auburn University and promises to temper his passions for college football while in the office.

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