State Department to set up bureau for international cyber, emerging tech

The bureau will be established pending consultation with Congress.
The United States Department of State is pictured in Washington, DC on August 6, 2021. (Photo by DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images)

The State Department plans to establish a Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy focused on international cybersecurity and freedom, said spokesperson Ned Price, during a press briefing on Monday.

A modernization team led by Deputy Secretary Wendy Sherman and Deputy Secretary for Management and Resources Brian McKeon determined the bureau necessary after reviewing the department‘s emerging technology policy and cybersecurity organization.

The launch of the cyberspace plan revives proposals first floated by the Trump administration to create a Cyberspace Security and Emerging Technology Bureau.

“This will integrate the core security, economic and values components of our cyber agenda,” Price said. “We also plan to establish a new special envoy for critical and emerging technology to lead the immediate technology diplomacy agenda with our allies, partners and across the range of multilateral fora.”


The bureau will be established pending consultation with Congress, as the Senate is expected to confirm an ambassador-at-large to lead the organization. The bureau’s cybersecurity mission will be divided into three separate units: cyber policy and negotiations, deterrence, and operations and capacity building.

The digital policy mission will entail engaging with the International Telecommunication Union and other standards-setting bodies and promoting trusted telecom systems, technology tracks and a multilateral agenda.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken will deliver remarks on the bureau and the department’s modernization efforts at the Foreign Service Institute on Wednesday.

Dave Nyczepir

Written by Dave Nyczepir

Dave Nyczepir is a technology reporter for FedScoop. He was previously the news editor for Route Fifty and, before that, the education reporter for The Desert Sun newspaper in Palm Springs, California. He covered the 2012 campaign cycle as the staff writer for Campaigns & Elections magazine and Maryland’s 2012 legislative session as the politics reporter for Capital News Service at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he earned his master’s of journalism.

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