Melissa Hathaway, former acting senior director for cyberspace at the National Security Council, has joined Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs as a senior advisor to its cyber security initiative, Project Minerva, a joint effort between the Department of Defense, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Harvard University. The project explores a wide range of the issues within cyber security from the contexts of international relations theory and practice.
Hathaway worked on cyber security for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama until August 2009, when she left to establish Hathaway Global Strategies, LLC. She led President Obama's 60-Day Cyberspace Policy Review from February-May 2009. During her time directing the Cyberspace Policy Review at the White House, she assembled a team of experienced government cyber experts and inventoried relevant presidential policy directives, executive orders, national strategies and studies from government advisory boards and private sector entities. Her outreach resulted in more than 100 papers that informed the recommendations. She produced a comprehensive report that contained multiple annexes and 25 near-term and mid-term recommendations. After reviewing this report, President Obama announced in May that cyber security is one of his administration's priorities.
While serving as acting senior director for cyber security at the National Security Council, Hathaway convened the policy meetings that began work against each of the top ten recommendations contained in the Cyberspace Policy Review and set the expectation and pace to move the United States toward a stronger, more resilient information and communications infrastructure.
Prior to her appointment in February 2009, Hathaway served as cyber coordination executive and director of the Joint Interagency Cyber Task Force within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence from March 2007 to February 2009. There, she built a broad coalition from within the Executive branch under Presidents Bush and Obama, developing a cyber security strategy covering unprecedented scope and scale that now facilitates improvements for the United States to secure and defend its critical national infrastructures. She developed and created a unified cross-agency budget submission for FY 2008 and for 2009–2013, assembling disparate funding sources into a coherent, integrated program. One of the single largest intelligence programs of the Bush administration, the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative, has been carried forward by the Obama administration.
Hathaway has a B.A. degree from The American University in Washington, D.C. She has completed graduate studies in international economics and technology transfer policy and is a graduate of the U.S. Armed Forces Staff College, with a special certificate in Information Operations.