Georgia Cyber Center Finds Director in Former NSA Commander
Its new executive director comes directly from a career spanning nearly three decades in cyberdefense and national intelligence.
A rendering of The Hull McKnight Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center.
U.S. Army Col. Eric Toler has been tapped to lead the Georgia Cyber Center
as its new executive director, officials announced Friday in a press release.
Toler, who formerly served as a commander of National Security Agency (NSA) Georgia, brings a substantial amount of cybersecurity and national intelligence experience to a job focused on cultivating and executing the overall collaborative mission of the center. He will begin the position Oct. 1.
The center represents a $100 million investment on the part of the state and its partners, and a larger effort to train skilled workers and build cyberdefenses across the public, private and academic sectors.
"I have had the privilege of serving alongside Col. Eric Toler at several points during his impressive career with the U.S. Army and the National Security Agency. His contributions to both organizations have been impactful and helped shape the future of intelligence on the modern battlefield,” Lt. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, commanding general of the U.S. Army Cyber Command and former commander of the NSA-Georgia and Cyber Center of Excellence, said in the release.
Prior to accepting the position, the Arkansas native served more than 27 years in leadership and intelligence roles in the national security space, including commanding the Army’s first Network Warfare Battalion. He is also credited as being an integral part of the development of the Department of Defense’s cyberspace operations policies.
“I am most excited about the responsibility to foster collaboration between government, academia and private industry, which is essential for our national security. I’m equally excited about the opportunity to work with students and help develop some of the world’s most capable cybersecurity professionals, as well as helping improve the Augusta community and the state of Georgia.” Toler said in the release.
Toler’s official Army retirement ceremony was held at Fort Gordon Sept. 21.