Christopher Krebs

Former Director, Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency

Chris Krebs
AP Images
When Christopher Krebs became the inaugural director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in November 2018, he probably didn’t anticipate becoming a household name — even outside of cybersecurity circles. But that was before the uniquely contentious election of November 2020.

Unfounded charges of rampant voter fraud and faulty election systems were made and amplified from people in positions of power who didn’t like the results, including, significantly, the Oval Office. Krebs spoke publicly against the baseless conspiracy theories of a rigged election, while honoring the tireless work of elections officials and their private-sector partners across the country who upheld the integrity of the elections, and by extension, our democracy.

“The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history. There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes or changed votes or was in any way compromised,” read a statement put out by CISA on Nov. 12.

Days later, this assertion cost Krebs his job
. But it’s a stance he continued to forcefully defend in front of Congress and in countless media interviews. It was, after all, the truth.

An attorney, Krebs joined the Department of Homeland Security for the second time in March 2017, appointed as a senior counselor on topics including cybersecurity and critical infrastructure. He has also done other consulting work and served for a time as cybersecurity policy director for the U.S. Government Affairs team at Microsoft.

While leading CISA, Krebs helped to elevate the national conversation around the importance of cybersecurity, leading to increased public-private collaboration and, importantly, more federal support to fortify the posture of state and local governments. Since his dismissal from CISA, Krebs has formed a consultancy with Facebook and Yahoo security veteran Alex Stamos. Their first high-profile client is SolarWinds, at the heart of the massive hack credited to foreign governments. While the specifics of that complex intrusion are still being unraveled, Krebs will undoubtedly be an asset to the company, as he was to the nation and the practice of cybersecurity at CISA.  
Government Technology editor Noelle Knell has more than 15 years of writing and editing experience, covering public projects, transportation, business and technology. A California native, she has worked in both state and local government, and is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, with majors in political science and American history. She can be reached via email and on Twitter. Follow @GovTechNoelle