Nancy Norton nominated to succeed Alan Lynn as next DISA director

U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Nancy Norton, left, at the Pacific Senior Communicators Meeting as part of Pacific Endeavor 2013 in Chonburi, Thailand. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Michael Jackson/Released)

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Defense Secretary Jim Mattis nominated Rear Adm. Nancy Norton to be the next leader of the Defense Information Systems Agency when current Director Lt. Gen. Alan Lynn leaves his post.

Norton, who joined DISA in August as vice director, would also take over as commander of the Joint Forces Headquarters-Department of Defense Information Network at Fort Meade in Maryland.

With the appointment, Norton will receive a promotion to vice admiral.

It could be some time, however, before Norton takes over. Her impending directorship still requires Senate confirmation, and the Pentagon hasn’t yet specified an end to her predecessor Lynn’s term. A DISA spokesperson told FedScoop that Lynn is supposed to serve as director for three years (he took the post in June 2015) and leave sometime in 2018.

A 30-year Navy veteran, Norton assumed her vice director 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. 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.

As the Department of Defense’s IT and cyber innovation arm, DISA manages an $11 billion annual budget and oversees defense IT operations.

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Alan Lynn, DISA, Nancy Norton