It’s been a year since the most recent National Security Agency inspector general was removed from the office after reportedly retaliating against a whistleblower. Now NSA Director Adm. Mike Rogers has announced a new official in the post.
Robert Storch has been confirmed by the Senate as the new NSA IG, agency officials announced in a Dec. 22 release. Once the president signs off on the confirmation, Storch will be the first presidentially appointed IG for NSA.
Storch previously served in several different positions in the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, including most recently as deputy IG since 2015. Prior to that he was senior counsel to the IG and acting deputy IG, and also served as chairman of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency Whistleblower Ombudsman Working Group.
“We look forward to welcoming Mr. Storch at NSA,” Rogers said in a released statement. “His extensive experience at the Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General makes him an excellent choice to be NSA’s IG. His nomination and confirmation underline our commitment to lawfulness, transparency and the protection of legitimate whistleblowers.”
Storch replaces George Ellard, who in December 2016 was asked to leave as NSA IG after an external review convened under Presidential Policy Directive 19 found he took personal actions against a whistleblower. A report from the Project on Government Oversight originally uncovered the decision on Ellard, who openly condemned the actions of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.