Lt Gen Michael V. Hayden, USAF, Director, National Security Agency, has created a new executive-level position to oversee the Agency's acquisition process, and has appointed retired Major General Harry D. Gatanas for the position. As the Senior Acquisition Executive (SAE), MG Gatanas will work directly for Lt Gen Hayden to integrate and unify the management processes for the Agency's acquisitions, and to monitor implementation of applicable policies and practices.
"During the Cold War, the process NSA used to build and buy the goods and services we needed was successful for our mission against one powerful enemy. Today, with the proliferation of information technologies and the emergence of the global network, the threat is unpredictable and can come from anywhere in the world where U.S. interests are at risk. It is imperative that our acquisition process enables NSA to respond rapidly to ever-changing world events," Lt Gen Hayden said. "MG Gatanas has over 28 years of extensive experience with large government acquisition processes. We are confident that, under his direction, we will use the most effective and economical solutions to uphold our place on the forward edge of technology."
MG Gatanas held several high-level contracting positions within the Department of Defense before becoming the U.S. Army's key staff officer for weapons system acquisition at the Pentagon in 1996. In that position, he was responsible for program planning, budgeting and execution oversight of several hundred major weapons systems, including tanks, artillery, missiles, and computers. The program magnitude exceeded $60 billion in the Army's budget. While serving in this capacity, MG Gatanas implemented a $6 billion cost reduction program spread over a five-year budget cycle through the implementation of various efficiencies and acquisition reform initiatives. More recently, he served as Commanding General of the White Sands Missile Range (a remote testing facility in New Mexico) and as the Army's Director for Contracting. He earned his Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) from Wayne State University (Detroit, Michigan) and his BA from City College of New York.
MG Gatanas' arrival to NSA is the result of initiatives to transform and modernize the Agency. Lt Gen Hayden is instituting changes focused on our acquisition process, core business principles, and our IT infrastructure to ensure that NSA has the agility and expertise to continue its long tradition of preserving national security for the American people.