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CESER Leadership

Alexander Gates, Senior Advisor for DOE CESER

Alexander Gates

Senior Advisor

Mr. Gates provides strategic direction to the Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response, where he guides cybersecurity, emergency response, and research and development activities that support the defense of the nation’s energy infrastructure. Prior to serving in this role, he worked as the Deputy Director for Cyber in the Department of Energy’s Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, where he represented the Department before fellow government agencies, the executive branch, the Intelligence Community, the National Laboratories, and the energy sector to solve complex problems related to intelligence and analysis, cyber operations and security, and research and development.

Prior to joining the Department of Energy, Mr. Gates served in both military and civil service capacities at the National Security Agency (NSA) and at the Department of Defense for nearly four decades, supporting signals intelligence, cyber operations and security, and other matters of national security.

During his time at NSA, Mr. Gates served in the National Security Agency‘s Threat Operations Center, where he led mitigation and countermeasure efforts and the timely delivery of actionable intelligence. He also served as Technical Director in NSA’s Information Assurance Directorate, where he oversaw the improved integration and effectiveness of NSA’s cybersecurity operations. He established the NSA’s Cyber Integration Lab, an agency-wide collaboration that developed dynamic mission solutions for cyber situational awareness and knowledge management.

Mr. Gates holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Wayland Baptist University, a Master of Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma, and graduate credentials in telecommunications systems from John Hopkins University.


Official photo of Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Plankey

Sean Plankey

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary

Prior to joining the Department of Energy, Mr. Plankey served on the National Security Council as the Director for Maritime and Pacific Cybersecurity Policy, where he designed national security policy to address threats from cyberspace. He has also served as the Global Cyber Intelligence Advisor for BP, and as the Deputy Chief Information Officer for U.S. Navy Intelligence.

Mr. Plankey served 13 years as an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard, including a tour as the Offensive Weapons & Tactics Chief at US Cyber Command. During this time, he completed a deployment to Afghanistan, where he was the first U.S. Coast Guard Officer deployed to Afghanistan to conduct offensive cyber operations. He also held the role of Operations Officer and Law Enforcement Boarding Team Leader for two Coast Guard Cutters, one deployed on the Great Lakes and the other in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska.

Mr. Plankey is a graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He holds multiple professional cybersecurity and information technology certifications.


Official portrait of Deputy Assistant Secretary Andersen

Nick Andersen

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Security and Energy Restoration

Prior to joining the Department of Energy, Nick Andersen served in the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as the Federal Cybersecurity Lead and Senior Cybersecurity Advisor to the Federal Chief Information Officer, where he led the OMB Cyber Team and was responsible for government-wide cybersecurity policy development and compliance of shared federal security services.

Andersen previously served as Chief Information Security Officer for the State of Vermont, where he was appointed to lead State efforts pertaining to the security and protection of data, security compliance activities, risk reduction, security operations, and threat intelligence.

Prior to this, Andersen was a senior executive and senior intelligence officer serving as the Chief Information Officer for Navy Intelligence and was the Head of the Office of Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Systems and Technologies at the U.S. Coast Guard.  He has served on active duty with the U.S. Marine Corps, managing intelligence mission systems in Iraq, Europe, and Africa; and has led cybersecurity and technology programs worldwide with several leading and emerging companies.

Andersen holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology Management and a Master of Science in Information Security and Assurance. He has received awards from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, and Intelligence Community.