Last week the Department of Defense announced that the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security, Ronald Moultrie, will be stepping down at the end of the month. Moultrie has been on the job since 2021, but his departure is the latest in a series of high-level departures for DoD officials involved in the security clearance reform effort. Moultrie acts as one of the ‘four horsemen’ of security clearance reform, along with leaders in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

DCSA has two key vacancies in stages of the hiring process – the Director of the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) stepped down in October, with the director of the National Background Investigation Services (NBIS) quickly following. Together, those two positions are critical ones in the status of the security clearance reform effort today. With many of the policy pieces of personnel vetting reform well underway (updating the questionnaire for national security positions along with updates in OPM policy for public trust positions), technology is the final frontier in the clearance reform effort – and that’s an effort that falls under the purview of the USD(I&S).

Vacancies are nothing new in government and national security, and unfortunately the onboarding process is not as straightforward as simply posting and waiting for an applicant (although that’s part of it). An acting director will work to perform the job functions, as is currently the function for the DCSA director, and NBIS director. But moving things forward in government often takes a strong arm.  And moving things forward in NBIS today sometimes appears it will take a sledgehammer.

Those interested in security clearance reform can continue to expect progress. But if you’re holding out hope for bast improvements in security clearance processing times, investigation tracking, and transparency of metrics and functions, you should advocate that all of these critical roles are filled soon.

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Lindy Kyzer is the director of content at Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email Interested in writing for Learn more here.. @LindyKyzer