John Costello


Former Chief of Staff and Principal Architect, Office of the National Cyber Director

John Costello is a Principal at WestExec and an Adjunct Senior Fellow with the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. Mr. Costello focuses on national cybersecurity, technology policy, U.S.-China trade relationship, export controls, investment screening, and U.S. policy on information and communication technology (ICT) and emerging technologies.

Mr. Costello is the former Chief of Staff and principal architect of the Office of the National Cyber Director, the first White House component created since 1988. Prior to his time at ONCD, Mr. Costello served as the Deputy Executive Director of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, where he led the Commission’s work on cybersecurity, resilience, supply chain security, and the Commissions legislative efforts. Mr. Costello served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Intelligence and Security at the Department of Commerce. In that capacity, Mr. Costello established the Commerce Department’s intelligence analysis capability and led the Department’s information and communications technology and service supply-chain analytical and regulatory efforts. Prior to that, Mr. Costello also served as the Director of Strategy, Policy, and Plans and Senior Advisor to the Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

In 2016, Mr. Costello was selected as a Congressional Innovation Fellow, serving on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. During his time on the Hill, Mr. Costello helped investigate the 2015 cyber breach of the Office of Personnel Management and helped oversee federal IT security. Mr. Costello previously worked for a defense contracting firm, focusing on China’s use of legal and extra-legal technology transfer in emerging technologies.

Mr. Costello was an enlisted U.S. Navy sailor, serving his tours of duty at the National Security Agency as an intelligence analyst and operations officer. While at the National Security Agency, John specialized in foreign adversary cyber, electronic, and information warfare. John has a working professional proficiency in Chinese Mandarin, graduating with honors from the Defense Language Institute.