Prime Minister John Key today announced the appointment of Rebecca Kitteridge to the position of Director of Security, New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS).
Ms Kitteridge will replace Dr Warren Tucker, who is retiring next year.
“Ms Kitteridge is a highly respected and professional public servant with experience in senior roles,” Mr Key says.
“She is currently Secretary of the Cabinet and Clerk of the Executive Council at the Department of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet (DPMC), and has served under four Prime Ministers and four Governors-General while at DPMC.
“Ms Kitteridge was also seconded to conduct a high profile compliance review of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) late last year.
This is an excellent appointment.
With the increasing focus on the intelligence agencies, public confidence is critical. Kitteridge’s background as a totally impartial Cabinet Secretary, but also as someone who is meticulous about following the law, due process, good procedure etc is just what the SIS needs.
The PM is obviously very determined that there be no more stuff ups of the Kim Dotcom variety.
Both the SIS and GCSB have tended to be headed up by those from a military or foreign affairs background. Now both are headed up by long-term career civil servants.
Also Kitteridge is the first woman to head up the SIS, and I suspect will be the youngest Director also by a considerable margin.
Slightly ironically, Kitteridge is going from one job where she can not talk publicly about most of her day to day work, to perhaps the one job where you can talk even less about what your day in the office was like. At least she’ll be used to it!