Col. Eric Toler, former commander of NSA Georgia, has been named executive director of the Georgia Cyber Center. He will begin his new position on Oct. 1.

In his new role, Col. Toler will work with Augusta University, Augusta Technical College and Georgia Technology Authority (GTA) executive stakeholders to define and execute the overall strategy, vision, mission and goals for the center’s programs and partnerships.

His official Army retirement ceremony will take place today at 10:00 a.m. at Alexander Hall on Fort Gordon.  The presiding Officer for Col. Toler’s ceremony will be General Paul Nakasone, the Commander of US Cyber Command and Director of the National Security Agency/Central Security Service.

“Col. Toler’s extensive service to our nation reflects his unwavering commitment to the safety and security of his fellow citizens,” said Gov. Nathan Deal. “As the commander of the National Security Agency – Georgia and through his experience with the Department of Defense’s cyberspace operations, Col. Toler has acquired experience that makes him uniquely qualified to serve as the executive director of the Georgia Cyber Center. Under his leadership, the Georgia Cyber Center will promote world-class collaboration between industry leaders, startup companies, academic institutions and government in the field of cybersecurity. I am confident he will be a strong leader in center operations to defend and protect Georgia’s citizens, businesses and critical public organizations within the digital realm.”

Lt. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, commanding general, U.S. Army Cyber Command, and former commander, NSA-Georgia and Cyber Center of Excellence, said, “I have had the privilege of serving alongside Eric Toler at several points during his impressive career with the U.S. Army and the National Security Agency. His contributions to both organizations have been impactful and helped shape the future of intelligence on the modern battlefield. Nowhere has this impact been more meaningful than in the Ft. Gordon and Augusta, GA region, where I know the next chapter of Eric’s professional life will show the thought leadership and vision that we in the Army have always admired.”

A native Arkansan, Col. Toler has over 27 years of leadership and national security experience after serving as a military intelligence officer in the U.S. Army. He has been a pioneer in leading and developing cyberspace operations capabilities for the Army and Department of Defense, serving in key positions within Army Cyber Command, U.S. Cyber Command and the NSA.

While serving on the Army staff in the Pentagon, he helped develop some of the Department of Defense’s first cyberspace operations policies. He also commanded the Army’s first Network Warfare Battalion, which served as the foundation for all of the Army’s current cyberspace operations capabilities. Most recently, he served as the Commander of NSA Georgia.

“It was a tremendous honor and blessing to serve our great nation as a soldier, and now I feel equally blessed and thrilled for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to serve as the executive director for the one-of-a kind Georgia Cyber Center,” said Col. Toler. “I am most excited about the responsibility to foster collaboration between government, academia and private industry, which is essential for our national security. I’m equally excited about the opportunity to work with students and help develop some of the world’s most capable cybersecurity professionals, as well as helping improve the Augusta community and the State of Georgia.”

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