Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano yesterday said that Mark Weatherford, who was previously with the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), to the newly created position of Deputy Under Secretary for Cybersecurity within the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD).

Weatherford, who will start in mid-November, essentially replaces former Deputy Undersecretary for NPPD Philip Reitinger, who left the department earlier this year. Weatherford will report to NPPD Under Secretary Rand Beers.

DHS created the new deputy under secretary position “in recognition of the growing importance of cybersecurity to DHS and the nation as a whole,” the department says in its blog post.

“This position will help the [NPPD] Directorate ensure robust operations and strengthened partnerships in the constantly evolving field of cybersecurity,” Beers said in a Sept. 21 note to his colleagues in the NPPD.

Greg Schaffer, who has been the acting deputy under secretary for Cyber Security, will resume his duties as assistant secretary for Cybersecurity and Communications (CS&C). Bobbie Stempfley, who has been leading CS&C after Schaffer stepped in for Reitinger, will return to her role as deputy Assistant Secretary for CS&C.

Weatherford joined NERC in 2011 as chief security officer. Prior to that, he was the chief information security officer under former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Weatherford also served at the chief security officer for Colorado, where he established the state’s first cyber security program, and is a former Naval Cyrptologic Officer, where he led the service’s computer network defense operations and the Naval Computer Incident Response Team.

In September DHS also said that Suzanne Spaulding would become the new Deputy Under Secretary for NPPD, focusing on risk reduction and resiliency of critical infrastructure, securing federal facilities, risk management and analysis, and the US-VISIT program. Prior to joining DHS, Spaulding was a principal for the Bingham Consulting Group. Previous to her private sector job, she was the minority staff director for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and as also general counsel for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.