U.S. Rep. Joaquín Castro (TX-20) was appointed to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) Wednesday.

The HPSCI oversees 17 elements of the US Government, including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Department of Defense and the National Security Agency (NSA), and the Military Intelligence Program.

It’s an assignment that closely aligns Castro’s Congressional committee duties with San Antonio’s military and cybersecurity economy and culture. The city has been home to significant U.S. military facilities and missions since the mid-1800s and is now seeing significant growth in the civilian cybersecurity sector that has grown out of the military’s cyber operations here. San Antonio also is home to one of the most important NSA installation of the NSA. A now dated 2011 study by the SABER Institute reported military operations had a $27.7 billion economic impact.

“Often called Cyber City USA, my hometown San Antonio is a national leader in cybersecurity, a vitally important field to U.S. intelligence agencies and officers. I look forward to undertaking this new position and working with my HPSCI colleagues to ensure our nation’s intelligence activities are carried out in a strategic, responsible manner,” Castro stated in a media release.

The appointment by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi follows Castro’s past positions on the House Armed Services Committee and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

“From his experience on the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees, to his efforts to improve our nation’s cybersecurity, Rep. Castro’s background and experience will be an invaluable addition to our oversight capabilities,” Ranking Member Adam Schiff (CA-28) stated in a media release.

Castro serves on the Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade Subcommittee for the Foreign Affairs Committee. He has also served on the Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee for the House Armed Services, which, according to the Committee, is responsible for overseeing U.S. Special Operations Forces, information technology and programs, force protection policy and oversight, among others.

Castro is in his second term as a congressman and has previously lauded San Antonio’s position as the second most important locale for cybersecurity in the country after Washington, D.C.

San Antonio’s status as a cybersecurity hub continues to grow in prominence. In June, City, County and tech leaders celebrated the opening of a cybersecurity incubator, Build Sec Foundry, located downtown at Geekdom. Fueled by the City’s desire to marry innovation in tech, coding education and the growing need for advanced cybersecurity measures, Build Sec was born out of a new initiative from the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and the Texas Association of Business hosted a cybersecurity conference in downtown San Antonio June 28. The conference aimed to address key cybersecurity issues facing small and mid-size business owners.


Top image: Texas Democrat Convention Chair Joaquín Castro speaks to the caliber of Texas Democrats during the convention in June.  Photo by Kathryn Boyd-Batstone. 


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Former Rivard Report intern Sarah Talaat graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in May 2016. You can find her in Beijing, China where she is pursuing a business journalism master's at Tsinghua...