President Obama's top cybersecurity specialist is leaving her post effective Aug. 21, the White House confirmed Tuesday.
Melissa Hathaway told The Washington Post she was tired of waiting to find out who would be the cybersecurity coordinator, a job touted by Obama two months ago but never filled. Hathaway had been a contender for the post, but withdrew her application on Monday.
"I wasn't willing to continue to wait any longer, because I'm not empowered right now to continue to drive the change," she said. "I've concluded that I can do more now from a different role," most likely in the private sector.
White House spokesman Nick Shapiro told FOX News that the president "is grateful for her dedicated service and for the significant progress she and her team have made on our national cybersecurity strategy. "
He denied that Hathaway's departure will complicate the already slow process of appointing a cybersecurity coordinator.
"Cybersecurity is a major priority for the president, which is why shortly after taking office he directed his National Security Council and Homeland Security Council to conduct a top-to-bottom review of the federal government's efforts to defend our information and communications infrastructure and to recommend the best way to secure these networks and our prosperity.
"The president is personally committed to finding the right person for this job, and a rigorous selection process is well underway," Shapiro said.
Hathaway, who is acting senior director for cyberspace, has been on detail to the National Security Staff from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Her initial assignment was up on April 9 and her second detail lasts until Aug. 9.
A colleague of Hathaway's told the Post that Hathaway had "the sense" that her being held up from the post "was very political, that she has been too closely tied to the Bush administration."
FOX News' Major Garrett contributed to this report.