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OpenAI appoints former top US cyberwarrior and ex-army general to its board

Retired army general and former director of the National Security Agency Paul Nakasone is joining the OpenAI board of directors (Mariam Zuhaib/AP)
Retired army general and former director of the National Security Agency Paul Nakasone is joining the OpenAI board of directors (Mariam Zuhaib/AP)

OpenAI has appointed a former top US cyberwarrior and intelligence official to its board of directors, saying he will help protect the ChatGPT maker from “increasingly sophisticated bad actors”.

Retired army general Paul Nakasone was the commander of US Cyber Command and the director of the National Security Agency before stepping down earlier this year.

He joins an OpenAI board of directors that is still picking up new members after upheaval at the San Francisco artificial intelligence company forced a reset of the board’s leadership last year.

The previous board had abruptly fired chief executive Sam Altman and then was itself replaced as he returned to his role days later.

A general view of The Chat GPT website
OpenAI’s ChatGPT website (John Walton/PA)

OpenAI reinstated Mr Altman to its board of directors in March and said it had “full confidence” in his leadership after the conclusion of an outside investigation into the company’s turmoil. OpenAI’s board is technically a nonprofit but also governs its rapidly growing business.

Mr Nakasone is also joining OpenAI’s new safety and security committee — a group that is supposed to advise the full board on “critical safety and security decisions” for its projects and operations.

The safety group replaced an earlier safety team that was disbanded after several of its leaders quit.

Mr Nakasone was already leading the army branch of US Cyber Command when then-president Donald Trump in 2018 picked him to be director of the NSA, one of the nation’s top intelligence posts, and head of US Cyber Command.

He maintained the dual roles when President Joe Biden took office in 2021. He retired in February.