President Obama picks Issaquah resident as cyber security chief
December 29, 2009
The White House has tapped a corporate cyber security expert and former Bush administration official who lives in Issaquah to lead the effort to shore up the country’s computer networks and better coordinate with companies that operate 80 percent of those critical systems.
Howard A. Schmidt — a former eBay and Microsoft executive — will become the government’s cyber security coordinator, weathering a rocky selection process that dragged on for months, as others turned the job down.
In a letter posted on the White House Web site Tuesday, John Brennan, assistant to President Barack Obama for homeland security and counterterrorism, said Schmidt will have regular access to the president and play a vital role in the country’s security.
Schmidt’s selection comes more than 10 months after Obama declared cyber security a priority and ordered a broad administration review.
Considered an expert in computer forensics, Schmidt’s roughly 40-year career includes 31 years in local and federal government service, including a stint as vice chairman of President George W. Bush’s Critical Infrastructure Protection Board. He also was for a short time an adviser to the FBI and worked at the National Drug Intelligence Center.
Source: The Seattle Times