By now you may have seen the announcement that the President has selected Howard Schmidt as the Cybersecurity Coordinator. I said on more than one occasion that it was important to get the right person, and we at DHS will be honored to work with Howard and under the leadership he will bring to the issue of cybersecurity. Howard has been involved in cybersecurity for many years, and I first met him when I was a cyber crime prosecutor with the US Department of Justice and he was a special agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations in the 1990s. He built his own computers even then, and I’ll bet he still does.
Howard has demonstrated the ability to work across government regardless of party, and across industry, for many years. He helped establish the Information Technology – Information Sharing and Analysis Center, served on the President’s Critical Infrastructure Protection Board , has held key security positions in several private sector companies, has personally investigated cases and until recently continued to serve as an agent in a reserve capacity for the Army Criminal Investigations Division. It is hard to find someone in the cybersecurity community with whom Howard has not worked.
I and we look forward to continuing to work with Howard and his great team at the White House.
Phil Reitinger is the Deputy Under Secretary of the National Protection and Programs Directorate and Director of the National Cybersecurity Center