By Ellen Nakashima
Washington Post Staff Writer
December 22, 2009
Seven months after President Obama vowed to "personally select" an
adviser to orchestrate the government's strategy for protecting computer
systems, the White House will name a former Bush administration official
to the job Tuesday.
Howard A. Schmidt, who was a cyber-adviser in President George W. Bush's
White House, will be Obama's new cybersecurity coordinator, an
administration official said Monday night.
Schmidt declined to comment.
The mission is challenging: to coordinate cybersecurity policy across
the federal government, from the military to civilian agencies.
Schmidt's appointment comes as the Pentagon launches a major new
"cyber-command" unit up and running and the Department of Homeland
Security works to improve protection of civilian networks.
In May, Obama declared the nation's digital networks a "strategic
national asset" and said protecting them would be a "national security
priority." Creating a White House cybersecurity office, run by a senior
White House official, would be key to that effort, he said. "I'll depend
on this official in all matters relating to cybersecurity, and this
official will have my full support and regular access to me as we
confront these challenges," Obama said from the East Room.
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