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Obama names a cyber security chief

Associated Press / December 23, 2009

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WASHINGTON - The White House has tapped a corporate cyber security expert and former Bush administration official, Howard A. Schmidt, to lead the effort to shore up the country’s computer networks.

Schmidt, a former eBay and Microsoft executive, will be the government’s cyber security coordinator. His career includes 31 years in government, including a stint on President George W. Bush’s Critical Infrastructure Protection Board. He is currently CEO of the Information Security Forum.

On the White House website yesterday, John Brennan, assistant to President Obama for homeland security, said Schmidt will have regular access to the president. His selection comes 10 months after Obama declared cyber security a priority and ordered a broad review.

Obama released findings of the review nearly seven months ago, vowing a cyber coordinator would soon deal with one of the “most serious economic and national security challenges we face.’’