White House Names Cybersecurity Coordinator

The White House announced today that President Obama has appointed Howard Schmidt to be the new “White House Cybersecurity Coordinator.” More information about Mr. Schmidt’s background can be found within the announcement of his appointment (including in an embedded video), but also within press coverage of the development. See, e.g., Siobhan Gorman, “Cyber Chief Selected by Obama,” The Wall Street Journal, Dec. 22, 2009 at A6; AP, “White House Picks New Cyber Coordinator”, Dec. 21, 2009 (available through FoxNews).

Mr. Schmidt’s duties will apparently include: “setting computer security policy and providing budget guidance across the government. Among his top challenges will be tapping the cyberdefense capabilities at the National Security Agency while ensuring adequate privacy protections for activities in the civilian sector.” Gorman, “Cyber Chief Selected by Obama.”

Previous posts on this topic were dated in May, when President Obama first announced the position.

UPDATE: A more complete analysis of Mr. Schmidt’s appointment, background and anticipated responsibilities was published in today’s (12/23/09) Wall Street Journal: see Siobhan Gorman, “Cybersecurity Chief to Fill a Post Filled with Challenges,” The Wall Street Journal, Dec. 23, 2009 at A6.