[ISN] Howard Schmidt opts out of bid for Congress

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Mon May 10 02:45:45 EDT 2004


News Story by Dan Verton 
MAY 07, 2004 

WASHINGTON -- After months of consideration, Howard Schmidt, the chief
security officer at eBay Inc.  and the former chairman of the
President's Critical Infrastructure Protection Board, announced today
that he won't run for Congress from his home state of Washington.

In an exclusive interview with Computerworld, Schmidt said that the
"financial timing is not right" to undertake a major political
campaign and that he believes he can be a more effective advocate for
critical-infrastructure protection and cybersecurity issues working
from the private sector. However, he hasn't ruled out a political
career in the future.

Schmidt had eyed a run for Washington's 8th District seat, currently
held by Jennifer Dunn, who in January announced plans to retire. And
while senior members of Dunn's staff have said publicly that Schmidt
could carry on Dunn's homeland security agenda, Schmidt chose instead
to take on more work with the Department of Homeland Security.

Starting next week, Schmidt will begin talks with senior DHS officials
about a future role as either executive director or "ambassador at
large" for the U.S. CERT Partnership Program, a new effort currently
in the planning phase. Schmidt said he was approached about the
program apparently because of his understanding of the interdependency
of cyber and physical infrastructures.

Senior members of the DHS approached Schmidt in December during the
inaugural National Cyber Security Summit and asked for his direct
assistance in working with the private sector. Other senior DHS and
private sector officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said
Schmidt was approached amid concerns that the agency wasn't getting
good advice on cybersecurity and critical-infrastructure protection
from outside "industry experts."

A senior DHS official involved in luring Schmidt back into a
consulting and advisory role acknowledged that some advice received by
the DHS wasn't well grounded.

Schmidt, however, said he has been closely weighing his options,
working to ensure he doesn't overextend himself -- something he has
expressed to DHS officials. In addition to his current role at eBay,
the former White House adviser recently co-founded the Global CSO
Council and serves as co-chair of the awareness and education
committee of the Cyber Security Task Force, which was formed at last
year's National Cyber Security Summit.

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