December 22, 2009 / 4:47 AM / 8 years ago

Obama picks Schmidt as cyber-security chief

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama picked former Bush administration adviser Howard Schmidt to serve as national cybersecurity coordinator, the White House said on Tuesday.

Schmidt is president of the Information Security Forum, a nonprofit consortium of 300 large corporations and public-sector organizations working on cybersecurity issues.

Schmidt, a cyber-adviser in President George W. Bush’s administration, will be based in the National Security Council. He will report to the national security adviser to coordinate federal government cybersecurity policy for both military and civilian agencies.

“Howard will have regular access to the President and serve as a key member of his National Security Staff,” John Brennan, assistant to the president for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, said in an email announcing the appointment.

He said Schmidt will also work closely with Obama’s economic team.

A veteran of the U.S. Air Force and FBI, Schmidt earlier in his career served as chief security officer at Microsoft Corp and as chief information security officer at eBay, The Washington Post reported.

He has some 40 years experience in government, business and law enforcement, the White House said.

Reporting by Paul Eckert and Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Vicki Allen

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