ISU Headlines

Idaho State University faculty member Howard Schmidt named White House Cybersecurity Coordinator by President Obama

Posted December 22, 2009

Technology industry veteran to help improve nation’s military and civilian cybersecurity

POCATELLO — Howard A. Schmidt, research professor of information assurance policy at Idaho State University, has been appointed White House Cybersecurity Coordinator by President Barack Obama. In this role, Schmidt will report to the National Security Council and closely support the National Economic Council on cyber issues.

Schmidt is an integral member of the Informatics Research Institute (IRI) faculty whose continued input into curriculum and policy in the IRI and the College of Business is essential.  He guides the students in the nationally-recognized academic and research program at ISU and works with students in the CyberCorps program on a regular basis.

Howard Schmidt with President Barack Obama. White House photo by Lawrence JacksonCorey Schou, Ph.D., university professor of informatics, director of the ISU Informatics Research Institute, and associate dean of information assurance at the ISU College of Business lauded Schmidt’s appointment. "Howard brings a breadth of experience to the administration. He understands both the government and industry needs. More importantly, he recognizes that academia is essential to the success of the United States in the cyber environment," Schou said.

Schmidt also serves as the chief executive officer of the Information Security Forum, a nonprofit computer security trade association based in London. He has served as chief information security officer at eBay and chief security officer at Microsoft. In the Bush administration, he was the vice chairman of the president's Critical Infrastructure Protection Board and a special adviser for cyberspace security. He also served in the Air Force and the Army in computer security roles and led a computer forensics team for the Federal Bureau of Investigation at the National Drug Intelligence Center.

The Information Assurance program at Idaho State University defines new directions and leads students to the beginning of a life-long learning process. Graduates of the program are information systems professionals with a broad spectrum of both technical and managerial skills. They use these skills to integrate information from seemingly disparate disciplines (national security affairs, information systems, computer science, business, and operations analysis) into a coherent plan to support enterprise operations.

In 1999, ISU became one of the first seven CAE/IA schools and has been recertified each year hence. The program has grown to recognize nearly 100 universities including Georgia Tech, Purdue, Carnegie Mellon, The National Defense University, Texas A&M, the Naval Post Graduate School, and George Washington University. These schools, as CAE/IA institutions, represent the first line of defense for information assurance for the U.S. government.

ISU is one of only three schools nationwide authorized to offer information assurance certification in all areas of certification at the advanced level.

Media Contact: Joe Frederickson, ISU College of Business Public Relations, (208) 282-4402.