The White House announced Tuesday that it has appointed former security adviser Howard Schmidt as its cyber tsar, following a seven month search.
Schmidt is returning to the White House as President Obama's new cybersecurity coordinator, according to a letter posted on the White House Web site.
The letter said Schmidt will have regular access to the President and serve as a key member of his National Security Staff. He will also work closely with his economic team to ensure that our cybersecurity efforts keep the Nation secure and prosperous.
Schmidt will replace the White House's acting cyber-security head, Melissa Hathaway, who stood down in August.
In his new role, Schmidt will report to the National Security Council. His appointment follows the Pentagon's launch of a new cyber-command unit, along with plans from the Department of Homeland Security to improve protection of civilian networks.
On the White House site, a recorded speech of Schmidt has been posted where he introduces himself and discusses his new job. In it, Schmidt said he sees information technology as offering great opportunities but also great dangers to national security, public safety, economic competitiveness, and personal privacy.
Schmidt adds that as dependence on technology increases, so does the need to protect our security and privacy also increase.
Schmidt is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and FBI. His resume also includes Microsoft Corp. where he worked as chief security officer, and as chief information security officer at eBay.
According to the White House, he has some 40 years experience in government, business and law enforcement.
The White House's acting cyber-security head, Melissa Hathaway, stood down in August after complaining that the post did not allow her to implement necessary changes.