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Where Is President Obama's Cyber Coordinator?

It has been almost two months since the release of the 60-Day Cyberspace Review and President Obama’s historic speech marking cybersecurity as a “strategic national asset”. Yet the cyber coordinator position remains vacant. Some believe this is because there is no direction as to what the role of the cyber coordinator will be in the new administration. Others argue that no one working at a high-level, highly-lucrative  position would leave the private sector for a job that has two bosses, the National Security Counil and the National Economic Council. Whatever the reason, Allan Paller, director of the SANS Institute, sums it up best, 

“It’s hard to work for two bosses. It’s not unreasonable that the NSC and NEC both oversee the cyber czar’s activities, but a powerful person may not want to be in that position. If you take a big pay cut, you want to make a real difference.”

According to Forbes Magazine, President Obama has already sought after three  candidates for the cyber coordinator position, with all three turing the President down. 

  • Former Virginia Representative Tom Davis, the current head of public affairs at Deloitte Consulting,  told reporters at Washington D.C.’s National Press Club in June that he was not interested in the position. Davis also said in a statement, “For this job to work, you’d better get some understandings up front if you’re the cyber czar and you want to have any clout in this. At this point it’s unclear to me what the position would even entail, how much authority you would have.”
  • VP of Microsoft and head of Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing division Scott Charney,  reportedly was a top candidate for the cyber coordinator position. Yet in an email to Forbes Magazine the senior director of Microsoft’s security division Adrieen Hall said,  “Scott remains committed to Trustworthy Computing at Microsoft and is not considering other positions.” 
  • Good Harbor Consulting’s Paul Kurtz and founder of the Cyber Security Industry Alliance (CSIA) would be an ideal candidate for the Obama Administration position. Reports have surfaced that Kurtz in uninterested. 
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