Howard Schmidt, former Obama cyber adviser, dies

Howard Schmidt, a longtime IT leader in both government and industry who served as cybersecurity adviser in the Obama White House, has passed away at the age of 67.

Howard Schmidt

Howard Schmidt, who served as special assistant to President Barack Obama for cybersecurity from 2009 to 2012, and who just received the 2016 (ISC)² Harold F. Tipton Lifetime Achievement Award, passed away on the morning of March 2. According to his family, Schmidt had been battling cancer and died at home in Muskego, Wis.

While serving in the White House, Schmidt developed the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace program. He most recently served as a partner in Ridge Schmidt Cyber.

Schmidt’s career in IT and cybersecurity spanned decades as he worked for or served on boards of organizations ranging from eBay and Microsoft to (ISC)² and the Information Security Forum. He also served as the president of the Information Systems Security Association and founded R & H Security Consulting.

His long list of government service includes time in the Air Force and the Arizona Air National Guard as well as stints as a SWAT police officer, head of the FBI’s Computer Exploitation Team, and then as a member of the Computer Crime Investigations Unit in the U.S. Army Reserves. Schmidt also served as chief security strategist for the Department of Homeland Security's US-CERT Partners Program. He won Fed 100 honors in 2003.

Richard Clarke, former special advisor to the president for cybersecurity said on Facebook that he was hit especially hard by the loss.

"Howard gave up a lucrative position at Microsoft at my request to join the government as my deputy in the White House," Clarke wrote. "As a member of the U.S. military, as a police officer, as a corporate official, as an educator, as a White House official, and as a strong voice for cyber security throughout the world, Howard was a selfless patriot. He shall be sorely missed.”

Funeral services are set for March 10 in Wisconsin. Schmidt's family has set up an email address for those who wish to share photos or stories or RSVP for the service.

NEXT STORY: Oak Ridge director to step down

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