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After 30 years of marriage, Raymond Long still has a date every Thursday

night — with his wife, Carolyn.

For Long, who led the Federal Aviation Administration's Year 2000 program

and now is director of the FAA's new Office of Information Systems Security,

"home is where my life is."

Although he gives his all at work, "I'm not married to this job," said

Long, who is married to his high school sweetheart. In his office at FAA

headquarters, Long prominently displays photo-graphs of his family, which

includes four children and four grandchildren. A family photo also adorns

his computer screen.

But don't be fooled. Long, who started his FAA career in 1974 as an

air traffic controller, is committed to his job. He must be, to have taken

on a position that he claims is 10 times the magnitude of the Year 2000


In May, FAA chief information officer Daniel Mehan created the Office

of Information Systems Security and appointed Long as its director. Information

systems security promises to be one of the most critical challenges facing

the government and the private sector in the next decade, Mehan said. Long's

experience with the highly successful Year 2000 program and his history

with the FAA's systems development and architecture made him the logical

choice to take the leap to the next big thing at the FAA.

Long knows it won't be an easy road, though. Much like the millennium

bug, tackling information security requires adequate staffing, awareness

throughout the agency and constant contact with Congress, the General Accounting

Office, the inspector general, administration officials and the media, Long


Long can draw on his friendly personality, strong work ethic and background

in air traffic control wherever he goes in FAA, said Mary Powers-King, who

was Long's deputy for the Year 2000 program. Powers-King, now deputy director

of aviation research, said that she was ready to move on to something different,

but Long seemed to like the systematic approach to the Year 2000 rollover — an approach that will be applied to information security.

Although Powers-King noted Long's efforts to strike a balance between

work and home, "We spent more time together during the two years prior to

the rollover than we did with our families," she said. A lot of family time

happened on the telephone, she said.

When Long was offered the job to lead the Office of Information Systems

Security, he called a family meeting to discuss how the increased demands

would affect his home life and his health — Long has Parkinson's disease.

"When I took on Y2K and this one, I knew it was going to take a lot of time,"

Long said, adding, "I love a challenge."

The biggest security challenge at the FAA will be bringing workers on

board to solve problems, mostly because there isn't a history of information

security problems at FAA, he said. While he can leverage much of the system

inventory work that was done in preparation for Year 2000, the scope of

the information security effort is much larger, Long said.

"On top of your budget cuts, a hiring freeze and government downsizing,

now we need to look at information systems security," he said. "We need

a large-scale awareness campaign. Then everyone will rally to fix the problem."

Finding loyalty among Long's employees has never been difficult, said

Paul Takemoto, an FAA spokesman who handled media relations for the FAA's

Year 2000 program. Long is an easy person to work hard for, he said.

"He takes responsibility. He doesn't blame other people," Takemoto said.

"That's not something that you always find. If you have someone who takes

responsibility like that, you'll do anything for him."

He described Long as "just a very normal guy" who managed to emerge

from the Year 2000 effort — a lesson in crisis management — the same person

at the end that he was at the beginning.

However, one difference can be detected among Long's collection of about

100 coffee mugs. The mugs, which are souvenirs from decades of family vacations,

business trips and events, are now filled with tennis balls.

The tennis balls are a legacy of the Year 2000 work. Long said that

one of the Year 2000 workers told him that whenever she got mad, she put

his picture on a tennis ball and hit it with her racket. That grew to become

a tennis ball for any frustrating event or issue. When the Year 2000 team

celebrated the completion of the rollover, the worker showed up with a box

of tennis balls, many of which now reside inside Long's collection of mugs.

And don't think Long didn't take a systematic approach to his mugs.

"I used to number the mugs," he said, but not anymore. "That's configuration



Born: July 14, 1950

Title: Director of the Federal Aviation Administration's Office of

Information Systems Security.

Hometown: Pine Bluff, Ark.

Public service: Long spent three years in the Army, including one year

serving in Vietnam. He then followed in his father's footsteps by joining

the FAA.

Job history: Long's FAA career started in 1974 as a journeyman air traffic

controller. He later served as an air traffic control tower supervisor and

a facility manager at eight major facilities through 1986. In 1988, Long

became a certified programmer and specialized in air traffic control automation.

From 1991 to 1996, Long held various management positions at FAA headquarters

and the William J. Hughes Technical Center in Atlantic City, N.J. In April

1997, Long was appointed to spearhead the FAA's Year 2000 Program Office.


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