Security exodus continues

The upcoming change in presidential administrations will bring many personnel

changes in government, but the security side is beginning to see a drain

that many did not expect, as nonpolitical appointees take private-sector


Tom Burke, associate commissioner for information security at the General

Services Administration's Federal Technology Service, last week announced

he is retiring from government on Sept. 1 to take a job in Computer Sciences

Corp.'s civilian information security group.

Burke's announcement comes just a month after Richard Guida, chairman

of the Federal Public Key Infrastructure Steering Committee, announced he

is leaving government after 28 years for the private sector at the end of

the year.

Both have been leaders in developing security policies, practices and

technologies at federal civilian agencies. At GSA, Burke, a 23-year government

veteran, has served as the lead for civilian agencies under President Clinton's

National Plan for Information Systems Protection. He has also overseen the

Federal Computer Incident Response Capability office. Through the steering

committee, Guida has been the advocate for PKI implementation across government.

There remains an assortment of federal security experts, but Burke and

Guida's work focused on the entire government, not just a single agency.

Because both were civil servants, their departures had not been anticipated,

and their leadership will be missed, officials said.

"It's a loss, and unlike the political types who you expect to leave,

when you lose people like that, you feel the difference," said John Tritak,

director of the Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office.

Guida and Burke said they felt it was time to look at other options

after spending their whole careers in government service. "The time was

right, and I wanted to try something different," Burke said.

No decision on replacements for either of them has been announced.


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