Security guru Clarke confirms departure

Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Directorate

Richard Clarke, who has led the federal government's efforts to protect the nation's critical systems during the past four years, confirmed Jan. 30 that he is stepping down.

The announcement by Clarke, most recently chairman of the President's Critical Infrastructure Protection Board, comes close on the heels of the departure of John Tritak, director of the Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office (CIAO), who left his government position on Jan. 10.

The CIAO, the National Infrastructure Protection Center, the Federal Computer Incident Response Center and other organizations from across government are being folded into the Homeland Security Department's Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Directorate.

"With the completion of the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace and the stand-up of the Department of Homeland Security, it is a good juncture for me to end my 11 years in the White House," Clarke wrote in a message to the industry Information Sharing and Analysis Centers the board works with.

Clarke urged industry and government to continue to work together on addressing existing and new information security weaknesses, emphasizing that everyone plays a role.

"It is essential to the health of the nation's economy and the security of the country that we aggressively implement the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace," he wrote. "It cannot be the job of the Department of Homeland Security alone."

Clarke came to the White House during the first Bush administration and has been a leader in the critical infrastructure protection area since President Clinton signed Presidential Decision Directive 63 to address the issue in 1998.

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