PITAC nominees strong in cybersecurity

The 25 PITAC nominees

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President Bush announced May 8 that he plans to appoint 25 new members to the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC), which offers advice on maintaining America's dominance in advanced information technologies.

The panel provides information to the president, Congress and federal agencies involved in IT research and development, and helps guide the Bush administration's efforts to accelerate the development and adoption of IT policies for the nation.

Its members are leading IT experts from industry and academia, many of whom have worked in or with the government.

The nominees include two candidates who will serve as co-chairmen — Edward Lazowska, professor and chairman of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington, and Marc Benioff, a former Oracle Corp. executive and entrepreneur recently described by Fortune magazine as the "Prince of Software."

Other include:

* Ruzena Bajcsy, director of the Center for IT Research in the Interest of Society at the University of California-Berkeley, and former assistant director of the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate at the National Science Foundation.

* Eugene Spafford, a professor of computer sciences at Purdue University, director of Purdue's Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security.

* Peter Tippett, chief technology officer of Herndon, Va.-based TruSecure Corp.

"These appointments come at a critical time for our economic security and our homeland security, particularly in the area of cybersecurity," said House Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.). "These new PITAC members are some of the best scientific, engineering and business minds in the country, and I believe their collective knowledge and experience will be enormously beneficial to the president and to the nation."

James Foley, chairman of the Computing Research Association, said the appointments are a sign that the president recognizes the importance of IT "for the economy, for national security, for health and education, and the general well-being of our citizenry."

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