White House promotions show homeland security focus

The Bush administration promoted Marie O’Neill Sciarrone on Nov. 27 to special assistant to the president for homeland security and senior director of cybersecurity and information-sharing policy.

Sciarrone had been working on similar issues as director of protection and information-sharing policy at the Homeland Security Council.

Her new position is another sign that the administration is refocusing its efforts to protect federal networks. Her promotion follows a request for more cybersecurity funding and the announcement of the Trusted Internet Connections initiative, both of which have come in the past few weeks.

On the same day, President Bush also promoted Robert Kadlec to special assistant to the president for homeland security and senior director of biological defense policy. Unlike Sciarrone, Kadlec is returning to the government. He had been director of biodefense and public health at management consulting firm PRTM.

Kadlec graduated from the Air Force Academy and received a master’s degree from Georgetown University and a medical degree from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

A White House spokeswoman said neither appointment represents a replacement for Frances Townsend, who announced Nov. 19 that she will leave her position as assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism in early 2008.

Instead, Sciarrone and Kadlec would report to Townsend or her replacement, the spokeswoman said.

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