Painter to top cyber spot at State

The State Department has a new chief at the head of cybersecurity. Chris Painter, who was formerly senior director for cybersecurity at the National Security Council, is now leading State’s new Office of the Coordinator for Cyber Issues, which will coordinate cybersecurity and other cyber issues across the Department and with other agencies.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced Painter’s appointment in mid-February.

A winner of Federal Computer Week’s Fed 100 Award for 2010, Painter served in the Justice Department's crime section before joining the administration’s National Security staff.

The news won quick applause from industry and trade groups.

The Business Software Alliance “has worked with Chris for many years in his former posts at the White House and Department of Justice. He has been a tireless champion for international engagement on cyber issues. We look forward to working with him in his new position at the State Department to advance a global cybersecurity framework,” said BSA president and CEO Robert Holleyman.

Similarly, TechAmerica President and CEO Phil Bond said his group has “long supported” the effort to get State to appoint a cyber lead, and that “Painter is an excellent choice.”

Painter has a long history with fighting cybercrime. Before joining the NSC, he served as deputy assistant director of the FBI cyber division and headed the prosecution of hacker Kevin Mitnick in the 1990s.

According to a CNN report from 1999, Painter described Mitnick’s crimes as “a countrywide hacking spree.”

Painter will lead State’s engagement on cyber issues, “including efforts to protect a critical part of diplomacy – the confidentiality of communications between and among governments,” according to the description of the job in the department’s Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review issued in December 2010, which established the new office.

Painter will report to Clinton and will be guided by a cyber advisory council comprised of senior State officials. He will also serve as State’s primary liaison to the President’s Cybersecurity Coordinator for activities that involve cyber issues, and will serve as liaison to other federal agencies that work on cyber issues.

About the Author

Technology journalist Michael Hardy is a former FCW editor.

Featured

  • Telecommunications
    Stock photo ID: 658810513 By asharkyu

    GSA extends EIS deadline to 2023

    Agencies are getting up to three more years on existing telecom contracts before having to shift to the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions vehicle.

  • Workforce
    Shutterstock image ID: 569172169 By Zenzen

    OMB looks to retrain feds to fill cyber needs

    The federal government is taking steps to fill high-demand, skills-gap positions in tech by retraining employees already working within agencies without a cyber or IT background.

  • Acquisition
    GSA Headquarters (Photo by Rena Schild/Shutterstock)

    GSA to consolidate multiple award schedules

    The General Services Administration plans to consolidate dozens of its buying schedules across product areas including IT and services to reduce duplication.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.