Giuliani to head cybersecurity group within White House
- By Chase Gunter
- Jan 12, 2017
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani will advise the Trump Administration on cybersecurity. (Photo credit: Albert H. Teich / Shutterstock, Inc.)
President-elect Donald Trump picked former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani to head a White House committee tasked with tackling cybersecurity challenges.
Giuliani, 72, currently serves as the global chair of law and lobbying firm Greenberg Traurig's cybersecurity and crisis management practice.
He has also been an adviser and surrogate for Trump throughout the campaign and transition, and his name was in the mix for various cabinet-level posts. Giuliani withdrew his name from consideration for a formal position in December amid concerns about his many foreign business connections.
Giuliani announced his role in an interview on the "Fox and Friends" morning television show Jan. 12.
"Last week the president-elect decided that he wanted to bring in on a regular basis people in the private sector, the corporate leaders in particular… who are working on security for cyber, because we're so far behind," he said. "It's [Trump's] belief that a lot of the solutions are out there, we're just not sharing them… My belief is, as always, the answer to cybersecurity is going to be found in the private sector."
In December, Trump convened a tech summit with various industry leaders, and he recently announced his intent to commission a task force to report, within the first 90 days of his term, on cybersecurity threats.
Giuliani said his responsibility would be to coordinate future meetings between Trump and tech industry leaders to inform the president-elect on the solutions that industry is working on "in an organized way."
"I'll get the people in, make sure the meeting takes place" and forge "a little more connection between these people who are doing cybersecurity so they can work with each other," he said.
"But there's a secret part of it, too," Giuliani added. "I know if I can get them in the same room -- because I work with some of them -- if they start talking to each other, they're going to come up with even better solutions."
Giuliani said the problem with rapid technological development is that "our acquisition of information got way ahead of our ability to defend it," he said.
Giuliani has publicly expressed interest in lending Trump a hand on cybersecurity issues before.
In a December interview with Fox Business, the former mayor said that while he planned on remaining the in the private sector, "my dream is to try to solve the cybersecurity problem."
The transition team formally announced Giuliani's role through a statement.
"Giuliani will be sharing his expertise and insight as a trusted friend concerning private sector cyber security problems and emerging solutions developing in the private sector," the transition team announced in a statement. "Giuliani was asked to initiate this process because of his long and very successful government career in law enforcement and his now sixteen years of work providing security solutions in the private sector."
The statement added of the meetings with the private sector, "no consensus advice or recommendations resulting from group deliberations or interaction is expected or will be solicited."
Chase Gunter is a staff writer covering civilian agencies, workforce issues, health IT, open data and innovation.
Prior to joining FCW, Gunter reported for the C-Ville Weekly in Charlottesville, Va., and served as a college sports beat writer for the South Boston (Va.) News and Record. He started at FCW as an editorial fellow before joining the team full-time as a reporter.
Gunter is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where his emphases were English, history and media studies.
Click here for previous articles by Gunter, or connect with him on Twitter: @WChaseGunter