Influencers in the Public SectorBy John Jainschigg | Posted 2008-10-30 Print
From entrepreneurs and academics to CEOs and it Gurus, These influencers come from diverse backgrounds, but have one thing in common: they strive to use technology to improve the world.
Influencers in the Public Sector
Serving in Congress since 1976, Edward Markey (D-Mass) is now chair of the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, and he serves on other committees and subcommittees pertaining to technology, security and the environment. Markey is a defender of Net Neutrality, the principle that prevents Internet service providers from blocking or slowing down service based on its source, ownership or destination.
“Advanced high-speed broadband service is the indispensable infrastructure of the 21st century,” Markey says. “Our goal going forward must be to regain our status as a world leader in expanding access to broadband. The benefits of higher speeds, lower prices and more choices for broadband services will be greater economic opportunity, job creation, higher worker productivity, access to health care and educational resources, promotion of innovation and global competitiveness.”
Former Congressman, Senator and Vice President
Al Gore chaired the U.S. House Committee on Science and Technology and championed the use of high-speed networking for education and economic advancement. His contributions to the creation of the Internet are acknowledged by technology pioneers like Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn. Support for technology remained at the forefront of Gore’s priorities during his two terms as vice president and his later presidential campaign. He now heads the climate change solutions group at venture firm Kleiner Perkins.
Defense Information Systems Agency
As the vice director of the Defense Information Systems Agency, Rear Admiral Elizabeth Hight is responsible for a worldwide organization that plans and provides global Net-centric solutions for the president and the military. Prior to assuming her current post in 2007, she was principal director of operations and deputy commander for the Joint Task Force Global Network Operations. There, Hight was responsible for providing command/control, communications and intelligence computing services to active military commands, and for directing operations and defense of the Global Information Grid.
Former U.S. Cybersecurity Czar
Howard Schmidt headed the computer crime exploitation team at the FBI, and later became director of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations Computer Forensic Lab and Computer Crime and Information Warfare Division. He then served as Microsoft’s chief security officer (CSO). In 2001, President Bush appointed Schmidt special advisor for Cyberspace Security for the White House and vice chairman of the President’s Critical Infrastructure Protection Board. In 2003, he became chairman, until he retired in May of that year. After that, Schmidt became vice president and CSO for eBay. Currently, he is president of the Information Security Forum and a board member of (ISC)2.
State of California
In 2003, Takai was appointed director of information technology for the state of Michigan. There, she led the governmentwide IT consolidation, which merged the state’s information technology into one centralized department, saving about $100 million in the process. Her reputation and accomplishments drew the attention of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who, in 2007, hired Takai as California’s first statewide cabinet-level CIO.
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