White House cybersecurity czar to step down

Schmidt said he is retiring to spend more time with his family and to pursue teaching in the cybersecurity area. He will be succeeded by Michael Daniel, chief of the White House budget office’s intelligence branch, according to the Washington Post newspaper.

Schmidt has been instrumental in number of the White House’s recent cybersecurity initiatives, including the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, the International Strategy for Cyberspace, and the comprehensive cybersecurity legislative proposal submitted to Congress last year.

The latter initiative has perhaps caused Schmidt the most frustration because it has been mired in political battles between Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill.

Schmidt, who also served as President Bush’s cybersecurity adviser, agreed to join the Obama administration at the end of 2009 for a two-year stint, according to White House officials. “We prevailed on him to spend a few more months”, White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

Schmidt “has made a difference both within the federal government and throughout the nation, and he will be missed”, Gen. Keith Alexander, head of the National Security Agency and the US Cyber Command, said in a statement cited by the newspaper.

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