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3/12/2009
03:56 PM
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Microsoft Security Strategist Named Cybersecurity Leader

Phil Reitinger will join the Department of Homeland Security to protect the federal government's computer systems from cyberattacks.

The Department of Homeland Security has announced a new cybersecurity leader.

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano has appointed Phil Reitinger as deputy undersecretary of the National Protection and Programs Directorate. Reitinger will be charged with protecting the federal government's computers and networks from cyberattacks.

"Phil's background in cybersecurity and computer crime, coupled with his experience working across the federal government and the private sector to develop innovative security strategies, makes him an asset to our department," Napolitano said in a statement.

Reitinger has been responsible for improving and protecting the security of information and infrastructure at Microsoft, where he has served as chief trustworthy infrastructure strategist. In that role, he worked closely with government agencies and other private companies on cybersecurity programs. He's a member of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's National Advisory Committee and considered an expert on computer crime and policy.

He has also served as the Department of Defense's executive director of the cybercrime center and he was deputy chief of the Department of Justice's computer crime and intellectual property division. Reitinger has a law degree from Yale Law School and a bachelor's in electrical engineering and computer science from Vanderbilt University.

TechAmerica immediately praised the decision. The group advocates for about 1,500 companies in the technology industry. It formed in January when AeA (formerly the American Electronics Association), the Information Technology Association, the Cyber Security Industry Alliance, and the Government Electronics & Information Technology Association merged.

"Phil Reitinger is a recognized expert on computer security and understands the importance of working with the private sector," TechAmerica president Phil Bond said in a statement.


InformationWeek has published an in-depth report detailing the views of more than two dozen industry leaders on what should be top of mind for President Obama's CTO. Download the report here (registration required).

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